Anndi's Luggage: April 2007
With love and pride
I was humbled
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Location: Somewhere near Montreal, Quebec, Canada

If somebody doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them.


Monday, April 30, 2007

I tried.. but I have something to say...

They sing it so much more eloquently...

To every thing, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together
To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open hand held out and waiting.
For we meet by one or the other."
- Carl Sandburg

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."
- Indira Ghandi

"Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism."
- Dorothy Thompson

"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies."
- Moshe Dayan

"How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don't have a voice to speak?"
- Isabel Allende

"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
- Leonard Bernstein

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Awww shucks..

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a comment on a recent post. Judd from Rising Blogger bestowed upon yours truly the honour of Post of the Day and he wrote a wonderful review about one of my “let’s bare my soul (which I hate to do)” posts.

It gives me the perfect opportunity to give you, dear Reader, an update on a cause near and dear to my heart… The Montreal Children’s Hospital Radiothon raised ...


You can still donate here and join the Circle of Hugs for 18$ (CDN!) a month.. which works out to .60 cents a day.. sheesh.. you can’t even get a soda (pop, coke, cola, soft drink.. - whatever you want to call it) nowadays for .60 cents… and yet, it’s enough to help save a life!
I’m relentless when it comes to this particular cause… but like I said in my award winning (hehehe) post.. I don’t care what hospital you donate to, or what you donate.. just get off your duff and do SOMETHING!.. go around the office and ask your co-workers for their loose change.. set up a container by the washing machine and grab the change out of everyone’s pockets.. hey.. why wait for their pants to be off.. maybe you could walk up to someone and grab the change out their pockets.. (wait.. that might get you in trouble... hmmmm... need the bail fund for the Children's Hospital.. that won't do...) ...check out what’s lying around in your car.. the couch (or Chesterfield as we Canadians like to call it).Every little bit helps folks.

I’d like to thank my anonymous nominator who it would seem felt that glimpse into my life deserved mention.

Judd’s site is refreshing, as it awards specific posts that he feels bring something to the bloggosphere... and in that sense promotes a much truer sense of community than anything else I’ve seen out there. I’ve visited quite a few of his nominated blogs, some of which I was already aware of.. and some I am thankful he pointed out to me for the first time. My bloggosphere favourite destination list will be all the richer in the coming days.. to match my frequent flyer miles and all the lovely stamps I’ve added to my passport as of late.

I’ve never professed to be “a writer”.. I just like to share things with folks who might decide to take a trip with me in the luggage compartment (btw… I reserve the right to frisk and grope any who enter my lair… call it my own little version of the Security Checkpoint). I’m glad if some of you can enjoy some of the music, silly videos, occasional jokes and even the stories about me…

I haven’t done this in a while and I’m not sure why I strayed from it... but…

A few quotes…

“If you haven't got charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”
- Bob Hope

“All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving
may be yours and not your inheritors.”

-Kahlil Gibran

"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it."
- Albert Einstein

Love you all more than my luggage!

(which is now unpacked from my recent whirlwind trip to Calgary)
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


I clicked my heels together three times and poof! I'm back!!

Yeah right..

After a 4 hour flight in an uncomfortable seat, listening to an in-flight movie (which by the way was quite moving) but only with one ear because there was a problem with the sound jack on my seat, and a ride home with a cabbie who thought he was in the Daytona 500 (ok.. the Sahara Rally might be more of an accurate simili)... I lumbered into the house, was greeted by two excited dogs, pulled my boots off, and flopped on the bed for a good night's sleep.

My neck is sore, my shoulders hurt (man my laptop and all the work documents I had to bring with me for my meetings were heavy) and I have a ton of things to catch up on...

and will..

as soon as I sleep for a week...

I'll be making my blogger rounds soon.. sorry for being away so long.

I do love travelling...

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Manic Monday - Sun

I dare you to make it through this without shakin' what your momma gave you.. KC and the Sunshine Band... WOOOOOOOOOOO!!


Nice walk down memory lane...

For the more traditional SUNSHINE post.. visit Saturday's posts...

Love you more than your luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Picture show...

For all the people who have had an impact in my life...

For my wonderful Soul Patrol Family...

For Chicklet...

Create Your Own

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Music soothes the soul...

It's been a rough week. I apologize to my dear bloggosphere friends who I may have neglected lately, life got in the way. Let's hope the crazies are past and blue skies are ahead.

It's a beautiful day to take a stroll...
read a book in the sun...
listen to some fabulous music...


Have a great weekend darlings...

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - guess who...

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

May they find peace...

