Sunday buggery Sunday

Oh bleh. Sunday again. Start the day with .... cranky lady.
How annoying it is to be annoyed. bleh

I think I might refuse this client. It is most unhelpful indeed.


Connectivity and the art of remaining silent

There are times when I marvel at the way in which energy focused can pull things in.
What other explanation could there be for encounters that are so utterly coincidental as to defy description? It can be staggering.

For years now, my mind has been haunted by a film that rang so true to me I found myself fascinatingly repulsed. Many other people have watched this film on my say-so and found it disturbing. If you asked me why it affected me so, I am not sure I could say with any degree of certainty. It was a film that left it's mark.

This week I had a client pour out his heart and soul to me.
What are the odds he knows the filmmaker? And what odds the film is based largely on this man's family? And he HATES the filmmaker.

I would too, if it were my family.

Emergency call-out to an end-of-life client.
House full of people in varying stages of despair.
I am so thankful I was of use.
Everyone in the room but the man in the bed.. I have been.

Day off. Out and about to the Thrift. I found me another great find.
A beautiful sterling implement. I shall date it and comment in awhile.


Perception is everything!

I had a call from an old friend.
In the course of the conversation he mentioned my prior incarnation as an "Ostentacious woman".

Not the word I would have chosen to describe myself.

It gave me pause primarily because of something I was told a little time ago. A co-worker of mine ran into a dear friend and once they established me as a mutual point of reference, my dear friend reported that the co-worker said:
"You know, she should be an actress. She should be on stage. I just don't know why she isn't."

My dear friend found this to be endlessly amusing and kept his thoughts to himself until he could gleefully call me and hold forth.

It never really crosses my mind when *I* meet people what they should be. What I think they should be doing with their lives. I just like people alot and love to hear their stories. It is a fascination and a passion. I love people. I love feeling useful. The idea of my *ostentaciousness* was alien to my primal self-concept however it brought a little idea to mind.
I called a few people and in the course of our conversations asked them how they would describe me to others in just a word or two.

People close to me in my very younger years said:"Crazy. In a good way of course."
--- uhm, thanks. I think

People from my twenties said: "Outrageous. Fun. " Three people used those words.
---- uhm, ok.

People from my early thirties: "Tres jolie." "flambuoyant" "Fun"
----- still not quite my own perceptions but hmm, okay.

People now: "Confident." "Fun" "Joyful"
and yes... "Sparkley". "Bright". "Showey."
And what does showey mean anyway? Is it a comment on personality or ornamentations?

Is this evolution or devolution.
If I was describing myself in a word I would say "content".

I also got *Flambuoyant* alot. I dont think of myself that way.
I am just a magpie who loves shiny things.
Shiny me.
Shiny shiny.

Fierce passions discompose the mind,
As tempests vex the sea;
But calm content and peace we find,
When, Lord, we turn to thee. ~ William Cowper, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 131


Med Check

Just a med check.
A medication reminder.

"Hello Sir. This is your friendly evening medication reminder visit."
--client gets meds. Client takes meds. I sign his book. He signs my book.
In and out. 5 or ten minutes tops.

I had forgotten to drive by this home to see where it was in the daylight.
Generally I do not work out of my posting but there is another snowfall today making certain areas inaccessible and some workers cannot get to work for love nor money.
Being a reasonable person I took MY share of extra clients. I did 3 more and the last one was this med reminder.

Driving along the beautiful homes road and trying desparatly to see through the fog from the now-melting snow to the house numbers with little success. I would drive a few hundred feet, put my flashers on, dash from the car to the driveway entrances and look for the number. (repeat) Finally I got my address and was rather surprised to see the driveway unploughed. A very long driveway at that. I left my car on the roadway and hiked on in.

The home was large and looked like an outsize chalet. It was also dark. A very large dog began to bark and then the door opened to a gentleman in his housecoat. He was somewhat dishevelled and offered an apology and a greeting.

