What Happened to Winnipeg’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – One Year Later and the Only Person to Benefit was Premier Stefanson

On May 10th, 2021, Manitoba's Health and Seniors Care Minister pledged $4 million for a "state-of-the-art," four bed "Enhanced Adult Epilepsy Monitoring Unit" at the Health Science Centre in Winnipeg. That was one year ago. Heather Stefanson said, “The expansion of the adult epilepsy monitoring unit at HSC Winnipeg is a pivotal step toward reducing … Continue reading What Happened to Winnipeg’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – One Year Later and the Only Person to Benefit was Premier Stefanson

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When 30 Years Feels Like Yesterday – The Chronicles and Confessions Of A Brain Tumour Survivor

October 21, 1991. Granted earlier release! Ready to leave the Children's Hospital. The stuffed dog was a gift from a close friend. How cool that it's grey. "Sept 16, 1991, Monday Dear Diary The nerologist, Mr. Young, told me that I have a brain tumor. It's the size of a nickle. They're sending me for … Continue reading When 30 Years Feels Like Yesterday – The Chronicles and Confessions Of A Brain Tumour Survivor

When You Sell a House, You Keep the Memories

Saying goodbye to my teenage bedroom, September 19, 2021 My parents built their dream house. A smaller home in the woods. Surrounded by trails and bulrushes - and black bears. Which means they sold their house and most of acreage on Highway 68 - now call "the old place." On September 30th, mom and dad … Continue reading When You Sell a House, You Keep the Memories

Hey, You Want a Time Machine – A Chance to Return to High School, Yes or No

"If you could, would you go back to high school?" Whether you have children or not, adults are sometimes asked this question around high school graduation season. As social media feeds are stuffed with photos of newly minted graduates, some of you become nostalgic about your own high school experiences. A time when Hypercolor shirts, … Continue reading Hey, You Want a Time Machine – A Chance to Return to High School, Yes or No

When a Hysterectomy Closes the Baby Door, You Cope with Humour

On May 6th, 2021, I found out non-essential and elective surgeries have been postponed for the month of May because of the rising number of COVID-19 in Manitoba. The postponed surgeries include hysterectomies - which I was supposed to have in two weeks. This post contains the real word for "Mother Nature's Bill" and "Crimson … Continue reading When a Hysterectomy Closes the Baby Door, You Cope with Humour

My Looming Thyroid Surgery – When it Hurts to Sing, There’s an Issue

"We have your surgery date." I'd just returned from a pre-op appointment with my head and neck surgeon when a nurse called with a surgery date. So much for waiting six weeks to a month. On March 11, 2021, my surgeon will be removing half of my thyroid, and a golf ball sized benign nodule. … Continue reading My Looming Thyroid Surgery – When it Hurts to Sing, There’s an Issue

Misconceptions of the Childless Couple – When Risk Doesn’t Equal Reward

The following post is from my opinion column "Tammy's Take" in the Interlake Spectator. Some content has been added and edited. Six years later, there's a part two. And, no, I'm not pregnant.~~~~~ People find innovative ways to reveal their baby bump. Teasers on Instagram. "Accidentally" on talk shows. After an energetic performance at the … Continue reading Misconceptions of the Childless Couple – When Risk Doesn’t Equal Reward

Let’s Rewind the Tape – A Perspective on 2020

Sure, 2020 wasn't the best year ever. We had expectations. We had plans. Then, boom, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and everyone's lives - minus Donald Trump's - went off the rails. And bye-bye plans for that trip to British Columbia. Manitoba was in lock down: Work from home. Stay at home. Don't leave the … Continue reading Let’s Rewind the Tape – A Perspective on 2020

Losing Grandparents Doesn’t Become Simpler with Age

On December 2, 1984, my Gigi Karatchuk died at the age of 67. Our Baba died two years before him when I was six years old. I always understood death, but trying to process grief and primary school math is complex. Decades later, we lost our maternal grandparents, and those emotions resurfaced. Losing grandparents is … Continue reading Losing Grandparents Doesn’t Become Simpler with Age

Medical Lab isn’t Enforcing Their “Policy” – Why Have Rules if You Won’t Enforce Them

I like to keep my posts light and airy. Poking fun at myself. Laughing about my teenage sense of style. Eating raw cookie dough and shaving my parents' yard and so forth. But Monday, July 6th, I experienced an emotional roller coaster. Not felt since the sinus surgery of 2014 when I thought the hospital … Continue reading Medical Lab isn’t Enforcing Their “Policy” – Why Have Rules if You Won’t Enforce Them

My Tragic Childhood Cat Tales, The Legend is True – A Flashback Friday Repost

Time for a Flashback Friday post!Originally posted on April 5, 2018. One of my favourite posts. Cat lovers, proceed with caution.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As a child, I loved cats. However, the title of "Tammy's Favourite Cat" was dubious because they all died. Natural causes. Alright, semi-natural. My history with cats is traumatic - and a tad gory. Feline … Continue reading My Tragic Childhood Cat Tales, The Legend is True – A Flashback Friday Repost

Next Time You Hear The Beep, It Might Be A Canadian Game Show

A month ago, I watched a snippet on Facebook of Family Feud. A contestant stood beside Steve Harvey, and he watched in horror as his family lost by two points at the end of the show. It's simple to say, really? Name an animal that gallops and you said giraffe? But that's an arm chair … Continue reading Next Time You Hear The Beep, It Might Be A Canadian Game Show

So, What Happened to the Birthday Blog Challenge?

It was March 18th, 2016. I received at phone call from the seizure clinic. The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) in Winnipeg's Health Science Centre had an open bed. So, how did a five to 10-day stay at Chez EMU sound? Why does everything end with "Chez"? With 37 nodules cemented to my head and face? … Continue reading So, What Happened to the Birthday Blog Challenge?

What Do You Write about During a Pandemic – You Just Write

"ideas for blog posts during a pandemic" I Googled this tonight, trying to come up with a post. Seriously, what should I post about while people are either arguing or making fun of hoarding toilet paper? Some believe COVID-19 is a death sentence, and others are saying the symptoms are mild. When people are panicking, … Continue reading What Do You Write about During a Pandemic – You Just Write

A Palm Reader, Cayenne Pepper, and My Destiny – A Throwback Thursday Post

When I was young and impressionable, I saw a psychic. A palm reader. Technically, the psychic was in the same mall in front of one of my favourite stores at the time. Fate? Destiny? Popular hangout for girls in their early-20s? Or a cosmic mixture of all three? Interesting to note, on March 12, 2020, … Continue reading A Palm Reader, Cayenne Pepper, and My Destiny – A Throwback Thursday Post

An Ode to the Night Owl – Just Go To Bed!

You! Yes, you there with the droopy eyes. And no energy to speak. I understand you need to write. But maybe you should get some sleep. Ever read your posts in the morning? Typos. Errors. Pretty such this one too. Just a warning. Just for tonight, make it short, and start tomorrow anew, After all, … Continue reading An Ode to the Night Owl – Just Go To Bed!

