Erin's Journals

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Just a thought…

“Doctor, I think I swallowed a pillow.”

“How do you feel?”

“Honestly – a little down in the mouth.”

As always, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Well, hey there – and thanks for coming by. In case you’re interested (and really, I’m okay if you’re not) my computer parts should be arriving by tomorrow and then we’ll see if they’re able to fix my inner workings.

Speaking of which, I had my biennial appointment yesterday to get, as our Brooke puts it, my “chimney swept.” Now, because I know that not just cisgender women come by here, I’ll couch this in very gentle terms, but the doc tried something different and I wanted to run it by you. A new take on this old wife’s tail.

First, though, a few hopefully amusing thoughts as I was getting ready for this most delightful (not) procedure, which is no woman’s favourite by any means, but which we regularly undergo to stay on top of our health.

I was remembering an observation someone once made about how women go to the doctor’s and, when we undress, we make a point of hiding our undies under our jeans, or hanging them behind our clothes so no one sees them. Like sharing a glimpse of our underwear is the most immodest thing we’re going to do that day! That has always struck me as funny and, yes, guilty.

I got to the doctor’s office at the time instructed, five minutes prior to my appointment. That’s when lovely Heidi at the desk told me that there was an intern, and would I be okay if he did the exam or would I prefer my usual GP? I said anyone was fine, adding, “as long as he doesn’t have a habit of laughing at inappropriate times.” Honestly, with the health care system as stressed as it is, I’d have said “yes” to a mechanic. Just get ‘er done.

In the examination room, I folded my dainties and left my socks on, preparing for the usual awkward scooch and show. But this young doctor, who told me to call him Josh (’cause I’m guessing that was his name) and from the mask up resembled a handsome Dr. Pravesh from TV’s The Resident, chatted with me and asked some questions and then we got down to business (specifically, mine).

I’ll do my best not to go into great detail, but here’s what I wanted to tell you. He offered me an option not to put my feet in stirrups (giddy-up, Jerry!) and told me about a new position. That’s when I asked, “Oh, so I do the exam on you, then?” and he laughed. It was not a sexual question, just a role-switching joke. (Careful, Davis. It’s the 21st century and not everybody gets you….)

Then he said that he learned this through a gynecological conference, and I told him to be honest: he’d seen it on TikTok. He laughed and said he wouldn’t tell me if he had! But this innovation (at least to me) is meant to let us feel like we’re more in control. That was comforting: it shows me that women are starting to say, “Hey, what if we try it this way…?”

Because you’re reading this and I can’t use my hands to show you, you’ll have to imagine a bear trap snapped shut and then pried open. Feet placed soles-together in the centre, resting on a table extension and in a bit of a yoga stretch, knees as flat on the exam table on either side of me as dexterity will allow. (Am I describing this properly? I’m trying to paint a picture without making you feel icky.)

A few minutes later, it was all done. Light conversation aside (and a joke about how gin used to make this so much easier), I found myself missing the lovely Monet poster that one of my former doctors had on his ceiling. Hey! Why not a word search or a 3D poster, or perhaps a maze from a kids’ placemat. Just a thought.

Was this innovation better than the old way? I think so. It was interesting that there is now an alternative to the extremely awkward and vulnerable position in which we are put every two years or so. (Shout out to Dr. Pettle in TO who used to have oven mitts on his metal foot rests.)

There you have it: a little more insight than perhaps you bargained for (which at least the doctor didn’t say) – but as it was happening I thought, well someone else is going to find this interesting. And you know me: I’ll always have something to say wherever there’s an opening.

Come back Monday. I promise I’ll have regained some semblance of modesty and/or sanity.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, October 21, 2021
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Monday, October 18, 2021

Just a thought… You know great things are coming when everything seems to be going wrong. Old energy is clearing out for new energy to enter. Be patient! [from]

As always, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Welcome in and happy Monday. Well, where do I start? I told you on Facebook, if that’s where we connect, about the disaster – and no, I’m not overstating it – that befell my laptop last week.

A full cup of coffee was resting beautifully on my bedside table, all ready to do its half-caff magic. When I got up to grab something, always in a hurry, my phone cord pulled that cup right over on top of my laptop, which was resting in an open drawer (my “bed desk” if you will) and completely flooded it.

Yes, we have Apple Care in case of such an emergency because that computer travels with me everywhere and contains my life. Not just photos, but hundreds of thousands of words, including the stories I write for Drift. By the way, tomorrow’s new story for paid subscribers is Nice Threads: The Emperor’s New Clothes, and the one that slides over into free territory is The Island of the Nine Whirlpools. I hope you’re subscribing to Drift with Erin Davis and enjoying these sleep stories. Thank goodness I had them written, edited, produced and sent before Coffee-geddon happened.

But here’s what’s keeping me awake these nights: the techies at the one Apple-approved shop in Victoria can’t even get in to fix my lap life until later today – a full five days later – because of a Find My Device setting. Don’t ask me to explain it; I don’t understand. Today, Rob’s going in again to try to talk them through. Meantime, we wait.

I am working on an old laptop with a very sketchy charging cord that has no updated files since 2018. Rob is sending me speech documents and things I need from his computer for keynote speeches I’m giving in the next few weeks because, yes, it appears it’s going to be at least early November before I get my new computer. I understand these people have steps they have to follow, but in the meantime, I’m in a very bad place of patchwork purgatory.

So there’s that. Fighting technology all the way and just kicking my own butt for letting this happen. But there were a lot of helpful comments on that FB post. A lidded cup? Good idea – but I hate really hot coffee. I’ll think about it. Use iCloud to store files? Hard no – my security comes first. Breathe? Yes. Doing that.

