Five Senses

January 31, 2023

A MINDFULNESS EXERCISE

Mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment. The idea is to calmly be aware of & accept one’s feelings, thoughts, and/or bodily sensations. This therapeutic technique can help in so many ways including with pain, sleep, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, self-control, concentration & mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others & one’s self with kindness, acceptance and compassion.

Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. You start to focus on yourself and everything around you where & when you currently are.

This mindfulness exercise is good for calming one’s self down from anxiety or exertion.

What are 5 things you can see?

Look around you and notice 5 things you hadn’t noticed before. Maybe a pattern on a wall, light reflecting from a surface, or a knick-knack in the corner of a room.

What are 4 things you can feel?

Maybe you can feel the pressure of your feet on the floor, your shirt resting on your shoulders, or the temperature on your skin. Pick up an object and notice its texture.

What are 3 things you can hear?

Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out, such as an air-conditioning, birds chirping, or cars on a distant street.

What are 2 things you can smell?

Maybe you can smell flowers, coffee, or freshly cut grass. It doesn’t have to be a nice smell either: maybe there’s an overflowing trash can or sewer.

What is 1 thing you can taste?

Pop a piece of gum in your mouth, sip a drink, eat a snack if you have one, or simply notice how your mouth tastes. “Taste” the air to see how it feels on your tongue.

The numbers for each sense are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each. Also, try this exercise while doing an activity like washing dishes, listening to music, or going for a walk.

© 2015 Therapist Aid LLC

Provided by TherapistAid.com

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Mouth

January 27, 2023

8/20: White Stuff on Your Tongue

Don’t Worry:

An icky-looking white coating on your tongue is most likely a sign of poor oral hygiene—it’s actually a mixture of bacteria, food debris and dead skin cells trapped between the little bumps on the tongue. “The simple solution is to brush your tongue daily or use a tongue scraper,” says Dr. Charles Frank, a dentist in Windsor, Ont. Also, an overgrowth of yeast, called candidiasis or thrush, can happen when antibiotics, chemotherapy or diabetes kill off the healthy bacteria in your mouth—and can be treated with antifungal medication.

I get this on & off.. I know it’s not yeast/thrust for me . Just gotta brush off my tongue for a few days.. literally just cleared this up – had been eating a ton of sweets recently.

Do Worry:

Leukoplakia, characterized by thick white patches that can’t be scraped off, might be an early sign of oral cancer. Frank also suggests seeing your dentist if any unusual spot sticks around for more than a couple of weeks.

9/20 Metallic Taste in your Mouth.

Don’t Worry:

That rusty flavour is called dysgeusia, and it could be caused by taking lithium, certain blood pressure medications, cancer drugs or iron supplements. It’s not serious, but it can be unpleasant. If switching medications isn’t an option, over-the-counter mouthwash or gum can mask the taste.

This can happen if you have high iron & bleeding gums (see next point). I also attest to the medication thing. Different medications can result in yuck aftertaste, including metallic. I’ve had it happen with antibiotics and sleep medications – Gross, but harmless.

Do Worry:

According to Dr. Charles Frank, a mild electrical current can occur if you’ve had fillings, crowns or implants done with more than one type of metal. Called oral galvanism, it’s not dangerous—but if it doesn’t go away it could be costly, as you’ll need to have your fillings changed.Find out the signs of disease your teeth can reveal.

10/20: Bleeding Gums

Don’t Worry:

At some point in their lives, seven out of 10 Canadians will have gingivitis, which results from the buildup of plaque and tartar above the gumline. Even in mild cases it can cause occasional bleeding while brushing. Meticulous brushing—for two minutes twice a day—plus daily flossing and regular dental cleaning appointments can keep it at bay. (Make sure you’re avoiding these common flossing mistakes.)

Do Worry:

If you don’t take care of gingivitis, it turns into periodontitis, or gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

How I’m a Functional Cub Scout Leader, part 2

January 24, 2023

Since my last post the packs have returned back to their former alignment. We are completely seperated. My group is meeting at our church with our program, they are meeting at their church running their program.

