Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A difficult week

As I'm sitting here watching reruns of "The West Wing", I was thinking of the past week and everything that happened during that time.

It started last week on Tuesday with my dad having his prostate removed due to prostate cancer.  As you can probably imagine, the weeks leading up to it were filled with lots of preparations, stress and worry.  I dropped him off at the hospital with my mother at 5:30 AM and went back to my parents' to wait for my sister.

Dropping them off on the Tuesday, and hugging my dad was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  I broke down in tears and cried most of the way home.  It was terrible.  My sister and I joined my mother there soon after and waited for news on my dad.  Well, everything went well with the surgery and the doctor was really happy. Apart from the fact that he stayed in recovery until about midnight that night due to problems getting a room, everything was good.  

On Wednesday, I visited him and he looked well.  There was a scary moment where his pressure dropped and he passed out, but doctors were not worried.  They said it often happened when a patient recovers from surgery.  They sat him up in a chair for the first time since the surgery and had him walk a bit.  That combined with a lack of solid food for almost 60 hours just did him in,  He quickly recovered from that though and was eating solid food by the end of the day..

Thursday, I picked him up at the hospital and he was home, where he's been every since. He's thriving there an I truly believe being in his own place with my mother is helping him recover. I packed my stuff because I had moved in with my mother temporarily and I came back home.

That was shortlived...

On Friday afternoon, I started experiencing intense pain in my back and also other symptoms that were similar to those I had when I was diagnosed with a UTI 3 weeks earlier.  I decided to go to the urgent care clinic to get medication for what I assumed was another UTI.

Boy, was I wrong...

The pain didn't go away.  Instead, it intensified.  I was walking around and trying everything not to throw up as the pain was making me nauseous.  When I finally saw the doctor, he examined me and told me that he suspected that I had kidney stones.  Well, I've heard horror stories about kidney stones and that's all I could think about.  He said I didn't have an infection according to the test they did when I registered.

Well, that's just great.  I live alone in my condo and I'm going to be in pain and have to call an ambulance to go to the hospital when it gets worse.

Nope, instead I called my sister who called my mother and I moved back in with my parents. There's nothing like a mother's caring to make you feel better.  I didn't sleep much for 3 nights, but I had the comfort of not being alone.  I was in terrible pain Friday night and all I did was walk around and drink tons of water.  I'm telling you, this pain was horrible.  I've felt pain before, but this was different.  More intense and scary.  It finally disappeared by Sunday.

I'm now back home again and terrified of this happening again.  It's not a matter of if...but when.  How do I know this?  I went to get an ultrasound and they found multiple stones in the left kidney and at least one in the right one.  Now I'm walking around, actually hearing a clock in my head ticking away to the time when this will be happening to me again.

I'm pretty terrified..  I want to move back in to my parents' place until this is all over so that my mom can take care of me like when I was a child.  There's no telling when that will be either.  I love living alone, but I have to say that I have now found one of the disadvantages of it.

Enough about me, the week has been hard and stressful and quite frankly, painful, but I'm so grateful that my father is doing well.  Everything is progressing great in his recovery and he's looking forward to things getting back to normal.  I hope things get better with me too.

Have a fantastic week!

Julie / @Flip_4

Thursday, November 1, 2012


No, that's not a typo.  For those of you who don't know, Movember is a movement that started a few years back where men will grow or attempt to grow a mustache to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer and male mental health.

For a few years now I've been laughing at the attempt from some men to grow these mustaches.  There have been some seriously pathetic pictures, but I've always supported the cause by donating.

This year, it means a lot more to me than just a few laughs.

As I've mentioned on here a few times before, my dad currently has prostate cancer and will be having surgery on November 6th.  We are very positive and hopeful that it will all turn out great.

Now, every time I'll see someone sporting a mustache, I will be thankful for what they are doing this month to raise funds.

I am currently on the lookout for someone I can support this year.  I haven't given away my "Birthday donation" yet and  would love to give it to someone to help them reach their goal.

Send me a note if you'd like that person to be you :) or tweet me @Flip_4

Thank you to everyone who is participating in Movember!!!  I love you all!!!

Julie / @Flip_4

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


With Halloween being tomorrow, I figured I should post a little something about me and Halloween.

I like Halloween, I really do.  As a kid I loved dressing up and getting candy.  The part I hated was going up to strangers' houses and saying "trick or treat".  Why?...I don't know.  I was a very shy child and the oldest of the family.  I was supposed to show my sisters how it was done, but I would HATE doing it.

