Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GroClock Sleep Trainer Giveaway from My Organized Chaos

Pretty cool idea.  She explains how it works really well.  Great for people with little ones.  Check it out here.

Trying again Link for Agogo Deal

Click here.

Check out Agogo Deal Giveaway! (Canada)

Always lovely to find Canadian giveaways. :) Too often I click on an interesting survey or contest only to get "not available in your area" song and dance. Here is one my fellow Canucks can check out. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Learning to let go

I told someone yesterday the the new theme of my life seems to be "surrender". It's not something I do with ease. I often wonder why The Creator made me such a stubborn and self-sufficient person when He knew it would be so much easier for me if I let go of my stuff. Literally and emotionally.

Yesterday was a prime example of what can happen when I let it be. (Shout out to Paul McCartney!) I have been battling some low level inflammation in my vocal cords. Saturday, I tried desperately to rest; kept my speaking to a minimum, spoke softly when I did speak... Yesterday I was still sore. In the morning, I went to my new job, where I am basically on probation while we figure out if we are a good fit for each other. Understandably, I was a little tense in the morning, but I jumped in with both feet and I think it went fairly well.

At noon, I left to pick up my daughter and head up to Campbell River for the big concert. When I got there, I told my teacher that I was sore and would love a good warm up. She ran the three of us through some gentle warm ups and I felt considerably better, just still sore when I spoke. Well, the concert was nothing short of ethereal. Of course, everything did not go perfectly. I don't think it ever does. Of course, there were places where I knew I could have supported that note better, or planned my breathing better. What did happen, however, was that I let it go. I knew that at least one person in the audience was praying, my beautiful pastor's wife. Just seeing her lovely face out there reminded me to let.go. And I did. Never, in all my life (and I have been singing in public since I was five!) have I felt so at ease performing. I did not shake. I did not find myself breathless. I just let it go knowing that if something went wrong, the world would not end and people would realize that I had a sore throat. The miracle is that not one thing went drastically wrong. Better still, I hit the high b and high b flat I needed to with ease.

The great thing is that this concert was such a metaphor for everything that is going on in my life at this time. In learning to let go, I was able to accept that I did not get my old job back this summer and even to realize that I would rather be somewhere else this year. In learning to let go, I was able to communicate effectively with my husband last week over something that was really tearing me up. And the best part of all is that, in this process, God has brought me to me a whole new church family after a long spiritual drought in my life. A family that fits me to a t. Life is wonderful and I am grateful.

Does that mean I have learned how to let go? Probably not entirely. I am still me and, in the words of Popeye; "I am what I am" Still, I know that when I DO choose to let go, wonderful things will follow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What a week!

This week has been all over the place and I am trying very hard to just take it easy and rest today. First of all, Thursday was two weeks since my Lasik surgery. Over all, I am thrilled with the results. It's hard to explain the difference to people who have bad vision in both eyes (or good vision in both eyes!) but my depth perception is vastly improved and I can see so much better even just with the left eye. I had hoped it would be a wee bit clearer, but it may still improve a little and even if it doesn't, it is incredibly improved. I can actually watch tv, read a book or play on my laptop without headaches now. I do wonder how long it will be before I think I should reach for my glasses before sitting down to my laptop, though! :)

This week was also a bit of a rough week emotionally. Even in marriages where two people are very much in love, there are rough times and this week was one of them. I am thankful to be married to a man who sees things through, even if there are times I wish he would talk and communicate a bit more!

Tomorrow is the big concert day! I has really crept up on me and I hope against hope that we don't let our teacher down. Or, that I don't at least. The countertenor is young and gifted and exudes confidence as does my dear friend Mary-Jo who is our Mezzo soprano. It promises to be a beautiful spring day and I am very much looking forward to it. I have a sore throat, so thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. :)

It is two weeks until our cruise! So much happening all at once! I can't wait to go and blog all about Freedom of the Seas. I have heard so many wonderful things about Royal Carribean.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Need traffic for your Facebook page? How about a NO COST giveaway?

Brilliant! I a so excited that The Ultimate Baby Shower is hosting a giveaway at no cost to bloggers! The prize is $100 so this is sure to bring tons of new fans to your page. I signed up for my first giveaway just this month and quickly went from about twenty followers to nearly 100 and the giveaway is not finished yet. I am also in on the Ultimate Baby Shower which is coming up soon, so watch for that one if you are interested in winning a full nursery!