How a Heart Attack Put Life into Perspective – Eventually

"How are you doing with all of this?" My parents went for my dad's pre-op earlier this week, and she called when they were home. But that's what she asked me. How are you doing with all this?  My dad had a heart attack the night of February 13th. When I heard the news, I … Continue reading How a Heart Attack Put Life into Perspective – Eventually

Dusting Off Memories of a Synchro Competition – A Golden Anniversary

This is a repost, however, this includes photos from the 1990 Arborg Ice Show, Movie Mania. ~~~~~~~~~~While it feels like yesterday, it was 30 years ago today. It was the 1990 Interlake Regional Precision Competition at the Stonewall arena. The final competition of the season for our 16-member Arborg Junior team. For some reason, Interlake … Continue reading Dusting Off Memories of a Synchro Competition – A Golden Anniversary

Silver Blades and Hot Pink Bow Ties – The Mighty Synchro Team of Eight

This was the first post I wrote for my other blog, Skating Scene in 2010 I loved my synchro days, formerly called precision, plus the added bonus of the medals. This is one of my favourite posts. I mean, "Antics on Ice" is gold. Even though that season was silver.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our Ice Revue during the … Continue reading Silver Blades and Hot Pink Bow Ties – The Mighty Synchro Team of Eight

My Pet Peeves – Stop Snapping Your Gum!

I'm sure most people have pet peeves. Pet peeve reactions range from "Oh, well, they can't help it" to "'Do you have to do that here!' " Sometimes, people aren't aware their actions are completely icky, cringe worthy, or rude. Worse? When people know your pet peeves, and they do them on purpose. Just to … Continue reading My Pet Peeves – Stop Snapping Your Gum!

A Warm and Fuzzy Repost – Nearsighted in Hindsight with 20/20 Vision

Today's post is a Flashback Friday from April 20, 2018. What better FF to share than a 20/20? Ah, my childhood. Full of epic catastrophes such as camper trailer-gate. At least my thumbnail grew back. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Something to ponder. In a time of Smartphones, Mars explorations, and taco fries, you'd think there'd be a cure … Continue reading A Warm and Fuzzy Repost – Nearsighted in Hindsight with 20/20 Vision

Another Late Night Poem – Tired, Tired, Tired

Roses are blue, Violets are red, I'm super tired, And I should go to bed. Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill said, "He never said anything about being a prince."   I've been thinking about that old woman who … Continue reading Another Late Night Poem – Tired, Tired, Tired

Three Late Night Poems By an Exhausted Writer

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, Unless you grab the salt shaker by mistake. Sunflowers are yellow, Daisies are white, Butterflies were once caterpillars, Until they were swallowed by a cocoon.   Petunias are red, Petunias are white, Petunias are purple, Petunias come in a lot of colours.         … Continue reading Three Late Night Poems By an Exhausted Writer

The Art of Keeping a Journal – Your Future-Self Won’t Know What LOL Meant

Since July 31, 1986, I've kept a journal. Off and on. It was a five-year diary. One of my best friends in elementary school was leaving Arborg for Winnipeg, and the diary was a goodbye gift. The diary had small spaces, and I wrote little context. Sometimes just, "Had a good weekend," and "Saw a … Continue reading The Art of Keeping a Journal – Your Future-Self Won’t Know What LOL Meant

My Short Career as an Anthem Singer – O, It was Cool

It started at a restaurant. In 1995, I was working the closing shift at Arborg's newest, coolest, hippest restaurant, "The Wild Apple." At the helm, two guys barely who were barely 23 years old working with servers who were also under 23 years old. My eight-hour shifts flew by as I served pasta primavera and … Continue reading My Short Career as an Anthem Singer – O, It was Cool

Childhood Memories of Stefan’s Store – Chocolate, Candy, and Old Cornflakes

Credit - Tammy W. Karatchuk There's a small white building at the corner of Hwy 8 and Provincial Road 222. Kitty corner from the Hnausa General Store. When I was a child, that white store was Stefanson and Son General Store, however, most people referred to the store as "Stefan's." I grew up near Hnausa and Hnausa … Continue reading Childhood Memories of Stefan’s Store – Chocolate, Candy, and Old Cornflakes

Another MRI Experience – Bye Bye Fasting, And We’ve Changed the Dubstep

Friday, February 28, 2020Dear Diary,  Last night I had another MRI. I was in the tube for about 35 minutes, and I almost fell asleep at the end. The sounds the machine makes are so weird. The table actually moved at one point. It felt like a ride at the Red River Ex. When the … Continue reading Another MRI Experience – Bye Bye Fasting, And We’ve Changed the Dubstep

The Real 29 Then 40 – Read the Joyride

This one's for real. It's another birthday challenge. Or a reason to mute me on Facebook. On February 29th, I'll post each day until my birthday. In 2016, I started this blog as a birthday challenge. Simple concept: post from February 29th until I turned 40. I even posted during an unplanned stay at the … Continue reading The Real 29 Then 40 – Read the Joyride

An Interlake Regional Memory – A Golden Figure Skating Moment

The Interlake Regionals are an annual competition that debuted in 1975. After researching the archives, I learned the Arborg Skating Club attended the Interlake Regionals prior to 1989, attending in the late-70s and early-80s.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When I skated, January meant one thing: the Interlake Regionals. After a brief hiatus, the Arborg Skating Club attended the 1989 Interlake … Continue reading An Interlake Regional Memory – A Golden Figure Skating Moment

Two VCR Tapes, One Lump of Plasticine, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Last Friday was a blah day. You know those times when you feel blah? I haven't felt Christmasy this year. Forget Merry Christmas and ho ho ho. More like Grinch stepping on Whoville. To perk up, I thought I'd watch Christmas videos from yesteryear. My "Baby's First Christmas" ornament would state 1990. Growing up, I … Continue reading Two VCR Tapes, One Lump of Plasticine, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Remembering the Forgotten Fourteen – Twelve Engineers, One Budget Clerk, and One Nurse

It was Wednesday, December 6, 1989. Late in the afternoon at the École Polytechnique - Université de Montréal's engineering school - a man with a stanch hatred for feminists entered a classroom. According to reports, two female students were presenting in front of the class. The men and women were told to separate. Fifty men … Continue reading Remembering the Forgotten Fourteen – Twelve Engineers, One Budget Clerk, and One Nurse

Dear Gigi Karatchuk – There’s No Limit on Grief, Part II

Dear Gigi, December 2, 1984. Today is 35 years since you left us. You were only 67 years old. Yesterday, I stared at the computer without a clue what to write. After all, this is a tribute post. Yet, all I could do was press the backspace key. I miss you, Gigi. I wish when … Continue reading Dear Gigi Karatchuk – There’s No Limit on Grief, Part II

Help Me, hangTag – I’m Stuck in a Parkade with a Ten Dollar Bill

I prefer street parking. No concrete, minus the curb. Those quaint parking metres? Accepting all forms of payment. Impark's hangTag app. Love it. Forget the long lines. So long, waiters! But parkades? They're basically jails for vehicles. In a previous post, I wrote about my fears: tornadoes, bees, and underground parkades. It's parkades, period. Under … Continue reading Help Me, hangTag – I’m Stuck in a Parkade with a Ten Dollar Bill

Tim Thurston – A Tribute to My Red River College Counsellor

In 2015, I wrote this post on the 15th anniversary of my Red River College counsellor's death. Tim Thurston died on October 1, 2000. He was 49 years old. After writing this post, I felt at peace. Finally, I could talk about Tim without breaking down. He made an impact on countless RRC students and … Continue reading Tim Thurston – A Tribute to My Red River College Counsellor

Dear Diary – The Entry I Didn’t Write on September 9th, 1991

None Kirana / My Orange Notebook It was a Tuesday. Tomorrow, September 10th, is 28 years since my first seizure. Right down to the weekday. But what about September 9th? Before my life changed overnight? Before I received the diagnosis of a brain tumour? What would my diary entry have been that night? I'll never … Continue reading Dear Diary – The Entry I Didn’t Write on September 9th, 1991

Rugby Shirts, Stir Frys, and the Top 40 – My First and Last Winnipeg Waitress Job

