A bad week

It was held in the funeral home from noon til three pm.
"Family and friends are invited..."

We arrived close to three. I had promised my friend we would not go near an open coffin.
We went through the main doors and there were halls to the left and right. I went left.
We signed the guest book and my friend was already in tears.

What do you say for a life cut so short?
How can you spin something positive on such an occasion?
I wrote how we would miss the happy times, her open heart, her gentle spirit...

The coffin was laying there, open.
Perhaps because I deal in death for a living it seemed normal to walk in and say goodbye.
I totally forgot that I had promised not to go near the coffin with my friend.
My parent was with me. We had enjoyed coffee in her shoppe together many times.
There was a muffled sound from behind me.

"I can't go in there. I can't. I need to go. Can I have the car keys?"
It took me a few moments to put it together.
She could not even go to the other room to look through albums of happier times.

I took a long look at the beautiful woman in the coffin.
She lay dressed in one of her hippie dresses, holding a bouquet of flowers.
It was very surreal. I wanted to shout: "Maddie, get up! Get out of there!"
There were crucifixes and pictures of Jesus. I was surprised by that.

"Are you going to the Mass tonight?"
Her best friend asked me.

No. I am not going. I told my ex and a few others and they will go.
I am so glad I went to the viewing. Her family and friends had prepared a beautiful pamphlet.
It had a picture of her wearing a knit cap, knit sweater and smiling her big beautiful smile.
She was most at home outdoors. Tofino. Lasqueti. Anywhere trees and streams, flowers sand or surf were.

I asked her boyfriend how he was, after thanking him for putting a sign on her cafe with details about the services.
"We missed the paper deadline. It was the only way we could reach people to tell them."
He winced as he said: "It has been a bad week."
He burst into tears and walked away.

I just cannot believe it.
Way too young. Way way too sad.


A blooming shame!

We shop at the same Thrifts, and we frequently bang into each other clutching items the other would have scooped first. She is one of those women who was born one thousand years old. She is an Earth Mother type-- always cooking for ten, opening her home to strays and trying to make things right for everyone in her sphere. She is a new olde soul, a young hippie, and an entrepeneur.

She had a bad year or two; her sister had a catastrophic car accident on her way back to another province after visiting, and had brain trauma. She had ongoing struggles with her business. She owns a funky little cafe on the main drag across from the water, where she welcomes tourists and locals alike with the same enthusiasm. She baked her own breads and muffins and cooked her own soups and ran the place with love and happiness.

"Please -- come by and see the place."

The Cafe she owns is just down the hill from my place. It is not very far but for some reason I don't often walk that way. Back when I worked the rotation in this town, I would drop in on her almost every day. Now that I am in another area, I only get in there every month or so.

"I miss seeing you."

"Me too, Mads. I miss coming by. "

She told me she had entered the Communities in Bloom small businesses contest and I said I would swing on by. I did try but she was closed the times I got there.

Today I was speaking to my ex on the telephone when he suddenly changed the topic out of the clear blue sky.

"Oh hmm. Sorry to interupt but I was talking to James and he goes to that same cafe you know the girl from."

uhm... yes?

"Sorry, I don't know how to tell you but she committed suicide."


I had just gotten in from my walk. I was relaxing. We were speaking of other things.
And *Wham*!

"Harm, I just wanted to let you know the thing for her is tomorrow. Sorry about telling you like this. "

I made my farewells and hung up. I drove down to the little cafe. Sure enough there was a sign on the door.

"Closed due to the unexpected passing of _________. Family and friends may pay their respects at ____ funeral home, July 29th, noon til 3."

I do not know if she was battling a mental illness as was suggested to me by someone else, or if life just overpowered her piling on and on. It is just such a shame. She was a real personality of this little town and her passing will be felt up and down the Island. A bright light extinguished needlessly.

Not long ago I was in her Cafe when she was ill from something else and had called 9-11 for her. I know the impending surgeries were difficult for her. I wish so many things at this moment. I had shared many a coffee with her and listened to her life tales. I am ten years older than her; ten years and ten thousand different experiences. She would often tell me I was a sleeper.

"You look so sensible. You look so straight. And truly, you are the biggest maniac of us all."
Haha! She saw through my cunning disguise.

Aww Miss Bee, you shouldn't oughta have done that!
What the hell am I going to tell Lady A.? She thinks she is scooping ice cream the month of august for you, and now I have to somehow explain why a wonderful woman like you would choose to end her life so finally and completely. Efficient, even in death.

You shouldn't oughta have done that!



