About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Eight Things About Me

What do the following people have to do with me? Read on...
Tom aka Patterns of Ink has tagged me with this thing and since I've never done one before, will play along.

First, the guidelines: 1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog. Here are eight random facts about me that I don't think I've mentioned here before.

1. Like Greta Garbo, I "vant to be alone." Well, not all the time, but I often need time to myself. My mother was the same way and even though I'm a very social person and love going out and being with my family and friends, I really need that quiet time to be alone with myself and God. The best times in the late spring, summer, and fall is when I sit out on my covered patio with a good book or the newspaper or just simply listen to the birds sing.

2. I enjoy watching TV. Yes, I admit it!!! My favourite channel is HGTV where I love to watch all the shows about real estate sales, renovations, and interior design. I'm hopeless at designing my own home (although it's nice enough) and keep looking for ways to enhance my own blah decor. Several people have suggested I go into real estate, but I think my old-fashioned thinking of having a secure salary-based job keeps me from doing it. Maybe some day...
3. I have a collection of teddy bears. I began collecting them around 1986-ish when we moved to Ottawa for a few years while my husband was with Telecom Canada. The local grocery store (I think it was Loblaw's) were selling teddy bears. I thought he was so cute and named him "Theodore" (well, duh..."Teddy" is short for Theodore isn't it?). When we moved back out here, I found the cutest bear in a local shop and bought him, too. Over the years I've collected a LOT...and each one has a name and story behind its arrival in my home. One day, I'd like to write a book about them complete with photos.
4. When I was 5 years-old, I took tap dancing lessons at Connaught Park in Vancouver. I remember the Christmas recital as though it were yesterday. I wore a little pleated white skirt and pink angora sweater and thought I was the cat's meow as I tapped along with all the other little girls. I can see my parents watching me and beaming with joy as I performed my little heart out. I wanted to keep dancing, but my father was a strict disciplinarian and said that when I started "real" school I had to concentrate on my studies. I was so disappointed about that, but back in those days what parents said ruled, even if it was ridiculous. Nowadays, parents schedule their kids for almost every day of the week with sports, music, dance, etc.
5. Going along with the above is the fact that my Dad did encourage sports activities for all three of his daughters. My older sister was dismal at sports, so Dad concentrated on me and my younger sister. He even let us take softball and basketball lessons on school nights!!! I actually played on softball teams all the way up to when I was in my late 20's when I was on a team from work. Later, I was on a teacher's volleyball team that played against other schools. I loved sports and excelled in volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis, and swimming.
6. I can become easily bored and go off in daydreams. No offence to anyone, but I can even get bored with the blogs sometimes. There's just so much to read and so many people to meet and visit that I find there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up. So there can be days or even weeks when you all might wonder where I've gone. Well, I'm just doing other things, that's all. I eventually come back and catch up.
7. Along with that is the fact that I can identify with the Smashing Pumpkins' song, "If I Had a Million Dollars." That's where I go off and daydream about what I'd do if I weren't hindered by a lack of money. I would absolutely LOVE to see the whole wide world and experience life in other cultures. Places I truly want to see are all of Europe and Africa (where I dream of sledding down the Namibian sand dunes), India's Taj Mahal, Singapore (my mother's dream that was never realized), Australia and New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, Disneyworld (don't laugh), and do cruises around the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands. I'd also love to spend a term teaching in a school in Africa (either under a canvas out on the savannah or in Oprah's fancy one). So, do you think a million dollars would be enough for all I'd love to see and do?
8. Okay, here's the biggie you probably don't know and how those 4 celebrities shown above relate to me. I told Josie once I might do a whole blog on this some day, but I'll just give you the highlights now. My husband suffered from bipolar and OCD all his life and finally ended it all in August 1992 when he sat in our closed garage with the car running. Now my younger daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar II (a less severe but still serious form) and has been hospitalized twice since April this year. She's doing much better now but it's going to be a tough road for her travel. I've been reading up on the disorder and have learned so much. I've learned that the illnesses that are usually termed "mental" are not really that. They are physical/biological illnesses in that the brain doesn't work properly - something to do with the neurotransmitters misfiring, to make it really simple. You are all probably shocked that I've (we've) been going through this lately because I always seem so upbeat. But you might also remember when I posted something back in April (The Story of the Sad Sadness) of this year. That's when my daugher entered the hospital for the first time and she was there for the whole month. It's a long story, but she had a relapse mid-June and was in again for 2 1/2 weeks. Now she's doing much better and I pray that she'll continue to recover, go back to work, and live a normal life. You might be interested AND surprised by clicking on this link to see all the famous people that live or have lived with bipolar - Celebrities and Bipolar Disorder.
Well, there you have it. I had to really think about this and what might interest y'all. Like Josie always says, I just have a boring little life. I guess there are other things that might interest you - like the year I spent teaching up in the wilderness of British Columbia. Maybe that's what my next post will be about.
Okay, I'm supposed to tag 8 people - let's see...who hasn't been tagged yet? Well, here goes nothing...Mary Anne (A Place Called Home), Sylvia (Heiress Child), Janice (Persuance of Truth), jmb (Nobody Important), Susan (A Thousand Wordsworth), Brenda (Click Girl), Ruth (Upstream and Down) and Lee-Ann (Pear Tree Cottage). If you don't feel like doing this, it's fine by me - it takes a while to think things out. Regardless, hope you enjoyed the above.