Before the split as primary contact scouter, I was getting less support from some of the leadership in the other group. I was even receiving blacklash without assistance to change. Add that we had the potential, and did at some meetings, to have almost 50 youth That’s alot of kids.

To cope, I finally told my group commissioner that we either split or unfortunately leave Cubs which I did not want to do. It has the desired effect and our commissioner told their commissioner & their contact scouter. The rest of their leadership was told 2 meetings prior to the youth. The youth were told at the second last meeting of 2022 that the group was splitting as of January.

So, the 13th Leadership had a planning meeting – whoo hoo! – I donn’t have to decide everything anymore. While alot still sits on my shoulders, this smaller team is working together and actually discusses issues. And because there are no drawn out conversations or prolonged arguments, our group chat is now clear, concise and effective. And with 20 Cubs the youth is alot more manageable and I’m going to be able to connect with parents alot more effectively.

What I Do To Cope.

Well, with all the recent changes, there is significantly less stress. Plus my leadership team just does what needs to be done. I’ve had a load come of my shoulders as a result.

But what do I actually ‘do’?

I rest.. before and after meetings.. I try not to have anything going on Tuesday afternoons if I can avoid it.. and nothing Wednesday mornings to early afternoon aswell

After most cub meetings, I am able to go over to the gym and take advantage of the hot tub. This helps relax the muscles that have tensed up. I find if I don’t get that hot tub, I do not feel all to great the next day. My pain goes up, the fatigue increases, my sleep is impaired and some of my other issues crop up.

Also, I expel alot of energy in a good way during our closing. The fel expression my enthusiasm, the youth’s enthusiasm for our jungle closing is cathartic. “Wood and Water, Wind and Tree! Wisdom, Strength & Courtesy! Jungle Gever Go with Thee! Good Night! Good Hunting!” And because of a previous leaders addition the youth add of their own volition “& Go Straight Home!”

What I Can’t Do.

Generally I can not participate in most of the games. Those just take too much energy & depending on the game, it may be physically changing or flat out wipe me out or hurt me..

We have a camp coming up. We have limited bunks available, but I require my own bunk & preferably away from the youth, so I can sleep. I’ll be taking ear plugs, just like I did while tenting last spring. I need my sleep to function & to heal. But I also have 3 other leaders and a parent volunteer I can depend upon for assistance. Chill has already agreed for breakfast KP duties which is awesome cuz I don’t do mornings well.

Anything that requires me to do anything on the floor is also very challenging as the process of getting up & getting down are difficult.

But its worth it!

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Head

January 20, 2023

5/20: Constant Headaches

Don’t Worry:

A headache is chronic if it occurs more than 15 days a month, for a minimum of three months—but it doesn’t take that long for them to become, well, a headache. Common triggers are dehydration, sleep deprivation, vision problems, sinus congestion, poor posture while working at a desk and hangovers—all of which have straightforward solutions.

Do Worry:

If you’ve ruled out all of the above, it’s worth a call to your doctor for more investigation, especially if you find yourself taking over-the-counter pain relievers more than twice a week. Ultimately, you may not discover the cause—this is true for many people who suffer from headaches—but medication, dietary changes and certain supplements can help.Also, your health care provider should examine you for signs of stroke, cancer or brain injury, such as weakness on one side, unequal pupil sizes, and cognitive changes like confusion or memory loss.

6/30: Ringing in Your Ears

Don’t Worry:

I have this.. it’s called tinnitus and it’s mainly just annoying.

What is it? Is that high-pitched droning, buzzing or whooshing sound coming from inside your own head? Tinnitus is surprisingly common—43 per cent of Canadians have experienced it at some point. It most often lasts a few minutes, hours or days, but sometimes it lasts forever. The most common cause is hearing loss, whether temporary—from a loud noise, for example—or permanent, as with aging (three-quarters of people over 70 have hearing loss to some degree).Although it’s not a medical emergency, tinnitus can affect quality of life in the long term—Ludwig van Beethoven had it so bad in his 30s, he contemplated suicide. “It’s not a very well understood phenomenon,” says Dr. Vance Tran, a family physician in Pickering, Ont., “but we think it has something to do with how we experience transmissions from a damaged auditory nervous system as sound.”Have your primary care provider look inside your ears, as tinnitus can sometimes be caused by an obstruction, like earwax buildup. If the cause is age-related hearing loss, the good news is that it can be treated with a hearing aid.

