Thursday, July 27, 2017

Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival 2017

"Gone Mental" (Bill does mentalism acts in his show - thus created a play-on-words for the title!) is a fun, interactive performance that has comedy, mentalism, magic, side-show tricks and much more!

We really appreciate the support from those who have taken time out of their busy and hectic schedules to support Bill's show and all of the other excellent performances going on!

The Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival is a great way to showcase multitudes of talent from local artists to international ones that have chosen Windsor to perform at!

If you can't make any of the shows, no problem at all, but it only takes under 10 seconds to click any of the buttons below to share to FB, Twitter, etc... and let others know about all the cool shows happening! No excuse not to do that, you're already reading this message! ;)

Without support, these events can't and won't continue.

Let's make the remaining days of Fringe, the best ones yet!

Schedule for Fringe: http://www.windsorwalkervillefringefest.com/schedule


All the great performances taking place at Fringe

"Gone Mental" fans we made for every audience member! 

The BIG deck of cards  Photo by Melissa F. Arditti
3 of hearts -  Photo by Melissa F. Arditti

Iron Garrote - Photo by Melissa F. Arditti

Thank you so much to the following news publications!

Windsor Star Coverage - Bill Nuvo - Gone Mental Show

The Windsor Star Coverage for Fringe Festival 2017

CBC Fringe Coverage

Snapd Windsor Coverage

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chocolate Heaven with So Delicious & Social Nature


I've been mostly dairy-free now for a few months now (with the occasional, oops did I just eat something with milk in it moment!) and although I am not seeing huge changes in my digestive issues, I am really enjoying experimenting with non-dairy products that are making my tummy feel happy.

I belong to a great site called Social Nature and so I was very excited when I opened up my e-mail to get a note saying that I was chosen to receive a complimentary voucher to try out any of the So Delicious Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts!

Heading to the natural foods freezer section of our local Zehrs, there were several flavours to choose from, but the Dark Chocolate Truffle really caught my eye.



Being non-dairy, the cashew milk works well and it very subtle. I also love the organic tapioca starch that seems to be a staple in a lot of dairy-free products. The fair trade cocoa is extremely decadent, so you don't need to finish off the whole container (even though you probably want to - YES it's that good!) I also love the smooth and creamy-like texture, which makes you feel like you're eating regular ice cream. The bonus is without the digestive upset.

The only downside is that it is tough to scoop out right away. You need to wait a bit until it is thawed more and then just dive right in with your spoon. However, a small price to pay for such goodness!

Highly recommended and I cannot wait to try more products!

#frozengoodness #trynatural #gotitfree

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Well we had a really special Father's Day this year. Bill suggested that we take my Dad to see Elvis perform! Of course, not the real Elvis (he is deceased) although some people claim to have seen him in their toast, their morning coffee and various other places in the world. 

Anyhow, Elvis impersonators are in abundance, but not all make the cut for engaging a crowd or even having the vocal chops. Our friend Norm Ackland Jr. is multi-talented and pretty top notch in our books. We gathered up Dad, my Mom and brother, Michael, and all of us went to Lakeside Park to support Norm and spent the afternoon tapping away our blue suede shoes! 

A great shot captured by my Dad of Elvis (aka Norm) performing
   

video

Hilarious video footage I took of Bill and another audience member shakin' it! :)









Monday, June 5, 2017

Get the Balance Right

Hi everyone! My results came back normal. My colon is perfectly healthy (I actually saw images of it!)  and so to complete my work up, my GI doctor wants to do an MRI. From how it looks right now, it appears that the issues are "functional" problems caused by my pelvic floor dysfunction (aka overactive muscles). This was not a problem for quite some time, but due to many life events, I couldn't get my stress under control and we all know that stress wrecks havoc on our bodies. It has reared its ugly head and manifested itself in other ways that I hadn't previously experienced, especially with unnerving digestive distress.

My symptoms were and still are concerning and although I tend to be a little on the hypochondriac side due to a lot of previous trauma, I didn't want to play roulette with my health.  However, now that I know what is going on, i'm trying to figure out ways to cope. I am going back to physiotherapy and incorporating massage into my routine, along with also dealing with the emotional side of things because there truly is a brain gut connection, which i'll talk about in another blog.

I find that taking photographs is really peaceful and it allows me to get lost in the moment, so here are a few I took recently. I'll update again soon. Thanks for all the support everyone. Enjoy!