Crumpled, rumpled us.

This role reversal business is tricky.
You think that one aspect will be the one that is most difficult and it turns out to be nothing.
Then, when you relax, something seemingly inconsequential sends your parent off the deep end. The generational shift is showing.

No matter what anyone asks, my parent was trained to say everything was fine.
Nothing hurts, suck it up, don't ask, don't tell, mind your own business and whatever you do, remember the neighbours might hear. It did not take with me, but it sure works for my parent.

"Don't make me leave signs. Community Health Workers hate going into houses where there are little taped up notes from family members."

The threat of notes worked. The transfer belt is in use. *whew*
Now, if we could just get the Office to tell people NOT to buzz the door.
It kind of defeats the purpose when they ring the building buzzer.
They are coming to help get my parent up. The buzzer is in the hallway. So to answer he has to get out of bed. The thing they are coming to make sure is done safely. Such a minor thing but jeepers. Three days in a row.

We went for appointment #1 today, confirming hearing loss is moderate to severe.
Thankfully, here in this country we are finally LAUDING our Veterans.
This includes taking responsibility (after much dying off of veterans) for conditions of service that culminated in health problems. I know that my parent lost both extensive hearing AND sense of smell working on Tankers during WWII. In his working years, noone cared that his hearing was taking nosedives. At home we all just accomodated his need for a blaring television
and took for granted his peaceful ways and calm attitude in a home full of howling estrogen.
If we had only known.
If he had only known.
Come to think of it... there is a blessing in everything. *Wink*

Now looms the rest of the week and much more serious appointments with much more dire possible consequences. I will get through with much prayer. My parent, with much Codeine.


New appliances

A new appliance!! How exciting!!

This one is made of wire and various plastics and was custom made to fit on my lower teeth.
Apparantly, it will stop me from clenching in my sleep, thereby (theraretically) reducing the likelihood of bad dreams caused by jaw pain.

I don't know... my mouth is the most expensive part of me and it still hurts.
It is difficult to go to sleep with something in your mouth.
I am blessed with a very strong sense of smell and taste.
Not real handy at times like this.

I am going to work more hours in the coming months.
I do not want to, but being Lady Bountiful has reduced my circumstances.
The price of gas has rained on my parade too. In a perfect world, I could work 4 ten hour days.
from 6am til 4 OH YEAH
Even imperfectly it could be 7 til 3, 4 days a week and suit me fine.
There are renovations needing to be done in my little home, and a few outstanding necessities like LCD wall mounted monitors. 42 inches I am thinking....

I probably should have just followed my mother's advice and saved 10% of every cheque.
Of course that would have made sense.

Tomorrow I am playing role reversal for my parent for the first of 5 terrifying appointments.
When I was a young woman, I had cervical cancer which was treated by a cone biopsy. A piece of my cervix was chopped off. I was so scared I was shaking. Even knowing it would not be THAT big a deal, I went as if to the gallows.

When I came out, there sitting in the waiting room was my Mother.
She and I butted heads alot, but she always could be counted on in a crisis.
Now, it's my turn. I get to play parent. To her husband.

Life is strange.


It is hard to believe, at times, that I really live here.
The forests are accessible. The oceans right at my doorstep.
I look around at the natural beauty of this area, and the obvious wealth of so many who choose this as their home and wonder if they realise that money cannot buy this.

More trouble in the World today. The Western World.
How much should people in Iraq care, when tens of thousands of civillians there have died since the US invaded. Threaten our lifestyle and the world stops. Threaten theirs and its a flicker on the screen. We are such odd people.

I wonder what people in China think of us? Do they look to my Paradise and think avariously? Do people in China think we are jaded, corrupt people?
I do not have cable television by choice. I hear it all day in Client's homes. Days like today I feel assaulted by the time I get home. Sounds in my brain. sigh

Now, due to being hot, I am off to bed.
Summer is not for me.
It was a 3 uniform day.

The Chain of Command

It has always amused me.

No matter what profession you are in, no matter what your qualifications, there is always a protocal in effect to ensure you are not TOO efficient. Whatever you do, don't violate the chain of command. Orders flow up and down this silly chain, one little rung at a time. Because if they did not, why, chaos would ensue.

I get such a kick out of this notion.
Generally, it is not difficult to ascertain the capabilities of people within a very short time frame. Judgement and wisdom being two of the MOST important skills in our realm, I find that I listen attentively to everyone but some people have endless amounts of minutae to spill out and others a few short sharp incise observations. The trouble in our workplace is that people do NOT share information because they feel unheard. Even when that information is of utmost importance, if they would just think past themselves, some people would rather NOT say anything, thinking it to be none of their business. I always think to myself that someone has to advocate for the client. How can proper care be in place if the facts are not clear?
The system does not like people like me.


