What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up – Part 1

•May 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

What did you want to be when you grew up? I think I only remember back as far as 4 years old. I wanted to me a Mom. My Mom had already had 2 kids (me and my brother, Dave) and was pregnant with her third. She was amazing. She was married but a single Mom. That means she married a sailor who was out to sea – a lot! She cleaned our house, us kids, got all the groceries, and made sure everything worked in our apartment. We lived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia across from HMCS Halifax, the East coast base for the Canadian Navy. We didn’t have a car so we walked everywhere and whoever the baby was at the moment would travel in the carriage.

I’ve lived in Nova Scotia (Dartmouth), Quebec (Montreal), Ontario (Hamilton and Ottawa), Northwest Territories (Inuvik) and British Colombia (Victoria). Dad got posted every two years or so. I saw a lot of Canada and the peoples who live all over. I did not want to be in the Navy or or a Train Engineer. We took trains all over Canada and it is an amazing way to see this country. I liked when we flew but my Mom didn’t and since we didn’t have a car, the train was the best for us. Seeing so much of Canada I had a hard time thinking of growing up.

But…In grade 6 in Victoria, BC I read a lot about treasure and lost civilizations. I wanted to be an archaeologist. I wanted to dig in the Egyptian deserts and the forests of the Yucatan. Pyramids fascinated me. It was also around this time I started writing poems. I kept a diary and wrote lots of corny poems over many years. But that was before I started reading Al Purdy’s works (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Purdy). Open verse was the way to go.

But…I learned about disease and major bugs in jungles were ruins were. I hate bugs. So I turned my head as I went on in school to other careers. How about being a nurse? I grew up with lots of nose bleeds so I had no fear of blood. Helping people was a wonderful thought until I found out (after a stint in 3 different hospitals) that nursing is filled with crap – literally! In grade 12 in Inuvik, it was discovered that I had a kidney condition. First trial was in the Inuvik hospital. Then I was sent out to Edmonton and the Charles Campsell Hospital for “Northerners”. A week there then I was moved to the old University of Edmonton Hospital for a kidney biopsy. Yikes, it scared the bejeesus out of me being invaded by a huge needle taking stuff out of my back while under an X-ray machine and surrounded by medical students. Nursing got tossed out of my head.

So, in grade 12 and the prospect of me first year of university being paid for by the Canadian Government, I decided to apply to the University of Edmonton, where I could be independent and the University of Victoria, where my Dad was being transferred. But for what?? I loved visual arts and had a lot of fun drawing, painting and sculpting. I put a photo portfolio together and applied at both universities. I was accepted at both. Wow! I was truly excited. Then I ended up with my right ankle in a cast after a bad turn in volleyball. Gone was my summer job so off to Victoria with my family I went.

UVic was great! The cast came off and I registered for university. I had the best advisor when I went. I had applied as a BFA (fine arts or f-all) student. He explained that it was the best idea to take all your graduation required classes as soon as I could. So I registered in bachelor of Arts and Sciences for my first year. Anthropology, Linguistics, English 350 (writing) and assorted Fine Arts and English classes just for the first year. I learned so much. For example, I was a poor visual art student. I blushed at nude drawing. Creative writing was awesome and turned me on to radio plays. So year 2 I signed up for BFA Theatre. I ended up doing the acting, set building, costuming and directing stuff and graduating with a BFA in Theatre in 1972. I was so successful I ended up working full time in retail!

To be continued…


April Showers Bring May Hours!

•May 1, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Happy May day, everyone. Here on the wet coast we have sunny sunshine, light winds and sweater temperatures. But…I’m still in my jammies and robe. I got up at 6:30am smiling at the light coming in the window. I started the coffee and even went out on the deck to soak up the sun. It was very chilly but very sunny. Back in and powered up the computer. Checked all 3 emails, warmed up Facebook and read the Times-Colonist in digital form. The paper tells me it is a really, weird world out there. Facebook tells me lots of people are up, coffee’s working for most of us and lets me post my mug of the day.

May be an image of coffee cup and text that says "Dear Middle Finger, thank you for sticking up for me."