It was the late '90s. Leonardo DiCaprio was riding a wave to fame. Big Shiny Tunes 2 spun in boom boxes. Plaid skirts, cargo pants, and chunky heels were all the rage. In 1997, I left the semi-bright lights of River Heights, pulling a 14-month round trip: Winnipeg to Arborg to Winnipeg. While in Arborg, … Continue reading Rugby Shirts, Stir Frys, and the Top 40 – My First and Last Winnipeg Waitress Job

A True Cow Tale – I Miss My Fanny

In 1995, I had my first Big Mac. Until then, I avoided McDonald's burgers, sticking to their McChicken. Or McNuggets with dangerous amounts of BBQ or sweet and sour dipping sauces. I admit I did have the McLean Deluxe when my family went to the U.S. for a vacation, however, I couldn't finish the Sahara … Continue reading A True Cow Tale – I Miss My Fanny

From Winnipeg to Arborg – Change is Good Even When You’re Lost

I'm surrounded by boxes. Tons of boxes. Triple the amount and my furniture are in a storage unit - which barely closed. My clothes are squeezed in a 12 ft closet space. The rest are wrapped in a white bedsheet, resembling a massive marshmallow. The rest-rest - oh yes, there's more - are stuffed into … Continue reading From Winnipeg to Arborg – Change is Good Even When You’re Lost

Left Maxillary Sinus Surgery, Radio, and Pizza – Waiting for a Call While You’re in the Booth

I could've sworn the curtains were on fire. Ah, the summer of 2014. Tornado warnings, floods, FIFA, and Butterscotch the Cat rose to unfortunate fame with a birdcage on his head. Remember Butterscotch? In May 2014, I signed a three-month contract with 680 CJOB as a reporter and weekend evening news anchor. Nothing breaks in an anchor … Continue reading Left Maxillary Sinus Surgery, Radio, and Pizza – Waiting for a Call While You’re in the Booth

Reviving Phantom of the Opera at Stony on Ice – It’s Competition Time

It's the 2019 Stony on Ice Competition weekend! This year, I'll win two medals. When you're an individual entry in one category, and one of three skaters in another category, you can say this without sounding overly confident. A member of the Stony on Ice committee emailed to let me know I was the lone competitor … Continue reading Reviving Phantom of the Opera at Stony on Ice – It’s Competition Time

Our World Needs More Love, Not Hate

Why do we hate? We don't decide to hate without reason. It goes deeper. Our natural emotion is love, but we learn to hate. We hate people. We hate religions. We hate our co-workers because they have nice shoes. It's just a world full of self-created hate. We're so caught up in hate-la-la land, love's … Continue reading Our World Needs More Love, Not Hate

Brain Tumour Awareness and Balance – Mine was Perfect

I was a figure skater with perfect balance. However, a symptom of a brain tumour is unsteadiness. It's Brain Tumour Awareness Week. Where we attempt to erase the stigma, educate the public, and so forth. The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada wants the public to be aware of the above eight signs. But my symptoms? I … Continue reading Brain Tumour Awareness and Balance – Mine was Perfect

Daylight Saving Time, You’re the Worst

Daylight Saving. When our Smartphones and computer clocks auto-change, and we leave our oven ticker until November. It's an archaic, out-dated, over-stayed-its-welcome system. What does it accomplish? Anyone? Because I'm hearing crickets. The entire idea of Daylight Saving is pointless. We may as well call it "modified, pointless" time. People don't start their jobs an … Continue reading Daylight Saving Time, You’re the Worst

From Eight to Sixteen – The Story of a Synchronized Skating Team

Synchro skating isn't about medals. It's about the memories. Medals are a bonus though. During the Arborg Skating Club's 1988/1989 season, our coach produced three successful synchronized (precision) skating teams. I was on the eight-member senior team, winning two silver medal. Two competitions, two silver medals. Not too shabby. We won our second silver medal … Continue reading From Eight to Sixteen – The Story of a Synchronized Skating Team

The Blogging Challenge – It’s a Challenge

Why is the blogging challenge so challenging this year? Why is it so hard? It's like my brain is mush. Or something. Here's a photo of me skipping on a snowbank in my hometown.

If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Transfer Your Novel

I lost three hours of editing today. For the last five years - wow, that sounds like a long time - I've been working under a pen name on my first contemporary romance-mystery novel. After editing my novel over and over, I'm on the last edit before it's off to publishers. During those five years, I … Continue reading If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Transfer Your Novel

The Final Farewell – Make it a Good One

If the obituaries are any indication, the other side is full of card-dealing, prize-winning bakers who love listening to music and spending time with their families. And they have warm smiles. A few years ago, my father-in-law read another one of these obituaries. He looked at me and said, “Remember, I hate cards.” In 2009, a Winnipeg … Continue reading The Final Farewell – Make it a Good One

A Short Poem Just for You – Roses are Red, Violets are Yellow

Roses are red Violets are yellow, I've been writing for 10 hours And my mind feels like Jell-O. Orchids are orange Dandelion are green, Tomorrow I'll write the coolest post You've ever seen. I mean, read.

Remembering John Candy Who Lives on Through His Movies

I'll never forget that day. It was March 4, 1994. My parents and I were returning to Arborg from Winnipeg after visiting the orthodontist and Suzy Shier. We'd just passed Arnes on Hwy 8N. My dad turned up the radio. It was 5:30 p.m. Time for the news he'd missed while we were shopping and … Continue reading Remembering John Candy Who Lives on Through His Movies

For Alec Reid – A Junior Hockey Player Who Battled On and Off the Ice

On Sunday, March 3, Alec Reid died. Reid played right wing for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's (QMJHL) Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. But on and off the ice, Reid also battled epilepsy. And at 18 years old - he died from complications from the disease. Because epilepsy isn't a condition, an issue, or a disorder. It's … Continue reading For Alec Reid – A Junior Hockey Player Who Battled On and Off the Ice

Arborg’s Garbage Night – Taking Out the Trash in Your Pajamas

We don't have residential BFI bins. Garbage day four? That doesn't exist in my hometown. We have weekly east and west garbage pick up, and semi-weekly for businesses on Main Street. How quaint. I just drag my garbage bags to the end of the driveway, and - like magic - it's gone by 9 a.m. … Continue reading Arborg’s Garbage Night – Taking Out the Trash in Your Pajamas

Rebooting the Journey, Again!

I'm a storyteller. And I'm rebooting the journey. 4-0 style. When I was turning 40, I set out to write 40 posts in 40 days. Even from a hospital bed. I tried again at 41, but I didn't feel that "thingy." And when I was turning 42, the attempt was there, and I did post, … Continue reading Rebooting the Journey, Again!

