Yesterday Brad found out he passed the last of 4 exams to give him his 3rd class Power Engineer Certificate.
This was a HUGE accomplishment. Brad was already a 4th class engineer, he became one in 2007.
To give you some idea of this road he went on we have to go back a number of years. Brad was working as fuel truck driver at a construction company back in Thunder Bay. One evening he stepped wrong , slipped & fell approx 100 ft to the ground. He crushed several vertebrae in his back. He was unable to go back to work on the fuel truck as the constant bending & pulling of the massive hose would have put him in a wheel chair in about 10 yrs, so his doctors said.
So, he went back to college! I believe he was 45 yrs old at the time, in school with the 20 yr olds lol! He graduated in 2007 & began applying for jobs, which is what brought us to Lethbridge. He was hired on here as an engineer.
In 2009 one of his bosses encouraged him to try for his 3rd class license, a step above the 4th & harder to achieve. He passed the first 2 of the 4 required exams within 2 yrs., but then he suffered from another bipolar episode which landed him in the hospital for treatment, & off work while he recovered.
When a bipolar episode happens you are not over it when the mania diminishes, the mania is always followed by depression. The brain is actually bruised from the episode & requires sometimes a year to fully heal.
Brad went back to work within 3 months of getting out of the hospital, big mistake, he was not fully recovered. So, 6 months later he had another episode, back into the hospital. There was just no way he could study, he needed to heal. When he felt ready he began studying again & wrote the 3rd exam of the 4 required & failed , so he wrote it again, he failed again.
Frustrated he didn't want to continue. After a couple of weeks he changed his mind & started studying again. Instead of writing the 3rd exam he had failed twice, he decided to write the 4th exam in the series. He didn't get a spot in Lethbridge to write it, so he had to drive to Calgary. The collies & I went with him for support, I drove & he studied all the way there :)
By the way, these exams are 3 hrs long with over 150 questions, essays & drawings to be done. 2 weeks later we found out he had passed it, phew! I cried, I don't think I could have handled seeing his disappointment again.
So now he had 3 down & one to go, the dreaded 3rd exam that he had already failed twice in a row, and by failing, I mean only by a couple of percent , but still not good enough to pass the requirements.
3 weeks ago he wrote the 3rd exam again. You can imagine the torture of waiting for the results, ugh!
I came home yesterday & he was mowing the lawn , when I got out of the van he turned off the mower & told me the news. There we stood on the front lawn hugging, I cried, he probably wanted to but didn't :)
4 years from the start of this journey to the end, 4 long years.
Brad's side was so hard, imagine at 50 studying again, every single day, for hours he studied. I couldn't do it, no way. Also to be bipolar & be able to concentrate & study is amazing.
From my side, I had to deal with the pain when he failed, to see him upset & frustrated & feeling like a failure, it hurt my heart. I tried to be encouraging, telling him not to give up, try once more. It was exhausting at times, & now that it is over the relief is overwhelming. I didn't realize the stress I was under, & the pressure he was under. Now it's gone, I find myself getting choked up alot! I am just so thrilled for him !
Brad is now looking for a 3rd class position which will hopefully not mean moving again. I just couldn't do it, I left my life in Thunder Bay in 2007 to move here, I have so many wonderful friends & such a support group I just can't imagine going anywhere else.
With any luck our dream of owning our own home will come true. Imagine being 50 plus & not owning your own home, it saddens me. I want it so bad. Unfortunately with bipolar disorder when you have episodes you don't work, bills pile up........ but touch wood only good things are in store for Brad & I. I think we deserve it.....god I'm proud of that man ♥
So the Blazingstar girls are coming into season, early!! Kona decided she would come in a month early! Cava & Puffin should be coming in soon as well.
It is very exciting, but I am keeping my cool for the most part as I learned the last time around that nothing is a sure thing.
Liz is breeding 3 girls this time......
KONA, who will be the first to be bred , is owned by Judy who lives here in Lethbridge, & was bred by Blazingstar.
CAVA is owned by Blazingstar & was bred in the UK
PUFFIN is bred & owned by Blazingstar
I have been on the waiting list for about 3 1/2 yrs now. It will be well worth the wait. Hopefully all 3 girls will get pregnant & all have a nice variety of boys to choose from. I get pick male so it will be awesome to watch them grow!
I would be happy to have a puppy from any of these litters, I know all 3 of these girls & love each one. I love the choices for the sires of the puppies as well. Liz has researched all of the pedigrees to find the best choice of temperament, health & hopefully longevity to compliment the girls.