Given and got. And chain of command be damned.


Scotty and Klingon

It had been coming for awhile. After all the man had Alzheimer's disease and was past his 80th birthday. James Doohan passed away, or, as the press is going to say and say and say again, he beamed up.

I heard on God-bless-the-CBC that he was a linguist and had created the Klingon language.
How cool is that?

"Qapla" Scotty!

very cool klingon dictionary link

I got this on http://www.treknation.com/ ---
On a lighter note, an audience member — dressed up in a Scottish kilt — walked up to the stage and asked James how he perfected his accent. James remarked that during the war, he met a fellow officer from Aberdeen, Scotland. After calling the Royal Canadian Artillery Communications Station, Mr. Doohan asked the chap, "What language are you speaking, for it isn't English?" Over the next six weeks, the two men became good friends. James taught him proper English; the Scotsman instructed him to the subtleties of a proper Aberdeen dialect.

Celebrate a Life!

Another one of those calls you do not wish to take.
A dear friend, toiling for years in the Indie Rock scene, finally gets notice in the Industry press that results in signing a BIG deal. Oh sure, it is about ten years later that it could have, should have been, but still... it is a very good deal.

"Get off your Island and come home to celebrate!"

"I can celebrate here! I will send you some sand-dollars."

They went out on the Town without me. A little Scotch here, a little smoke there.
And then, somehow, in the early morning hours, a stupid decision took my friends life.

Heroin hates you.

"How would you like it?"

A change.
That is what we politely term it.
A change.

Sadly, this change is in safety risks and assessments.
When a person is a risk to themselves or others, it can impact their living arrangements dramatically.

"Are the others up?" (3 weeks ago)

"I am just going off to see the girls." (2 weeks ago)

"I know this sounds strange, but I cant seem to find the stairs." (1 week ago)

"I had no choice in coming here. I want to go back home." (this week)

There are no others. The girls are long gone. There are no stairs. And she is home.

"Do you know how it feels? To wake up in this strange place? Sure you have brought my own familiar things here and that is very nice, but I want to go home."

Her family was trying in vain to convince her that there is no other home.

"Oh drop it." She said before they left.

Before I left I asked one more time.
"So tell me again about this home?"

"Well.." she began, "How would YOU like it? It is very confusing all these things. I don't know what end is up. First they take me here, I had no say in it at all. And everyone trying to pretend it is all right. IT IS NOT ALL RIGHT."

All I could manage to say was: "It must be very distressing."

I pray that tonight she does not do what she did last night.
Called a cab. We only know because she could not remember the address of *home* .
There are ethical people in every profession, every trade. Thank God.

A change.
It's a change all right.


Talking in my Sleep

After a most unfortunate dental appointment, it seemed Advil and rest were the best ideas.
A quiet night and an early one.

It was a long fall into a deep sleep. I was out in the place, way way out, where I no longer know my own name. It has faded from memory now, an act of will. I was startled awake.

"You will wake up the whole neighbourhood if you don't be quiet."

I couldn't think what on earth someone was doing in my bedroom... who am I? where am I?

I was shouting in my sleep. (again)

I wish I knew what I was dreaming about. I do remember thinking to myself it was probably better to forget it. And what was I shouting loudly enough at 3am to wake the neighbours?

"HELP HELP! Help me MOMMY Help!"

My mother died in 1997.
And I am long ago an adult.

Just goes to show you no matter how old you are, you always need your mom.


Oh Mother, Mine

Oh Mother, mine,

Beside your grave
I reminisce and pine
For happy days that I once knew
Until the day you passed away.

Full of patience and so good,
You were the example of motherhood;
Endowed with God's gift of love,
You imparted it to all of us.
Also the sweetest, dearest Mother
To my sisters and my brother,
You brought laughter to our hearts
And sunshine into our home.

Oh Mother, mine,
Upon my knees
I join my hands and pray
That you may rest in peace.

Irene Therese Xavier


This Space Reserved

This space is reserved for recording the wonderfulness of my favourite older man.
I got him to give me his recipe for Yorkshire pudding. mmm

It was 1940 when he moved into the home where he still resides. It was a "summer cabin" he purchased from a Doctor. His father asked him if the name of the vendor seemed familiar to him. "well it SHOULD son. That is the man who brought you into this world."
Quite an amazing coincidence.