"I cannot see. May I turn a light on please?"
"Certainly." He flicked a switch to reveal a huge kitchen. There were three very large paintings on the walls. I knew right away the artist was in front of me.

"What do you see my dear?"
"I see emotion. Alot of emotion."

"Come through here. I want to show you something. What do you see in here?"
He opened the door to a very large living room/dining room. The walls were pumpkin coloured and again on each wall a huge canvas was on display. The calibre of craftsmanship was very high. The works owed alot to Picasso but had a very strong flavour of the gentleman by my side. He was watching me intently.

"I could care less what you think of them. Just tell me what you see."
I looked at the first. It was perplexing. And complicated. I was not sure what I saw.
The second and third were easy. People at the beach. Children playing in the sun.
"I see joy."

He turned me to the large canvas the complicated one.
"And here? What is this here?"

I really could not put a word to it. It was a woman. Two or three poses justaposed onto each other. She was blank. She was angry. She was uncertain. I was uncertain!

"Well? What do you see?"
I still could not form a response.

"This is LOVE. This is the woman I loved. I married. I had three children with."
No wonder I couldnt make sense of it. Love has always made me so.
"She is also the women who left me. Who had enough of it and left. I don't blame her."
I could feel the sorrow in the air.

"Come here and see this"

He took me to his studio. It was dark and he shut the door after me.
I had a dim awareness that this perhaps was not the wisest course of events.
But art and artists are very familiar to me.
I did, however, notice that ALOT of the paintings were nudes. Alot of them were female nudes.

"What do you see in here?"
Before I could answer he said: "This is my life. You are surrounded by MY life."
Yes, I certainly was.
"I see a life dedicated to art."

"And what do you think about artists?"
What indeed. If he only knew what he was asking and who he is asking it of.
What indeed do I think of artists?
"I think it is a calling and a demand. You do not choose art. It chooses you."
"NOONE would choose this life." He was almost crying.
"The pain of it is unbearable at times."
Yes, I know.

Surrounding me were newspaper clippings and art show notices.; sketches and notebooks stuffed full with musings. I saw thousands of canvasses stored. I saw a life.

"You are showing me a HUGE life."

"This is me. This was me. Before this medical happening. I am lost in it now."

He saw my book. He saw my name.
"Are you related to ."
"Very distantly. We share a common ancestor, in fact its my great-great-grandmother. Tenuous relationship at best."
"I never did like mathematics. Did you read his books?"
"Is this a test? its HISTORY. And no. I never much cared for his books either. I found them largely pendantic and boring. The premise is interesting. The execution of ideas ponderous. Not my cuppa."
"Yes yes quite right. It was a test. haha! History indeed."
We both laughed.
"But you are not related to the Royal family are you?"
"Oh horrors. I sure hope not."
He roared with laughter.

Suddenly he looked at me appraising me... mene mene tekel...?
"What do you really do?"
"Oh you do more than this, You are more than this. What do you do?"
"I suppose I write."
"Yes that fits. I can see that."
He was satisified.

He showed me a few more things and then suddenly he knew it was time for me to go. Past time really. Past time plus 30 minutes.
"Next time we will resume where we left off."

"This is a beautiful home Sir."
"It is beautiful with your energy in it. You fill up the space with happiness."
He took my hand as if to shake it and then grasped it tightly.
I looked at him quizzicly.
"I am really rather quite a snob." He said looking intently at me again.
"You are?"
"I like the idea you are related to "
I laughed. It was a funny thing to say.
But you know I am a little bit that way myself and not half as honest about it.

"Ok I have to go now."

He saw me to the walkway, bathrobe and all.

Thank GOD I am not his bathgirl.
Rogues and artists..... not like the Scribe so genteel and refined. This is more raw more primal more unpredictable. Even if he was 100 years old I would not want to be his bathgirl.


Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.
- Jules Feiffer

I remember Francis Bacon would say that he felt he was giving art what he thought it previously lacked. With me, it's what Yeats called the fascination with what's difficult. I'm only trying to do what I can't do.
Lucian Feud


~*~ Beddie bye byes Bill ~*~

It always starts with a fall. The falling thing seems to start a process of diminishmentin so many people. It is not the fall itself that it the hazard, it is the combination of a cogniscience of fraility and a a loss of self-confidence. Bill is in this category.

There are client-specific instructions posted in every client's home.
Bill's clearly read : "settle client back into bed before leaving after respite block"
In case you might not see them at a glance they are, in his case, highlited in PINK highliter.
Still, someone knew better and left him up. Bill got up from his chair, walked into his bedroom and then fell down hard on the carpet. Being Bill he naturally thought his wife could get him up.
Thankfully she refused. His plan 2 was to get her to call the neighbour. Thankfully the neighbour also was unable to get him up. Finally he relented and *allowed* an ambulance to be called.
By the time they arrived Bill had wangled himself across the floor to near his pole. One leg was twisted beneath his body.

Being Bill he elected NOT to go to Hospital. Being trained Attendants, they ambulance people took his wife to another room and carefully explained that she was obliged to sign a form saying she was the person responsible for his care and she understood that leaving him in the home meant that she took on this task. Alas, she signed.

The closest I can get to saying "Are you CRAZY? Send him to Hospital!" is to gently say:
"Ask your Doctor about convalescent care."

Perhaps this time she will. I like Bill very much. I understand his desire to be at home.
I know that he doesn't mean to be snarly and cranky and demanding of his wife.
I also know that it is time for her to retire too.

One of my hardest life lessons has been realizing that holding on to a person, a goal or a dream can be destructive.
Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
Garden Gate


It's not the cough that carries you off...

'It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in.'

At least that's the way I heard it said.
I was in the Thrift and people were hacking and coughing.
At a client's, as I bent over to tuck a sling under he coughed and sneezed in my eyes.
In the line-up at the grocerteria, more people coughing.
For pity's sake people STAY HOME.

Now it is ME coughing tonight and most probably there will be no work for me tomorrow.
I do not believe in spreading germs among my clientelle THAT particular way.



I know two kinds of audience only -
one coughing and one not coughing. ~ Artur Schnabe


Thrifty thrifty me

Everyone has their addictions; mine is to thrift stores.

It helps to live in a place where there is one of the VERY best Thrift stores anywhere.
It helps to work a shift that finishes early enough to enable me to stroll through the store on my way home.
It helps to live nice and close to the store so travelling there is not a problem.
Lucky lucky me.

I have been overly-blessed by this pursuit, especially lately.
I have a very good eye and I am very quick. This store is not my own private little treasure trove. There are legions of dealers every single day picking through the same things I am. All the more reason to feel incredibly blessed.

Yesterday I found a PALM: A Visor Edge. It was under glass in the Boutique section where the better stuff is. I thought my eyes were deceiving me. After asking to see it and asking the woman behind the counter what it was, she offered to plug it in and check.
"The plug doesn't seem to work"
I realised it was a USB plug and said:
"Just put it in a bag. For $3.99 I will take it home and figure it out."
Yes, that is correct. Three dollars and ninety-nine cents.
Go me!!

This is not the only thing I have gotten in the last while.
My philosophy is to buy better, donate good. I do not hoarde, I share.
I also believe my income is a gift from God to use wisely. So you bet I donate what I have when I find something better. This willingness to releash I truly believe brings more things my way.

Last week I got a futon that has just been reupholstered in a beautiful tapestry brocade.
Forty-five dollars. --whee!!
This enabled me to give my couch to someone who required one.

I got a lamp for 4.99 a few weeks ago that needed a shade. Got the shade yesterday for 3.99
This is a floorstand lamp of brass. It is beautiful.
Usually it is clocks. I have bought crystal clocks for 2 dollars. Vintage phones for 15 dollars.
Gilt mirrors for five dollars. And on and on.
Today I am just happy about the PALM. That is just the best score this year.
Well, aside from the Swiarokski crystal chandelier I got for $129.