To sign up for this no cost event click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Win a new iPad3 with AppSumo!

I'm usually skeptical about promos like this one but it came from a blogger whose e-mails I get regularly and who links to legit giveaways. :)

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Check out Cuzinlogic's Spring Buzz Giveaway

Another blog I love getting daily emails from is Cuzinlogic. Right now, you can win a $25 Sephora gift card. Love me some Sephora! Go, check it out!

Hello Spring $800 Giveaway on!

I'm all about the giveaway these days, and this one is a beauty. In fact, I get daily e-mails from this blog with tons of great giveaways so I highly recommend signing up for e-mails! Go here and fill out the rafflecopter form!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Savings Is Free Grand Event Cash Giveaway

Savings Is Free is hosting yet another great giveaway. I get daily e-mails and really enjoy them. If you haven't checked out this blog before, now is a great time because Savings Is Free is giving away $800 in prizes in the Grand Event Cash Giveaway. Check it out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

First week post-op check-up (and review of the restaurant at the clubhouse at Qualicum Beach Golf Course

Everything looks great. Still on the dry side, but so much better than a week ago. I am now off all the medicated drops and taking the "tears" much less often than I was (about four times a day) I have had some pretty bad dryness about two hours after I fall asleep and she suggested an ointment for nighttime use, so we'll see how that goes. The irritation should continue to decrease and be gone in about a week. In the meantime, my vision has been big time over corrected to compensate for the 40% chance of regression in the next three months, so I am actually a bit near-sighted at the moment, but my eyes are working beautifully together which is a big thing for Lasik on one eye. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results so far, but also looking forward to even better results down the road! Yay!

Hubby and I had a fabulous lunch at the Qualicum Beach Golf Course afterward. I highly recommend to anyone who drives around the island at all. They had several gluten free options on the menu and their burgers are also gluten free. Let me just tell you that I had the BEST sandwich ever. It was clearly rice bread; I recognized the texture, but it held together better than any rice bread I have ever had before and it had seeds in it. YUM! Again, highly recommend! Clubhouse is beautiful, service was great and the view is just gorgeous!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Whoohoo! Part of my first giveaway!

I am very excited to join with some lovely bloggers in bringing you this fun giveaway. Use the Rafflecopter and good luck!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And still more recovery

It seems the doc was onto something when he suggested I switch to eyedrops without preservatives as today is the first day I have not needed to use them as often. In fact, the broken blood vessels in my eye are looking not quite as dark as they were. I'm still not thrilled with my vision in the right eye, even though it is continuing to improve. I can read distant things much better but they are not as clear as I would like. Perhaps having an exceptional left eye has set me up for disappointment? (It is 20/15) I will see the doc again on Friday and see what he has to say. I have been prepared for the fact that I might need a correction after three months, but that was because of the probability of regression. We shall see.

I still want to talk a little bit about the rest of my surgery day, if for no other reason than to get the word out about how many people were helpful to me, both at LasikMD and The Best Western Northgate Nanaimo. ;)

The cab driver took me to the door then helped me in with my bags. The desk supervisor immediately relieved me of my bags and stored them behind the desk while assuring me that they were working on my room. I thanked her sincerely, being happy to have a quiet room available to me soon. I really just wanted to be alone in the dark and quiet. I think I waited maybe 10-15 minutes because I was in my room by 10:30. Once again, the manager carried my bags for me. I was so thankful for the help as my vision was still very blurry in my right eye. Once I was in my room, I locked the door, turned on the AC for white noise and got ready for bed. I actually changed into my jammies and set up a bottle of water and my drops by the bed. I set my alarm for the next dose. I did sleep off and on and, while I heard a bit of vacuum cleaner noise, it was otherwise very quiet. My alarm woke me up every hour and I administered my antibiotic and steroid drops five minutes apart followed by my steroids. I got up to pee each time then collapsed back to sleep. That's pretty much how my day looked. When I felt a little sore in the early afternoon, I took the Tylenol3s I had packed in my bag (the military gives them out like candy and we always had them when dh was in) and went back to sleep. I finally got up and dressed to go to the pub about 4:30. My visions was still less than great and I went everywhere with my sunglasses which made me feel terribly conspicuous, but the girl in the pub was cool about it and asked lots of questions about the procedure. After dinner, I collapsed in bed to start the cycle over again. When I awoke at 8:45 PM and realized I had missed my alarm by half an hour, I took my last dose and went to sleep for the night. Well, kind of. I kept waking up all night long to phantom alarms, but that's a whole other story...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Got questions about cruising?