Jehovah, Satan and Punishment – The Irony of Judgment

A few  months ago, a friend and I were chatting and religion weaved into the conversation. I had to convince him that, yes, I used to be a Jehovah's Witness. I'm guessing people don't associate me with the Kingdom Hall because my childhood was worldly. At the time, I understood little about my religion. I … Continue reading Jehovah, Satan and Punishment – The Irony of Judgment

Resolve to Make Goals, Not Resolutions

Let me guess. You promised to hit the gym. Make more time for family. Cut down on wine. Or whining, whatever works. Here's the thing. According to Business Insider, 80 per cent of resolutions fail by February. Saving money? No, you're spending like a bandit. Smoking? Oh, yeah. Like a chimney. At the end of … Continue reading Resolve to Make Goals, Not Resolutions

My Second Brain Surgery – What Really Happened in Step-Down

December 14, 1993. Twenty-five years since my second brain surgery. It's been a semi-emotional day. I even cried into my coffee. No, it didn't enhance the flavour. I like to find humour in unpleasant situations. I pondered, and I chose step-down. Because, what the heck is step-down? And what happened? My first brain surgery on … Continue reading My Second Brain Surgery – What Really Happened in Step-Down

Dear Gigi – There’s No Time Limit on Grief, Part I

Dear Gigi Karatchuk, It's been 34 years. I miss you. And I wish you were still here. In college, I wrote a post on the 25th anniversary of your death: December 2, 1984. And those emotions are still the same. I still wish you were here. I still wish you'd met my little sister. I … Continue reading Dear Gigi – There’s No Time Limit on Grief, Part I

Spandex, Spangles and a Seam Ripper – My Homespun Costumes

Today, I saw a post on Facebook: "Do you remember when mom would make your clothes?" I chimed in: "Clothing and skating dresses." Thanks, mom, for the memories. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Anyone who understands figure skating knows it's an expensive sport. There’s professional skates. Blades your local sport shop can't sharpen. Hours of ice time. Coaching. Travel. … Continue reading Spandex, Spangles and a Seam Ripper – My Homespun Costumes

My Not-So Secret Shame – Raw Cookie Dough and the Pillsbury Doughboy

We all have weaknesses. We're human. Today, mine are lipstick and dark chocolate. And of course, coffee. But as a child, my weakness was chocolate chip cookie dough. Right out of the bowl. Yes, long before people worried about salmonella, CFCs, and Y2K - I ate raw chocolate chip cookie dough. The old warning was, "Don't … Continue reading My Not-So Secret Shame – Raw Cookie Dough and the Pillsbury Doughboy

Bathroom Scales Don’t Determine Your Self-Esteem and Confidence – The Long Climb Back

September 10, 2017. That was the day I told my ex-husband our sixteen year marriage was over. One year later, this is the number on my scale. But it's just a number. I'd gained weight in Edmonton, and I had a closet full of television clothes. When I unceremoniously returned to Manitoba, I'd inch into … Continue reading Bathroom Scales Don’t Determine Your Self-Esteem and Confidence – The Long Climb Back

“Victim of Crime,” Missing Winnipeg Man Could be in Arborg

The search for a missing Winnipeg man has expanded into Arborg, Manitoba. The Winnipeg Police are asking residents and business owners in the Arborg and surrounding areas to check for signs of Eduardo Balaquit, who is considered to be a "victim of crime." Eduardo "Eddie" Balaquit, 59 years old, disappeared on June 4, 2018. His … Continue reading “Victim of Crime,” Missing Winnipeg Man Could be in Arborg

Tales of a Riding Mower – The Wheelbarrow Started It!

I need a few goats. In other words, my lawn needs mowing. The grass is tall with weeds - giving my lawn that "creepy-a-hermit-must-there" appearance. But it's either too cold or too hot. And I'm sensitive to heat, thanks to my anticonvulsants. It's a real thing, don't judge me. My excuse for waiting this long? … Continue reading Tales of a Riding Mower – The Wheelbarrow Started It!

Who Moved my Epic Moment – I Was Ready!

I waited for this moment. Like a giddy child, I waited for this moment for a month. I mean, didn't we all? How often does this happen? Has this ever happened before? Exactly. This was going to be awesome. Huge. Epic. Spectacular! Momentous! I need a life! In anticipation, I cleared my cache, boosted my … Continue reading Who Moved my Epic Moment – I Was Ready!

Separation, Divorce, and A Late Night Message – Why, why, why

I was in an awesome mood. A little over a week ago, I went to the Skate Canada Manitoba AGM. Honestly, I was super thrilled about staying in a hotel room. By myself. Solo. As I drove into the parking lot of the hotel, I felt like Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Independent. … Continue reading Separation, Divorce, and A Late Night Message – Why, why, why

The Challenge of Solitude – The Selfie

I didn't think this through. Sure, I'm happy on my own. I love my solitude. Being alone is awesome and stuff. But I didn't think this part through. I've tried to figure it out from all angles. And it's incredibly frustrating. The selfie. Namely, photos. How the heck do I take photos of myself when I'm … Continue reading The Challenge of Solitude – The Selfie

Quick, Jump – It’s a Marble in My Nose

It was 1982. In other words, twenty years ago. And I had a relationship with a white marble, which caused my deviated septum. Growing up, I had a lot of toys. Well, not an Easy-Bake-Oven or Snoopy Sno Cone Machine. However, I had the Easy Bake mixes. I used a grown up oven for my … Continue reading Quick, Jump – It’s a Marble in My Nose

Nearsighted in Hindsight with 20/20 Vision

Something to ponder. In a time of Smartphones, Mars explorations, and taco fries, you'd think there'd be a cure for far-and-nearsightedness. A medication or preventative eyeball vaccine. How long have people needed glasses? Forever. How long have we known about Mars? What's that sound? Crickets. When I was in elementary school, primary students would have … Continue reading Nearsighted in Hindsight with 20/20 Vision

Owning Your Birthday When You’re Alone

In about eight hours, something different will happen. Not completely different, just different. For the first time in 20 years, I'll be alone on my birthday. I have a ritual where I wake up and yell, "It's my birfday! It's myyyy birfday!" and then I break into song. Thank goodness the neighbours have moved out. … Continue reading Owning Your Birthday When You’re Alone

My Tragic Childhood Cat Tales – The Legend is True

As a child, I loved cats. However, the title of "Tammy's Favourite Cat" was dubious since they all died. Natural causes. Alright, semi-natural. My history with cats is traumatic - and a tad gory. Feline lovers, you might need tissue. I grew up on a dairy farm in the hamlet of Geysir outside Arborg, Manitoba. Hamlet sounds so quaint. … Continue reading My Tragic Childhood Cat Tales – The Legend is True

Remembering Oma’s on Roblin Blvd – Simply the Best

We had to go there. A friend called today. Our conversation was fine until she brought up a painful word. Bakery. Gasp. For ten minutes, we spoke about bakeries. Lovely, sweet bakeries. Filled with gluten. Lots and lots of gluten. Don't offer me a macaroon. Please, I don't want rice flour bread. I want a … Continue reading Remembering Oma’s on Roblin Blvd – Simply the Best

Must Like Unreasonable Heat, Sweating, and Carving Pumpkins

"Dear Tammy, if you're reading this in five years, and you're still at this job ... " That was my diary entry from 2006. At the time, I was less than enchanted with my job. Answering phones for eight hours while sweltering beneath a McDonald's French Fry Grate. I didn't mind answering phones, but that … Continue reading Must Like Unreasonable Heat, Sweating, and Carving Pumpkins

Next Time You Pass a Car Wash and You Hear a Beep – It’s Probably Me

To my horror, last night I ran out of coffee. So, I rose with the sun. I accomplished some writing stuff, and then - au natural - I slapped on a houndstooth hat and skipped to Coop. Okay, I drove. Which is the main part of the story. At the till, I chatted with the … Continue reading Next Time You Pass a Car Wash and You Hear a Beep – It’s Probably Me

Daylight Saving Time – Why, Why, Why

Yes, again. Daylight Saving Time. When they steal an hour of our sleep. But do we know who "they" are? These magical "theys" who come around twice a year, proclaiming springing forward and falling back is the right thing to do? Changing clocks? Stealing our precious pillow time? Messing with peoples' regular routines? I say we … Continue reading Daylight Saving Time – Why, Why, Why

We’re Quaint, Not Different – Arborg’s Vibe

A #throwbackthursday repost in honour of Arborg’s distinction as Travel Manitoba’s “5 cute and quaint towns in Manitoba that will inspire your next road trip.”