Tulips

Photo by Melissa F. Arditti

Simple beauty

Photo by Melissa F. Arditti



Out for a walk with my Dad and look what we see!

Photo by Melissa F. Arditti

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day contest entry for Property Mom


Wow, I am really touched that my entry about my mom was chosen as the big winner! She won a lovely gift certificate for Piccolo's here in Windsor, Cineplex movie tickets and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

This is a great contest that Property Mom is doing and the best part is that every month another mom gets an opportunity to win something awesome!

Click on the link below to find out how to enter!

Property Mom's Contest - Click here!

I decided to do a written entry and so if you're curious, here it is! Many tell me that I really have a way with words. I am really proud of this.  Enjoy!


My Mom

We call her SuperMom. It’s not because she can pull off wearing a cape and still look amazing in tights, but for the simple reason that she embodies so many wonderful qualities that have graced us over the years.

During the hardest times of my life, my mom still has the ability to make me laugh when she tells me zany tales of her youth. Like the time she wore two completely different shoes on her way to a job interview by mistake because she was nervous or the embarrassing moment when she was walking and didn’t realize she was wearing over-sized underwear and they fell right down in the middle of the street.

My mom is like a best friend to everyone she meets. Her smile is contagious and she holds no judgment because she knows what it’s like to be different.  

The devotion over the years to her husband shows that vows still truly mean something with the words “in sickness and in health,” as she has been by my father's side without a moment of hesitation.

True love between partners can last a lifetime, but the love given from a mother certainly does deserve a lifetime of love.

Strolling through Reaume Park

We certainly had beautiful weather yesterday and so after dinner last night, we took a nice stroll around the Reaume Park.

There is a cute little ice cream place that has a plethora of ice cream flavours, slushies, sundaes, etc... When "chocolate peanut butter" is involved, you know Bill has to have it. Kind of nice because they also had dairy-free options, so he treated me to some lemon gelato!

This is considered a "single scoop" by the way. Holy moly!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Awakening the beauties

A few photos that I took while having a leisurely walk around East Gate.
Is Spring finally here?

Enjoy!









All photos by Melissa F. Arditti 
Please contact me if you wish to use any of my photos.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

I Wanna Be Sedated: The Colonoscopy Experience


Well another month is almost done and I do apologize for not blogging, but I have had other things to deal with that took priority, including my first colonoscopy.  With March passing by (it was also Colon Cancer month), I am not going to go into all the gory details, but I will write about my personal experience because I know there are so many people who are terrified of this procedure and of course, when you go online, somehow the Google Gods direct you to websites that literally scare the sh!t out of you.

So let’s start with my nagging feeling that I needed to get a second opinion after seeing my first GI doctor.  I thought for a fleeting second that maybe my anxiety was fueling doubt, but with the allotted 5 minutes of time I was granted after results came back from my sigmoid, since my symptoms were not going away and I was just in so much agonizing pain, I decided to go back to my family doctor and ask for a second referral to another GI doctor here in the city.  I am really glad that I did because although this one was not taking any new referrals because he treated me many years ago (gallbladder fun) I was accepted and so it was just about waiting for the doctor to review my file and decide what to do next.

Everyone knows that our health-care system is complicated. Most specialists are booked solid and it can take months to see anyone. Back many years ago when I was first dealing with pelvic pain, the waiting list to see a specialist in London, Ontario was almost a year and a half or longer. Thus, my trip to the States.

Here in Windsor, I was informed that the length could be a few weeks to a few months because of how backed up he was with patients (no pun intended). I was fortunate to get in for a consult within a few weeks time. Now mind you I was proactive with calling up the office and letting the receptionist know that I was available at ANY possible time that I could be fitted in and to please put me on their cancellation list.  Let me say that having a good staff is so important, as they are pretty much your first contact before seeing the doctor.  This GI’s staff is remarkable and with the volume of patients they deal with on a regular basis, man oh man, they are angels.

So during my consult, the GI doctor decided that a colonoscopy was definitely warranted.  He spent close to half an hour with myself and my fiance going through my whole history and pointing to the poster that showed the whole GI tract and explaining the functionality of different parts and some of the illnesses associated. Scary stuff, I won’t lie.  Towards the end of the appointment, he gave a good analogy that I try to hold onto when I get incredibly health-stressed:  “You don’t get divorced before you get married.”  So I was advised not to self-diagnose, nor jump to conclusions on what could be happening until after we go through the procedure and get the results. Easier said than done, but i'm trying.