Do I have the link for you!  I am new to Expedia Cruiseship Centers and I know just how overwhelming the cruise market can be.  Fortunately for me, I have several wonderful people helping me to learn a little more every week so that I can provide excellent service and share my passion for travel with others!  With the internet age, I am able to have clients from all over the world, as long as you have access to a computer or a phone.  Check out this link to have some of the most common cruising questions answered. :)


The Lasik surgery was the easy part of this process. Four days into recovery, I don't have much patience and need to learn to listen to my body and slow down. It occurred to me yesterday that if I'd had surgery on any other body part, I would not expect magic results yet, so why am I in a rush to have my eye healed up?  I see a bit better every day, but it still fatigues easily and I am still needing drops a lot of the time.  Glad I took several days off at the office, but wanting to get back into my training!  Still, better results will come out of time spent resting. Of that I am sure. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finally! My Surgery Day Post Part One

Last Thursday I finally bit the bullet and went for Lasik. I know there are tons of horror stories out there, but I have yet to come across anyone in Canada who regrets the surgery. I also did tons of research in advance and talked to everyone I know who has had it done.

My mother picked me up in her little Pontiac Pursuit at 6:15. I was awake at 5:30 because hubby had gone to Tim Horton's and I guess I heard him leave but didn't fully wake up right away. Well, poor hubby had spilled my coffee in the driveway so I had to go and get my own! ROFL

We got on the highway early. The weather was nice, no wind, no frost, no rain. Highly unusual on the Canadian west coast (also known as the "wet" coast) for March. The drive down was uneventful and we arrived twenty minutes early. Nice!

The girls at Lasik MD in Nanaimo are so sweet; they seem to recognize patients even though I had only been there once for a pre-op consultation. I was nervous, but also excited. I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen and that is hugely comforting to someone like me who can imagine some pretty scary scenarios sometimes!

First I saw an optometrist (the lady this time) who made sure everything was looking exactly the same as the last time. She asked me if I had any questions but I didn't really have any at all. The only thing I wondered about was how my strong eye would react to having the weaker eye fixed. I guess nobody can say for sure but it was interesting to talk to the different people in the clinic about it. :)

After that, I waited a few minutes and was ushered into the office of the financial counsellor. We went over which procedure I had chosen (I had the choice between traditional Lasik and the newer Wavefront Lasik which uses a finer laser and has more coverage for me after the surgery) I then paid her and thankfully took the Xanax. My BP had been up earlier when one of the other girls took it so I figured Xanax was in order! ;)

I soon realized that I would be in and out really early as I was slated for the first procedure of the day! Before I knew it, I was called down to meet the surgeon. I had numbing drops put in my eyes and took a last minute nervous pee. Then I met the doc. He looked very young (don't they always?) but was very calm and willing to answer any questions. He then told me he was going to show me the room.

I walked into a very cool looking room. I am fascinated by how things work, so this was a really cool experience and, being that I was calmed down by Xanax, it was all good. I laid down on the bed and they asked me for my birthdate and confirmed which procedure and which eye we were working on. More freezing drops and we were ready to go. The bed swings to my right underneath the mechanism and the attendant gives me stress balls to squeeze. The surgeon then puts the coat hanger eye holder things in. At first I say I don't like them, but once they are in, I realize that it is just fine. It was just putting them in that was uncomfortable. I can make blinking motions, just like the girl at the front of the office said, so I feel fairly normal all things considered. The surgeon talked me through the whole thing beginning with the ring thing that they put on your eyes which makes your vision black out. It's kind of like when you faint and it gets dark from the outside in. This didn't upset me at all so the Xanax must have been doing it's thing. He asked if my vision was fading and I said that it was. I didn't feel a thing when the corneal flap was cut. The next thing I see is him flipping it back. Strange. Then he says I will feel some vibrations. I do and there is the burning hair smell everyone describes. The girl to my left is doing a countdown and I can hear the we are nearly done. Wow. So quick! I see the doc flip the corneal flap back over and remove the eyelid holder. We are done! He tells me my vision will be blurry in that eye and is it ever! I sit up and am directed to a chair where the surgeon looks in my eye and does some irrigating. I am then lead to a dark room to have drops administered. The only part I didn't like about this clinic is that they put us all into the same "recovery" room. The man who had surgery after me was complaining the whole time. So there we are sitting in the dark with our sunglasses on to keep dust etc out and this guy is complaining. After a while, I am starting to feel the freezing coming out and I am ready to convalesce all by myself. I just want to be alone.