Do Worry:

If the noise is rhythmic or pulsing, see your doctor right away. That can be a sign of narrowing in the carotid artery near your temple, which puts you at risk for stroke. Surgery may be needed to clear any blockages.

7/20: Ache in Your Ear

Don’t Worry:

As any new parent can tell you, ear infections are the bane of early childhood. But an earache in an adult warrants closer investigation, since run-of-the-mill infections are less common. In fact, the culprit may not even be in your ears at all. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which causes inflammation or dislocation in the jaw joint, is often called a “great impostor” for the way it can mimic other health conditions—and more than 70 per cent of people who suffer from it report ear symptoms, according to one 2019 Swedish study. If you have pain in one or both ears but don’t have a fever, discharge or other signs of infection, see a dentist and ask them to check for signs of tooth wear or any popping or clicking in your jaw. A mouth guard, Botox injections to relax the jaw muscles, or physiotherapy may help.

Do Worry:

More rarely, a complication from shingles called Ramsay Hunt syndrome can affect the facial nerve near one ear, causing painful blisters inside the ear canal, hearing loss and even facial paralysis. It’s diagnosed from a characteristic red rash on the affected side of the face, and treated with antiviral medications.


Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

New Relationship

January 17, 2023

My ex got me on to the social media platform known as Kik. This is a text chat medium. In addition to my Ex’s groups I am in 2 others In all 5 groups I am in, I am an Administrator.

It was in October, that he noticed me. We chatted in the group then into private messaging where he told me what caught his attention with how I would administrate the group such as encouraging participation and introducing topics.

In private message we found that we actually had quite a bit of common and that we were looking for similar things from life.

On October 30th we transferred over to direct text messaging. As we kept speaking with each other we found that we have a similar moral base with similar ethics. We continue to find things an interest that we had in common. We noticed a compatibility and an attraction as we had exchange photos. Our personalities have, thus far, meshed well with a similar sence if humour.

While we have differences it has created interesting conversation as opposed to conflict. Neither of us is adverse to compromise or there are ways to adapt. And, we’ve already had one major disagreement, but we talked out out. Due to the nature of the topic and the sensitivity, we both decided it was too early in the relationship to be addressed. While it will need to be addressed, it should be revisited when things become more settled between us.

The biggest hurdle we see between us, at this time, is the physical distance as he lives 2+ hours away on the other side of the city.

Late December, we met for coffee. After leaving Tim Horton’s after 1½hr, we chatted and connected in his truck for another 2 hours. Man can he kiss!

The next day he was already asking when we could see each other & we met for lunch less than a week later just before New Years Due to holidays & personal commitments over the Christmas season, we were unable to see each other until the new year.

The weekend before last we were supposed to get together to go for a hike together. Unfortunately, due to unexpected work commitments then health issues, we had to reschedule & reschedule.

We ended up rescheduling this Thursday past & we had a good time.. Trail was not the “easy” level it indicated, but we still managed ok despite the steep hills, fallen trees and inconsistent spots of mud We found that while we can talk we are also comfortable with our silence.

We already have a commitment for the day for the Saturday this coming weekend. Swimming & snowshoeing are currently on the books, as well as dinner. I expect we’ll have a ton of fun.

While I’m not home the following two weekends after due to personal commitments, I am hoping to see him in between, during the week. Because of the distance between us it may not be possible but I hope so!

I get butterflies when we talk, when we text & most importantly when we have spent time together. Wish us luck cuz we both want a nltr, hopefully with each other. 🙂

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Hair

January 13, 2023

4/20: Hair Falling Out

Don’t Worry:

The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs from their scalp, per day, but with about 100,000 hairs on your head, comparatively speaking, it’s not much. However, when you suddenly notice clumps in the shower drain, it’s considered abnormal hair loss and could have a number of mostly benign causes. This includes illness, surgery, stress, a high fever, a crash diet or hormonal shifts like childbirth and menopause. Unfortunately, time is the only cute & can take 4, up to 7, month to begin to return to normal hair growth & density.