He rebuilt the whole cabin... twice. That would explain why it looks nothing like a summer home and every inch like the beautiful bungalow it is. I love that he made a pull-down attic. I love that he built the closets on the *outside*. I love that he still has his coal stove in the kitchen. The kitchen that of course, was not in the original floorplan. It reminds me very much of the home I was brought up in. A 1911-ish bungalow. Damn, I still miss that house.
(It was bulldozed in a real estate boom a decade and a half ago. 3 curb to alley houses stand where it was... each one valued around $800,000.00 Damn, again. Why didn't one of us kids buy it?)

My favourite older man told me about the year where a *pointy* was feeding at his orchard.
(A *pointy* being a buck.)
"I was about to get him when *boom*. The fella behind me got him. Kept him in venison all winter."
He was a tad miffed. "I got a 7 pointer the next year though. Made sure to give the neighbour a steak or two for hard times."

Can you imagine trying that now? You would be tarred and feathered and charged with a variety of assorted things.

I just can't imagine how wonderful it must have been for Mrs. Favourite Older man.
Colour me old-timey, baby!

For when, we go out strolling,
The world, can plainly see,
That My, Olde timey Baby,
Is swell, enough,
Is Young, enough,
Is hip, enough for me!

(dan hick and his hot licks)


Karl Polanyi was right

(for later discussion)

An echo

It does not seem so very long ago that I was in the home of a gentleman who wanted to believe that he did not require our help. He was unsteady, with a long long list of things going wrong with him. It boiled down to a long life of hard work and a body that was ready for the ground.
He was a stubborn old coot. He thought nothing of putting other's at risk, if it meant he would get his own way. He went down a bad path. All roads end the same place and his ended ingloriously, alas.

I now have another gentleman in similar circumstance. He has worked hard and his body is tired. His heart is worn out. His back is worn out. His brain is tired. He does not live alone. He has a lovely wife who is over 1 foot shorter than him. She helps him around the house, here there and everywhere. She is getting very tired too.

Without his wife, this gentleman would not be able to stay at home. He knows his time is limited and he is hoping he will blink out rather than fade slowly. He wants to do it at home.
I hope for us all, the best possible death. For me, that would mean good pain management and 24 hours care. For him it means, sitting in his chair looking out on the ocean, across to the Islands. It means waking in his own bed and eating meals his wife cooks. It means she is going to be worn out too.

I support them in any way they choose. Prayer support is probably the best.

I was thinking to the other gentleman, and how I passed his widow yesterday without realising it was her. My car is highly recognisable. She was staring after me. I was a full block gone before I realised who she must be. And that, based on the location, not any recognition factor from glancing at her. The trouble with a small city is that EVERYONE is familiar. I remember them all, not not in order and certainly not at the convenient moment.

IT was so nice to see this little woman still cooking with gas, in her own home. I hope the last year has been chock full of happiness and sweet times for her. She deserves it all.

I hope and pray this other Lady also has some wonderful days ahead.

Hope: To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.

so many....

This little corner is for the amazing Art.
Must be something about the name.

Tomorrow I will fill this in.

Tonight I will just sleep.

Loyal and true, the best friend ever.

The sun is shining brightly. The cloudless sky holds breezes that are embracing rather than whipping. The Sea is dotted with splashes just offshore, where fish are jumping. I see a Seal or two farther out and a few sailboats trying their luck. The tide is out so far, the starfish dot the water's edge. Unless the water comes in soon, the eagles soaring above will have them for appetisers. It truly is a day in Paradise here by the Pacific.

After months of questionable weather, today marks the second in a row, where summer is truly here in unmistakable glory. It is not too hot, although the warm factor goes up with every bathroom of every subsequent home I go into. Wouldn't you know it? Today is a day where I am showergirl for almost everyone.

Around eleven, I realised I was dehydrating. Just in time, I guzzled two glasses of water.
My lovely gentle Miss shared a brownie with me. Whew!
The next lady was sitting having a sunbath when I arrived. We quickly turned THAT around.

I finished my workday with a kindly gentleman right in town, who has not been feeling well of late.
"Sir, it's good to see you up and around. How are you doing today?"

"Not very well. I had the pain again last night. It started in my right hand and went up my arm and across my shoulder and then down into my chest and belly."

"Did you use your Nitro Spray?"

"Yes. Once then. And again this morning. And about ten minutes ago."

oh dear....