I own way too many mugs but not these ones. I get most them on Pinterest and these say the things that make days start with smiles and sometimes laughter, too. But, I started my food day in a great way. One egg omelet with ham, mushrooms, celery, green onion and salsa. Hardly any carbs but lots of taste. It did take me an hour to finish it because I was perusing Facebook and the funny things they stick in. I also play lots of games and Poker seemed to be the one this morning. But I now need to get dressed. I think layers will be the choice, today.

Well, I went out! The price of gas went up – AGAIN! And now that I don’t have a Costco membership it was back to Co-op. Their price went up but I’ll get 5 cents on each litre back. We are such suckers!

Well, I didn’t have to wear my hoodie over my new T-shirt. It wasn’t that cold out. I’m looking forward to drinking ice tea (no sugar for me) on the deck and reading later this afternoon. Sitting in the gloom, on my little couch (the big couch is Norm’s) can get to be pretty monotonous. It definitely is not mood enhancing. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the last year and a half and I need to lose a lot. So I started walking a few months ago. I would use my walking poles for stability. I’m not very confident and sloping surfaces wear me out.

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But, I’m also very self-conscious about my weight , lack of deep-field vison, and needing poles. So, I don’t do much walking in my neighbourhood. Instead, I drive to someplace I like and walk as much as I can. Esquimalt Lagoon is one of my faves – very flat. But we have lots of places in and around Greater Victoria. When it comes to walking, I even consider doing all the aisles in Superstore as a “walk”.

With the sun coming up earlier, getting up before 6:30 is OK. I go to bed around 10 (early compared to 2 years ago) but 8 hours of sleep is great! It works for me and my time at the computer is better used now that I answer most of my emails and have restarted my blog. I like it!

Enough for today. Make the best of your hours, too! Love the life – Diane.


•April 28, 2021 • 5 Comments

First of all, I apologize for disappearing for so many months (years). I am no longer in a midlife crisis. I am in a reality-based life crisis. I am not infected with Covid19; I am not in the middle of kidney failure; I am truly retired not just on medical leave; and I am trying to be a responsible adult. It’s good to see you all!

I’ve adapted to masking, shopping only when actually required; no coffee shopping rest periods with friends; and lots of reading at home. I also have spent many hours on the computer, playing games and Facebooking.

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Today is my first day post vaccination Part I. I have been through a lot in the past two years and also a lot of “boring” time. When Covid isolation orders came out, I was already not working so staying home worked for me. I bought great masks and can wash them all the time.

But…due to weird health issues, it was discovered that I had an aneurism in my brain cortex and it was followed for a year and grew. The neurologist said he could remove it or we could let it ride and see if it grew more. I said, “Destroy it, please.” The surgery got postponed twice because of Covid but finally I got it fixed but couldn’t have any visitors in the hospital. It was double good news that the surgery was fabulously successful and, I wasn’t shaved completely bald.

I can I am beginning to ramble and I still have so much to share. I’ll stop here for today and write more soon. I’m not shrinking so I need to give some more information.

Take care and I’ll be back, soonish! Diane

Adjusting: Working at Not Working

•April 16, 2019 • 4 Comments

Wow, I just finished my first week of “health” leave. I managed to sleep in until 6:45. I almost never get past 5:30. It is working, this “not working”. I do have a lot to do. I have to get a years worth of receipts dealt with for income tax. So much paper! I have to cook breakfast, supper and lunch now. Well, not really cook but make sure there is something available. Leftovers are my friend.

My blood pressure is amazing. Well, it has been but I had to do a treadmill test for my records. Nine sticky contacts, wires coming out of my shirt, and pointy lines recording my really bad walking.

I can walk, but I’m slow and hills hurt my legs and wind. Heavy breathing without foreplay is embarrassing. But I guess it’s a good benchmark. Just what I need – more benchmarks. It reminds me of the marks on the door frame to track the girls’ growth. I have a bunch of paper, pictures and digital records.