29 then 40

At first, you don’t notice.

Those quaint little things people do in small towns. They make us unique. Dare I say, cute. Maybe that’s too far. No, I think cute is accurate.
Small towns are underrated. And we’re often stereotyped. Some are true, others aren’t. Actually most aren’t.

Arborg is cool. Maybe it’s our vibe. Or our constant stream of socials and gatherings.

Whether you were raised here, stayed or just visited – you’ve noticed there’s something you can’t put your finger on about us. We’re different without being weird. We’re cool without being cocky. And we’re kind without being fake.

I love Winnipeg. With its history, and the Exchange District. Its downtown, and its Charleswood. But when I returned from Edmonton, I gravitated back home. And home was Arborg.

And some things never change:

  1. Our postal code. It’s “R ‘Oh’ C, ‘Oh’ A ‘Oh’ ” because saying “R-zero-C, zero-A-zero is just…

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A Moment of Humour – My Epilepsy and Brain Tumours

https://twitter.com/TammyKaratchuk/status/971567089327669248 https://twitter.com/BrainTumourFdn/status/971406288348332038 "Because if you can't laugh at life, you're obviously living in a soup can and no one has a can opener." Tammy W. Karatchuk

The Cusper 1980s and 1990s Rocked – Stuck in the Middle

Music triggers memories. I'm not an '80s or '90s music person. I'm a cusper. Stuck between two decades. There was a MuchMusic show called "Back in," and they'd countdown the top videos from 1980 to 1994. I'd recognize an odd video from the early '80s. What happened in 1981? Despite some of the horrid videos, … Continue reading The Cusper 1980s and 1990s Rocked – Stuck in the Middle

My Separation – It’s an Emotional Roller Coaster

Interesting. It seems people aren't interested in my brownie recipe or my humorous toilet paper horror stories. My keywords indicate they're drawn to "separation" and "divorce." Okay. I'm an open book and fairly transparent. As with anyone, I have my secrets. Sorry to disappoint, but I won't be airing my stuff here. It's a blog. Not … Continue reading My Separation – It’s an Emotional Roller Coaster

Searching for a Bride, Years After Her Wedding

I love old photos. Especially when there's a story behind them. But it's sad when you have the photo, and you know there's a story - but you have no clue what it is. When I started college in September 2009, I found myself in the heart of Winnipeg's Exchange District. The downtown Red River … Continue reading Searching for a Bride, Years After Her Wedding

Just Divorce Yourself – Conquering a Secret Fear

I conquered my fear of the dark! Sort of. A pin on Pinterest stated darkness is merely the absence of light. Sort of how plain rice cakes are the absence of taste. It's logical or illogical. Science over whatever isn't science. Whew, glad I can put that behind me. When I was a broadcaster with … Continue reading Just Divorce Yourself – Conquering a Secret Fear

Brownies with Gluten – I Can’t Eat Them, But You Can

I miss brownies. I mean real brownies. Not the ones that are modified to suit a gluten free diet. Thanks to my DNA - I inherited Celiac disease. I don't eat brownies often, because I can't find a good recipe - and chocolate makes my face breakout. Thanks, rosacea. Geez, I can't catch a break. … Continue reading Brownies with Gluten – I Can’t Eat Them, But You Can

Rebooting the 29 then 40 Journey

Technically, this year it's 29 then 42. Another challenge. To write 42 posts in 42 days. How will these posts differ from when I turned 40? To start, I've made a Facebook page for my 29then40 blog. It's, like, totally free to join! When I turned 40, my posts were reflections. Such as Dear teenage … Continue reading Rebooting the 29 then 40 Journey

Nothing Says Happy Valentine’s Day Like Jury Duty

It's February the 14th! Happy birthday, Yuka Sato! Oh, yes, and it's Valentine's Day. When we celebrate enduring love for our significant other with heart shaped boxes of chocolates and red roses. This year, I'm alone on Cupid's annual arrow day. Some people are probably thinking, "Poor girl. Probably so lonely. Must be awful. Hang in … Continue reading Nothing Says Happy Valentine’s Day Like Jury Duty

If I had a Nickel for Everytime I Bought Toilet Paper, I’d have a Dollar

I like online shopping. No line ups, no changing rooms. No-helium voices from outside the dressing room, knocking eighteen times to ask, "Are you doing okay in there?" Next time a retail associate does that, I'm answering in a male voice. Of course, not everything can be ordered online. There's grocery shopping. However, when I'm … Continue reading If I had a Nickel for Everytime I Bought Toilet Paper, I’d have a Dollar

A Retrospective: New Year’s Eve Twenty Years Later, I Miss My Shoes

Last night. New Year's Eve 2017. I was dressed in pajamas, drinking coffee by the Christmas tree and reading my family history tree. Four minutes before midnight, I cued In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Sure enough, at the stroke of midnight, the famous drum riff played. It was the first time I celebrated New … Continue reading A Retrospective: New Year’s Eve Twenty Years Later, I Miss My Shoes

To My Gigi Taraschuk – You Died of a Broken Heart

To my Gigi Taraschuk, You left us seven years and three days ago. You died around 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve. On the anniversary this year, I went to the graveyard where you and Baba are buried. I skipped doe-like, as though in a park, but I couldn't find your graves. I did successfully slip … Continue reading To My Gigi Taraschuk – You Died of a Broken Heart

A Warm and Fuzzy Repost – Revisiting Christmases from the Past

In 2007, I put the star on our family Christmas tree.Later, I posted the photo on Facebook. I joked that I was happy the Sears Catalogues were hidden from the photo.That photo showed up today in Facebook's "Hey, guess what! Today is 10 years since your fish died" notifications. In Red River College, we had … Continue reading A Warm and Fuzzy Repost – Revisiting Christmases from the Past

A Brain Tumour Anniversary – Marking With A Post And Memoir

Every year I mark the anniversary of my brain tumour surgeries. This year, I wanted to go beyond the usual Facebook post of "Today, December 14, is 'X' years since my second brain surgery," and insert mildly humorous antidote here. I tried to write a quirky letter to my second brain tumour. Then I attempted … Continue reading A Brain Tumour Anniversary – Marking With A Post And Memoir

Our Marriage Wasn’t A Failure – Separation Advice From A Beginner

No one has the right to say someone's marriage was a failure. Marriages don't fail. They simply end. And you enter the next phase of your life. After sixteen years of marriage, my husband and I have separated. He's living in Winnipeg. And I'm staying in Arborg. My husband used to be uptown nearly everyday … Continue reading Our Marriage Wasn’t A Failure – Separation Advice From A Beginner

Perils of A Mask – Steve Vogelsang Isn’t A Criminal

I thought it was a joke. A story appeared on a friend's timeline today. A post with a photo of a guy in a plaid jacket. Who looked like our former college instructor. Arrested for robbery. A few jokes were exchanged. Then, the mood changed. We realized this wasn't fake news. The *CreComm world was … Continue reading Perils of A Mask – Steve Vogelsang Isn’t A Criminal

Throwback to a Walkman – When iTunes and Spotify Fail

An app on my Smartphone keeps crashing. Today, I spent two hours talking to Fido. When the app crashes, my display screen changes. But the worst thing happened for the first time. One second I was listening to Disturbed on Spotify and - after a reboot - it returned as "ad supported." My main concern was, … Continue reading Throwback to a Walkman – When iTunes and Spotify Fail

From Tea Bag to Coffee Factory – The Story of a Teenager’s Caffeinated Paradise

It was hot. Steamy. And smelled ... oh ... that glorious sensory tingling smell. The type that conjured up images of Smurfs and Care Bears. At five years old, I drank tea. And five-year olds have no concept of the term "clear." I preferred mine with cream. Lots of cream. And one lump or two? Oh, … Continue reading From Tea Bag to Coffee Factory – The Story of a Teenager’s Caffeinated Paradise