It would be perfectly understandable for me to say a shower was too risky and we should forget it today and just help him with a sponge bath. After all, I have to assist him to the bathroom, and into the tubchair, all the while making sure he does not fall. He is a high risk.
And he did fall last week. But I believe that is his right: to choose how to live and how to die.
I believe today my strengthy is equal to the task. If I did not believe that, we would not be going anywhere.

There is this little dog in the home. The dog long ago decided that I am an interloper and must be chided. Out go the ears, and back goes the head, and bark bark bark. In dog talk I imagine it goes something like this:
"Take your hands off my Master. Don't be touching him again. Get out of our house."

Last week the moment I opened the bathroom door after his shower, the dog came in. Barking. This week she went one better.

We came out of the bathroom and I assisted the gentleman back to his chair by the window.
The dog rushed over and leapt into his lap. She looked at me and then, carefully began licking him. I think she was showing him that I am redundant.

"Look Master. I can bathe you MUCH better than that person. See? *lick lick*"

The Papillon is not without issues.
Each year, as the announcer for the Westminster dog show introduces each dog into the ring, he carefully captures the personality of that breed with just a few sentences. In the case of the Papillon, the description is less than subtle.
"The Papillion is a very old breed," he intones. "They are bright, interactive dogs. However, without the proper handling," he cautions, "they will live up to the nickname the 'Little Tyrant'."

"I see you got yourself a Ladyfriend!"

He did tell me not to come until quarter to eight in the morning. It worked out otherwise and I was there at seven-thirty, just in time to see him running the carpet sweeper over the living room rug. He was very well dressed as always and today, I caught a whisper of cologne in my nostrils. Thank God it was not Brut or Aqua Velva, it was a soft musk of some kind.

"It is a beautiful morning and you promised to take me on the tour."

Out we went, he with the walker and I with... him and the walker.
We walked up the long long blocks to the railroad tracks. It was a steady incline and I was a little worried about whether or not this would tax his heart overmuch.

We turned about at the tracks.
He waved his hand around and pointed east then west.
" There are a few properties over that way, and there. But mostly it is just bush. The road used to go through up to the Lake there but I don't think it is in use anymore."

I am poor at this area's backwoods trails so I said nothing. I did wonder about the three giant pickup trucks pulling boats that had passed us shortly before the railroad tracks. One had Alberta plates, one Washington state plates and the last seemed local as the driver hooted out the window.

"Yoh Frank! I see you got yourself a Ladyfriend. Way to go!"

Always a gentleman, he pretended not to notice, even though his smile was a mile wide.

We were almost to his gate and the tour of the back 40 when a fellow with a small dog ambushed us. Frank moved to the left, the fellow moved. Eventually it was a collision course.

"Hey Frank! Good to see you out!"

"Hey yourself."

"Is that your Nurse or your girlfriend?"

"Not saying."

"Oh come on..."

"Can't have her. Ok. Nice seeing you. Bye."

I waved to the man who was still trying to make conversation and patted the dog that was trying his hardest to be noticable, and then had to run 4 steps to catch up.

"Can't remember the guys name. Couldn't hear a word he said. All that muttering."

I guess he thinks I was not close enough to catch his remarks to the poor old fella.
I love Frank.
Bless his covetous heart.


~* Bohemian *~


bo·he·mi·an ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-hm-n)n.
A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior.


"Don't take my Independance away!"

A gentleman of my acquaintence had a black-out last week.
He was driving at 60 khm along an artireal route. He had a passenger.
He felt a sharp pain, and then, nothingness.

Raising his head with great effort from where it had lolled he squinted to open his eyes.
He was still travelling at 60khm, on the wrong side of the road, headed for 2 women on bicycles. He braked in time, but just barely.

We were talking yesterday about this experience. He was on his way to the Doctor, to find out if he was allowed to drive. The Doctor had told him there was to be no driving until they deteremined what had happened.

"It is my independance. I can't loose my license. I need my license."

He lives in a little place by the river on the town side of things. His habit is to walk to get groceries, walk to the cafe we both frequent, and sometimes, walk to the library.

"Sir, you do not really NEED your car, do you?"

"I do need my car!"

"As long as you don't make a habit of passing out you probably will get your papers back."

"Oh this is not the first time."

"Pardon me?"

"It isn't the first time I have blacked out behind the wheel. It has happened to me about 4 or 5 times."

"What does your Doctor say?"

"Are you kidding? I would never tell my Doctor. He took my license and I want it back!"

"Either you tell your Doctor or I will."

"Noooo, don't say that. Don't take my independance away!"

And when he kills someone, what then?

We had a fatality once every 4 days in the last month, due to human error.
Needless deaths.