In the meantime, I thank you for your patience as we work through all of this. Mercury moves out of retrograde today, which makes for a really happy Monday – and whether you believe in it or not, it’s been a really rough month for us in terms of communication. That all being said, though, I wouldn’t trade this connection with you for anything. It’s the next best thing to radio and, these days, I’m glad to be far away from it, thanks!

Be well, back up your files and I’ll be here (hopefully) on Thursday.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, October 18, 2021
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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Just a thought… Dance is a prayer for the future, a remembrance of the past and a joyful exclamation of the present. [Amelia Attwater Rhodes]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

I’m sorry to have missed doing a journal earlier this week, but life has been busy in the most joyful of ways. Colin turned seven on Monday which, of course, is just the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie of our Thanksgiving every year. (And there’s birthday cake, too, naturally.)

What we also missed on Monday, besides a journal here, was something Rob and I have been doing for two weeks now. It’s an exercise in intimacy. Now before any pearls get clutched (not that that’s who you are, I know!) it’s not S-E-X. No – although we’ve been warned that it could lead to it! I’m talking about doing something where we’re close, where we’re looking in each other’s direction instead of at a hockey game or a computer screen (guilty!) as we usually are: it’s dance lessons.

Last month for my birthday, Rob gave me a printout of the program he’d signed us up for. I laughed because we had just been telling friends about the last time we took lessons about 20 years ago in north Toronto. It was fun, but he remembers far more about it than I do!

So why take them? Initially we thought we wanted to go on a cruise and look like we knew what we were doing (a bit). Rob’s not a dancer; he’s a bass player and would rather be in the band than one of the people enjoying the music with their feet.

Me? Oh, I can dance – just not sober or without a two-year-old (in Jane’s case) leading the way!

So when we got on the cruise, we took more lessons and they taught us the steps we thought we knew, only backwards, for foxtrot sake! So that was the end of that – ’til now.

There’s something so connecting about touching your partner and letting them lead you around the floor. Because if you know me, I don’t follow very well. Take the pancakes I made last week: instead of a tablespoon of sugar as the recipe required, I put in the same amount of salt. Ugh. Can’t even follow a recipe.

Also, I panic when I’m doing something other than talking in public, and am thinking oh, I look so stupid and then I don’t absorb the instructions. So, we’re going to our third dance lesson in a middle school gym on Monday night, along with about 12 other couples around our age. (Which reminds me – we have not been practising those steps. Bad students!)

This time there will be no cruise at the end, although we have just booked our flights for next May’s Amsterdam-to-Basel river cruise that Mike Cooper and I are hosting with Ama Waterways. 

There will be dances held for our group (still trying to book that entire boat just for us and we have only until Nov. 1 to do so; if you’re interested in more info, click here to send an email to our friend Gerry at New Wave Travel) but Mike, Rob and I will be working those dances, so no reason to kick off our shoes and take to the dance floor!

We’re not doing this for a participation trophy; it’s for Rob and for me. A chance to put on footwear other than slippers or skates (in Rob’s case) and learn something new. As someone wise once said, “We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.”

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with you here on Monday.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, October 14, 2021
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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Just a thought… It’s all about finding calm in the chaos. [Donna Karan]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Well, here we are on the precipice of the last long weekend of the year in Canada (except Christmas, sort of) and that is, of course, Thanksgiving.

I want to start by thanking you for being here. The past year has seen a lot of changes in the way that I bring you this journal: from written form to shooting in a little basement setting, to moving up to a guest bedroom in front of a painting that we love, to a few on the road, to the wonders of green screen and everything we can put up on it behind me.

Our green screen game isn’t quite 100% there yet, but we’re continuing to try and to tweak. Anyway, thank you so much for coming along for the ride, for sharing this journal and for subscribing on YouTube so that you don’t even have to go to Facebook anymore if you don’t want.

Ah, Facebook. And Instagram. And WhatsApp. All down on Monday. I joked on Twitter that this could be the most extreme trick that Mercury in Retrograde has ever played on us. Yeah, it’s a thing – and Rob and I happen to believe in it. We back up our computers just before the space cycle begins (we’re in the last one of the year) and play it careful. Can’t hurt, right?

Mercury in Retrograde can also mean other kinds of difficulty in communicating. Like what to say to Aunt Arleen or any family member you’d like to have at your Thanksgiving dinner table this weekend who has decided they know better than to get the vaccine? I think I may just have the solution for you, my friend, thanks to @NYinLA2021 on Twitter.

That, my friend, just about says it all. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, remembering the giving part, just as long as it’s not the blessed Covid virus.

And I’ll be back next Thursday with a new journal; our guest room is in use with Colin’s Grandpa staying here for Thanksgiving and Colin’s 7th birthday Monday, so the green screen comes down. But I’ll talk to you next week. And thank you again.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, October 7, 2021
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Monday, October 4, 2021

Just a thought… I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. [Leo Buscaglia]

I hope that you had a gentle weekend and I thank you for coming by today. Although you’re here because you prefer the written form of this journal, I will ask you to click either this YouTube link (to which you can subscribe so you don’t miss a video journal Mondays and Thursdays) or via Facebook to watch a video that our daughter-in-law Brooke did with me back in mid-September.

We were staying together, our little family, at a house in Nanoose Bay, near Parksville and Nanaimo here on Vancouver Island. In Part 1 of our chat we had fun as she quizzed me on modern terminology on the internet (I failed miserably and mirthfully) but then I thought, let’s keep talking. So we did – about her stepping into the role of Colin’s mom and taking on, not just a place in their home and lives, but a spirit who made herself known in the house as well.

I think you’ll enjoy this video, as we also had some pretty charming visitors (thanks, Mother Nature!) while we were shooting. So have fun with this and I’ll be back with you here on Thursday.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, October 4, 2021
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