Do Worry:

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can cause hair to become brittle and thin as the disease slows your metabolism, interrupting your hair’s growth cycle. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause complications like heart disease, but it can be managed with medication.


Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

Symptoms You Should Never Ignore – Eyes

January 6, 2023

1/20: Twitching Eyelid

Don’t Worry:

When your eyelid starts dancing to its own beat, twitching like there’s no tomorrow, you’re probably good. This is called eyelid myokymia and is normal. It affects almost everyone at some point. The cause is not quite known but it’s believed to be a misfiring of the motor nerves that drive the muscles that open and close your eyes. This should last a few second. Common influences include too much caffeine or alcohol, and ongoing stress. So rest up and take it easy on the coffee and booze.

Twitching Eyelid

Do Worry:

If this twitching becomes a regular thing, esp after a week or two Contact your doctor. If other can easily notice these twitches, where they actually close your eyelid, contact your doctor. Occasionally off the cuff one offs are one thing, but a continuum of episodes, this is different This could be a sign of Bell’s palsy, a temporary form of facial paralysis that affects one in 60 people, or an even rarer neurological disorder called benign essential blepharospasm, which can impair your vision and require medication or surgery.

2/20: Red Spot in Your Eye

Don’t Worry:

Spontaneously, there’s a red spot in the white of your eye looking like a a dot of blood, should you be concerned? Fortunately the scary symptom is usually completely harmless. There are several innocuous causes for this. Firstly, a broken blood vessel aka subconjunctival hemorrhage, can happen from coughing, sneezing or pooping. Medications such as blood thinners can predispose you to having blood pool under the clear protective layer sitting over the white of your eye, and even spread all the way around causing this effect. It usually resolves on its own after about two weeks.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage aka Red Spot

Do Worry:

Keep an eye out (pun intended) for other symptoms which could appear in conjunction. If it occurs on a regular basis, or if you’re having spontaneous bruising elsewhere, it could be a sign of something more serious—like a clotting disorder or diabetes. That is concerning you definitely need to address with your doctor

3/20: White Ring Around Your Cornea

Don’t Worry:

It’s freaky – the clear layer of protective tissue that covers your iris and pupil, your cornes, has a ghostly pale ring. Being white, grey or even light blue, this can be completely normal part of the aging process. This is called Corneal Arcus. As we get older, the edge between the cornea and the white of the eye becomes more porous, allowing fatty deposits from the bloodstream to leak in. Fortunately this doesn’t impair vision or require treatment.

Corneal arcus

Do Worry:

A white ring could be your first sign of high cholesterol. If you are under the age of 40, definitely contact your doctor to have them run a blood lipid profile to measure your levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and other fats.


Here are 13 eye care tips your optometrist wants you to know.

Based on an article in Reader’s Digest byAnna-Kaisa Walker

Christmas 2022

January 3, 2023

This Christmas started with one kufuffle after another.

Family Christmas Dinner – huge snow storm buries my brother so he & his family can’t some down on Christmas Eve Eve for our family dinner. Only time of the year we get all 13+ of us together because of distance

Brunch – That didn’t happen. I had suggested to my parents & Mom agreed that we were going to have brunch when I got up in the late morning. I get up, go up with my cinnamon buns in hand.. I find dirty breakfast dishes. They are without me, but the atebmy cinnamon buns.. while I had to make myself something besides just cinnamon buns.

Pictures – We did family pj pictures This is something my Sister’s and brother’s families each do. Mom insisted we do it too. (My sister nor my bother did it). She complained when I only took two pictures, but the first one was a keeper.

Turnip – When I’m doing something new I need completely clear step by step instructions. Which is why I’m great with recipes. I’ve never made turnip for Christmas dinner. I got told throw turnip into a pot & put it on the stove. After softens add butter brown sugar. That was the totally of instruction I was given. Take 1. I toss the turnip & only turnip in the pot I figure I was guessing the turnip softened on its own. Well, not really. Take 2. I put the damn stuff in a pot with water this time, to boil – finally clued into that. But they burned in only a few short minutes. Take 3. Third time’s the charm right? Well, this time with strict adult supervision & instruction I was finally successful under the watchful eye of my BiL & niece..