I’m trying to make sure I have a routine. Wake up, check that the clock that it is sometime after 5 am. Get up, close the bedroom door so Norm can stay in bed. Check the thermostat (getting high tech, eh?) and set for day temperature. Then I make way to the kitchen and put the coffee on. I make a full 12 cups of Pacific Dark Roast! When it’s done it goes into the carafe and onto the turntable on the kitchen table. While waiting for the coffee, I’ve powered up my computer and signed in. I check my emails (I have 3 of them), deal with what needs doing – mostly deleting “Buy Me” notices. Then onto Facebook and Messenger. I seldom answer Messenger after 9:30 at night so I don’t feel guilty answering at 5:30 in the morning to someone who messaged me at 2 am. I play games; read posts; look for a facetious mug to post for the day; and comment on wonderful things people post. I need physical exercise.

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I can be in front of my computer for a couple of hours before showering and dressing. But hanging out all day in nightie and robe is not my fave. I have some great old lay-a-bout clothes. Norm gets up when he’s ready unless he has a paint job to do. We read the paper, talk and enjoy the coffee.

OK! Tax papers are in; the hand mending is all done; the dishes are done; now what? Oh, finish the blog post. It is a lot harder to accept “no required work” than I expected. I guess that’s really good. At least I have some challenges such as, making vegetables taste like fattening meat. I have so many different fruits in the house that I can’t help snacking on raspberries and cantaloupe.

I think that’s enough for today and more will be coming. Thanks to all of you who read my last blog and acknowledged me. I’ve always a fear that I may fall off the earth and be forgotten. Thanks for listening!


The First Monday of the Rest of My Life

•April 8, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Wow, it has been so long since I wrote here. My life is undergoing some changes. This is the first actual day of a two month health leave from my job. Nope, it’s not for a new hip or shoulder. I’ve got enough of them for now. I need a hernia repair but that will be booked later. I’m off work because it was killing me.

Yes, stress. I had a couple of instances last year that landed me a day at the Stroke Rapid Assessment Unit at the Victoria General Hospital. I spent the day getting all kinds of heart tests, a CAT scan, blood work, lots of blood, and eventually an MRI.

I have issues. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, some wonderful calcium in my carotid and a tiny aneurysm at the base of my brain. Woo Hoo! The good news: I haven’t had a stroke; the plaque isn’t life threatening, ” a good benchmark”; and I’m supposed to worry about the aneurysm but if I get a screaming headache – call 911. So reassuring.

Well, if that isn’t a warning sign to make some changes, I don’t know what is. I counted and I now have a family doctor, who wanted me to take leave a lot earlier than now, and 10 specialists. Holy crap, Batman!

But I am off and already missing my work and all the amazing people I come in contact with, students, staff community members and the kids. I’ll still be a part of things but just not physically present. I know we can all do it together. But right now it has to be me for me.

Thanks for listening – Diane

Dieting Resources and Does Sex Burn Calories?

•January 10, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Reviewing my posts from years ago, I truly believe that sex has been underrated for aerobic exercise and weight loss potential.


When I decided to go on a weight reduction regimen, I got lots of information and advice from people around me, virtual and electronic. I found all kinds of wonderful and intriguing things on TV and the even the radio. I’ve been all over the internet and have discovered things that even I could not have imagined. With all this information overwhelming me I decided to go through some of my books; Dr Atkins, Eat Right For Your Type (blood type that is), the Drinking Man’s Diet (a low carb offering because pure alcohol has no carbs), Weight Watcher’s, a bunch of diabetic books and cook books. I wish just reading books could help but you still have to actually do what they say.  Sigh! SIGH BIG TIME!!!! I guess I could use them as weights during exercise and the bigger the better…

Back in the ’70’s I started to…

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My Beauty Queen Self!

•July 27, 2018 • Leave a Comment

 This is me as Miss Langford 1984 for Halloween a few years ago. I was pregnant with my second child and living Langford in 1984 but this was just a costume. I won a prize and it was truly fun to wear. My husband did make me clean off the black eye because when the kids came to the door, it just looked too real and he didn’t want a rep for spousal abuse.

This was a great example of using my size to my advantage. I was poking fun at Langford which used to have a reputation of being Victoria’s Dogpatch. I was poking fun at beauty pageants which, in real life, I truly despise. I was also poking fun at stereotypes. I had the bra-strap showing; the cut off Metallica sweatshirt; legwarmers and a scrunchie behind the crown. It was fun to go back 20 years or so.