"I like shiny things, even if they don't physically shine. It takes a shiny thing collector to understand that concept."


Call me trouble (maker)

"Who is meeting you today ?"

"I am not sure. It could be anyone."

"This is ridiculous. I do not have a schedule, and I have no idea who is coming. They told me this would not happen. They told me I would be getting the same people. And now it is just whoever walks in my door."

---blah blah rant blah
It gets wearisome this blaming. Unhappy people find unhappiness everywhere.
Every time I walk into this home, I am hearing about some incompetant soul.
Alot of times it is US of course that is being spoken of. Today I just found things to do and bit my tongue. In walks the other person and it was a welcome sight. Before you could say: "I did it!" the other person was sitting down and playing the blame game with the family.

"I am going into the other room so you can talk about me too."

"Oh hahaha, she is so funny."

Am I?


"'Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!'"

When in doubt, quote Alice in Wonderland.
I always do.

Damn weather is being persistent.
I just dug out my car and again it snows.

Slip Sliding away...

Oceanside driving in this white stuff is scary. People either drive huge vans or other luxury multi passenger vehicles, in which case they spent the big bux and drive quite sensibly -OR- they have old tired pick-up trucks with chipped paint and a foot of snow on the roof in which case they drive like rednecks. The latter seem to be out in force.

Half our area is without power. The other half are huddled at home in front of their televisions.
Someone in an ancient Dodge pickup almost drove over me. At least he had the decency to shrug.
I suspect he had no brakes. Another truck circa 70s, a chev in appalling shape went through the red light at a major junction. That fellow did not look left nor right and had a couple of HOUNDS in the back. Gotta love the backcountry.


Must be from all the cold: I had the strangest dreams last night. Bif Naked was on the run from someone and we were involved in some peripheral way. I remember the Burrard Street bridge featured predominantly in this segment. Bif was in an old suicide door T-bird and came screaming over the hill around 3rd ave where a roadblock was set-up. The car did one of those Streets of San Francisco stunts and came down HARD. Bif was no longer in the car when it skid to a halt. I ran over and looked in and she was disappearing down some Alice in Wonderland vortex with a very good-looking ex-boyfriend of mine. hmph. All this to her soundtrack.
Damn even in my dreams she is cool as fuck.

The first time I saw Bif was when she was a recent arrival to Vancouver and was playing in a band. A friend of mine had an Art Gallery along the border between Gastown and the Downtown East side. His gf *(now wife) asked me if I had ever heard of "Chrome Dog".
"They use our space to rehearse. You should check them out. Their singer kicks ass."
Yup, she did. And yup, she still is.

If you are going to spend $$ on music spend some on her Bificus-ness. She deserves your financial support. Bif is a great role model. She is clean and sober, a vegan and rocks hard so hard. God bless you Bif.

And watch out for those vortexes.

"I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir,' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself you see.'"
Chapter 5, pg. 28


Oh no its snow!! Everyone drive slow now... 1--2--3

Rarely does it snow in this resort clime. When the white stuff does deign to fall, it lasts on the ground for 2, or perhaps three days. Maximum. That is the rule. Someone forgot to tell the weather this year, and *cracK* oops, broken rules.

Being a die-hard, naturally I got in my car and drove. Not for me those wuzzy snowtires and windshield wiper fluid that contains some super special toxin to dissolve ice OH NO we do it the hard way in my house. At nine-thirty am I was at the bank getting (yet another) bank card to replace the one I lost (again). The bank parking lot was an ice-rink, so I just slid into my spot.
At nine-forty I was kie-yie-yahing down the road to the Breakfast establishment. Eleven I was off to the thrift and a darn good thing too as they closed due to inclement weather at twelve. Twelve I went to visit me da' and marvelled at the lack of snowploughing done in his place. The plough showed up around 4:30pm and for some INEXPLICABLE reason pushed a tiny hill of snow behind MY car. *grrr*