I love going with my nieces and nephew trick or treating now.  It's so cute to watch the 6yo take care of her younger sister (4).  Last year, she would go up to the houses and tell the people that her sister was allergic to peanuts and couldn't have any peanut candy.  No one told her to say this as my sister goes through the candy at night to ensure that nothing with peanuts gets through.  She did it on her own.  Soooo cute.  

There is one thing associated to Halloween that I truly can not stand.  I HATE being scared.  You know all those haunted houses and haunted hay rides in the Ottawa area...well, I stay away from those as much as I possibly can.

To me, there is no "good" adrenaline rush from being scared.  I don't care what anyone says, I will not come out of a haunted anything saying "That was awesome!!".  Nope...never going to happen.

The ONE exception is the haunted mansion at Disney World.  Now that's awesome!!

You see, I was well into my late teens, early twenties before I would watch the video Thriller while alone in the house at night.  Yes...I know....makes no sense whatsoever.

I'm just a wimp.  I big wimp.  I don't watch horror movies either.  I saw 6th Sense when it came out and couldn't even sleep in my room in the basement that night.  I slept on the couch upstairs.  Sure it only lasted a day, but I was freaked out!!

To all of you who think it's funny to scare Julie...I do NOT enjoy it.  I'm not one of those people who will laugh about it just don't do it!!!  ;)

That said, my 6yo niece doesn't seem to be suffering from the same affliction as her aunt.  That's a good thing I suppose.  At least she might actually enjoy Saunders Farm at night.

Happy Halloween to all.

Be safe and watch out for all the little ghouls and goblins out trick or treating!!

Julie /@Flip_4

Friday, October 26, 2012

Money - Joys of being consumer debt free

About 8 years ago, I was in trouble.  BIG trouble financially.  I had a good job that paid well, but I was spending way above my means.   I also had pre-existing debt that had been following me since College.  Of course, I kept this hidden from everyone around me. (or so I thought)

One of my dreams was to buy a house.  Yes, I could rent an apartment, but I really wanted to buy a house.  I had absolutely no idea how to get there from the mountain of debt I currently lived on.

Well, in August 2011, I moved into my very own house.  Sure, the bank owns more of it than I do, but it's still my very own place. I am also consumer debt free and have been for a 2 years.

How was I able to get here from the sizable mess I'd gotten myself into?  Gail Vaz-Oxlade.  Who you ask?  Gail Vaz-Oxlade.  She was able to help me get out of debt.  No, I have NEVER met her, but hope to one day, nor have I ever had a conversation with her by any means.

About 4 years ago, my father told me about this show he was watching that was really good at helping people in debt.   Now, I know my parents aren't in debt so I guess I really wasn't hiding my problems very well. 

Gail is currently the host of a few shows on tv that are aimed at helping people out of their debt.  The first one is 'Til Debt do us part and the other one I watch is Princess.  She also has a very helpful website here

If you have never watched either of these, you really should.  She goes through everyone's finances and tells them exactly how they can get out of the debt they're in and still feel like they're living.

My big problem was thinking I had to give up everything and live like a hermit in order to get myself out of debt and into my house.  I was wrong.

With nothing other than the will to do it and the tools that Gail provides both on the shows and her website, I was able to finally get myself out of the mess I was in.  There was no more roller coaster rides of paying off part of the debt only to spend it again on things I thought I "needed".  Thankfully I have some wonderful friends and family who have helped me stay the course especially since my road trips with my friend were now probably cancelled for a while.

Granted, it really is NOT easy to stay on the correct path.  I've had many relapses as recently as last month, but I'm able to get myself straightened back out quickly enough.   I haven't carried a balance on my credit cards in over two years.  I do what I have to to make sure everything gets paid. 

As a bonus, I was also able to keep my season tickets to the Ottawa Senators. (hence the reason there are no more road trips). 

Things are tight now and probably will be for the foreseeable future, but it is so freeing to know that other than your house, you have no other debt.

I'm an open book so if anyone else out there is struggling, I'm willing to share what I've gone through and how Gail Vaz-Oxlade really can help.

Til we meet again

Julie / @Flip_4

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NHL Hockey...or not

I am a HUGE hockey fan...the Sens to be precise.  LOVE them.  I've had season tickets in one form or another for the past 12+ years.  Before that I attended as many games as I could.

Prior to the Sens, I was a Habs fan and will never forget the first NHL game I attended when I was about 15 at the old forum.  It was amazing.

I can't remember my life without hockey in it.  It's always been a part of it whether I liked it or not (which I honestly did not for a while). 

Now what this lockout has succeeded in doing, is make me question why I spend so much money on NHL season tickets. 

I've been keeping busy with other things for the past month waiting for hockey to start.  I thought I would be bored, but as much as I do miss it, I've easily found other things that interest me to replace the hockey.