I take myself way too seriously and my self-consciousness is truly a handicap. But I am in the process of owning my self and my choices. My clothes have not shrunk, I’ve grown and that’s not good. I’m becoming Greek yogurt queen instead. I also am one of those people who actually likes cottage cheese, sweet or savory. So I can lose the carbs. But as usual it’s hard to get over the fist couple of weeks without bread, potatoes, pyrogies, rice, pasta etc! See that, I got stuck on the starch. It becomes a consuming fixation for a couple of weeks. Sigh.

But, I’ll share my queeness. I learned I was a “Queen” when I was just 14 and pantyhose became available in all the stores at a price I could afford. I was Queen-size even then. It’s such a nice way to “Extra-large” or “2X”. My sizes gave gone from” huge” to just above “regular”. Sizes of clothes are all over the map. You have to try them on because 18 in one pair of jeans is not the same in another. More sighs. But, I’ll accept the royalty designation as my place in my life.

Now, I’ll deal with beauty. “Beauty is only skin deep.” As soon as I hit puberty my skin became a war zone. It cleared up many years ago but I now have rosacea.  Sigh! So I’ll look under my skin and fat. I have a mind, a heart, and spirit. They are all amazing and I can say that. At least I didn’t feel conceited when I wrote that, this time. The more times I say those things to myself the more I own them. I am beautiful, just not in a Miss Universe way. I also do not open-mouth smile unless I really mean it.  Watch for it.

That’s enough for today. It’s Friday and the temperature is going to 30 Celsius (for Fahrenheit, double it and add 30). Humidity and no wind will bump it up a little more. I want to get all my chores done before I melt.  So, drink lots of water and remember, we are all beautiful!

Thanks for listening!  Diane

Swimsuit competition

Actually, I look good in purple, too!


•July 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

What makes us want to lose weight, build good bodies and be healthy? What makes us stay on the right diet, exercise and be healthy? MOTIVATION!

trying-homerI have a ton of motivation to lose weight. I have lots of motivation to stick to a diet. I have many motivational ways to exercise. But…I need to rotate between all the different types of motivation to keep it fresh and effective.

STAYING ALIVE (Fear as a motivator):

I know, and have been told by many doctors, that if I do not get healthy I can die. Well, we all die, eventually, but they (and I) want me to have quite a few more years. I take great pride in no longer being morbidly obese and now am just obese. But, I do have diabetes (managed), high blood pressure (controlled) and severe osteoarthritis resulting in  the need for 5 artificial joints. I kind of take pride in being a “Bionic Woman”. I am alive – but …

FEELING GOOD (The carrot on the stick):

I feel good. At least I believe I do. What does “good” feel like? Is there no pain, no hunger, easy movement, happy thoughts, love all around? Who is to say what good is? Gosh, I have a lot of questions but they’re “good” questions. It is said (by everyone from my nephew who owns a gym to the lady sitting in my bariatric doctor’s office) is that losing all the bad weight will be good for me. I have

LOOKING GOOD (Hmm I’m not really sure about this one):of

I’ve always had a really bad self-image. And, did you know thainke t if you lose a crap load(metric measure) of weight you get a whole bunch of saggy leftover skin?

MENTAL STABILITY AND PEACE (Yeah right, prove it!):

If this is true, why are their people in the world who are anorexic?

FAME (I like this one):

To have achieved a goal and shared it with the world as I do with this blog. (Look out Oprah and Dr. Oz and maybe Dr Phchil, too.)

So I will do this for me.
The side effects:
– family will be less fearful of me checking out;
– I will have more energy, self esteem, and pride; and
– way more stuff to write about.

Thanks for listening! Diane Kirby

Suicide By Eating?

•July 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Dian's screamIt has been many months (years?) since I have written anything for my blog. I don’t even remember when I stopped but I do remember when I started eating lots again. It was the 6th of November when I was recovering from my left shoulder replacement. I was house bound, in pain and constantly hungry. I had just given up the last of a long history of opioids for the pain I’ve lived with for close to 20 years. I have had both hips replaced, one needed to be revised because the first one didn’t grow together. I’ve had my right knee replaced and now both my shoulders have been replaced. Six huge operations just for joints. Sigh. I am deteriorating and it is mostly my fault; for real not probably. So, what does a woman do for 8 weeks when her arm doesn’t work. Eat, watch TV and play games on Facebook.