Driving home it had snowed some more and the roads were just awful. From time to time I would hear the accident updates on the radio along with the Police advisory to stay home if at all possible. A few slides, dips, spins and turns and I was home, in a foul mood thanks to having to dig myself out one more time. *double grrrr* (grrr)

Six pm and OH LOOK it's the Bankcard I lost. Now does that not figure?
If this keeps up I am not going to work on my first scheduled day back.
No way. Although, I must confess that my last cheque sucked the big one, and was about two hundred lean of my usual take. I am not sure why.

This time round I have a stat in there. Enough to buy me some decent tires I hope.
The washer fluid got put in around 2pm.
Wuzzy me.


Ole Bill takes a turn

The King of the colourful metaphors has taken a turn for the worse.
He conquered a skin cancer, a very pernicious one at that, and just when things were rosey as can be, some other demon attacked from the rear. (and I do mean the rear)

Five days in bed and he is shouting and yelling to beat the band.
I had five or six warnings from his wife as to all the horrible things he was saying about me and blaming me for. He never says them to me, just to her. I doubt he says them at all, I fancy he more likely shrieks them. I went into his bedroom and greeted him heartily.

"Heya old farte! I hear things aren't the greatest today."

"Aren't the greatest?" He was roaring, not talking. He lifted his head off the pillow and summoned every ounce of anger and yelled at me: "They are THE SHITS!"

"No Bill, you only wish they were the shits. The trouble with not crapping is that you feel like crap all right."

He had to laugh in spite of himself.

"Well kid you said it. I feel like crap. I can't shit. No matter what I do."

We talked about dogs and stupid Nurses and a few other things and then I left.
At least he THOUGHT I left. I was actually out in the living room telling his wife that I would think it quite reasonable of her to ask the Doctor VERY STRONGLY to put Bill in convalescent care. It is not reasonable for the HealthCare system to expect an 86 yr old woman, 4 foot 11 and 80 pounds to be the primary Care provider to a man over 6 foot 3 with bowel trouble.
We administer enemas and we stay a little while but eventually we have to leave. Who is going to clean up if he actually gets a result? It really is not reasonable at all.

The part of me that sees conspiracy everywhere honestly believes that the Government is BANKING on the moral terpitude of Bill's generation. They do not rock the boat. They do as much as they can on their own considering it their duty and obligation. Unless Bill's wife does something soon, it is entirely likely that she will continue to be yelled at and blamed for every pain he feels. Unfortunatly Bills sees her as a workhorse. After all, he married her didnt he?

I love Bill to bits. He was yelling at her to get the hell in there so motioning her to stay seated, I went in to see ole Mr. Snarly.
"Oh , I thought you were gone."

"I can see that crankypants.. Do you need something?"

"What did you just call me? Cranky? I aint cranky! I am PISSED OFF. I been lying here in my own shit waiting for YOU WOMEN to stop yer yah-ing and help me."

"Bill I already did that. You are clean as a whistle."

"Well dammit get the olde woman down here."

"I am here."

"Not you.... HER. What's she doing? Sitting talking I bet. I told her and told her that talking is no good for you. But does she listen? Tell her to get DOWN HERE NOW."

"Bill.... you have to rest for awhile. I will tell your wife not to disturb you."


"The hell I already did. I told her not to disturb you for at least an hour."

"You bloody bossy Nurses."

"So they tell me!"

"Dammit girl, I want to hate you. But bless you heart you are a fine woman my dear."

I went to the car and got my dog who was with me.
I took him into Bill's bedroom and sat on the bed. My doggie licked Bill's hand, arm and then face. We left him smiling .

God bless you Bill you olde farte.
You better not be a beast tomorrow. Or else.


“...Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Frank Herbert


Mmm part 2

Back to the two Millicents.

Millicent #1 went to hospital sometime in this last year after a bad fall.
Possibly she is in convalescent care but more probably she has been placed in a long term care facility as she had some other medical problems.

