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Sunday, January 29, 2006


I Always Knew.

Doug's comment here gave me an idea for this post.

Home remedies. (sorry Doug I have no clue what one would use chinese elm sap for, or even what a chinese elm is).

I grew up on home remedies. In the days pre-dating universal healthcare, a lower income family didn't dash to the out patients clinic for every little sniffle, scrape, and inflammation. If blood wasn't spurting out of a major artery, or a limb wasn't dangling at an odd angle, Nurse (mum) Ratchet dealt with it, (or worse, Dr. (dad) Moreau).

Earaches (this will probably give Doug fits), were usually dealt with by my Mum. She'd put some olive oil on a teaspoon and wave a match under it a few times to warm it up. Then she'd pour it in our ears. wad in a piece of cotton wool and that was the end of it. Well no, there was the incessant lecture 'I told you not to go out in the cold' etc. Oddly enough it always worked. It was simply a wee ache, no infection involved, (but then I can't ever remember any of us kids being on antibiotics, we were extremely healthy). The home remedy involved? Keep your ears dry. Never go out into the cold with water in your ears.

You may scoff, but my son, a freak compared to his peers, didn't have a single ear infection until he was four. That's it, one ear infection at 4 when all his friends it seems got them as regularly as colds. I always dried his ears and hair before we went out (or we wouldn't go until all was dry), and I always ensured he wore his hat. Thankfully I had a very passive child, nothing much phased him and he wasn't constantly pulling at his hats. (Didn't hurt that -40º temps tend to encourage kids to leave the damn things on).

Salt water. I can't remember a single cut or scrape that wasn't cleansed with salt water before a bandaid was placed on it. If the area around the cut looked red and angry the scab was soaked off, the wound cleaned, and salve placed on it. I can't even remember what these salves were but they were over the counter. Wounds were treated morning and night until a nice 'healthy' scab grew over. For larger bodily injuries, oh let's say you went head first over the handle bars of your bike and scraped your entire right side on the asphalt. Well, weather permitting you were marched down to the beach to soak, if it was winter, salt was poured into the tub and Mum worried at getting the dirt out (trust me the beach was by far the better option).

Every Sunday us kids were lined up and dosed with three things: a tblsp of cod liver oil (but we didn't have those lovely measuring spoons available today, this was a frickin ladle, a large serving spoon that looked more like a shovel load as it approached your mouth). Something called milk of magnesia. I have no idea what it is or what it does, or what it was meant to prevent. And last but not least, a powder that tasted somehwat like licorice (although Mum called it sulphur powder or somesuch). Weird i know, but did I mention how healthy we were as kids?

Chest congestions were treated with vicks salve (shudder) a slathering of it over your chest, and if that didn't ease your breathing, you got a (double shudder) mustard plaster put on your chest.

We were a rambunctious lot, and the folks couldn't be dashing down and getting stitches for every little thing that required it. The cure? after stopping the majority of the blood and cleansing thoroughly, the skin was pinched together and taped closed. As horrified as you may be, again this worked 99% of the time. The key, as my Mum reiterated time and again, was to ensure that the wound remained CLEAN.

I am not by any means suggesting anyone should substitute seeking a doctor, just that in my parent's day home remedies were the first line of defense. If things got worse, of course they sought medical help. They were poor not stupid. But My mum's medicine cabinet was chocker block full of stuff and I'm ashamed to say that my own small supply of medicines pale in comparison. She even had an eye bath, and a small enamel kidney basin. There were cheesecloth as well as tensor bandages. She always had a box of cotton balls, as well as a roll of cotton wool (do any of you even remember what those looked like?). There were treated plasters that came in tins, some for burns some for other stuff that thankfully was never used on me. Tweezers, several kinds, a thermometer that no one could read (if indeed anyone even knew what normal body temperature was), just that 100º+ was bad. It was never used btw, Mum (and now I) just used her lips to determine if we were abnormally hot. Fevers were treated with tepid baths to bring our temperatures down, as often as was required. (and two years ago this came in very handy with my son who had a raging temp, and we had to give him baths before he could take his meds, otherwise he'd just throw everything up again)

I guess none of these are home remedies so much as first aid. Yet it's held up well as I've dealt with my own child's ailments and oopsies over the years. Thankfully, the spawn is apparently as healthy as I was as a child. There are more, and I wish I could remember them all. I know on more than one occassion the spawn has been ailing and I thought back to what my mother did--9 times out of 10 her 'remedy' worked.