I saw the doctor yesterday. It has been 6 weeks since I saw my regular doctor and I needed a prescription refilled. I’ve been avoiding her because my weight is way up, my blood pressure is high and I am generally cranky/depressed/angry. But my regular doctor wasn’t in so I saw her replacement. She was wonderful and called me out on all my health issues and wondered why I wasn’t doing anything about them. Crap! I have been asking myself the same thing. It’s not just one thing it’s a pile of things! Yes, I have been doing a lot of thinking about this but not much doing anything about it.

As I approach 65, I can’t even call myself “middle-aged” anymore because I will never live to be 126! I have started thinking seriously about a pile of life-altering stuff. Things I consider are: retirement; having enough money to live on; what to do to feel useful at my “age”; keeping the house up; and many more things that keep me from going back to sleep at 5am.

Would the future look easier if I knew I wasn’t going to live very long? Hell no! I want to be around my kids for a lot longer. I want to spend a lot of time on adventures with my husbandadventure. But I am going to have to consciously choose health over feeling sorry for myself and letting the depression take over for intelligence…and we all know how intelligent I think I am. I guess I should prove it to myself.

So, I’m not really suicidal but I am addicted to unhealthy eating. I love potato chips, bacon, bread of almost any kind and I hate a lot of vegetables like: kale, broccoli (I will eat the stems but I know the trees are better for me), cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, asparagus and spinach (most of the time). Heck, carrots are going to be my best friend and cucumbers but I understand I will have eat a lot of cukes to get much nutrition out of them but they’ll keep me full. Protein, good carbs and lots of water will be my mantra and “Heath by Eating” will be a good quote for me.

Thanks for listening!    Diane


Allowed and Not Allowed

•February 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

These are two directions essential to almost any diet. For example: Yes, you can have bread or no, you can’t have bread.

Yes Bread         No Bread

But most weight loss diets do not encourage bread.

One type of weight loss plan says all things in moderation. I personally have no idea of what moderation is especially when I’m on a weight loss binge!

I love bread and I know white bread is the worst of the culprits in hurting people’s health. Whole grains are decent and better yet sprouted grain bread. I am addicted to bread and related starches. But I applaud the gluten. It is the protein in wheat and rye. Gluten does not make you fat. The starch in grains makes you fat. But it is off limits to celiacs. They cannot digest it and it makes them very sick.  I call them the bad white foods.

I am once again promoting the No White Food Diet. It works for me but it probably wouldn’t work for everybody. Not great for vegans or vegetarians and maybe pretty bad for those on low fat diets because I’m in love with the high fat version. This morning I am craving the ancient grains bagel sitting in our bread basket but instead I will have a no carb fry up. I call it no carb but it is really no bad carbs. It will be made of: peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, eggs, ham and cheese. In my diet, veggies and fruit are good carbs. I can have as much as I want.  everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-scramble1-e1495649001325Whitish food like potatoes, bread, sugar, pasta, and rice are bad carbs. I do allow some white foods such as Greek yogurt, sour cream, white cheddar etc.

It is amazing and because I don’t know how to cook for one, I usually have half left over for lunch or the next day. The fact that veggies are in it makes me feel good. I love the protein and, well, the fat, too.

But I believe that one of the reasons we hate diets is we are always being told what are and aren’t allowed to eat. My brother, who has lost over 100 pounds gave up red meat and beer. He is much healthier but I always wonder if he doesn’t resent the loss. I do not have the will power for that.

happy-baby-baker-sitting-surrounded-bread-pastries-75180553I know that if I can stick to the plan for two weeks I’ve beaten the hold bread has on me. But two weeks is long time when you’re surrounded by all kinds at work, at home and out for dinner. It also doesn’t help that pizza is one of my favourite foods. Sigh.

So, if I’m feeling really deprived, I allow myself one day off every two weeks. I have pizza. Carnivore on a thin multi-grain crust. But one day only, not a binge. Binges are not allowed. pizza

I guess it comes down to realistic goals. I know my limits; I know where and how I cook; I know what works and what doesn’t work for me and I forgive myself easily.

OK, I guess this is enough for now. I have to make some breakfast. Have a great day and thanks for listening.     ;D   Diane


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