Millicent #2 was told she had 3 months to live last October.
She opted to stay at home. Christmas of 2004 all her family came to celebrate in high style and marvelled at how well their Mother-grandmother-Great-Aunt-Sister was doing. Springtime her children decided they each would come for a month until such time as mom was gone. Summer waned and Autumn came and still Millicent was soldiering on. She was a marvel.

Not so very long ago, I was at her home and she was planning for the next week.
As we came out of the bedroom I heard her daughter say to a visiting Nurse: "I think it is for the best." The Nurse answered: "it's time, in fact it is long past time."
Millicent looked at me and I squeezed her hand. We walked down her hall and the Nurse hastily left. Her daughter was holding her coat. "We are going now Mother."
Millicent took a short breath and then in grand style made her decision.
She turned to me and smiled and thanked me.
Then she said: "I will see you again. I am quite sure of it."

The office called me and told me to strike her off my list.
"She has gone into a facility."
I knew that. I silently blessed my Father in that moment for never doing that to my Mother although the personal cost to him was huge. It is nothing you can ever blame or shame someone for. Everyone is different and we all have our breaking points, Still though, I feel sad when a person cannot achieve their desire in their last days.

I knew where Millicent was and I planned to visit her.
Like all the very best of intentions, this one was on the road to Hell. I never did get myself organised beyond saying to myself: "Today is the day I go see Millicent."
I had some guilt as I remembered her last words to me. She was so positive in her statement.
Her disease process was much slower than her Doctor's had anticipated, but all the same, her life was drawing to it's close. I was having a guilt moment the other day as I went to see my private client.

Walking down the Hall where my private client lives, I have to pass the Journey of Hearts room where end-of-life care is given for those whose palliation is imminent. I looked at the name on the name and walked in without missing a step.

"Millicent M, it's me! How wonderful to see you!"

The figure in the bed was very bloated and her face had swollen to twice the size I remembered it. Her eyes were closed. She was lying on her back. There was someone sitting in a chair just behind me shaking their head at me.

"I am so sorry I did not get a chance to see you in that other place! It just never worked out for me but now you are here I am so happy to see you again! I wish you were home and I was making you something tasty and delicious but nevermind! The people here are pretty wonderful too!"

Her voice, unmistakeable, quivered and then, finding it's tone settled into a clear sentence.
"DEAR!! I am happy to see you too!" Her eyes were still closed.

I took her hand and squeezed it gently. I know how precious those last days are. I understand the gift of speech in end of lives. Every word comes at great cost. And there are only so many of them left. It is a real honour to have any directed my way.

"Millicent M. I have to go now, but I wanted to wish you a good Christmas and all the very best with your family." I leaned over and kissed her forehead.

" Thank you so much for coming. Same to you and your family."

I turned and left the room. The chair's occupant was now in the hall sobbing.

I heard Millicent died a day or so after Christmas.
God bless you Millicent the proud and victorious.
You ran that last lap as a champion.

But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, his greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.
Vince Lombardi


Another year older....

This old world is still spinning on it's axis although I am told the earthquake over Christmas in the Far East knocked it for a bit. Hard to wish people a Happy new Year when so many people are in dire trouble from the effects of the tsunami that struck after the quake. The newscasts are saying 30,000 people are dead. Before this is done I think that number will reach beyond a quarter of a million.

And what of aid to countries so corrupt they sell their children?
No, I do not mean the United States.
Thailand and Sri Lanka are hit hard by this devastation. The biggest trouble will be getting fresh drinking water. Chlorine tablets are needed. The small villages along the oceanfront where the poorest people live have lost whole generations of their citizens in ten waves. The unthinkable has occurred. Like 9-11 people are accessing their own personal risks now that disaster shows itself as reality. I had more than five people tell me what their GPS units say about how high they are from Sea Level. How strange to be thinking about this.
Happy new year anyway!