geewits said...

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope they can get her medications corrected. It took me AGES to find the right medicine for my anxiety/panic disorder.

I also LOVE HGTV. I watch hours and hours of it. I also like, no, NEED my alone time.

Have fun at the Art Gallery!

Sienna said...

Don't ever lose that sense of humor Leslie!

Have been tootling around the countryside and not around much but am catching back up, you always, always make me laugh!

As ever great reading and such candid insight to your life and family, really sounds a better road for your daughter, really heartening to hear she is doing better.

My grandfather was bipolar, and my Dad (to a lessor extent), my grandad took his own life, very similar to your husband...(in a vehicle-set up exhaust fumes)...so my thoughts and prayers are with you on this, every bit helps, eh!

Enjoy the art...it soothes the mind and soul, and go for the icecream, I have an affair with it come summer and winter (oh and spring and kinda autumn) :)

Am on a fetish of caramello and honeycomb at minute...in the frosts and fog and cold air...doesn't make sense I know, but I do it because I can :-)


http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Hi Leslie,

I am sure you didn't want Barenaked Ladies on your blog, and that's probably why you said "If I had a million dollars" was performed by the Smashing Pumpkins.
I think "If I Had a Million Dollars" was writen by Ed Robertson of the Ladies.

Anyway, you've had quite a life.
There were places where it didn't entirely treat you and yours all that kindly. Empathy and sympathy.


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Josie said...

Leslie, it took great courage for you to write this, and what a perfect way to do it. And, I agree, there is no such thing as mental illness. It is physical/biological and brain imaging tests can actually visualize the abnormalities in the brain that cause the problems. And no one suffers more than the person who has it. I know how much you have been through, and I must say, you are so blessed in spite of it all. You have your strong faith in God, and you have your family and friends.


jmb said...

Hi Leslie,
Well you certainly have shown us some very interesting facts about yourself.
I certainly can relate to number 8 as you know, since my father committed suicide. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter has had such a bad year but hopefully they will be able to get her illness under control with medication. I'm sure you remember that Patty Duke was not diagnosed until quite late but then did well when she got treatment.
Although not everyone has the great highs in bipolar disorder, often people like them and go off the medications to experience them.
I know that it is just as hard for you, to see your daughter ill and not be able to do anything, but I'm sure you are there for her in every way.
Take care

jmb said...

Oh I forgot to say, this is the second time I have been tagged for this meme recently and I did it once before but I will come up with 8 more things soon to fulfill this tag.

Morning Glory said...

I found the eight facts about you very fascinating. I'm also sorry to learn of the illness and tragedy in your family. I hope your daughter continues to do well.

leslie said...