The front desk calls a cab for me and calls my hotel to see if they can get a room ready for me early. They say they can and off I go.

To be continued...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another fun way to earn points

If you are a point collector like me (and why not if you already spend a lot of time online?) you really should be a member of Swagbucks.

According to the site; " is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive merchandise."

I earn points there by taking the daily poll, doing tasks, watching Swagbucks "tv" and taking surveys. They also have swag codes which can be found on facebook and in the blog. There are various other ways to earn points which I don't even engage in but one certainly could! The way things are working out, I figure I can get some decent gift cards for Christmas and buy some sweet things for the girls. I find it much better for me here in Canada than Superpoints, which rarely has an offer for me and doesn't have surveys. I also use the Swagbucks tool bar which rewards me now and then just for doing searches using it. :)

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, just click the link here and start collecting! :)

So yesterday was surgery day

It went really well. I'll post more about it later (hopefully tomorrow) when I can get my thoughts together better. I'm really excited to see how my vision will continue to improve as my eye heals!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My LasikMD Appointment

So, my husband has been after me for a while to check out Lasik MD which is a Canadian company which does some pretty heavy advertising. For about two years now, he has suggested I make the one hour trip to Nanaimo and see if I am a good candidate. February 25th, I finally did it. I am a point collector, and one of my point collecting websites promised me points if I filled in a form asking for information. "What the heck?" I thought, "I've been meaning to check this out anyway." In a very short time, I got a call. I actually missed it but found a message in my voice mail shortly thereafter. I called back and got some call centre in Quebec. The lady spoke excellent English and had a great sense of humour, we laughed quite a bit and I think that helped my nerves. We set up an appointment for the 25th and that was that. Hubby suggested I take the girls with me (they are always up for a trip to Nanaimo to shop) and stay the night at the Best Western near both the mall and the clinic. So that is just what we did.

I was a bit nervous when I got to the appointment because I had been told since I was ten that I have a lazy eye. The clinical name for it is amblyopia and it means a person's brain doesn't recognize the weaker eye. My glasses when I was a kid were awful because I had a huge prescription on one side and none on the other. This is before lighter plastic lenses. Ugh!

Anyway, I get to the appointment and fill out some forms. Nothing too magical. There are drinks and cookies available in the waiting area so I made a coffee using the industrial Tassimo. It actually disposes of the disc for you! Magic! Yes, I need to get out more. ;) Little did I know that the young lady in the next room was about to check my blood pressure. Now, I have a serious case of White Coat Syndrome if you know what I mean. I can check my own BP and it's pretty good but docs make my BP spike! So, the girl is super sweet and doesn't seem to mind that I am babbling like an idiot because I am nervous. She takes measurements, shines lights into my eyes and oohs over my skyrocketed blood pressure. Oops.

Back into the waiting room and then the handsome accountant like optometrist calls me in. Now I have seen all kinds of eye docs in the twenty-nine years since I started wearing glasses (Man, that makes me sound OLD!) and this guy is really personable, thank goodness, because I am babbling like an idiot now. He does the usual tests and we talk about candidacy. Right off the bat, he says I am not amblyopic. Huge sigh. In fact, I AM a candidate. Now I suddenly realize I really do want this. I want the freedom from glasses. I am tired of putting them down and forgetting where. I'm tired of needing them to watch tv, or read or because I am tired. I have hated the silly things since I was ten years old. I want this!

After Dr. Cutie tells me the good news, I am ushered into a room with a very young financial counsellor. She explains the options the doctor has laid out, what they mean, what they cost and the payment plan. She then pulls out a calendar and I look at it and realize I can get this done before I start the new season at the golf course, so I pounce. I can sell dh on it later... Surgery day is Thursday. Looks like I'm going to be blogging about it. Why not?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Giveaways really do pay off!

I have only been entering blog giveaways for a few weeks now and have won twice. That's pretty good odds, considering that a lot of bloggers don't do giveaways to The Frozen North. My most recent win is from A Gluten Free Journey. Please check out her