May the victims, their friends and families, the University Community, the survivors of similar tragedies and those deployed to control and deal with the tragedy find comfort and peace.

I will remember you.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Hope... give... life... angels... better days

December 24th, 1997.

Christmas Eve. I sit up in bed, surrounded by darkness, and it hits me. I get out of bed and make my way to the washroom, as quickly as I can waddle. It feels like the child I’m carrying is trying to push my bladder up through my right nostril and if I don’t get there soon, the Great Flood of the Saguenay back in 1996 will look like a someone spilled a glass of water.

As I open the door I come face to face with the man responsible for the basketball that has slowly been inflating itself under the skin of my previously flat stomach (have I mentioned that basketball was invented by James Naismith, a Canadian?) and start doing the pregnant woman’s version of the peepee dance.

We exchange a quick nervous glance and he knows.. if he doesn’t move, I’ll run over his 6ft 190 pound frame on my way to relief (a few friends have experienced a mild version of sudden impact with me.. and I all but knocked a few of them down).

Um, sorry dear reader, you are NOT following me in here.

*door closes*

*hum the theme to Jeopardy here as you wait or look for Waldo in the bus at the top of the blog*

OH NO! I remember that I’m actually not supposed to go this morning.. have to keep it in if I can as per doctor’s instructions and of course the father-to-be chimes in with that very comment as I am about to sit down.

Ok.. you can come in now… Might as well start washing up.

As I stand in front of the sink brushing my teeth, I stare at the woman in the mirror. Who is this slightly puffy faced woman standing before me? Man am I glad I’m not her… I don’t want to be in her shoes.. wait… wool socks. Not today…

The phone rings, he answers, I pretend I’m not interested… it’s Mom.. oh now I’m really not interested. I want to crawl back into bed and pretend today never came. I especially want to go pee, but that ain’t happening either.

He hands me the phone with a sheepish smile, kisses my forehead and whispers “it’s your mother”. **cue sinister music here**

The following takes place in French, so I’ll translate.

“Hi mom”
“No, I haven’t listened to the traffic report”
“A jam huh?”
“I’ll be ready in 30 minutes, I just need to find a tent to wear and I’ll be good to go”
“Yes mom, I’ll be sure and wear nice underwear”
“no Mom, I didn’t go pee”
“ok, see you in 30 minutes”

I have dear reader, as a courtesy, spared you the other end of the conversation which was quite long and filled with numerous admonishments and instructions, and talk of what the neighbor’s daughter had done lately (or something to that effect). My mother had a tendency to become chatty when nervous, or should I say chattier.

My child’s father-to-be stands in the doorway waiting for me to hang up. And when I do, eyes rolling and head spinning, he walks up to me, hugs me and asks me to call him as soon as it’s done. He turns quickly, I hear him sniffle and heads out to go to work.

I have an appointment at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound. They want to look at my baby's heart.

I’d been having a lot of contractions lately and since my due date was Valentine’s Day and a while away, my OBGYN , a lovely slip of a woman who although little had a look in her eye that told you she was the kind of person that could rival Atlas in world shouldering duties, had me regularly scheduled for fetal monitoring at the hospital where I was to give birth.

It was during one of those routine visits that the nurse had heard something that made her frown, stand perfectly still and close her eyes.

Have you ever wondered why we do that? Closing our eyes when we want to listen better? Goes against everything your mother told you doesn’t it: “look at me when I talk to you!”. I of course, have never used that line on my child or the big grown middle-aged babies I work with (I much prefer “Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial” when it comes to them).

There was a skip in my baby’s heartbeat.

And my heart sank.

I think it may have stopped beating altogether for a few minutes as I held my breath. My doctor was informed and I had to go back the next day so she could listen to it herself.

That’s when she told me she was going to send me to The Montreal Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound of my child’s heart. The appointment was made and I was surprised how quickly I had been given one. Which didn’t reassure me one bit.

I am standing in the kitchen by myself on Christmas Eve morning, desperately needing to pee but holding it in, wanting a big ass cup of coffee, in my pyjamas, looking at the bedroom door across the hall, my feet unable to move, knowing I had to get dressed and ready…

Next thing I know I’m sitting in my mother’s car, cursing the seatbelt for adding that extra bit of pressure I needed to make my holding it in a complete experience. I thought it couldn't be any harder to hold it in until we hit a pothole (I swear Jimmy Hoffa was in that pothole) and I start wondering if my mother ever got her seats scotchguarded.

I’m quiet during the trip and my mother feels the need to ensure that sound waves will indeed fill every single moment of the trip.