Bipolar II is the kind where the person does not experience manic highs where they often become delusional. Instead, they experience what is called hypomania where their mind just races and they talk fast and incessantly. Usually Bipolar II people suffer from very low depression. But I'm happy to say that my daughter is doing much better now and hopefully by September will have her own apartment near to me.

Penny Halston said...

I dropped by from Susan's site. Your facts are interesting. I'm sorry that your daughter is ill, and glad that she is doing better.

Lee-ann said...

Leslie, this tagged post of yours shows me much more then just 8 little points about you and I am so very honoured you would choose me to tag.

I thank you for your lovely comments about my renovtions and would not like to give anybody the idear it is all horrid.....I am happy to have the house being "done over" and I too love the shows that show us all the decorating and building idears.

I promise to get to the tag soon and will let you know when I have done mine.
Have yourself a smile filled day.

O! and you may be very hot but think of me with ice on the top of the bucket in the laundry this morning! ((smiles))

Susan said...

Hi Leslie,
Thanks for the tag. I saw this at josies site and said "Nice, but im too boring to think of eight interesting things about me."
But now I am tagged, I guess I should see what I can come up with.
My sister has suffered with bipolar all her life and was just really diagnosed a couple of years ago. She had got to such a bad place in her life. She needed me to help her out. I did help her, but insisted that she get a full psych work up done. Now she is getting help and medication, her life is almost 'normal'. She feels so balanced. Your daughter , like my sister, was lucky to have family that stuck by hr through her bad times. Some people, their families cant handle the suffering and angst that such an illness caused the whole family and abandon their loved one.
As for keeping a cheery disposition, so do I. I cant see how moping about your problems make them any easier to deal with. Good for you.
You don't seem boring to me, you seem... content!

Janice Thomson said...

How wonderful you are there for your daughter Leslie...with your humor and compassion she will come through this just fine. Thank you for your courage and showing us it is possible to get through life's tragedies. I left a comment for you about the tag on my blog.

Smalltown RN said...

For some reason it doesn't surprise me that Robin Williams and Jim Carey are bipolar....you can't be that manic and not have the opposite.....

Great post my friend.....I learn't a lot about you....I am in Vancouver right now...my sister is getting married today so I will post when I get back on the island...cheers....

HeiressChild said...

hi leslie, thanx for the tag. i'm just coming back online to blog since last friday, and i'm definitely going to do this as my next post.

my younger brother takes meds for bipolar disorder and does well as long as he takes his meds. i also have a good friend who takes meds for bipolar disorder as well as schizophrania (sp?). she has highs and lows, but does pretty good as long as she stays on her meds too.

i loved reading about your eights things, and now i know a little bit more about you.

leslie said...

I've been reading a lot about bipolar lately (naturally) and apparently 1 out of 70 Americans has it! I never realized so many people are affected. But there is hope for people who suffer from it. My daughter was feeling pretty good for about a week and now she feels like she's spiraling down again. It must be a terrible feeling. Prayers going out for your brother and your friend, Sylvia, and I hope you'll send a few up for my girl, too.

patterns of ink said...

This was an excellent post. Sorry I didn't get to read it sooner. I have a friend whose husband suffered from bi-polar and that story had a similar ending. I did not know this about these famous people, but now that you point it out, it is not surprising. I knew that Lincoln dealt with severe depression and that his wife was his motivating force into politics. Can you imagine having severe depression and having to deal with the Civil War?
I enjoy reading about your friendship with Josie here and at her blog.

Rhea said...

I have a relative who was just diagnosed as bipolar. Late in life. It helps to hear your stories.

Mauigirl said...

My father suffered from depression off and on through his life and late in life was bipolar. He tried to commit suicide twice but luckily he did not succeed, and lived to be 92. His granddaughter (my half-sister's daughter) is severely bipolar but she is stable now. I know how hard it is when someone you love even attempts suicide; so many difficult emotions. So sorry to hear about your husband. And I hope your daughter is feeling better now.

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