Black Panther

I climbed out of my cold long enough to see a movie today.

I’d been wanting to see it since the first preview, stunned by the impressive special effects, awes by the astral majesty.

I thought it was a movie about an advanced alien race at first, not up on the full mythology of the Marvel universe

(I know, I know, my geek card was revoked ages ago)

Luckily, long before my attendance at the movie I’d discovered that no, they were humans, just really, really, ridiculously cool humans.

You may have guessed I’m talking about Black Panther.

Or maybe not- what a horrible introduction!

Either way, I went with full anticipation of what was to come.

In one way, I was stunned and amazed and more than satisfied. The effects were wonderful, the colours and culture on display truly breathtaking.

But in another way, I walked out saddened. While I don’t want to give any spoilers, I left feeling that once again, humans wreck things so badly for other humans.

It only takes one person to set a chain of events in motion that can devastate thousands or millions of others.

So as an inspirational movie, I’m not sure it touched me the right way.

But it did leave me thinking about the differences between right and wrong, and how hard it is sometimes for even good people to know the difference.

And I guess for a blockbuster, that’s not too shabby.

A painful reminder

So I’ve become conversant with what an ear infection feels like,


I mean, I was pretty sure I remembered it hurting a lot, but I was good without repeating the memory of bones breaking in my head.

Looking back, it’s been almost 25 years since the last time my ear drum ruptured.

I was instantly thrown back to being 15, the night before my one and only figure skating competition.

While I don’t remember many details, I can still feel the fiery throbbing that became so intense and overpowering until it finally felt as though someone had released a firework in my head.

And then, suddenly, peace. The warm release of my ear drum giving up, the relief was so appreciated that it almost feel like a reward.

But today, I was petrified that I’d have to relive the fireworks.

Immediately upon waking up to the intense pain, Iwent into crisis mode.

I put on a heating pad, used antibiotic and steroid ear drops and took antiinflammatories.

It took a few hours, but as I was woken up at 3 am, I had plenty of time to be vaguely functional for work.

And work I did.

It turned out to be a long day, but luckily, my friend was able to take a look in my ear and write me a real prescription, after deeming it “gross”

Why yes, yes it is. Thanks for noticing.

While I love being able to empathize with my patients, I hate the reminders of how bad it feels to be sick, and once again,

I feel so lucky that a week of antibiotics and some Advil will make this pain go away.

Simple life

Another day

In another town

Simple life

Can’t get him down

He walks around

Assays the land

Does his work

With his own hand

Smiles at the sun

Across the field

Waiting for

The summer’s yeild

A simple time

And simple place

Pride in a day’s work

You can’t replace

I look at my day

And deeply sigh

Fold my wings

And watch time fly


Oh this was a long day!

Encrusted with germs, donated by my generous children, I struggled to drink my coffeee and keep it down

while working and sanitizing my hands and all surfaces with alcohol

I made it, somehow, but the nausea rolled all day- like the good times, but less enjoyable.

And somehow, my minor complaints paled again when confronted by the reality that others face.

Papers that needed to be signed, to end further treatment

Decisions that needed to be made,

To stay or go

Progression of incurable diseases

of the body and mind.

When I returned home to finally rest at the end of the day, my children met me with excitement, spraying more germs on my shirt and pants.

I may not feel well today, but at least it’s temporary, and I have three excited people who are happy to see me every single day.

That’s a good day, nausea and all

Perpetual motion machine

Small children


perpetual motion machines

Driven by the energy

they suck out of their parents

Their rambunctiousness

Inversely proportionate

To the state

of their parent’s patience

Fueled by mischief

and sugar

They run rampage

in a constant stream of noise

Sprinkling toys and destruction

In their wake

Small and mighty

They rule the roost

In play doh pieces

On every surface

Like spider webs

In an empty house

Pink eye and cute germ factories

This winter has been brutal.

Once again, I’ve decided my day off could best be spent with a virus.

I’m not sure which one it is this time, they all look the same in the way they attack. Runny nose, sneeze, sore throat, and general malaise.