We park the car in a lot near the hospital and we make our way through snowbanks and slush towards the entrance. I waddle elegantly (yeah right) and we walk in looking for admission.

We go through the whole process of registering, I'm directed to the proper floor and told where to go. The lady sees I am nervous and reaches out, in that moment I feel I have made a friend for life... that an angel has touched my hand.

In was the first in a series of celestial contacts.

I meet the nurse who greats me with a soft smile, introduces herself to my Mom and leads us to a blue room full of equipment. She asks me if I've managed to hold it in. Proudly I say yes .. ''but I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to''. She laughs and tells me we'll get started in a few minutes. She has a lovely lilting laugh and I know I have met angel number 2.

I sit on the examination table and take the gown she hands me telling me she'll give me a couple of minutes to slip it on and then the doctor will come in and get things started.

Mom stays with me, I put on the gown (it's surprisingly soft). And I wait...

The nurse peaks in and checks on me and the doctor follows her in. He steps up to the side of the examination table and extends his hand as he introduces himself and starts explaining the process. ''Of course you've had an ultrsound before, this one will allow us to get a good view of the baby's heart''. At this moment I feel the need to blurt out that I don't know the baby's sex and would really like it to stay that way. He smiles and looks at Mom who would love to know and says ''well, Grandma, looks like you're not going to find that out today now doesn't it.. ''.

I have to say, the staff at this hospital are some of the most caring and compassionnate people I've ever met, it's a hallmark of the Montreal Children's Hospital.

I'm helped onto my back and the lights are dimmed a bit, it's actually quite soothing. The equipment is turned on, the nurse lifts up the gown and the jelly wasn't even cold. Now that's a detail my full bladder appreciates.

I look at the monitor and I have no idea what I'm seeing. It seems like at eternity and he finally says ''this is your baby's heart''. I can see the rapid beating.. my baby's heart. The most beautiful thing. I feel Mom's hand on my foot but I can't tear my eyes away from the screen.

''It's normal, a beautiful strong heart''.

No truer words have ever been spoken, my girl has shown me how beautiful her heart is. She has throughout her 9 years taught me so much.

My baby...

I can't tell you how it felt, there are no words. An expecting mother's deepest fear is that something will go wrong. My baby's heart is perfectly formed, and I am surrounded by angels.

Over the past two days, Montreal's Children's Hospital has been holding a fundraising drive, The 4th Annual Caring For Kids Radiothon. To listen to CHOM 97,7 FM online (the radiothon ends tonight at 7pm EST) click here

Raising funds, raising hope - live from The Children's!

Last year, Standard Radio Montréal held the most successful Radiothon in our Hospital's history by raising a record breaking $2.2 millions! CHOM 97.7 generously donated their time, staff and programming to allow the community a glimpse into life at The Children's.
During the Radiothon, people have the opportunity to hear patients and their families, doctors and medical specialists' speak on how their lives have been touched by our Hospital.
The Caring For Kids Radiothon raises funds to help the Hospital meet its most urgent needs.

For 60 cents a day, I along with some other ordinary folks helped purchase 10 medication pumps... and in my daughter's eyes.. I'm a hero.

If you’d like to join the circle of hugs and support the Montreal’s Children’s Hospital please click

Please... support your local children's hospital... I pray you or someone you love never needs them.. but it's good to know they're there.

You can donate money, your time, books and toys for the waiting rooms and wards... please, just ask them what they need.

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - dream vacation spot

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Manic Monday ... SNAP

Snapping turtles?

The views expressed in the previous video are not necessarily a reflection of the views of the blogger who has posted it.. but it’s damn funny I tell ya! And I needed a good laugh today... man I hate being snapped at.

For My Queen Dana

That’s right Matt-man… dancing meat… and you heard right.. steak sauce!

On a serious note, today is the anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge. It was a defining moment in Canada’s history.

Quoted from an article written by Tim Cook - The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917

“Attacking together for the first time, the four Canadian divisions stormed the ridge at 5:30am on 9 April 1917. More than 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the Germans all along the front. Incredible bravery and discipline allowed the infantry to continue moving forward under heavy fire, even when their officers were killed. There were countless acts of sacrifice, as Canadians single-handedly charged machine-gun nests or forced the surrender of Germans in protective dugouts. Hill 145, the highest and most important feature of the Ridge, and where the Vimy monument now stands, was captured in a frontal bayonet charge against machine-gun positions. Three more days of costly battle delivered final victory. The Canadian operation was an important success, even if the larger British and French offensive, of which it had been a part, had failed. But it was victory at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.
The capture of Vimy was more than just an important battlefield victory. For the first time all four Canadian divisions attacked together: men from all regions of Canada were present at the battle. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, "in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."

