Wednesday, April 30, 2008

baby steps

Paul is still in hospital, and seems to be making good progress. His surgery yesterday took longer than expected, but the surgeon felt it went well. He now has screws holding his scapula together and a metal plate on his clavicle, as well as a temporary hose coming out of his chest draining an impressive amount of fluid from around his lungs. This will hopefully come out sometime tomorrow. He managed to stand a few times this morning (turned a magnificant shade of green the first time), and went for a walk up and down the hall in the afternoon. Since the right side of his upper body doesn't work at all right now, we are getting to know each other VERY intimately. He started eating today. Two bites of muffin in the morning, two mouthfulls of spaghetti at lunch, and a few slurps of soup at dinner. He's doing well with fluids, although nausea is still a problem. Probably all the meds.

He may be coming home by the weekend, which will be nice for both of us. I can't seem to relax unless I'm at the hospital, in spite of being completely exhausted and living off of take out and vending machine food. It only just occured to me this evening that once he's at home, there won't be any nurses. Just me. Shit man. Mental list of things to do being compiled. Work has been good about giving me time off on medial leave. I got a message that they were working on covering next week for me too which I didn't really think would be necessary until I started to think about Paul coming home, and now I'm pretty sure it will be. I'll take it day by day.

Paul is the strongest person I know physically and mentally. I have no doubt he'll recover well and swiftly. It is hard to see him like this though.

Monday, April 28, 2008

life happening

The post I was composing this morning while enjoying my first full blissful day off, no studying, not a care in the world, was derailed. I got a call from the hospital just after noon letting me know that Paul was there after being hit by a car on his bike. I have dreaded this call for the nearly five years we've been together. So off to the hospital I rushed - luckily we live only 4 blocks away, so rushing to the hospital can be done in short order.

He is currently stable, but has multiple broken ribs, broken clavicle, broken scapula (shoulder), some fractures along his spine (which don't seem to be of much concern), a punctured lung, and blood pooling around and in his right lung with is making breathing difficult. He also had some trauma to his head and has a concussion, but it seems his helmet did it's job, and he is really lucky as far as this is concerned.

After many x-rays and CT scans, the orthopedic people have decided they need to operate to repair his shoulder tomorrow. The socket in which the ball sits is cracked and has shifted, so that needs to be realigned and will be held in place with a screw. Since they are already going in there, they have also decided to repair his collar bone, which wouldn't normally be done, but what the heck. He will also need a tube put in his chest to drain out the blood and air putting pressure on his lungs. Surgery is booked for around 9am on Tuesday.

He is currently in an acute trauma unit, but I believe after the surgery he will be moved to a different trauma unit. Paul will likely be in hospital for the next 4 days or so. I would not recommend visiting until Wednesday, depending on how his recovery from surgery goes tomorrow.

I will update as frequently as I can.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April Snow

I woke and saw
That softly, in the night
Sweet April lost her way!
And o’er the ground
A soft snow had fallen,
Displacing balmy showers-
So long a token of the
Fair freshness of nature’s
Wakening month.
Yet, lying ‘neath the fond
Caress of winter’s parting gift
We know the buds and green
Of spring will burst forth
Even more aglow
Vibrant with beauty!
From their rest
Beneath the snow.

Valerie Morrison

Saturday, April 19, 2008

bill c-517: mandatory labelling of GE food

This post is copied with permission from my dear friend Harmony's blog. This is a very important issue near and dear to my heart. Thanks Tro!

. . . . .

I urge you all to get involved in this very important issue. GMO foods are undertested and owned by major corporations who (yes, corporations are legally a who and not a what...scary) wield their power to destroy the lives of farmers in Canada and many parts of the world. You have the right to be able to make an informed choice about what you put in your and your childrens' bodies.

Please follow the actions suggested by Greenpeace on this site to pressure federal MPs to vote for the mandatory labeling of GMO foods, which may lead to a ban on them in Canada altogether. As of now, if you buy non-organic soy, wheat, corn, animal products, canola, yellow zucchini, potatoes, flax or cotton, you are likely paying for GMOs. The global food crisis is being worsened by this phenomenon, which seeks to limit nature's bounty to a few corporate owned Frankencrops.

Get involved! Everyone is needed for this, and we are so close to achieving victory.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

sesame maple roasted tofu

1 tsp canola oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1 brick o' firm tofu
1 Tbsp tahini paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 450. Dice up your fu into 1 inch cubes. Toss with canola oil, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and onions. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 min, until tofu and onions are starting to brown. In the mean time, whisk together remaining ingredients into a delish sauce. Remove tofu from oven, toss with sesame maple sauce, return to oven and roast another 8 min or so.