Discipline, Where Art Thou – Buckle Down and Accomplish the Goal

There are times in our lives when we're frazzled. We feel fuzzy. And all we have to do is grab a pen and write. Since I was 10 years old, I've kept a journal. But that habit has fallen by the wayside as of late. Same with my romance novel. And my non-fiction and true-crime … Continue reading Discipline, Where Art Thou – Buckle Down and Accomplish the Goal

We’re Quaint, Not Different – Arborg’s Vibe

Small towns are underrated. And we're often stereotyped. Some statements are true, others aren't. Actually most aren't. My hometown of Arborg is quaint and unique. Dare I say, cute. Maybe that's too far. No, I think cute is accurate. Arborg is cool. Maybe it's our vibe. Or our constant stream of socials and gatherings. Whether you were … Continue reading We’re Quaint, Not Different – Arborg’s Vibe

I Owned My Birthday – And It Was Perfect

My birthday was the best. I didn't enjoy my birthday last year, though 40 didn't bother me. Or turning 39? The day was fun, even though the day didn't go as planned. And 38, 37, 36. No comment. However, 41? It was perfect. Breakfast in bed. Lunch in bed. I didn't leave my bed until … Continue reading I Owned My Birthday – And It Was Perfect

It’s Been Four Decades – This Is My Advice

Turning forty years old. I thought it was some massive achievement. Worthy of streamers, champagne and a surprise trip to Lake Tahoe. Hnausa Provincial Park, but it's all good. At fifteen I learned to be flexible because life changes on a dime. My life has changed since my roaring 20s. And so has the way I … Continue reading It’s Been Four Decades – This Is My Advice

Stony on Ice – Dissecting the Aftermath of Inner Demons

What a difference a year makes. Today's one year since I won the gold medal in Adult Intro Interpretive at Stony on Ice. My first competition in 22 years. This year's competition on March 26, 2017 didn't go so well. I flip-flopped for months between Sam Smith's "Latch" or Sam Tsui and Max Schneider's "Demons." "Demons" won. … Continue reading Stony on Ice – Dissecting the Aftermath of Inner Demons

Another Year – And Still We Have Daylight Saving Time

Here were go again. Heading off to bed, without knowing what time zone we'll wake-up in. Because it's Daylight Saving Time. Even though we're not saving anything. We lose an hour of sleep. Or are we gaining? I have no clue. I just know twice a year I push or spin the dial on my … Continue reading Another Year – And Still We Have Daylight Saving Time

Deadline Overextended – I’m Setting and Keeping The Date

It's March 10th. And I'm still working on the same romance novel. Final edit.Final, final edit. Page 102 of 494, hoping to drop my 106K word count.. My cutting and slashing has been a process. A year and a half. But if this were my CreComm IPP, a.k.a., my journalism thesis, it'd never fly. I … Continue reading Deadline Overextended – I’m Setting and Keeping The Date

Dusting Off Memories Of A Synchro Competition – A Throwback Thursday

It seems like yesterday. But it was 27 years ago. I'll let that soak in for a moment. The 1990 Interlake Regional *Precision Competition at the Stonewall arena. I remember the weirdest parts of that afternoon. Eating pizza buns at a teammate's house. Her mom driving my teammate (her daughter), my sister, and me to the … Continue reading Dusting Off Memories Of A Synchro Competition – A Throwback Thursday

The Land Of Confusion – Why Can’t I Write These Posts

I don't know what's different this year. I can't seem to write for this blog. Maybe the best stories were written. Or I have stories, but I can't share them. Sure, I wrote a post last night. I confessed I think I'm fat. And now people are aware of my insecurities. A round of applause please. I … Continue reading The Land Of Confusion – Why Can’t I Write These Posts

Do These Flannel Pajamas Make Me Look Fat?

I'm self-conscious. About my weight. My appearance. Skin texture. Eyebrow shape. Everything. A month ago - after editing late into the night - I groaned when my Messenger whistled in the morning. I was message-bombed. Moreover, weight-message bombed. A perky person messaging someone in flannel pajamas - that's right, I wear flannel - about Beach … Continue reading Do These Flannel Pajamas Make Me Look Fat?

The 50-Second Blog Post – Roses, Violets For You

Roses are red, Violets are blue, I spent the day writing my pen name blog, So, tomorrow I have a better post for you.        

The Man-Cold – It’s Not Just For Men

I feel fuzzy. I have a cold. Most often, I can dodge colds and the flu. When I'm sick, I can shake it off after two or three days. Regardless of how long, when I'm sick, I'm not just sick. It's the "Man-Cold." The Man-Cold is a blanket term for men and women who whine like … Continue reading The Man-Cold – It’s Not Just For Men

Rediscovering Myself – One Makeup Mistake At A Time

I'm struggling for a topic. Despite rumours, writing isn't hard but it's not simple. You want to be poetic, without being brash. Witty, without being crude. And you want to write substance rather than sludge.It's strange, because I write all the time. It's my job. I'm a reporter. I'm writing a novel. I have other … Continue reading Rediscovering Myself – One Makeup Mistake At A Time

A Different Sort Of Hindsight – Another Journey Begins

Here were go again. It's another 40 days until I turn 41 years old. Yet, I don't feel like I'll be 41. I didn't feel 40, nor did I feel 35. How is an age supposed to feel? Warm and fuzzy? Cold and bitter? No idea. Since I've written, a lot has happened. Changed. Stayed … Continue reading A Different Sort Of Hindsight – Another Journey Begins

It’s My Birthday – The 4-0 isn’t that Big

My  view is the same. I don't feel older. I feel content. And a little tired from a long day that revolved around food. I'm happy I reached 40 years old. I've lost friends and acquaintances. They were young. Went through what I did. I was the lucky one. I am the lucky one.

It’s Almost Time – From Older Me to Younger Me

Dear 39-Year-Old Tammy, Nothing will change. You will wake up tomorrow. A day older. On the right side of the bed. And nothing will change. With time, your body might. Same with your skin and hair. But not overnight. Body changes take time. More than eight hours. Attitude changes can take a lifetime. Nothing will … Continue reading It’s Almost Time – From Older Me to Younger Me

A Few Things About Me – I Hope I Chose The Right Jam

It’s a shame to never allow others to understand you as a person. Letting people form their own opinions of you based on assumptions and rumours just plain hurts. For me, I'll clear up some misconceptions. I’m not a snob; I’m shy around unfamiliar people. I’m not a b***h; I’m passionate. So, here’s me in … Continue reading A Few Things About Me – I Hope I Chose The Right Jam

Snow’s on the Way – My Knees Told Me

I can predict the weather. Seriously. I don’t bother with the five-day forecast. I’ll look at it and scoff. Because my figure skating knees are tell me otherwise. Years of ice cold arenas have left me with a cool ability to be a walking barometer. I knew last Sunday that Wednesday’s heavy snow was on … Continue reading Snow’s on the Way – My Knees Told Me

Friday Night – And I’m Still At Work

It’s Friday night. When I looked at the weather for tomorrow, I almost said to my husband, “You might not be going into work tomorrow.” I’d better add a calendar to my grownup birthday list. That’s what happens when you work from home. The days mesh into one. I don't have holidays. Well, I do, … Continue reading Friday Night – And I’m Still At Work

A Letter to Myself the Day Before I Turn 15 Years Old – Be Grateful You Have Thick Hair and Great Friends