So share some of your own home rememdies, or home first aid with me.


Thursday, January 26, 2006


Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about THIS! Christine

1. Doug is a pain in the ass. (Oh right, this is supposed to be about me). I think Doug is a pain in the ass.

2. I'm Australian.

3. For a million years I bitched we only had one (all talk) radio station up here. Now we have about fifty to choose from, via satellite, and I never listen to any of them.

4. I'm afraid of bugs. Big skittering bugs. Big, flying bugs. Hate them with a passion. One of the only things in life guaranteed to set me squealing like a girl.

5. I love lists, verging on obsessive compulsive.

6. I love the vocal stylings of Charles Aznavour.

7. Beware of ever inviting me to sing--because I will. And I won't shut up. This is even more true if a microphone and a karaoke machine is involved.

8. My left eyebrow quirks when I don't believe (doubt the validity of) what I'm hearing.

9. If you want to see my OCD kick into high gear, ask me a 'do you know' question about something I absolutely do NOT know, and I will spend the better part of the day trying to find the answer.

10. For some reason I'm hesitant (verging on anxiety) about read new authors. But if I deem an author readable, it takes a lot to sway my loyalty. Maybe i should explore this 'almost phobia' in a separate blog?

11. For someone as self absorbed as I am, I'm finding it remarkably difficult to come up with 13 facts about me.

12. I have no adventure in my soul. In fact I'm a craven coward.

13. I have no self control when it comes to art or jewellery. (okay, some of you may know that one)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here! If I fugure out how to do that)


Better Days

Pretty exciting times in our little town these days.

The NEB (National Energy Board) is in town holding public hearings on the proposed, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. Well it's exciting if your idea of fun is sitting and listening to technical report after report, spitting out figures and statistics ad nauseum. Still at least something is happening and there might come a time when we actually have an economy instead of sucking off the government teat whilst the carrot of prosperity is dangled just out of our reach.

Thirty years ago, Justice Berger, recommened a moratorium on oil and gas development giving native groups time to settle land claims and, basically, get their shit together. In 1986 COPE made a land mark settlement with the Canadian Government, and the Inuvialuit Development Corporation was born. The Gwich'in followed suit. Since then the Inuvialuit and the Gwich'in have both expanded their business interests for their recipients. And now they'd like to reap the benefits of the natural resources on their land, on their terms.

Many in the south hold the view that the entire north should be held inviolate, become lika a national park for... well I'm not sure why they want to make it a national park. The phrase, 'preserved for future generations' is often bandied about, but that seems misleading because they sure don't want people up here. (at least not the wrong kind of people). To me it smacks of the same old paternalism. Only now it's couched in environmental concern. (can't come right out and say the natives need protecting from themselves now can they?)

And what of the future of northern generations? What are their prospects if we don't get some prosperity in the region? Yes traditional lifestyles are important and I know both groups are working hard to preserve their cultures, but as their leaders have proven very well, traditional lifestyle doesn't have to be sacrificed for modern careers. Now with access to internet and the world, our young people see, as never before, the opportunities that can be available to them. But if the interest groups in the south have their way, the only choices our young people will have are traditional, welfare, or oh yeah, move to the south.

Gosh. okay that was my social commentary for the year. Cheers


Friday, January 20, 2006



and I can't get no....

Bummed yet happy at the same time. An online friend called for a girls night tonight, and I was so excited because I've been missing my online buds sooooooo much. I emailed back immediately saying I was in, that I may be expecting some company but I wasn't sure if they were showing up today or Monday. So there we are an hour before girls night, none of the others have shown (showed?) up yet... and my expected yet unexpected guest showed up, minus one spouse, but here all the same.

Now these friends are beloved and the last 'real' friends I had in this town (seriously, I don't have the energy to go out and invest emotionally in another set of friends who are just going to up and leave in a year or two). So when one half shows up I'm thrilled, and yet I keep looking longingly at my puter, knowing that, but a click away is another social event happening without me. wah wah wah!