I've made this recipe a few times, and it's always been tasty but the sugars in the maple syrup burn and stick to the pan, so you sorta have to scrap everything off and get lots of burnt bits in with your tofu. Last night I had the genius idea to put the whole thing on parchment paper, so I did, and it was fantastic. The maple sauce still burned a little where it was in a puddle around the outside, but that was easily removed and the tofu turned out so fantastically delish.

I served it hot over a nice big spinach salad. Yum yum.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

fueled by chocolate milk

Big whopping congratulations to UBC swimmers Brent Hayden, Brian Johns, Annamay Pierse, Tanya Hunks, and Savannah King for making the 2008 Olympic team. These are five incredibly talented athletes and really nice people who have worked hard for this. Must be all that chocolate milk they guzzle as a recovery drink after each workout. Research came out suggesting that chocolate milk was the perfect recovery drink for endurance athletes, what with it's high levels of protein and the additional sugars from the chocolate. And it's deliscious. So the UBC swim team jumped on that bandwagon and started chugging down chocolate milk after every workout, and even one time showering in it. I'm not even joking about that.

Last week I managed to 'acquire' a case of chocolate milk of my own during a huge intramural event on campus which seemed to be sponsored in part by the chocolate milk people, whoever they are. Everyone was walking around with a bottle or two of milk, but I wasn't having any of that nonsense so I marched over authoritatively, picked up an entire case, and walked away. I've since discovered that chocolate milk is good in everything. And by everything I mean in my tea, and straight up, which are the two ways I've consumed it so far. I have big plans for chocolate banana smoothies and chocolate french toast on the weekend (note to self, buy nutella before weekend), and I'm sure it'll get twisted into some sort of tasty alcoholic drink after classes are done. Who am I kidding, after 10am today. I get up early, ok. My 10am is your 3pm.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

coming out

Although Paul and I have been living common law for four years now, we have never claimed it on our taxes.
Until now.

I figured we better because I've claimed him as my spouse on my extended benefits through work, and with the recent transfer to a new payroll system I had to sign about a gazillion papers verifying our common law status. It would catch up with us sooner or later. Actually, last year when we added his MSP coverage to my benefits plan, we both got letters from the government suggesting that our health care coverage didn't line up with our taxes, and we had better phone them and deal with it. Which we never did. So yeah.

Plus we realized I could claim his unused educational amounts, which beefed up my refund by over $800. Thanks Paul!

So the deal was, he'd transfer the education amount to me so long as I agreed to use that $$$ towards the trip to Europe he wants me to come on. Paul has a conference in Helsinki for four days in early June, which sees his flight to Europe, and the accommodation in Helsinki already paid for. The plan is I go with him, and after the conference we go to Prague for a few days, and then to Spain where we'll pick a couple of spots to chill out in for 10 days or so before heading home. Nice little holiday partially funded by UBC. And more funded by UBC once they get around to reimbursing me for my tuition this semester (another part of my benefits package - 12 credits a year of free tuition).

There it is. We've officially come out to the government.

And Paul, for the first time in his 33 years, did his own taxes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

final stretch

The semester is nearly over. Eight days of classes left, including today. One research paper, two homework assignment, two problem sets, and one quiz to get through in the next eight days. Then classes are done, and I can just come to work, go home after eight hours and nap if need be, then study without being so tired the words I'm trying to read are swimming on the page.

I have reached the point in the semester, as I do every semester, where I somehow lose the ability to feed myself. I just run out of steam and rather than cook dinner or pack lunches, I eat crackers. I can't seem to deal with anything else, and it's horribly counter productive because I don't get fueled with the nutritious foods I need to keep myself going through exams. My strategy this semester was to plan ahead, and make healthy foods in bulk during periods of higher energy. I've got a bunch of lasagna individually portioned and waiting in the freezer, as well as a large batch of soup. Last weeks Green Quinoa got me through at least 5 days of lunches. I made up a huge batch of three bean and wild rice salad which will be another good grab and go high fibre high protein solution, and Paul whipped up a mean batch of borscht on Sunday which is portioned and frozen as well. Broccoli is cut up and waiting to be tossed into the steamer for an iron rich addition to any lunch or dinner, and a double batch of bran muffins is on stand by for breakfasts. Fruit is cut up and portioned into daily servings in the fridge, where yoghurt and a handful of frozen blackberries can be added at the last minute. I also got a gift certificate good for many of the AMS run food outlets in the student union building for participating in a focus group, so worst case I can go and *gasp* buy myself a sandwich.

I can survive eight more days.