I was booked for my colonoscopy in the second week of May, which seemed like an eternity, but it was the earliest he could do.  Then it happened.... I got a call on “Good Friday” asking if I was available to come in on April 18th because there was a sudden cancellation.  Obviously, many people want to celebrate Easter and since it’s personally not important to me to celebrate anything anymore on the given day (that’s what dating a performer teaches you as well when they have to perform on all those special holidays that are usually reserved for family time and just dealing with so many unexpected interruptions in life) so I jumped at the opportunity.

So let’s talk about the prep. I will say that every doctor is different on what they want done, so I am just stating what my instructions were prior to the procedure.

Pharmacy Shopping List:

  • Laxatives  (I opted for Life brand, it’s cheaper than Dulcolax)
  • Pico-Salax (2 sachets)

The day before you need to fast. No solid foods are allowed.  Then you drink...drink and drink. Only clear liquids are allowed, so strained juices without pulp, clear broth, water, coffee/tea (without milk or cream), Gatorade, soft drinks, plain Jello and popsicles. Stay clear of anything that you cannot see through, red or purple juices (these colours could signal inflammation and ulcers during the procedure where this is none), milk and milk products, and yep booze is a definite no-no!!

The morning before the colonoscopy, you’ll take 10 mg of whatever laxative you bought. Then in the late afternoon, you’ll mix one sachet of something called Pico-Salax with cold water. Keep on drinking throughout the day.

Pico-Salax comes in two powdered flavours; cranberry and orange. I opted for orange since I thought okay it may be just like drinking a glass of orange juice.  I had to buy 2 packages since they only came in single formats, but you may be able to find some packages that have 2 sachets, depending on what store you go to. My go-to is always Shoppers Drug Mart and really, who wants to be shopping around for laxatives?!  Just get in and get out. So what’s Pico-Salax. It’s basically a very powerful laxative that will clean you out so the doctor can get a clear view of your entire colon.  If  you are not cleaned out, you may have to redo the procedure (hello anxiety!), so you want to really follow all the instructions well from your GI.  This is a true colon “detox.”  You can read all about it here:  www.pico-salax.ca


Pico-Salax options

Pico-Salax purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart

The next morning which would be the day of the colonoscopy, you’ll take the second dose of Pico-Salax.  You can drink 3 hours prior to your appointment time. (Ex. 6 am for your dose if your appointment is in the morning, 8 am if your appointment is in the afternoon).

Okay so if you’re with me so far and I haven’t totally grossed you out, this next bit might make you feel a bit squeamish, but this is the joy of being an adult and having to go through health issues.

All you do is pour the entire sachet packet into about 150 ml of water.  It will fizzle up, so then you will want to stir for about 2-3 minutes until completely dissolved. Then you chug chug chug. Follow up with 1.5 – 2 litres of water and wait.  Every person is different so you may start to feel the gurgling in your stomach sooner than others. Make sure you are close to a bathroom because that sudden urge to go will come quickly.  Side note, for me it took about 4 1/2 hours after taking the liquid to start. I actually called the pharmacist because I was concerned that since nothing was happening, I would have to reschedule. Shortly after his advice to drink a lot more water, I was making a bee line for the washroom. Once, twice, three times...and on and on for pretty much on/off for most of the night. An exhausting process considering there is no food in your system, and the Pico-Salax, although is tolerable, still tastes very medicinal. Unfortunately, until they can come up with a more innovative way, this is what one must do. Again, your experience may be totally different, but just warning you to be close to a bathroom, have ample toilet paper, some good sprays like Vipoo, Glade, or Febreeze (these are my top scents).  I also got some Gatorade to replenish any electrolytes lost and to get a bit of energy back, so I wouldn’t be a total zombie. I am happy that I consulted with a couple people beforehand so I knew sort of what to expect.

Febreeze, Vipoo and Glade sprays

A great brand of toilet paper that is really gentle!

Gatorade Frost
After basically a night of broken sleep, the morning arrived with the birdies chirping by my window and yes, it was time to take my second dose!  Thankfully it wasn’t as exhausting as the evening prep, but still unpleasant nonetheless.