Dear Almost 15-year-old Tammy, I want you to read this the day before turning 15 years old. In front of the tube TV. Munching on a bag of Orville Redenbacher Caramel popcorn. Probably watching "90210.” The Arborg Skating Club’s competition wrapped up. You won two medals. Enjoy them. Because you won’t compete for awhile. Spoiler … Continue reading A Letter to Myself the Day Before I Turn 15 Years Old – Be Grateful You Have Thick Hair and Great Friends

My Grownup Birthday List – I’ll Keep it Simple

My birthday feels like a scene from “The Notebook.” Noah: “What do you want?” Allie: “It’s not that simple.” Because it isn’t. When I was a teenager, I wanted clothes, CDs, nail polish and perfume. Now, on the cusp of 40 years old, I can buy my own clothes. CDs are iTunes cards. My nail … Continue reading My Grownup Birthday List – I’ll Keep it Simple

I’m Exhausted – But It Was Worth It

I can’t shake this fog. I know my body’s been through a lot. My meds were lowered. I had two seizures within four days of each other. Then my meds were raised to normal levels, and I jumped on the ice two days after my release – I mean, discharge. It’s obvious this is an … Continue reading I’m Exhausted – But It Was Worth It

Moo Late Night Humour

Today was long. Yet it was short. I basically worked through a thick fog today. Here’s another crack at late night humour: Question: What do you call a cow with no legs? Answer: Ground beef. Aw, poor cow.

A Recap of a Golden Moment – Why I Thanked My Fellow Competitor

I hugged the silver medallist yesterday at the Stony Mountain on Ice Competition. Before the gold medal was strung around my neck, I embraced my competitor and said, “Thank you.” Those words probably left her baffled. In 1989, I won the Interlake Interpretive Competition. Music was chosen by the host committee – in this case … Continue reading A Recap of a Golden Moment – Why I Thanked My Fellow Competitor

An Exciting Day – Stony on Ice

Thanks for all your messages of congratulations! Obviously, today was exciting. Anytime you stand on top of the podium, it's exciting. And makes for a tiring evening. More to come tomorrow since a lot happened at the competition.

Stony Mountain on Ice – Let’s Give it a Try!

Tomorrow, I’m coming out of retirement. My epileptologist cleared me to compete in Stony Mountain on Ice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIhQuCugJlY Twenty-five years ago, I competed in my first Stony, and I won silver. In 1993, I added another silver. The next year, I tried for another medal, but I placed fourth in Juvenile freeskate after falling very … Continue reading Stony Mountain on Ice – Let’s Give it a Try!

Stepping Out of the EMU

I’m free! Well, almost. After 11 days in Winnipeg's Health Science Centre’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, I'm being released tomorrow. It seems like yesterday when I arrived at the EMU and a technician glued 37 nodules to my skull, and then I was led to my little room. I had two provoked seizures. My usual: awake, … Continue reading Stepping Out of the EMU

Making Waves in the EMU

I had my second event. I actually said, "Finally" as I entered it. I lost consciousness for the first time since 1991 - my first seizure. When I came to, my day nurse and my husband were by my side. They are putting me back on my regular dose. Tonight, I'm so weak my husband … Continue reading Making Waves in the EMU

An Exhausted Joke about Bears

Question: What do you call a bear without an ear? Answer: "B." I thought it was funny.

Because We Know It’s All About the Food

“How’s the food.” It’s the most common question I’m asked during my stay at the Health Science Centre’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Or as I call it: Chez EMU. And it’s good. It actually is. Okay, the pork is awful. It’s like blubber. But for the most part, it’s been yummy. I know, weird way to … Continue reading Because We Know It’s All About the Food

A Tired Joke – aka, To Tired to Write

After yesterday, I'm exhausted. But I wanted to write everyday. So, here's a joke. Late night humour. Once upon a time there were three tomatoes. A Mama, Papa and a Baby. The Baby tomato lagged behind, which prompted the Papa tomato to turn and approach the Baby tomato. And the Papa tomato said "Catch up," … Continue reading A Tired Joke – aka, To Tired to Write

Pop the Champagne Cork

I had my event. It was a two-minute long seizure. I talked halfway through. Then when it was over, I was a tad out of sorts. I'm good. Thank you to the awesome nurses who rushed by my side. And to my super strong husband for being by my side. And to Ativan. I want … Continue reading Pop the Champagne Cork

A Letter to My 14-Year-Old Self – Don’t Get that Perm

Dear 14-year-old Tammy, Congratulations. You have the green light to wear whatever makeup you please. Go easy on the foundation though. It’s meant to be worn sparingly. Not as a frickin’ mask. And you’re wearing the wrong shade. It’s okay. You’re a teenager, and we make mistakes. Speaking of mistakes, don’t lend your silver double-heart … Continue reading A Letter to My 14-Year-Old Self – Don’t Get that Perm

When There Are No Words – You Write Anyway

I wish I could express myself, But I just can’t today. I’m not sad. I’m not glad. I’m an in between. Sitting here blue-plaid. Watching an EEG screen. My brainwaves on a television. Instead of me. My voice is off-air. Yet a microphone’s installed above me. I wanted to prove them wrong. I would be a … Continue reading When There Are No Words – You Write Anyway

Wire, Cables, and the Orthopedic Ward – I Don’t Remember Breaking A Leg

Wire. Cables. Everywhere. At least you’re in the right ward. While I sat in the foyer of Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, I glanced at the television above the reception desk. A 42-inch television. If it was meant to relax patients, it wasn't the best idea to have it on CNN. In all fairness, the captions were … Continue reading Wire, Cables, and the Orthopedic Ward – I Don’t Remember Breaking A Leg

I’d Rather Be Skating – But Here We Are

Twelve days before Stony Mountain on Ice. My first figure skating competition in 25 years. And here I am. Sitting in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Watching my brainwaves on the screen in front of me. With picture-in-picture, 24/7 video surveillance. Gazing at pigeons out my window. What is Winnipeg feeding them? They’re frickin’ huge! Cemented … Continue reading I’d Rather Be Skating – But Here We Are

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – A Whole New World

“Bring some books and your laptop.” The nurse from the EMU made it sound like a vacation. Starting March 21, 2016 I’ll be spending five to 10 glorious days in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. During my stay, I’ll be hooked up to an EEG and EKG monitor while under 24-hour video surveillance. Complete with a … Continue reading The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – A Whole New World

The Good Stuff is on the Way – Just Wait for It

Sometimes you don’t know what to write, because the words don’t come to you. They don’t flow freely because your mind is cluttered with other things, and it’s hard to focus. And you’ve tried for the last three hours. Without success. And tomorrow’s another day. With hopefully less clutter. And more focus. Because, as my … Continue reading The Good Stuff is on the Way – Just Wait for It

Happy Shiny News and the Watershed Phone Call – Good Luck with That

Phone calls. We usually associate early morning calls with negatives. And midnight calls with dire situations. A call at 9:30 p.m.? It's often, “Do you remember so-and-so?” Think back. When was the last time someone called before sunrise to say, “Hey, I’m chillin’ and drinkin’ a Bud. Thought I’d give you a shout.” If this … Continue reading Happy Shiny News and the Watershed Phone Call – Good Luck with That

Hiding Jenga and Mount Kilimanjaro from Your Parents – You Can’t

Today, my parents stopped in for a visit. Completely unexpected. My house is usually clean – minus the pit, aka my office. But not today. Dishes stacked by the sink, teetering like a game of Jenga. Winter village basking in the spring sunshine. Unpolished countertops. A garbage bag full of water bottles in the entranceway. … Continue reading Hiding Jenga and Mount Kilimanjaro from Your Parents – You Can’t