It's really hard for me to say this, but should I really keep my season tickets?  A year ago, that wouldn't have even been a question, but I've found so many other things I could be spending that money on and not having the hockey to occupy my time, it's making it harder for me to justify anymore.

Of course, knowing myself, I likely would not cancel my season tickets and will come back full time once the season starts, whenever that may be.  This lockout has just got me thinking of some of the fun I'm missing outside hockey due to all that money tied up in hockey tickets.

The NHL and NHLPA should really find a solution soon because if a HUGE hockey fan like myself is getting distracted from hockey, the casual fan just might not be back.  That's a lot of money teams will be losing.

Now that I've rambled enough...I hope hockey comes back and soon...otherwise, I might just go on the NKOTB cruise ;).

Good night
Julie / @Flip_4

Monday, October 15, 2012

Christmas prep in full swing

Yes, I know.  It's really early to start all the Christmas preparations / cooking.  In our case, we really don't have much of a choice this year.

My father's prostate cancer surgery is on November 6th (it was moved up from November 20th) and that means we are fast forwarding through all the preparations.  We have 3 weeks to do everything.  Actually, for most of the stuff, my parents have 3 weeks to get it all done, but I am determined to help them out with as much as I possibly can.

Today, I went to their house and helped them make some "tourtières".  We made 15 of them.  It was long and tedious, but they are now done.

As a bonus, we made my dad some "pêtes de soeurs".  If you've never had these, you are MISSING out!!  So good!!

On Saturday, it's my Dad and I's annual tradition of making donuts..  In all the years I've been making these with my dad, we have never done them in October.  Most of the time, it's well into December.  Since we don't know what condition my dad will be in after his surgery, we're not taking any chances.

I certainly hope there will be some left by Christmas. I have to remember to keep them away from my brother in law.  I'm also giving out a lot of them so I hope we can make enough for that or else some people might be disappointed.

Somewhere in the next 3 weeks, we also have to find the time for butter tarts.

I'm not a baker, but I will do it for my dad. :)

It's a little odd for me to start on the Christmas spirit so early, but life happened and made the decision for us.  The only thing that probably won't happen on Saturday is that we won't be listening to Christmas music while making the donuts.  It just seems way too early for that, then again, I'll leave it to my Dad to decide that.

With any luck, everything will be done on time and my parents will be able to relax after his surgery and enjoy some quiet time before the holiday season truly begins.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Results - Birthday Wishes for Prostate Cancer

My Birthday has now passed so I thought I would share to you the results from my  "Birthday Wishes for Prostate Cancer" post :)

The amount will be given to  Prostate Cancer Canada.

The total birthday wishes on twitter/facebook were:

Facebook:  53
Total:: 72

This means $69.  As promised in my blog, if I got to meet Jordan Knight, I would add to this donation.  I met him and have a picture with him to prove it.  It was such a wonderful night that I decided to double the donation.  That means $144.  I'm not keen on numbers that aren't rounded, so I'll round that up to $150.00

I will be making the donation this week!!

Thank you to everyone who has made this happen.  I spent a fantastic birthday with friends and family.  I am truly blessed.

Thank you also to Majic 100's Stuntman Stu, Angie Poirier and Trisha Owens for giving me the opportunity to meet Jordan Knight.  It was a fantastic night!! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mixed emotions!!

My birthday is today and something that has happened for so many year on my birthday will not happen today.

I will not get a phone call from my Grand-maman.  I always knew that when I got home after my family celebration, there would either be a phone call coming up or a message on my phone wishing me a Happy Birthday. It's something that I've come to look forward to but this year, that won't happen.

In February, she passed away quite suddenly after a heart attack and it has hit me pretty hard.  I had never lost someone before and I didn't realize how hard it would be.  I think of her every day and miss her a lot.  I wish she was still here.

I've been told that it's the first year that is the hardest.  The "first" time not having her with us for all special occasions or other little events that mark our lives.  For example, if and when my dad and I make our Christmas Donuts this year, using her recipe, it's the first time we won't be getting her opinion on how well we succeeded.  I remember last year, she told us they were better than even hers were. Something as silly as that really made me happy.

Today, on my birthday, I will fondly remember all the times as a child that she made me special birthday cakes with her "Special Icing".  My whole family calls it "Le glaçage de Grand-maman".   Then in later years, it was the phone calls. She was a fantastic Grandmother and I will remember that always.

Je t'aimes Grand-maman!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Much needed good news

I got a call from my Mom earlier today and she had some good news to share with me.