Leaving our place, Bill spotted 2 bunnies! I was pretty nervous, so seeing my cute little friends made me smile and was a positive sign.

I went to MET Hospital this time, which was a great experience. Everyone was friendly and it was like a well-oiled machine in the Endoscopy Unit.  The actual procedure...well I have no idea because I was fully sedated. However, being rolled into the operating room, it reminded me of the tv show, Nip Tuck because they had music going for every procedure they did. I recall having my IV put in and getting some tubes stuck up my nose to breathe. My GI came up to me and asked how I was feeling. Of course I said I was scared to death and he comforted me. Next, he asked me to roll over on my side and that was it. My eyes closed and I woke up about an hour and a half later, given some fluids to drink and when I was ready, I could get on my clothes and see my honey who would take me home. Since biopsies were taken and that takes time to get back,  I would have a follow-up in a few weeks, which will be the middle of May to find out what's going on.

So there you have it.  If you have to go for a colonoscopy, I hope that some of this information will be helpful for you.  Never ignore uncomfortable symptoms that you may have because you are afraid. It’s always a good idea to get checked out and get that clean bill of health, or at least know what you’re dealing with.  Go with someone who you trust because if you're like me, I tend to blank out at medical appointments.  Huge thank you to everyone who has given me so much love and support!

Although colon cancer and other illnesses can be preventable and even very treatable once found, delaying going to see your doctor or foregoing important procedures may just cost you your life.

Feel free to drop me any comments on this blog post or you can always e-mail me privately. 

Bottoms up! :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Banana-Oatmeal-Flax Peanut-Butter-Chocolate Chip Treats


Another version taken from the original recipe that is really tasty! It's fun to experiment with different toppings.

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe bananas
2 cups of oats
1-2 teaspoons of ground flax
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of oil
add your favourite toppings (in this one I used peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, flax and raisins)

Directions:

Mash up the bananas well and mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Grease a baking pan and take a scoop of the mixture, roll into your hand and place on the sheet.
Flatten or leave them as is.
Spread them apart on the baking sheet
Place into the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Virtual Dollars That Make Sense



This next blog will talk about how you can make money from the comfort of your own home. First off, let me say that there are no free lunches in this world, so if you’re hoping that I’ll be telling you how to be a millionaire, go read a Get-Rich-Quick book because this is not the way.

Through my own personal journey, if you’re unable to work outside the home on a regular basis due to illness (this has been my case over the last while), you can still be productive and a valuable asset to a client or company. I’d like to provide tools that I’ve used that will help you gain back your self-confidence and find a new purpose in life. As one of my favourite artists, the Pet Shop Boys would say, “there are a lot of opportunities you just have to know how to make them.”

Developing your online presence:

Okay so I guess I did tell a tiny lie, you do have to invest in some money in order to get started. However, it’s nothing that is unusual to the way the world works now.

1.  A computer is a must!! Desktop, laptop, netbook, Ipad, even your smartphone would work for some tasks. It’s whatever you would be most comfortable to work with.

2. A reliable Internet connection. DSL would be your best option.

3. Other technology add-ons could be a microphone using a system like Skype to actually talk to clients instead of running up high land-line phone bills,  a webcam, if you feel like you want even more interaction and a digital camera, in case your job involves taking photographs and posting them to various e-commerce sites. You can always use your phone since some have excellent camera quality.

So now you’re all hooked up from a technological aspect, so now comes the fun stuff.

1. Getting an e-mail address. It is very important for you to access and keep track of your contacts and sites that you belong to.  Keep the name simple, yet professional. Use a gmail account, yahoo, or one that your ISP provides. Avoid using brand new companies who haven’t yet established themselves because if their site goes down, you’ll be having great difficulty with accessing your mail and that will be detrimental to any potential clients that you contact or who want to reply back to you. Trust me, been there, tried that!

2. Set up an online payment account. Personally I think Paypal is the best. It’s quick, easy and most people use it as a method of payment for those who do work in other cities and even countries.

3. Make a list of skills that you possess. Everything from your typing speed and ability to write cohesive letters, to using programs like Excel to make spreadsheets or your knack for capturing a beautiful photo. Refer to a previous resume or if you’re having a self-deprecating day, ask friends or family to help you with this task.