He is not very happy with me, but I value everyone's life, including his own, MUCH more highly than his right to drive.


A thorn in the flesh

A little puppy of 5 pounds sat on my lap. He was not his usual scampish self.
He was moping and not even his bone could entice him to play.
I loosened his collar, finally taking it off.

Because this little fellow is so small, his owner uses a harness, which the pup wears all the time. His leash is fastened to the harness NOT the collar. Earlier in the week, the owner had dropped the retractable leash twice in my presence. Both times the hard plastic grip part had careened across the ground, to hit the pup. It was unpleasant.

As I took the collar off, I massaged the pup's neck and noticed a lump. It was hard and tender.
The Vet lanced it later on, and a shunt had to be put in for drainage.

"I thought it was a little thorn or burr in his flesh, but I didn't find anything."

"Doctor, could it be from a blow from a plastic object that smacks into him?"

"Oh that would not happen from one blow."

"How about repeated blows, unintentional, but still occurring."

We decided to take all the plastic leashes and throw them away. We told the old gent that he can only use leather on this little guy from now on. Nothing expandable or retractable.
He didn't much like it, but he got the general idea.

Neglect is still a form of abuse.



Reading list

Again, a night on my own. Oh joy, oh bliss.

Tonight's read is "Einstein's Space and Van Gogh's Sky" Physical Science and Beyond
ISBN 0-02-093180-8
by Lawrence Leshan and Henry Margenau

This is one mother of a good read.

A going concern

He is looking good. He is freshly showered and his hair is combed neatly into place; almost painstakingly so. His clothes, chosen with care, are colour co-ordinated, right down to the hand-made knit socks and cardigan; a pale blue today.

"Where have you been all morning?"

"Hey you, don't get saucey now, it's only 8a.m."

"The Office is looking for you."

By golly, so they were. But they were looking at the wrong address. Communication, in this Age of Technology and Global Media is still state of the Art 1988 at my Worksite.

We sorted it out and settled in for a long yap, since yet again, a cool damp summer day made a walk out of the question. I did try to vaccuum but he grabbed it out of my hands and gave me a lecture on what exactly he was paying for.

"I took a chance and showered on my own I KNOW I KNOW STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, and I had me a 1/2 grapefruit and three pieces of toast with marmalade. Now it is all done so just sit there and talk to me."

"You are quite the going concern now Sir aren't you??"

"More concern than going," he said wryly.

He is such a pleasure to be around. I would pay him.

Freely given

I value my time second only to my soul.
Perhaps this is the reason my home is also home to so many timepieces. It is a fascination.
I think it is a folly peculiar to humanity; this notion that we can measure time.
It is all illusion and God's greatest joke. Time matters not.

Because I place such esteem on my own time, I have reverence for others' as well.
Earlier in the week I had an appointment with a very nice man for a shower assist.
This gentle fellow is gravely ill, but some days are better than others.
Without assistance, he would not be able to have any sort of shower at all.
I share the duty with another person who goes on a different date.

Arriving to the home at the appointment time, it was immediatly obvious that something was awry. The little dog who stands guard over her Master met me at the door barking incessantly.
This little critter weighs all of 4 pounds but would lay down her life to defend her family. Such incredible loyalty! I followed the dog into the master bedroom where my client lay in bed.

"No good today?" I said as clearly and loudly as possible without upsetting the dog.

"No, terrible today."

"Did you want to try getting up for your shower?"

He lay there for a full 30 seconds. I could see that getting up would be an effort he was not up to. Not that day at least.

"Just forget it for today," I said. "I can swing by tomorrow and see if you are up to it then."

We blah-blahed a bit about the dog and then I made the quick exit.

Now the thing of it is, that whether I do anything or not, I still get paid for that hour.
And whether he gets service or not, he still pays for that hour.
The catch is that there is a 48hour cancellation window. We are flexible but we like some notice, due to having to pay the schedulled worker. In this case, he would have been billed.

Today I called in and he was much better so into the shower it was.
In, a good thorough wash, and out. He is very unsteady but boy, is he clean!

I just suggested that any shower day that he wakes up and feels horrible, he could call the office and ask them if he can switch the day. That way, billing isnt a worry.

Now, I am certain that money is not as big a deal for him as it may be for others.
But respect is. And I totally understand that.

He was pretty happy today.
And I think I got paid double for my work.
Feels damned good, even if it isn't a financial reward.

"Where your treasure is there your heart is also."


Tonights reading--

Tonight (and most likely tomorrow night and the next as well) I am digesting a book that is challenging me in ways I best like to be.

" Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning"
essays on theory and praxis
Edited by Edmund O'Sullivan, Amish Morrell and Mary Ann O'Connor
ISBN 0-312-29508

Visit www.palgrave.com and look at it.
Then, perhaps, we can discuss it.


Also reading tonight (a throwaway) The Practise of Kindness (again)
and a D.H. Lawrence book "apocalypse"
Naturally this is Lawrence at his worst. His most striking vision of what is within man's power to create on this earth. His desire to see harmony between man and nature.
I love this book.
Love love love.

One is an error... two unfortunate but three?

A stable client list with one or two spots always set aside for the imminent palliative clients or the new release ones, works very well for me. My stable list means some of my clients I see up to 8 times a week.

Suddenly, (and without warning) three of my clients all went into hospital at the same time.
Today, my workday began with a trip to an empty house. It was apparant to me from the second I got in sightline that noone was home but I am obliged to look through every window I can and call, letting the telephone continue to ring for as long as possible. Finally the Office called a relative who confirmed that my lovely client went to Hospital with extreme mobility difficulties. Hardly surprising as the Government in it's infinite wisdom, declared her oxygene unnecessary and stopped allowing its use through her Medical Insurance. She cannot afford it privately.

It is possible that this trip to the Hospital, should she survive it, will result in her getting oxygen again. Hope so.

Client 2 was also not home. Oh... again, there was a crisis and off they went to Hospital on the weekend. Client 3 was home and mostly all right, client 4 was on the way to the Hospital (no kidding) and Client 5 was in bed, in no shape for any sort of thing except lifesign checks.

I swear it is the weather.

Looks like I will be having a lean mean week. Minimal hours unless there is a miracle.
Not that I mind. Just would not say no to some extra $$ atm.
Bills bills bills.

The most ironic thing is that my parent who has an income FIVE times what mine is, routinely *forgets* to pay me back for food items. OR drug store purchases. My parent likes to pay by Visa and I am not a signatory so I just pay cash. I am certain it is not on purpose but I cannot afford him just now.

If you haven't any coal in the stove
And you freeze in the winter
And you curse on the wind at your fate
When you haven't any shoes on your feet and your coat's thin as paper
And you look thirty pounds underweight.

When you go to get a word of advice from the fat little pastor
He will tell you to love evermore.
But when hunger comes a rap, Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat at the window...

See how love flies out the door...

Cabaret by Hollis Alpert


Help is on the way!!

OOO thank God I can sleep tonight without the general worries and cares the last month has brought. Help is on the way.

A wonderful woman came and did an assessment on my parent's mobility.
She was an absolute Godsend. For whatever reason, my parent HEARD her.

Now we have professional caregivers daily, coming in to get my parent up, washed, dressed and groomed. They also will make sure he has breakfast and a small prep for lunch.
They will check on his meds and report if they are out of sequence.

The Calvary came throught!

OH John Wayne would love this.

Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.
--John Wayne


Situation critical

What do you do as a morally responsible person when someone is choosing risks in their life that will impact your own and others in a negative manner?

Where is the boundary between caring and interfering?

How does it happen that cracks in the system turn into chasms with noone ever looking around in awareness?

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were right---

Dont push me, cause Im close to the edge
Im trying not to loose my head
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under


Todays Reading List

Today was a pleasurable bathtub read---
"Gromchil & Other Tales from a Psychiatrist's Notebook"
This is a book from 1975 and a very good read indeed.

I also started on one for the lending library-- "The Compulsive Woman"
I suspect I will argue about this one. Anything that proports to help establish guidelines for : Ending Male Dependancy makes me somewhat amused before we even start.

I am coming to it with an open mind despite the above comments.
We live in a society that honours obsessiveness and compulsions.
Commercialism and addiction are one and the same thing.

I have started a workbook on discovering and recovering "your creative self"
"The Artist's Way" A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.

In everything there is some good to be found.
I look for harmony.
but really--- sometimes crap is just crap

The Moment that Matters

And of course: EVERY moment matters.

Lost in contemplation over the wickedness rampant in our times, moments merge to minutes and hours. It is a seduction, this unbearable relentless media bombardment. I choose not to roll over.


What could be worse than living in the dread of a terrorist attack?
I think I know. A lovely little woman told me a story this week that made me think about how fortunate, indeed, I am.

It was 1943 and bombs were raining from the skies. She was 40 weeks pregnant and the baby was ready to come. No Doctors were available as an air raid was in progress. The Midwife did all she could but still, it was a rough go. Finally the baby was born. She looked perfect, but something was not quite right.

