About Me

I thought you might like to know a bit about who created all this. My name is Shirley Ellen and I live in British Columbia, Canada... although I was born in Ontario and lived there until I was 21. I'll be 58 on my next birthday. I can remember being a kid and thinking I'd never live to the year 2000. I'd be 49 and there was no way people could live to be THAT old!

I suffer from Panic and Anxiety Attacks and depression at times. They started on a mild scale when I was in my teens and then hit big time the year I turned 30. I was pretty well totally agoraphobic for awhile. While I still have my "safety zones", I have benefited a lot from learning about myself through Al-Anon. Before that I was in therapy and learned about Transactual Analysis and did Biofeedback and relaxation exercises. I am also on very low doses of medication. The combination has helped me tremendously and I still continue to try to expand my boundaries, bit by bit.

I managed to make six flights across the country in two years to visit my mother when she was still alive. I probably attempted to make at least 10 more but I'd get to the door of the airport and my legs would collapse under me from sheer panic.  If you have ever suffered from panic or anxiety you will know what I mean.

I've decided I'm not going to let panic rule me any more... I hope I convinced myself *LOL* I'm headed for Las Vegas the end of May for my daugther's wedding and then will go back to Ottawa with my sister to do some genealogy research. I think I've done what I can from such a distance, I need to be where the actual archives are. 

I also have an interest in the Kidney Foundation. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease in my early twenties. My father died at age 55 as a result of this disease. Although traumatic for me, as I had just turned 14 before he died, I am truly proud to be able to say that in 1963 he was the first successful Canadian kidney transplant recipient to have received a kidney from a non-relative and from someone who had died and donated their organs. He lived for 2 years. It was not a wonderful experience, it was experimental and he suffered many complications. It was a very difficult time for all of us as my mother went to be with him in hospital in Montreal so I had to go and live with my grandmother. My pride comes from the fact that someone has to be the first so that the doctors can learn. I was so happy to meet a couple at my church whose young son had a transplant in 1965 (the year my dad died). I got to see the miracle smiley His disease is different from ours and it was necessary for him to have another transplant a few years ago. This time his sister donated one of her kidneys. He's doing great!

So far I am healthy and trying to take life one day at a time. My kidneys are currently functioning at 40% and although I do get tired more easily than other people I know I really do feel healthy. Click on the banners below to find out about Kidney Cars. You can donate your old car to the National Kidney Foundation and receive a tax receipt.

In the US: Kidney Car


In Canada: 

As a result of having kidney disease my husband and I decided to adopt our children rather than have biological children which would be a health risk to both me and the child. There is a 50% chance that any children I had biologically would inherit this disease. We were fortunate enough to become the proud parents of a baby girl in 1976 and a baby boy in 1979. Our daughter is a beautiful young woman now. She graduated from college in June 2002 and is now working as an office administrator.

Our son was difficult to handle. We knew he suffered from ADHD at an early age. Then more and more things popped up as he began his school years. At age 15 he ended up in hospital due to severe depression and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome - which is an autism spectrum disorder. Here is the link for On-Line Asperger Syndrome Information and Support if you are interested in this syndrome. This page is linked to site after site of useful information. There is a bulletin board and there are E-Mail support lists. He's 29 now and still at home with us, but he can drive which makes life easier. I can't say that things have changed a lot for him, they've just gotten different. 

I live in a great town. It was originally a farming and fishing village and even though modern society is leaving it's mark here and there this village has great respect for heritage. Most of the buildings in the village core are original. They have been restored for whatever current use is needed. If a new store is built it has to be built in a heritage style to fit in. This is a town where the store clerks smile at you and remember you. I currently work doing the website for the local quilt shop. I used to work in the shop as well but I got too tired. I spend a lot of time in there though. My sis-in-law calls me a "quilt groupie". But that is my social network and I enjoy it. I'm also Secretary of our local quilt guild but my term will be up this year. 

Many of my hobbies seem to lean towards my creative side. Because I'm a Gemini what is my favorite one day won't be the next. I've found that now that I'm older I do have two obssessions that are staying with me. quilting and history. I also love to have flowers around and while I don't enjoy gardening perse I do container gardening. 

I started quilting in 2002. A year earlier I had started genealogy and perhaps that's part of what led me to quilting. I wanted to experience what my foremother's experienced. I was fortunate enough to hook up with people from my father's family line right away that had the lineage back to 1583. So I have only had to work from my generation back to my gr gr grandfather. It's fascinating. I don't just want a bunch of names and dates, I want to know what life was like in the places and time periods they lived. I was fortunate to get from one cousin the house our joint ancestor built in the 1500's. It's still there in England. It's a cob and limewash cottage and those cottages weren't mean to survive more than a couple of years. People who've owned it over the years have taken very good care of it. I've also met a bunch of cousins in other lines that I never even knew existed and we are able to help each other filling in the blank spaces. It's a lot of fun.

My favorite books over the last few years have been cozy mysteries, seconded by historical fiction. I want to do a separate site to share which books I've read and enjoyed. 

I don't watch a lot of TV. Sometimes I just plain forget it's even there. But I do enjoy ER. I can't believe there are only 3 shows left! I've watched it from the beginning. We stopped watching 24 for two seasons but are watching it again this year. I like House and Medium and nothing, absolutely nothing can stand in my way when it comes to watching LOST. If I could watch nothing else that is the one I would choose.  As far as real life I enjoy the Antiques Roadshow and pretty well anything on the History Channel. For fun I like the Amazing Race. I think that ones appeals to me because I get to experience what other countries are like from the comfort of my couch. . While I'm basically underwhelmed by Canadian TV I'm a HUGE fan of Country Gas. I also like The Mercer Report and This Hour has 22 Minutes. 

Most of all, I love to laugh. I believe humor is the foundation for a serene life - for me it is an essential.