But the super-special part of this was waking up with my eyes glued shut.

Thanks, Matt. That’s sweet.

That’s what happens when your three year old sleeps on your head like a cat, I guess.

I have to hand it to the poor guy, he was a champ all day.

Obviously not feeling well, he had snot coming from his eyes and nose. He woke me up at 4, complaining about his ear hurting.

So I tried to look in it, but mommy couldn’t find the otoscope. Then when I could (after the Advil had kicked in) it was dead, and his ear felt this time, I could kind of see again through my own scratchy, itchy eyes. I compromised by looking in his ears with my phone, which kind of worked.

I threw the thing in it’s charger and went about my day.

Later on, as we went to the Eau Claire market to enjoy family day, he informs me that he’s sick and needs a “hospital doctor”

Luckily, he felt his soother worked well enough to enjoy the activities.

After playing and watching the Chinese New Year dance- we got a second chance, yay!- we went home. I gave him extra doses of Advil and he responded happily.

“You’re a doctor?”

Yes, dear.

“Just like me?”

A smile burst over his face as his nose dropped down his face.

Yes Matt, just like you.

It’s a good thing he’s so cute. Because my eyes are itchy.

Family Sunday

I spent today working on the idea of being present. I hear a lot about it lately,

“being present”

The idea that you need to really experience your life. On the surface, this sounds remarkably dumb.

Like, you’re immersed in your life, how the heck can you be present more than just being there?

But when you stop and think about how many times we rush through to the next day and the next, crossing off the big list of things to do and moving on without breathing, maybe being present isn’t as intuitive as I thought.

Especially for me, the way I rush through, checking off boxes on my bullet journal like I know what I’m doing, it’s possible I’m not as present as I could be.

So today, I spent the day with my family. I attempted to have my children learn about another culture and it went somewhat okay.

I was present for the extremely cold wind causing them to cry icicles as we walked to the Chinese cultural Center in the downtown.

It was only a block, but the wind howled and I was near tears myself. It took an hour for my ears to stop throbbing.

I was present as we took pictures of the kids in a dragon head, and hugging a person sized panda.

While we ate some interesting food items on a stick.

I was present for the middle child meltdown that cut our adventure short, just as people with cool dragon pants were congregating.

We watched a video on YouTube later, but it wasn’t the same.

I was there as we enjoyed McDonald’s in the car with the skylight open, happy children shooting each other with happy meal toys.

The day was long but I can honestly say I was there for every minute of it.

I loved it, but can’t wait to go to bed!

Everyday valour

Walking into a place you’ve never been

Being the only one in the group to say no

Knowing when to say yes

Knowing when to let go

Standing up when you see something

that’s wrong or unkind

Leveling the playing field

so that everyone had a chance to play

The courage in every day choices

The strength to be better

than you were the day before

Every day we get to choose

to stand up for what’s right,

or to turn our face away,

and pretend we didn’t see

How do we make this world a better place

for ourselves

and the generations to come?

By the small steps,

invisible daily battles,

with an audience of only your soul.

Endless love

I know what love is.

I’ve touched it’s hand,

seen it’s smile,

watched the soft eyes crinkle.

I’ve seen it cradle a newborn,

caress a cheek,

stroke hair off a fevered brow

But I’ve never felt it break my heart

Until today



for space to be made,


a certainty.

The world will be a colder place

without their steady warmth

Soft smiles in faded eyes,

Peace descends

as sorrow departs

I may be a rube,

but I know what love is.

It shines brighter than the sun

Darkness can not dim its light

The sun always rises

into a new day,

And we shall meet again


This veil I wear is short and bleak

And hides a bitter truth

My colours aren’t vibrant or rare,

My face not long of tooth

I watch from behind this safe place

In a costume of a sort

While the world passes me by

In a strange and unfamiliar sport

My heart is firmly attached

To the outside of my sleeve

I walk around with blinders on

To hide the fact I grieve

But today I pull the curtains back

In an attempt to show my face

It’s hard, it’s bold, it’s brave indeed

But somehow, I’ve found my place