Apparently, my Dad's doctor decided not to wait until Thursday to give him the results. 

The Cancer is localized to the prostate only.  It has not spread any further.  *breathing a huge sigh of relief*

I was so worried about we know.

I'm still worried because he does need surgery, but at least now we know that once the prostate is out, there is a good chance the cancer will be completely gone.

It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I think I'll be able to sleep better tonight.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, it has really helped.

Now we need a surgery date!!  Should get that on Thursday.


Fear of the unknown

These past weeks since September 12th have been long, long, long.

The reason is that we're waiting for results for my Dad to tell us just how bad this cancer is.  The worst part of it all is the fear.

Fear of the unknown.

At least if we knew, we could deal with it.  Currently, all we know is that he has prostate cancer.  We don't know the severity nor the treatment that will be taken.  All we can do is wait until October 4th.

I have to tell you that for me, the waiting is the worse.  It helps to have friends, work and for me, the Jordan Knight concert tomorrow (Oct 3rd)...a blessing in disguise since it will keep me from sitting at home alone the night before the results, just worrying myself silly.

I have felt the fear almost every day when I have just too much time to think.  Today, it was while driving in to work.  The fear was just overwhelming.  I KNOW all the stats, I KNOW that it's the most treatable cancer, but I just can't stop the fear.

As bad as I feel, I can't even imagine how my Mom and Dad are feeling right now.  I've caught some glimpses of it a few times in the past 3 weeks, but I don't think my Dad is really letting us (his daughters) see just how scared he is.  It breaks my heart.

Of course, I try not to show my fear to my parents either, they need to see that I am strong and can handle things if they need to turn to me for support.  I will be there for them no matter what.

I really just want October 4th to get here as quickly as possible.  I want to know what my Dad is facing and how we will deal with it as a family.

I want the fear to go away!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

October 3rd, 2012 - The day I turn into a Teenager

Why you ask?  Well, let me just explain.

When I actually WAS a teenager, there was this group of singers that was just a little bit popular and I was a HUGE fan of theirs.  The group?  New Kids on the Block.

Within that group, there was one singer who I was completely obsessed with (in a non-stalkerish way of course). - Jordan Knight.  I'm telling you, posters of Jordan (and the rest of the group), were plastered all over my walls, doors, mirrors and ceiling in my room.  I'm not sure how my parents felt about this, but I sure loved it.

Mr. Knight himself has a show in Ottawa on October 3rd and guess who's going?  That's right...ME!!  I won tickets from Majic 100 and they come with a Meet & Greet with the one and only Jordan Knight!!


Ok, back to adult me for a moment.

To people who never get to turn into teenagers again for whatever reason, I have to say that you're missing out.  I'm not saying you should act like a teenager in your day to day life, but being able to reconnect with your youth occasionally really does keep you young.  I believe that with all my heart.

It's a few hours of pure happiness that you can share with other people who feel the same way.  I have to say that for me, the feeling usually lasts a few days after as well.  It's nice to escape your real life and all its many responsibilities and challenges and I'm really looking forward to that day.


I can't believe that I'm going to meet him...but who am I kidding?  I won't be able to talk to him.  Ask the people who know me.  I get tongue tied in these types of situations and look ridiculous!!


I'll get a picture with Jordan Knight as a reminder of that day!! 

Incidentally, even though I won the tickets and Meet & Greets, this Meet & Greet  is going to cost me.  If you read my previous post "Birthday Wishes to fight Prostate Cancer", in it, I mention that if I meet JK, I will be making a larger donation to my cause.  I am extremely happy to be able to do this although my wallet might not agree.

I'd like to thank Majic 100 and their morning crew, Stuntman Stu, Angie Poirier, Trisha Owens and Barry Hayes.  You guys rock!!!!

One more time


'Til we meet again


Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthday Wishes to fight Prostate Cancer

As some of you know, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a little over a week ago.  He's currently undergoing tests and we'll be getting the results on October 4th and hopefully his surgery will be scheduled soon after.

For the past two years, on my birthday (October 6th), I have made a donation to a different cause/charity.. I figured that since I usually get many birthday wishes, I might as well make good use of them. :)

On year 1, I gave to SimpLEE4Kids to give kids who were stuck at the hospital over Christmas Lee DeWyze's debut CD.

Last year, I made a donation towards pancreatic cancer research.

This year, the answer to my queston, "Who should I donate to this year?", was answered for me.  I will be donating to Prostate Cancer research and patient support.  This has now become a cause very close to my heart.

So here's how it goes.  On October 6th, for every birthday wish that I receive on Facebook or Twitter, I will be giving a certain amount of money. (still to be determined).  