4. Go to free classifieds ad sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji as a starting point. Begin to look at the jobs wanted/services sections and you’ll be amazed at how many postings are up. Browse through each category too. Note that you don’t want to just look at your city, search through other cities, and other countries too.  You’ll find clients who have no issue with hiring someone to “work from home” that can cut and paste text into a document to more complex tasks like web design. Respond to any that you want to try out and write a brief email about what you’d bring to the table, well the virtual table, so to speak. Also mention that you would be more than happy to work from your home computer to do this job/task.

5. Be realistic on your availability. If you have a lot of doctor’s appointments, take medication that makes you drowsy, or just can’t sit for long periods of time at a computer, you can say that you have a flexible schedule and can work a certain number a week (you have to determine what you think you can handle). If you can work more than the regular 9-5 pm, even better as a lot of companies have no problem outsourcing work at various hours, depending on the time zone.

6. Can you “like” or “tweet?” Learn social networking! A lot of clients cannot spend the time going through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various other sites updating statuses or doing repetitive tasks. This is where you come in and learn the ropes. If you can navigate the site and send a message, use the search feature, upload pictures, you’re on your way. One great job that is sought out is for someone to compile a list and send out a standard form letter to certain demographics using a site like Facebook, in order to gain more popularity for a business/product/service.

What kinds of online tasks are available?

Writing tasks. You’d be shocked at how many sites have spelling mistakes and never even notice it until someone points it out. If you like grammar, why not offer to be a proofreader? So many businesses hire people to be a second-eye. Many professionals also want someone to look over his/her work before an important presentation. Can you make sure the data is correct by cross-referencing with another site provided? If you’re fond of academia, students are constantly posting for help with essays and other school-related materials.  If you have a good grasp of the English language (or another language that is required) offer assistance. If you’re the creative type, there are tons of aspiring novelists who go on these classified sites seeking out editors and proofreaders, who won’t charge them the price that a publishing company would. As a freelance editor, you’re providing professional service at a fraction of the price. If you charge as an example $2-3 per page, and the person has 300 pages, that’s not too bad for doing something that you enjoy and will help them out.

Translation services. This one is HUGE! If you know a second or third language, you’re rolling in dough. Seriously, there are so many people who want documents translated in a variety of languages. They are willing to pay a decent amount too since you would be a real person fluent in the desired language and not just a translation software program that they would have to double-check to make sure there were no additional errors.

Next is a big one: Survey companies!

Get your voice heard! There are so many awesome sites that you can join up and earn money from. Many are legit, you just have to be cautious about which ones payout and also whether your country is allowed to participate. Some have Canadian or US only, others are broader. I’ve become quite the expert at it, so I’m always willing to help out if you’re unsure of who to join up with. Best of all, these are all FREE!!! You should never join a survey club that asks you to pay money. The surveys range from 5 minutes to the most an hour. If it’s longer than that time-frame, they will often compensate you more. Companies always want your opinion on new products and based on your demographics, you can be eligible to participate. Again, this is all done online. Some even have communities where you can chat with other people and make new friends. They are called online focus groups and forums. If you’re okay with giving feedback on a variety of topics from health to technology, this is a great way to earn some extra bucks or gift cards. You can even donate your money to charity if you wish to.

A few things to note:
  • Be honest in your responses.
  • Only give out information that you feel comfortable with. Many surveys will include a -ine of “prefer not to say” so there is that option and they will never ask you things like credit card number, social insurance number, etc… If they do, immediately exit that site and delete your account.
  • Make sure to claim any earnings on your taxes. It may not be a lot, but it's just the right thing to do.
The fun and easy referral process:

Many survey companies often ask you to “refer a friend.”  This is always a great incentive too because if a friend joins up on your referral, you are both compensated. Just make sure to follow the instructions so your friend doesn’t go directly to sign up and eliminates your chance at earning more.

So now to find the right job for you:

Find your passion. As an example, if you love watching movies, find someone who wants what is termed as a “ghostwriter” (an individual who posts online anonymously on behalf of a client/company) to post reviews.  Mention that you would be happy to write a sample review, this will entice and see if you are a good fit for the job. You can make excellent money posting film reviews for various sites and also get free dvds at the same time.  Just make sure you find out what kinds of movies you’d be responsible for as some may be along the lines of adult-related material.

Those are just some tips that can help you earn some extra cash and keep you feeling productive!

Please send me a note by replying to this blog or you can e-mail me,  if you’d like to know some of the sites I belong to that do pay out and I’ll be happy to send you referral links.