As for colour I love both the liver & the black, however, if 2 males were exactly the same in every area, I would choose the liver :) It is also Brad's colour of choice, but he understands that colour will not be given preference one way or the other.
Here is the link to the puppies page if you want to take a look :)
Yesterday I had another scan done on my spine to see the progress of my twice weekly visits to Dr Helen, my chiropractor. It was very interesting to see!
The pictures at the top of the page are of my spine back at the end of April.
The bottom pictures were from yesterday. To refresh your memory, the colours are as follows, green is mild, blue is moderate, red is severe & black is off the charts bad.
You can see how much of an improvement I have had! The bars should eventually form the shape of a light bulb around my spine, so the top of the spine is narrow then gradually rounding out evenly toward the bottom of my spine, I have a ways to go!
The pictures to the right, both top & bottom, show just how off my spine is.
It is actually the muscles that are off, if there is subluxation in the spine then the muscles compensate for it by stretching one way or another. My spine still is very bad.
I have also been doing the Wheat Belly idea of eating which is going very well. I have had some real moments of struggle, but as each day goes by it gets easier. I didn't want to do the chiropractic stuff without improving my health by eating better as well, they both go hand in hand. I want my body to be able to function normally, & to be able to heal itself, without the use of drugs that just cover up the problems.
Dr Helen wanted me to weigh myself yesterday. She noticed that I had lost weight last week during one of my adjustments. I had not told her I was following the Wheat Belly so I was surprised when she mentioned weight loss. I asked her how she knew , she said by the feel of my body, cool huh!
Anyway because I hate knowing my weight I was hesitant, but she said it would be good to keep track once a month, so I agreed. I had weighed myself once at home awhile back & was horrified. You can imagine my shock when the scale at Dr Helen's had me 8 pounds heavier then I was a home! I almost cried, it bothered me all day. I was disgusted in myself, really really disgusted. I felt like it was going to take forever for me loose all this weight. I was thinking about how hard I have been trying, & how difficult it has been, & to see my weight even higher just about killed me :(
It took me all day to talk myself out of beating myself up. I realized that I was already one month into making changes, & who knows what I weighed a month ago, I could have lost 20 pounds for all I know.
Anyway I just wanted to share my struggle with you, maybe I can help someone else who is struggling as well. It just takes that one thing to get you started. I didn't know that going to a Fibromyalgia workshop would make me interested in seeing a chiropractor but it did. Then going on a day trip to a dog show with Liz was the other moment that changed everything, when Liz mentioned the Wheat Belly book , something in me thought, I can do that, or at least give it a try.
So there you have it, one month later....I'll continue to do an update once a month, I think it will be fun to see how much has changed
Parker has been here for 3 nights now. I can't believe what a good puppy she is, hats off to Tammy, she has done a wonderful job.
Parker hasn't messed in the house , not even once. She plays quietly on her own if Kort isn't interested. Right now she is having a nap on the couch while I mess around on the computer. She sleeps in her crate at night without a peep, not even if the dogs get up & wander around.
Yesterday I joined Perkins & his dad for a walk at a local park. She didn't pester Perkins at all even though she had never met him, we all just carried on walking like she had been doing it forever. We saw kids, other dogs, skate boarders, roller bladers & even a big water truck drove by right beside us, nothing fazed her.
I seriously love her, like want to keep her love her! It is fun to watch Kort running around in the yard playing with her, Tate wouldn't play with Kort when he was a puppy, poor guy. I can now see that Kort is going to be an awesome big brother to my puppy. He is gentle, never jumps on her, I was worried about that as Kort was rolled as a puppy himself & sprained his shoulder.
The only yucky thing is getting my puppy in the winter, right now after breakfast we go outside, I set up the pool & the dogs just enjoy being out there. I hope our snow comes late, & the real cold stays away for awhile so I can spend more time outside. There will be lots to do inside as well, but it is always nicer when it warm :)
Anyway, tonight is Parker's last night here, her mom picks her up tomorrow, I am really going to miss her alot, I might even cry when she leaves :)
I have the pleasure of caring for a Flatcoated Retriever puppy for the next 4 days!! Her name is Parker , she is 4 months old & from Fly Away Kennels in California. Her mom Tammy is attending the AAC Agility Regionals in Edmonton this weekend.
So far it is going amazingly well, Parker is a nice well adjusted & well behaved young girl. She doesn't pester Tate or Kort if they are relaxing, but goes about playing on her own. She is quiet & loves to give kisses when I just have to squish her :) She is just super fun!! I am totally in love with her! ♥
This is Parker hoping for a piece of cheese, of course I gave her some, wouldn't you!!