Dessert – I literally forgot to bake it.. Both the apple crisp & pie. Luckily the pumpkin pie was pre baked

BUT This Christmas was on blessing after another.

Family – Everyone is safe, health & whole. Except for Uncle Barry who passed just before the holiday.

Food – We were blessed to have not one, but two Christmas dinners (& I got ac YE one too)… With 2 kinds of meat, multiple vegetables, potatoes, buns, dessert and a ton of leftovers

Memories – Good memories are made over the holidays. My nephew who lost it trying to play Cards Against Humanity. My VR skills where I used the light sabers on my sister’s tv tables. The first bottle of alcohol for Christmas from anyone & it’s the 21yo niece..

Learning – Learning new skills, specifically how to make, and not make turnip for Christmas dinner.

Family Time – The opportunity to spend time with the family you can see. Even tho he & his family were unable to make it, they were missed & they still will get their Christmas cookies!

Christmas Gifts – I’m one of these people whole, while like to receive gifts, it’s the giving of them that unlike most. Now I did very much appreciate when I did get – weighted blanket, electrical blanket, ton of clothes, alcohol, home made scarf & hat with matching scarf for Lilly (so cute), & a favourite Aunt mug. I asked my nephew if he really thought that & he said yes, but yer my only aunt. So my sister & I start rhyming off the names of the rest of his aunts. He clarifies, only biologically related aunt, which is technically true.

As always, everyone loved what it got them. Two were too big (one fit me so that was a bonus for me), and resulted in quality shopping time with my sister getting her clothes worth 1½ times, almost, for the budget. & Then the cookies. Esp when my one neice realized that her cookies were gluten-free & still baked by me.


So while there were stupid things, annoying things & uncontrollable weather, we are still blessed.

Happy New Year!! 2023

January 1, 2023

I wish you Joy.

I wish you Happiness.

I wish you Good Health & Wellness.

I wish you Beauty.

I wish you Prosperity.

I wish you Love.

I wish you Humour & Laughter

I wish you Serenity.

I wish you Grace.

I wish you Bravery & Courage.

I wish you Success.

I wish you Hope.

I wish you Inspiration.

I wish you Fulfillment.

I wish you Goodness & Light.

I wish you Faith

I wish you Satisfaction.

I wish you Interest & Stimulation.

I wish you Contentment.

I wish you Peace.

I wish you Strength & Fortitude.

& I wish you the Bad so you can *always* Appreciate the Good

Christmas Cookies

December 30, 2022

Every year for Christmas, I bake cookies to give to friends and family for gifts. To make it easy on myself, I buy some of the dough pre-made. This also allows for a little more variety than if I just made six batches of peanut butter cookies or sugar cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I tried something different this year. Yes, I still bought the pre-mix dough and I also still mixed up some dough. What was different this year is that I only baked the cookies that I needed as I needed them. Previous years I would bake all the cookies and then freezing them all.

While this does take more time, it has been spread out over multiple days. It limits doing repetitive and eventually very painful actions for hours & hours on end. Plus, I’m also not spending one day constantly baking

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The other benefit is that for most people, the cookies are fresh – straight from the oven almost in most cases..

Various Type of Cookies on Cooling Racks

Unfortunately, I did not see my brother’s family this year due to a really bad storm the day before our family dinner. He was still digging out with intermittent power. His eldest god to school near me, so I will send the family’s cookies home with her after the holiday break. Until then, they are frozen cuz dough only remains good for a limited period of time.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

The only other ones that were baked & frozen were the gluten free ones for my neice’s & SiL’s gluten intolerances. That was done for two reasons. First to ensure that all the gluten-free products were baked on a gluten-free surface and not switching between gluten-free and regular cookies. Second to keep all the gluten-free cookies together. I didn’t want to get them mixed up.