Posts tagged ‘March Break’

March Break Musings

Momma1MY MOMMA – I haven’t really written in detail about my Momma and her living situation on the Anishinaabe Blog.  Perhaps I’ll writing something more though-provoking in the future.  But illness is a private thing, and some conditions are more private than others.  You see, my Mom is in a fairly advanced state of dementia.  Although at 79, her small, frail body still isn’t failing her.  She hasn’t been sick in years.  No more strokes and no issues with diabetes whatsoever.  She can still walk, albeit she’ll insist that she needs her walker.  I’ve seen her do fine without it.

We had a nice lunch visit yesterday, although she doesn’t like the fish at Swiss Chalet.  She didn’t have much of an appetite either.  I’m guessing she gorged on a few of the candies that Phyllis brought her earlier that morning.

Here’s my observation.  Residents of nursing homes rarely get visitors.  When I look at the sign-out chart at the nursing station, it seems that our Momma is the only one who gets regular visits away from the home.  Sure, they are all well taken care of and have plenty of interaction with people in the home.  But nothing lights up my Momma’s face than having a visitor.  See, we’re not just visiting, we are a part of her life.

If you visit her, you’ll find that she is pleasant.  She only has her immediate memory, and memory of those who interact with her regularly.  But for the casual visitor, she will likely not remember you.  That being said, familiarity and interaction may trigger a memory or story.  Be prepared – you will hear the same story, over and over again.  Sometimes repeatedly.  She also has little rituals (i.e. she’ll ask you if the time on her wristwatch is right).  But other than that, you’ll have a great visit.  She’ll even walk you to the elevator.

March Break is a great time to visit with our Elders. If you want to go visit my mom, here are the details:

Dwyla Goulais
3rd floor, Room 306
Cassellhome, 400 Olive Street, North Bay.

MARCH BREAK NOSTALGIA – Do you remember March Break?  I sure do.  It meant time off school.  Some outdoor fun with friends and cousins.  It meant snowmobiling (the old 1976 Skidoo Citation) or four-wheeling across the ice one last time before the surface becomes too mushy.  It is also time for the Little NHL hockey tournament, where hundred of teams (tyke to midget) from across Ontario descend into the host community to play each other for native hockey superiority.  It’s a time to show your community spirit, re-connect with friends and foes from across the territory, and spend time with our larger Anishinaabeg family.  But I never did get to play in the Little NHL.  I only have one full year of organized hockey under my belt, albeit with a wicked single-axel.  They never did get to creating an March break competition for full-contact figure skating.

IT’S MY CLEANSE DAY – As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve taken up a regimen called Isagenix.  It’s a combination of meal replacement program with a cleanse program.  Today happens to be a “cleanse day”, which happens once-per-week.  So four times a day I drink 16 ounces of water, plus the “Cleanse For Life” product.  I get a small snack in between to regulate my blood sugar if necessary.  It is the hardest part of the Isagenix weight loss program.  But today I have motivation.  Following my last cleanse, (just after an eating binge-heavy trip to Arizona), I miraculously lost eight pounds.  I’m motivated to see more results.  I’m also working out everyday.

And how is your day?



Our Ski Adventure

It’s all Good


Today is my third day as Manager of the Strategic Policy and Planning Unit at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.  I’m comfortable in my office, except I need a house plant and my own artwork on the wall.  I’ve got a pretty good staff that always seem to be smiling and in good spirits.  Everything seems to be going well.

I’ve been giving leadership on a couple of files, including aboriginal consultation and archaeology.  My main priorities are to develop the economy, protect sacred objects and sites as well as work in collaboration with First Nation and Métis communities.  I can’t write in detail about that given the nature of government, but I am giving it my all.  I will always serve my community and Nation in a good way, as well move forward on the government’s agenda.  It takes a skilled person to be able to balance all that. 


I’m so happy that it’s March Break.  My Boyz have been doing great in school.  My Katherine Faith always does well in the end.  They deserve a nice break.  Deb is taking some time to spend with Jasmine and Fiona.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to join them.

Nipissing is all set to kick butt in the Little NHL hockey tournament.  I never played in the Little NHL as I only played a year of organized hockey.  But it’s always fun to cheer on your First Nation and check out all the rinks and rekindle old friendships.  There’s no event quite like it anywhere.


It sure does feel like spring out there.  I left my winter coat at home in favour of a spring jacket.  It’s much better for the short ride on the subway too.  I’ve been venturing out into the street with no jacket the past two days.  I’ve explored the new neighbourhood around my office a little… and Baskin Robins is way too close.


My brother Dennis Jr. has been jamming and recording with my extended brother, Keith.  They’ve recorded a bit of a demo that they are going to send around with proposals to the Ontario Arts Council and various funders.  They hope to add some production and distribution value to their recording.

I’ve had the pleasure of playing with Keith and he’s always been passionate about his song-writing.  The demo has a couple of catchy tunes: Broken Arrow and O’Canada.  I hope he’ll bring back a few original songs from the past like Aboriginal Man and the one with the lyrics “It’s enought to make you stop and wonder why.  It’s enough to make you, hang your head and cry.”

What I’d like to see is the Crane Clan play…  Perry, Keith and Scott.  All are talented singers and players.


How did I get sucked into watching American Idol?  It started by watching as a family, either on the couch or in the family bed.  But I’m the only one who watched whole TV shows.  Now I’m the only one in our household following the progress of the contestants.

I started out liking Katie Stevens and Casey James.  I Love Katie’s tone and she’s a real cutie.  Casey can really rock out and plays a great blues guitar.  But both haven’t really wow-ed me in recent weeks.

Crystal Bowersox is clearly the best of the girls.  She’s got an amazing voice and a great edge to her.  From what I’ve seen, no one is in her league on the girls side.

Michael Lynche has been consistant and the best of the men.  He’s been impressing the judges and has been the best over the past couple of weeks.  Andrew Garcia was amazing doing his version of Straight Up and I would have picked him as a favorite a few weeks back.  But he’s gone downhill.