What I need now is that this message is shared over facebook and twitter so that I get as many birthday wishes as possible.

Let's make sure I get to my cap (which I will keep secret for now).

Oh...and to make this even more interesting, I am going to the Jordan Knight concert on October 3rd, if I am able to find a way to meet him, I will add a sizeable (for me) bonus to the donation.  Hey...I LOVE Mr. Knight!!  ;)

Thank you so much for participating.

Remember, it's on October 6th. :)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WARNING!!! Dangers of.... the title seems a little dramatic, but I just wanted to make sure to warn people about something really important!

Mini-Golf is really dangerous.

Now, where does this statement come from?  Last week, co-workers and I went to a local mini-golf for an afternoon of fun.  Well, it all started fun enough.  I was doing really well for someone who hadn't played that game in 12+ years.

Then...on the 5th hole played, I was going down some stone steps and somehow managed to sprain my ankle.

Now, I have had problems with weak ankles in the past, but it had been a good 19 years since my last sprain.  Boy...did I ever forget how painful a sprain can be.  I've got a fairly high tolerance for pain, but when your sight suddenly goes completely white, you know that it HURTS!!

The good thing is that the golf club was a makeshift cane and I was able to make my way to a bench to watch everyone else have fun while I iced my ankle.  Then I was able to finish out the round (I played 8 out of 18 holes).

I have to say, I think I jinxed myself that same morning.  I was talking to a friend about her mother-in-law who suffered a sprain over that weekend and I stupidly told her. "It's been a LONG time since I sprained my ankle".  Yeah, big mistake.  I should have just kept my mouth shut.

Now, the sprain was pretty minor when all is said and done.  It still hurts a week later, but mostly when I go up and down the stairs.  The swelling is almost entirely gone and I figure I'll be able to walk without a limp in a couple days.

I'm not sure I'll ever go mini-golfing again though.  It's really a dangerous sport!!  ;)

Can I pass this sprain off as a sports injury?? ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Words and emotions Continued - Cancer

About a month ago, the scary word for me was "biopsy".  That has now changed to "cancer".

Yesterday, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Let's just say that the emotions the past 24 hours have been intense.

I've pretty much run through all stages - shock, panic, fear, anger, sadness.  You name it, I've felt it. I'm probably still under the shock of it, but what I call "Logical Julie" has started to peek through all the emotions after hiding for those 24 hours.

Since we don't have all the details of this cancer, we don't know just how bad it is.  Of course, cancer is never good, but as we all know, there are varying degrees.  We're not going to find out  too much more until my dad goes through more tests.

Then there's the chosen form of treatment to go through.  Either radiation or this point.

I have read all the stats, I know that prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers and we have no reason to believe my dad will not be one of the survivors.

Now it's a matter of being there and strong for my dad and my mom.  I want my dad to know that I'm there for him any time he needs me.  I want to pass along some of my strength to him and I want him to feel like he can talk to me about anything.

I don't take my parents for granted as they are fantastic, and this just reinforces the appreciation for them even more.

I know I will still have the days where "Logical Julie" will take a vacation day or two, but I am lucky that I have friends and family to help with those times.   I think this will make my family stronger and closer.still.

It's time now for "Crazy Julie" and "Logical Julie" to get some sleep to be sure to be strong when needed.

Dad: Je t'aimes et je suis ici pour toi...toujours.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One year to 40

Turning 40 doesn't scare me.  It's just a number after all.  I actually don't feel or even act my age (as my family and friends know) so I don't believe it will be traumatic when it happens.

First, I need to turn 39 which will happen in a little less than 4 weeks. 

Why am I thinking of my 40th birthday now though?

Well, it's a milestone birthday and as much as I don't fear it, I've been thinking that maybe I should make a few changes leading up to that day.

I am a fantastic procrastinator and suffer from extreme laziness when it comes to certain things like taking care of myself.  I don't really eat that well and I certainly don't exercise.  That would mean having to cook and actually move around.  Are you kidding?? ;)

I think that maybe I should change that before my 40th birthday.  I'm just not sure how to go about it all.  I cannot afford a gym membership so that's not an option for me.  I'm also a terrible cook and picky to boot.  I would need some wonderful people out in the cyber world to maybe help me out.

I would guess that setting goals might be a good thing, but I'm not even sure what kind of goals I should set.

Are there good exercises I can do at home?  Any good recipes (easy and healhy) that I can make? 

I'm not giving up all the food I love even if it's not good for me, I just want to limit my intake of such foods.

