Monday, February 28, 2011

The King's Speech Won!

I didn't see a lot of this years nominees, but I sure am glad that this one won. I wonder what impact the Oscar win by this film will have on awareness of speech related disabilities.

The portrayal by Colin Firth was so incredibly moving and seemed so authentic. It may have been the story of a monarch at war time, but it really portrays the amazing perseverance and human resiliency through the struggles of a man with a disability.

The support of his wife and the guidance of his therapist and friend contributed to his success. The humor that is displayed is such a real part of coping day to day and it is good to see that shared on the big screen too.

I hope you get to see this movie sometime soon and I hope you find it to be the encouraging and uplifting story that I did.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Heart and Stroke Month

I wanted to make a Heart Smart related post for Heart and Stroke Month

What are your risk factors?

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recently released a report showing that 9 out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for cardiac disease. Ninety percent of Canadians believe they are healthy, however most are in denial about the true amount of risk they are under.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thinking Day around the World

This is my 20th year as a Girl Guide Leader. When I joined Guiding it was simply in order to have a unit for my then 5 year old middle daughter. I thought it was something my daughters needed and would enjoy but I had no idea what an adventure I was getting myself into. I can truly state that being a member of Girl Guides of Canada has helped me grow into the kind of woman I am today.

Thinking Day is a special day for Guiding and Scouting where we remember the people who began the Guiding and Scouting Movement but more importantly it is an opportunity to think of all the other Girls and women around the world who are part of the "Sisterhood of Guiding".

WAGGGS is short for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts which is made up of member organizations in over a 144 countries. Please read the quote below or visit the WAGGGS site and search for more information regarding Thinking Day activities in your own country.

About World Thinking Day 2011

Millennium Development Goal 3: girls worldwide say "empowering girls will change our world"

Girls and women of all ages in many countries do not have the same opportunities as men. They do not have the same access to education as men - around 54 per cent of out-of-school children are girls. Women are underrepresented in the world’s parliaments and in the labour workforce, and earn far less than men.

The World Thinking Day theme for 2011 is ... girls worldwide say “empowering girls will change our world” and the aim is to raise awareness of the situation for many girls and young women and empower them to take a stand against inequality.

Gender equality and empowering women is the third of the eight areas of focus made by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. It is part of the WAGGGS Global Action Theme, which encourages girls and young women to make a personal commitment to change the world around them by linking to an important global agenda: the United Nations Millennium Development Goals

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Matters of the Heart"

My friend Dave and I spent today at a really interesting event at The Wellness Institute which is located at the Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg.

This is Heart and Stroke Month, and the Wellness Institute hosted a 5 hour event focused on heart healthy living.

We arrived with a lot of time for the nine am opening. The event had about 90 people attending and there was a little registration package with some information and my pack had a red heart and Stroke association Frisbee.

We started with a welcome followed by a stretch break. It was really a little crowded for that kind of stretching but everyone seemed to appreciate the exercise break.

We listened to the keynote speaker, Dr Lerner discuss the role of Atrial Fibrillation in heart disease. He shared the statistic that people with this form of heart rhythm are at a hugely increased risk of stroke and acknowledged that many doctors are not being aggressive enough in their care of such patients. His language was a little technical for the audience but he was interesting and he did show a fair bit of humor through his presentation. He was incredibly willing to answer questions and to clarify points.

There was a break with a healthy snack, blood pressure testing stations and educations information pamphlets followed by another session of mild exercising and a draw for door prizes.

We also attended a healthy baking session where Dave and I learned a lot of information about improving our baking. More important, we learned a lot about how cooking information can be shared in a public forum like that. I think we have a lot to share at upcoming Healthy Cooking sessions at The Stroke Recovery Association. The dietitian, Carolyn Somerville, gave a handout of information and recipes that will be incredibly useful for me. I am going to try out most of them and I will share some of the results on this blog.

The last session we did was about relaxation and reducing stress and improving blood pressure. She discussed the role of humor, deep breathing and she gave a brief introduction to a body scan approach to relaxation. As part of the humor section she had us listen to the following You Tube clip about Tim Horton's. It really had the whole group relaxed and laughing and receptive to what she had to share.

Dave and I thought it was a great experience and we definitely plan to attend next year's Matter of the Heart event.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Tea and Baking Cookies

Yesterday was the annual "Valentines Tea" at my local Stroke Recovery Association. I was so excited about it. I was into making goodies for the bake sale, I donated materials for the silent auction, I took a turn selling tickets for an upcoming ticket draw for some really nice jewelery. I worked hard on convincing my stroke affected friends and their families that they should come. The tea was a great success and we had a lot of fun. The weather was mild, at least for here, and we had a really good turnout.

The thing that mattered the most to me was the fact that the girls from the Girl Guides of Canada groups I am associated came to help serve tea and the sandwiches and dainties. We had 2 young adults and 7 girls between the ages of 12 and 16 volunteered to help and they were absolutely awesome! I was so very proud of them.

It was kind of strange to combine the two charities that I am involved with but the girls felt great about helping and the people attending the tea commented over and over what wonderful hard working girls were serving the tea.

The treats I made were a success too. Baking is one of the things I have struggled with and I really have had to work hard on getting my skills back. Baking involves measuring and using numbers, it involves remembering what you have already added and it requires remembering that you put it in the oven and not letting it burn to a smokey crisp.

I have made "peanut blossom" cookie several times and I am starting to get a routine worked out at least for this kind of cookie.

I saw the link for these cookies with a heart shaped chocolate instead of a Hershey Kiss and I though that was perfect for a Valentine's Day tea. I will confess the first batch was left in the oven long enough that they weren't fit to use, but the second day I got more chocolates, tried again and didn't leave the kitchen for the 10 minutes they need to bake.

The cookie recipe and the picture above is from
I love their blog-- it makes me feel like cooking and crafting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guitar Lessons Started Again

I am about to head off to my 4th Guitar lesson. It is actually going very well. My right hand is fully healed with only a thickened little scar area and still a little bit of stiffness in the top finger joint. My left had is miles ahead of where it was before my "good right" hand got so painful and icky. Basically I was forced to use my weaker left hand and now it functions pretty well, however it is a little stiff getting started and kind of achy.

The sensation in my hand still feels kind of off, but I can tell when I am touching something and I can tell hot from cold. Basically it kind of feels a like bit like a "pins and needles" sensation, especially compared to my other hand, but the weird sensation doesn't interfere with my activities at all.

Guitar lessons started off as a physiotherapy kind of plan to really challenge my hand to work, and it is indeed going to continue to help my coordination and speed improve. What is surprising to me is how hard I am finding it to read the music notes and to read music chords.... and well basically remember what the teacher showed me 2 minutes before.

I should not be surprised that I can't read music fluently anymore. If I could initially forget what numbers were and struggle so hard to get back any sense of numeracy I should not be surprised that a different symbolic kind of communication has been lost as well.

So back to the beginning of reading yet again. The staff lines are e...g...b...d...f...

Cognitive therapy, here we go once again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...