Frosted Mini-Wheats Unite – Let Us Get To Know Each Other

I'm fun. But few people know about my Frosted Mini-Wheats side. They think I’m a plain dry Mini-Wheat. You know, those large ones that need milk or you’ll choke. Few people understand me. I’m a serious person who cracks jokes most people don’t understand. I can see how that causes confusion. In 1998, I met … Continue reading Frosted Mini-Wheats Unite – Let Us Get To Know Each Other

Don’t Throw Out the Story of Your Life – They’re Your Notebook

Today, I was told something horrifying. A couple of years ago, my aunt threw out a bunch of her diaries. My aunt keeps a diaries, but she turfed the old ones, thinking who'd she pass them down to. Who’d be interested in her diaries? Me. Diaries hold secrets of who we were as children and … Continue reading Don’t Throw Out the Story of Your Life – They’re Your Notebook

I Had the Time of My Life – Silk, Satin, Houndstooth and All

I miss high school dances. I’d always dress up. Usually in a new dress, because heaven forbid someone recognize my outfit from a previous dance. I'd take extra time applying makeup and punishing my long hair with hot curls and tight half-dos. Leaving a mass of strands on the floor, sticky from concrete hold hairspray. … Continue reading I Had the Time of My Life – Silk, Satin, Houndstooth and All

Dear 12-Year-Old Tammy – Enjoy the Moment

Dear 12-Year-Old Tammy, First of all, you’re not fat. You’re 105 lbs. Stop being bitter about being a middle child. You have a big sister and a little sister. Cherish them, even when you’re at odds. Because you’ll need them when you’re older, and they’ll need you. Don’t wear black eyeliner, purple eye shadow and … Continue reading Dear 12-Year-Old Tammy – Enjoy the Moment

Welcome to Canada – Springing ahead since 1916

Here we are. Daylight Saving. Where everyone – minus Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada and the modern world – will turn their clocks ahead one hour for some archaic reason. The idea of Daylight Saving came about in 1895. And the idea was first implemented on April 30, 1916. Winnipeg, Manitoba jumped on board … Continue reading Welcome to Canada – Springing ahead since 1916

It’s Not A Coincidence – They Don’t Exist

I don't believe in coincidences. Yes, punch me in the face. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe in fate and destiny, and all that whimsical unicorn rainbow stuff. If we changed one choice from our past – the good, bad or horrible – we’d change the entire course of our lives. I'm one … Continue reading It’s Not A Coincidence – They Don’t Exist

A Palm Reader, Cayenne Pepper, and My Destiny

I went to a palm reader. And I interviewed a psychic. I’m not skeptical, though I’m guarded. The element of surprise. It’s better sometimes than knowing what’s ahead. When it’s accurate. February 1996. My friend *Lynn and I were at Polo Park Shopping Centre in Winnipeg. On the lower level was a palm reader. We … Continue reading A Palm Reader, Cayenne Pepper, and My Destiny

Confession of a 39-Year-Old Who’s Afraid of the Dark

Confession: I’m afraid of the dark. Seriously, I hate the dark. Not being able to see drives me crazy. Which is bizarre, since my glasses are so strong, my optometrist claims I'm almost legally blind. When my husband’s away, I don’t sleep in our room. I sleep in the TV room. Where I have light from … Continue reading Confession of a 39-Year-Old Who’s Afraid of the Dark

Pack Up, Class of 1994 – You’re Retiring in Arborg

It’s an idyllic thought. The other night, retirement came up when I was messaging a friend. I giggled when I went to bed. Because wouldn't it be awesome if the entire Class of 1994 returned to our small town Manitoba roots to retire? Back to the Town of Arborg? So, I propose, when we’re all … Continue reading Pack Up, Class of 1994 – You’re Retiring in Arborg

A Question of Faith and Forgiveness – Not Judgment

I don’t like unresolved issues. I like the chapter closed. The fence mended. Not for my piece of mind, but so the other person knows I didn’t mean to hurt them. Maybe I was mad. Bitter. Stressed. Tired. Slightly altered. Low blood sugar. All inexcusable, and no excuse for being cruel. Sorry might be just … Continue reading A Question of Faith and Forgiveness – Not Judgment

Ten Things I Learned About My Parents in One Afternoon

My parents don’t eat lunch. Since leaving the dairy farm and grain fields behind, lunch doesn't involve swallowing sandwiches whole. They refer to lunch as dinner. And something simple. Such as chili. Or curried or roasted chicken.My mom’s a great cook. Never mind grandparents. I swear she inspired the “Grandparents say, ‘Little snack before you … Continue reading Ten Things I Learned About My Parents in One Afternoon

The Struggle with Chapter Five – The Challenge of Writing Non-Fiction-Fictional Romance

It’s taking forever. On March 17th, it’ll be two years since I started to write my first romance novel. It's a romance-mystery. It's fictional, but I've intertwined elements of non-fiction. Just to complicate my life. To date, I’ve probably pumped out over 140,000 words and slashed 30K. Some characters have changed – some so often … Continue reading The Struggle with Chapter Five – The Challenge of Writing Non-Fiction-Fictional Romance

Pondering a Throwback Thursday Issue

Forget Friday. It's all about Thursday. Throwback Thursday. When social media sites are cluttered with #TBTs. Yes, this nostalgia buff practically has #ThrowbackThursday marked on the calendar. It’s the time to post childhood photos and your 1990s shenanigans with friends. But what about the real past? On Facebook, a photo surfaced last month on a … Continue reading Pondering a Throwback Thursday Issue

From Small Town to Big City to Small Town – Why I Returned

It’s a question people still ask. “So, why’d you move home?” I returned to my hometown of Arborg, Manitoba in October 2014. It seems bizarre. After all, I fought for 13 years to get into Creative Communications at Red River College, then I was a broadcaster and figure skating journalist in Alberta for two years. … Continue reading From Small Town to Big City to Small Town – Why I Returned

From Baby Shoes to Grad Shoes – My Mementos Aren’t Going Anywhere

My house is fairly organized. Some visitors have called it “spotless.” They’ve been shielded from my office – lovingly referred to as “the pit.” Remember the “Friends” episode with Monica’s closet? Problem is, I have two more pits. Oh, that sounded weird. I have two memory totes. Full of childhood and teenage nostalgia – and the tip of … Continue reading From Baby Shoes to Grad Shoes – My Mementos Aren’t Going Anywhere

Hindsight a Decade Later – The Countdown Begins

It seemed like a great idea. I was about to turn 30, and I wanted to approach the Winnipeg Free Press pitch a daily column: “Thirty days until thirty.” A countdown until I hit the big 3-0. It seems like yesterday since I hatched the idea at 29. In April, I turn 40. So call … Continue reading Hindsight a Decade Later – The Countdown Begins

A 20-Year Tribute to the Victims of December 6, 1989

Every December 6th my mom calls, and she'd ask me, "Do I remember what happened today?" And I'd say, "Yes, X amount of years ago your house trailer burned." Today it's 34 years. However, today is also 20 years since the Montreal massacre. When Marc Lepine walked into the École Polytechnique - an engineering school. … Continue reading A 20-Year Tribute to the Victims of December 6, 1989

Gigi Karatchuk – Missed Twenty-Five Years Later

Today is 25 years since my Gigi Karatchuk died. Even though I was quite young, I remember a lot from that time. My view would probably be a tad different than how my parents experienced that time. After all, these views are coming from a child’s point of view. My Gigi, a fisherman by trade … Continue reading Gigi Karatchuk – Missed Twenty-Five Years Later