Anyone have any suggestions to help me get started?  I have a little over a year to "improve" myself.  Feel free to leave a comment on this blog or send me an email at

Thank you :)

Julie / @Flip_4
*Waiting for the NHL hockey season to start*

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family and Summer 2012

After a comment posted on twitter by my favorite Ottawa Senators PA Announcer, simply saying "Best part of Summer 2012:", I started thinking about it.

I remember working all summer in a little cubicle in an office building, looking outside, wishing I was retired. I thought, well, summer sure was horrible.  I barely got any vacation and all I did was work.

Then I started thinking about it more and realized that, no, that's NOT all I did this summer.

I spent  a lot of time with family.  There was a family reunion where we celebrated my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary and my dad's 60th birthday at the same time.  There was another one a week or so later where we celebrated my uncle's 50th birthday.  We went to my dad's sister's house just to spend the day swimming and enjoying each others' company.  My 2 nieces spent a few days with me in my house where we went to the park, had movie nights and just had fun.  My nephew celebrated his 1st birthday and being the fantastic aunt that I am, I bought him some nets and some hockey sticks.  We also went to the cottage and spent time together as a family.  There were also the multiple times where we just got together during the week or weekends.

To be honest, my summer was fantastic. 

After losing my grandmother (dad's mom)  in February, it makes you realize that all the times you do get to see family, even if only for a few minutes, is not to be taken for granted.  You may not always get along with them, but that doesn't matter at all.  In the end, they are your family and will always be. 

Any time you get to spend with them, whether they are siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, even friends that you consider family, should always be cherished and remembered fondly.

After my moment of thinking, "Summer was horrible because I worked the entire time", I realized that it wasn't so bad after all.  I'm so grateful that my ENTIRE family lives close enough that I can see them whenever I want.  We might not see each other as often as we'd like, but I will never take for granted the amount of time I can spend with each and every one of them.

I'm glad that I was able to give some thought to my summer and how great it actually was. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hockey Season 2012-2013

Well, here we are, nearing the end of August and this is usually the time of year I really start looking forward to training camp and the upcoming NHL season

Unfortunately this year, we have absolutely no idea when that season will start.

I'm not going to pretend to know what is going on with the CBA, NHL and NHLPA, all I know is that all these people are making a whole lot of money.  I'm not really on either side since I don't understand all the issues, just what is reported in the newspapers and sport shows,  The side I am on, is the fans' side.

The fans are the ones buying the game tickets and hockey merchandise that is allowing all these people to make the money they do.  Maybe some of the billions of dollars of revenue the league makes could be passed on to the fans as savings on tickets or lower merchandise prices.

Yes, that is really not how the hockey business works, but a girl can dream can't she?

Well, I guess we'll see soon enough if there is a lockout and for how long

In the meantime, I will enjoy the rest of my summer!!  )

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Words and emotions

Words are so powerful and some more so depending on how close to a situation you are.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine had a family member who needed to go for a biopsy.  I was concerned for her and her family and made sure she knew I was there if she needed to talk.  I also sent prayers and good thoughts her way. (We do the only thing we can in situations like this).  

As scary as “Biopsy” sounded then…it sounds worse now.

Last week I found out that my dad needs to go for a biopsy for his prostate.  Suddenly the word is so much scarier to me.   The first thought that came to my mind of course was “Cancer”, another very scary word.  

I then went into my ‘logic mode’ and decided that there wasn’t any use in getting overly worried over something that we don’t have any information about yet.  Yes, of course I am concerned, but am waiting for the results before letting full panic set in.  

As strong as my ‘logic mode’ is though, the thought of a biopsy and what it could mean to everyone involved is terrifying right now.  I’ve spoken to people who have gone through this and have done some basic research and I know that the chances are good that everything will be ok…but the word “biopsy” still scares me.  I’m just hoping that it isn’t followed by that other horribly scary word.

The biopsy is tomorrow and I will be there with my parents for support.  I don’t like feeling helpless and any little thing I can do, I will do.  Then all we can do is wait until the results come in.

I will be strong for my family and will try to remain that way through the next couple of weeks. 

Biopsy…I don’t like that word and I will never like it. It doesn’t matter what the results are. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

The morning after "A Good Cry"

Last night I was feeling a little out of sorts (see here).  I was finally able to get to sleep, but the entire night, I had dreams of things that made me cry.  Losing things, death, family problems...really odd.

I woke up this morning feeling "weird".  All I want to do is get back to normal...ummm, as normal as I ever am.


A good cry

You know how sometimes you're just sitting around and you suddenly realize something about yourself, life, whatever?

Well, that happened to me tonight.

I have spent two fantastic days and nights with my wonderful nieces (6 & 4).  We went to the Park, watched movies and just had some plain old fun.  My sister picked them up this morning.