I signed online as soon as real friend left but alas the online party was already over. How bummed I am. And apparently channelling Yoda.


So here's to all the friends we have. All the ones we wish we could talk to right now. If you can, call them, or IM them, let them know how special they are to you.



Pretty Ghastly in Pink

I want the Pepto Bismol ad off my TV.

Not only is it annoying, but every time I see it I'm sad for all concerned. The congregation at the office water cooler doing that epileptic gyration was bad enough, but this new 'hip' hop one (hoping to appeal to a younger clientele? (Although why younger people would even need pepto bismol is beyond me... but I digress)) is just. so. bad.

I simply can't imagine the sales meeting that came up with this dreadful concept, and then it had to be approved by some executive/s at pepto-land. Unbelievable.

On the flip side. The ad where the woman mispronounces jalepeño (sp?) just cracks me up. That is so something I would do. reminds me of the first time I saw the word canapés which I promptly pronounced ca-napes (I'm certain the dash was missing, or perhaps it's never present and you just have to know by instinct the e is pronounced ay) regardless, it has given my friends minutes of entertainment rehashing that gaff. Or the first time I actually heard someone say facade, and they pronounced it fa-kay-d. To this day I'm unsure of the correct pronounciation but I'm going to stick to my way, fa-sahd.

So have any of you had fun (embarrassing) moments with words? C'mon, fess up, humiliate yourself in public.

Boy, did that post ever segue.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Alone Again.

It's over, and the sweet sounds of... nothing and no one are deafening.

I just got back from taking Mumsy to Vancouver and seeing that she was okay for her long flight back to Oz. Dearest Husband of mine is once again away on business so until the end of the week it's just the Spawn and me.... never thought that could be such bliss.

Hopefully I'll be having an early night tonight so I can get a good start tomorow and get back into a workable routine, (I didn't sleep at all last night and was up at the butt crack of dawn for my flight back here). Spawn stayed with his aunt in Whitehorse while I was away so he too should sleep well tonight. (very early start for him too). Anyway, we're back and both of us are enjoying the solitude.

On the writing front, well I don't have to tell you there hasn't been much going on. Very frustrating to constantly have this storyline running through my head and be unable to translate it onto the blank puter. A producer friend of mine suggested I try writing it as a screenplay (if I was that stuck). The only things I know about screenplays are they're 120pgs and you have to think visually. But perhaps writing it short will at least get me to all the pertinent scenes and, perhaps, it may inspire me to flesh it out from there. At this point anything is worth a shot.

Wish me luck.

Oh it's good to be back with y'all.

Ciao Bellas


Friday, January 06, 2006


Thanks for the Memories

Okay, I know I've been away for a long time when Doug sends out an SOS.

I swear when I started this blog I thought I'd have nothing but time to devote to it. My life really isn't that exciting... except, ever since I started it my life has been anything but normal. Honestly I don't think a week hasn't gone by since last June, when I haven't received a phone call from someone telling me, 'Hey I'll be in the area, would love to drop by and visit with you and [the other half]'. Of course dropping by means staying with us for a few days. I love it, having guests, don't get me wrong. It's always fabulous to catch up with friends. But recently I feel like a bed and breakfast. I so want my boring mundane existence back.

In my defense it has been an insane year. what with the ongoing construction. Dearest Husband gone 50% of the time and my newly discovered clean-freakiness, internet access has been a low priority.

'k, whine over. maybe.

Having said all that. I do need to apologise to all the friends in my other life. My internet life. I'm so very fortunate to have all of you out there. Online day or night depending on the continent and always willing to share a conversation and a laugh. And of late I've been neglecting you horribly. Believe me, I feel it too. not being online makes my fingers itchy and all of me quite antsy. And please trust me when I say that neglecting you for fucking housework is simply wrong on so many levels I may actually need therapy to cope.

Obviously, my New Years resolution (and one I have a glimmer of keeping) is to sit on my ass more and talk to y'all instead of becoming a neurotic neat freak.

... I'll drink to that. Cheers.

So, did any of you make New Years resolutions, impossible or otherwise? Share please.


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