Sadly, our troops in Afghanistan remembered it today while mourning the loss of 6 of their comrades who were killed by a roadside bomb on Easter Sunday. This was the worst single-day toll for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

In Memoriam

Sgt. Donald Lucas, 31, of Burton, N.B. (but raised in St. John's).
Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, 23, of Lincoln, N.B.
Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, 20, of St. Lawrence, N.L.
Pte. David Robert Greenslade, 20, of Saint John, N.B.
Cpl. Christopher Paul Stannix, 24, of Dartmouth, N.S.
Cpl. Brent Poland, 37, of Camlachie, Ont.

My most sincere condolences to their families.

Thank you, your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

Lest we forget…

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Teamwork

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Monday, April 02, 2007

I bet being a flight attendant can suck...

and not in the good way...

A dear and sweet friend sent this to an e-mail group I belong to and it had me in stitches... Given my recent misadventures in air travel, I thought fitting to share this with you before you board and fly our friendly albeit foreign skies...

Thanks to a retired Air Force officer for sending this "paraphrase" of a memorable public safety announcement from Alaska Air flight attendants...

"I was flying to San Francisco from Seattle this weekend, and the flight attendant reading the flight safety information had the whole plane looking at each other like 'what the heck?'(Getting Seattle people to look at each other is an accomplishment.)

So once we got airborne, I took out my laptop and typed up what she said so I wouldn't forget. I've left out a few parts I'm sure, but this is most of it."

Before takeoff...

Hello and welcome to Alaska Flight 438 to San Francisco.
If you're going to San Francisco, you're in the right place. If you're not going to San Francisco, you're about to have a really long evening.

We'd like to tell you now about some important safety features of this aircraft. The most important safety feature we have aboard this plane is... the flight attendants. Please look at one now.

There are five exits aboard this plane: two at the front, two over the wings, and one out the plane's rear end. If you're seated in one of the exit rows, please do not store your bags by your feet. That would be areally bad idea.

Please take a moment and look around and find the nearest exit. Count the rows of seats between you and the exit. In the event that the need arises to find one, trust me, you'll be glad you did. (This is excellent advice, andsomething I always do.)

We have pretty blinking lights on the floor that will blink in the direction of the exits. White ones along the normal rows and pretty red ones at the exit rows.

In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, these baggy things will drop down over your head. You stick it over your nose and mouth like the flight attendant is doing now. The bag won't inflate, but there's oxygen there, promise.

If you are sitting next to a small child, or someone who is acting like a small child, please do us all a favor and put on your mask first. If you are traveling with two or more children, please take a moment now to decide which one is your favorite. Help that one first, and then work your waydown.

In the seat pocket in front of you is a pamphlet about the safety features of this plane. I usually use it as a fan when I'm having my own personal summer. It makes a very good fan. It also has pretty pictures. Please take it out and play with it now.

Please take a moment now to make sure your seat belts are fastened low and tight about your waist. To fasten the belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle.To release, it's a pulley thing -- not a pushy thing like your car because you're in an airplane -- HELLO!!

There is no smoking in the cabin on this flight. There is also no smoking in the lavatories. If we see smoke coming from the lavatories, we will assume you are on fire and put you out. This is a free service we provide.

There are two smoking sections on this flight, one outside each wing exit. We do have a movie in the smoking sections tonight ... hold on, let me check what it is ... Oh here it is; the movie tonight is Gone with the Wind.

In a moment we will be turning off the cabin lights, and it's going to get really dark, really fast. If you're afraid of the dark, now would be a good time to reach up and press the yellow button. The yellow button turns on your reading light.

Please don't press the orange button unless you absolutely have to. The orange button is your seat ejection button.

We're glad to have you with us on board this flight. Thank you for choosing Alaska Air and giving us your business and your money.

If there's anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please don't hesitate to ask.

If you all weren't strapped down, you would have given me a standing ovation, wouldn't you?

After landing...

Welcome to the San Francisco International Airport.

Sorry about the bumpy landing. It's not the captain's fault. It's not the copilot's fault. It's the Asphalt.

Please remain seated until the plane is parked at the gate. At no time in history has a passenger beaten a plane to the gate. So please - don't even try.

Please be careful opening the overhead bins because "shift happens."

Oh yeah.. and baseball has apparently officially started.. or so they tell me....

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

More cowbell ...

Here's to Jonathan...

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Notice.. it's a MAC... bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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