I spent the rest of the day catching up on little things I needed to do.  Mostly working on my computer.  When I took a moment and stopped, I realized how quiet the house was.  They only stayed two nights, but they made this house full of life.

I've been staying here, alone, in my new house for the past 11 months...what suddenly happened to make it feel so lonely in here?  A loneliness I've never felt here before.

Well, I ignored the loneliness and kept on working and then caught up on some shows on my PVR.  I got up at some point for food.  I noticed the girls' breakfast bowls on the counter and was suddenly overcome with sadness.

I started crying and to be honest...I just DON'T!...EVER!!  I hate crying, it always makes me feel weak.  Yes, I know, I shouldn't feel that way.  But for some reason, I do. 

This time, I couldn't stop.  I wasn't crying because my nieces were at their house, although I do miss them.  I was crying for everything that will never be for me.

Let's face it.  I'm 38 years old and single.  There is little to no chance of my ever having a child in my life to fill in the emptiness I'm currently feeling.  It's like all of a sudden, I realized this fact.  It's odd because I've talked about how I won't have children, multiple times to multiple people. I thought I had already come to terms with that...GUESS NOT!!

So many "What ifs" have been going through my mind...but what good are "what ifs" anyway?  They only make things worse.  I just want it to stop.

Now I'm not sure how to deal with these feelings.

I'm hoping that writing this post will help me a little bit...time will tell 

Julie / @Flip_4

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Well, looks like I've been away from this blog for a while now.  I've had the best of intentions of keeping it updated as often as possible, but it seems that I keep "forgetting" to do so.  Maybe it's because I'm too busy, or maybe I'm just plain lazy.

In any case, I'd like to apologize for my absence.

This time, I will not make any promises when it comes to the number of times I will update this blog.  It will be updated whenever I have something interesting to least something *I* think is interesting. :)  It's your call whether or not you agree.

In the coming weeks, I'll post about a few different topics such as, myfamily trip to Disney, my job status (hopefully I'll find out soon), and whatever else suits my fancy.

Hope you'll all read and comment...positive or negative comments ;)

Well, that's enough of that.

Have a good day!!  :)

Julie / @Flip_4

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roller Coaster of Life

I’m really not a big fan of roller coasters and have spent most of my life avoiding them to the best of my abilities, with a few exceptions along the way.  

Life, on the other hand, has decided to send me on the biggest roller coaster ride of my life to this point, including one of the biggest drops I’ve ever experienced.

The drop? On Monday, February 13th 2012, my grandmother passed away of a massive heart attack.  She was healthy for a 90 year old and this was certainly unexpected.  She was happy up until the end and that helps to deal with the whole situation.

This is the first time I’ve experienced the loss of someone so close to me and it’s been devastating.  My wonderful friends and family have been a great support and help throughout the process and for that I am truly grateful.  Being there for my father during this horrible time has helped with perspective.

Something very unexpected has come along to help in the process.  It comes in the form of things that happened to or around me in the days prior and the days following my grandmother’s death.  That is where the upward climbs in the roller coaster ride happen.

Most of you know that Chris Phillips is my favourite Ottawa Senators player and has been for a very long time.  Some of you might even be sick of me when it comes to that.

Chris played in his 1000th game on February 9th, 2012.  A game in which he not only scored a goal, but he scored 2 goals.  His FIRST two goals of the season.  This sent me on an unimaginable high as a fan of his, and quite frankly, I turned into a teenager while celebrating the goals. The Sens won that game, but that’s no surprise to Sens fans as the Sens seem to win more often than not when Phillips scores.

I didn’t think anything could top that, and then I got a call from my favourite PA Announcer, Stuntman Stu, on the morning of February 10th, 2012 telling me that I was invited to meet Chris at the unveiling of a mural the Ottawa Senators put up in his honour on the concourse.  I was able to get Chris to sign a picture I had taken the night before during his 1000th game, and also get a picture taken with him.  Did I say anything to him?  Nope.  That doesn’t matter though because it was one of the happiest, proudest moments for me as a Sens fan.

The next day was a game played in Chris’ honour where players wore jerseys with his name on it during the warm up, his teammates and team gave him gifts and he was able to thank his friends, family and fans for the support.  The Sens weren’t able to repeat the previous game’s performance and lost, but it was still a special day for me as a Phillips fan.  

I must have taken over 700 pictures between the 3 days.

Unfortunately, on February 13th, I got the call that my grandma had died and so was plummeted to the bottom of the roller coaster at an astounding speed.  The next few days were the worst of my life.  The Sens were away that week so I didn’t have any hockey games to go to and watching them on TV wasn’t an option for me at that time.

On Monday, February 20th, all “official” things surrounding my grandmother had been done (funeral on the 17th of February) What was and is still left over is the grieving process.  I have to learn to deal with not having my grandma around anymore and knowing that I won’t see her again.  One day at a time.

That day, the Ottawa Senators were playing the Islanders at 1pm.  I sat down and watched the game on TV (which I don’t usually do because I hate watching hockey on tv.  I’ve been spoiled by my season tickets).  I watched as the Ottawa Senators won over the NY Islanders and Chris Phillips scored his 3rd goal of the season.  WOW…3 goals in 5 games!! Through everything, that made me so very happy.

I went back to work on Wednesday February 22nd, and noticed an email from someone on the Ottawa Senators Staff sent to me on February 17th.  I had been chosen to be the season seat holder of the game for that night’s game against the Washington Capitals.  I’d have to be on the big screen and they would say a little something about me and give me a gift.  

I was shocked that I’d be chosen for something like that…and so soon after…I just couldn’t believe it.  I was of course very happy and emailed him back agreeing to be a part of it.  

That night, I was put up on the big screen while Stuntman Stu read a little “blurb” about me.  I showed off my Chris Phillips jersey proudly and the Ottawa Senators gave me a $500 gift certificate to Napoli’s Café.  How amazing is that??  I can’t wait to take my family there for dinner someday very soon.  Apart from having to be on the giant screen, it was really fun.

I returned to my seat and not very long after, Chris Phillips scored his 4th goal of the season.  How much better could this day get?   I was again turned into a teenager while celebrating the goal.  The Sens won the game of course which made the evening perfect for me.  So awesome!!

No one knows why things happen when the do.  I believe right now though that everything happened perfectly in order to help me deal with the most devastating event of my life.  The loss of my grandmother.  It might sound corny to some, but how else to explain everything falling into place at the exact right moments.

I’m just so thankful for everything.  I don’t know if I truly deserved all the good things that have happened to me recently, but I do know that I will always appreciate it tremendously.   These are two weeks I will never forget…
Je t’aimes Grand-maman!!

EDIT: Tonight, I met Chris and was actually able to talk to him a little.  I'm sure I sounded like a crazy, babbling fan, but it was nice to be able to tell him just how big a fan I am.  More on this on a later post :)  This just adds to the roller coaster and I am so grateful I was able to experience it all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Project - My life as I remember it!

In the past couple of days, I have read 2 books that have got me thinking about things.

The first one is "Still Alice" about a woman who finds out she has early onset alzheimer's and has to find a way to live with it.  This book is absolutely fantastic and everyone should read it.

The second book is "From This Moment On", written by Shania Twain about her life.

In the introduction to Shania's book, she wrote about wanting her child to have an accurate account of her life and how that is one of the reasons that fueled her desire to write her book.  Something that he would be able to read knowing it was the truth, instead of getting it from newspapers, magazines that won't generally be correct.

This really got me to thinking about my life.

I am single and have no children.  I have so many experiences and accumulated wisdom that I would love to share with the people I love, but no real way of doing it.

What "Still Alice" taught me is that you just never know when something could happen and you might not be able to share these things anymore.

I want to have a written documented account of my life somewhere.  Something that could be around in my family, since I don't have the children to pass them on to.

There are things I have lived through that not many people know about, but I think could help some people.  Things that have been difficult and might not necessarily be proud of, but have shaped me into the person that I am.

There are also so many fun experiences that I have had that I would love to be able to read about later and remember the "good ol' days".  Things that might make my nieces and nephew realize that "aunty Julie" wasn't just a boring bookworm ;)

Things that I remember about my family and friends as well would make it into this melting pot of stories.

I'm not saying that I am writing a book to be published.  I know that my writing skills are nowhere near the level they need to be for that.  I think all I really want is to leave something that my family can someday read.  A collection of memories and events, that they will enjoy. 

As I was thinking about all of that, I could also talk to my family (grandparents, parents, sisters) and friends to get their perspective on the events.  Write it as I saw it and as they did. 

This is really just something for me that I would someday like to share with the people close to me, and that they could maybe share with their family.

As I said earlier, you just never know when something could happen to you that would prevent you from sharing these memories, advice etc with people in your life. 

Before anyone suggests it, No, I will not do a video account since I hate the camera.  I tend to run away from it except on some very VERY rare occasions where I have been cornered (you know who you are )

I will be sure to share some of the shorter stories on here. :)

Since it is the New Year, I think there is probably no better time to start writing this "autobiography" if you will.

On that note, off to do some writing