It turned out that this wee innocent was in the birth canal too long and was oxygen deprived.
The child has a mental handicap, "retarded", they called her.
A few months later the midwife committed suicide.

Here we are in 2005 and the woman lives on happily married over 60 years now.
The daughter lives downstairs, with as great a degree of independance as is possible.

"When we go," said the father, "we have it all set up so this house goes to the girl."
They have every service in place they could get.
God bless 'em.
Someone comes in to cook and clean, someone comes to take the daughter on outings, someone comes to help with every facet of life that is necessary to maintain their independance.

The lovely woman told me so many stories about what it was like taking care of a child with a disability in hard times. She said that for her, after the war during rationing and shortages was worse than during it. She told me that she was terrified to have more children. God smiled on her and she has a very nice son born with no handicaps.

When I left she told me her regret was that her son was an atheist. Seems he had a very bad experience in life that took away his belief in God.
"He tells me: 'Look around mom. What has God done for us?'"
I told her not to worry.
"I think if he can't see God in anything else, he can see it in YOU!"

She hugged me and I left.

about media---

"The media is like the peculiar uncle you keep in the attic-just one of those unfortunate things."
- G. Gordon Liddy


Learning Humility

When I was taught the definition of a sociopath I had a moment of pause.
There is a little sociopath in us all. Fortunatly, that thing called self-control is enabled.

Whether a product of a life of struggle or an inflated sense of self-worth, does it really matter?
The traits of high self-regard live in me quite comfortably. There are ten factors for the diagnosis of sociopathy.
- not learning from experience
- no sense of responsibility
- inability to form meaningful relationships
- inability to control impulses
- lack of moral sense
- chronically antisocial behavior
- no change in behavior after punishment
- emotional immaturity
- lack of guilt
- self-centeredness

The guilt thing convinced me fullboard that I may be neurotic but I am NOT pyschotic.
Of course, being an overly analytical person I always match criteria against myself.
Luckily, I am not a hypochonriac. Just an obsessively avid learner.

I meet sociopaths in my work. They are not always clients, either.

Mental health is a tricky field. It is too new and there are too many schools of thought to be ABSOLUTE in a diagnosis. There is always the problem of funded research being published and promoted by self-interested drug companies. You have to wade hip-deep before you can be sure what it is you are swimming in.

Today I spoke with a woman I went to school with.
She is brilliant. Her mind is never at rest, and she is a tireless worker.
Her personal struggles are the stuff of mythic legends.
I see the origins of Nordic Myth in many of her stories.
The powerful figurehead Father, the slightly askew Mother, the absent brother off on a Holy Quest, the present Brother lost in an unholy one, the husband no longer a faithful partner...
Brilliance blinded her to the full scope of her heaping helping of life.

I suppose I am her Loki.

We had discussed many times the nature of panic disorder and panic attacks.
She was aware of my research connections and the relationships I had forged among Forensic Pyschiatrists. We beat the topic to death many a long night. Still, when the panic came, she was undone, forgetting everything, and focusing fully on her own 3am of the Soul.

She went on Paxil; coming to me for validation and justification.
Now I am not like most when it comes to blanket recommendations on pharmacology.
But, as a person who takes the time to know my field well, I can see patterns from a long way off. When you as a client or patient, come from a family rife with addiction problems and generational curiousities now pretty much termed as immoral, illegal and/or reprehensible, odds are, when the panic comes, it is not a symptom of a transitory problem.
Your mind has sent the message to your body for so long it isn't bothereing to take the long route anymore and instead is short-circuiting to what they call an amydala highjacking.

Human emotions are aroused in the limbic system in the brain, especially in a structure called the amygdala. Other parts of the brain, primarily the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, can moderate this arousal. If these executive functions of the brain do not perform this function, the emotional part of the brain can spin out of control.
The result is unmanageable rage or panic.

A very wonderful Doctor once gave me his series of lecture notes on a breathing technique that overcomes amygdala highjackings. His rationale being that it is alot easier to teach a person how to breathe properly than how to change their thinking. One flows from the other.
He was right, but being westerners mostly raised in the I WANT IT NOW mentality, most clients would rather take a pill and be miserable than to invest in learning a skill that would serve them well for their entire lives.

Yes, you read that correctly. Most people personalise their panic so deeply they cannot imagine that anyone else could ever have full insight to what goes on in their minds.
Some nuts are harder to crack than others.

High self regard
Lack of self control.... read that list on sociopathy again.

So many theories. So many versions of the truth.
All I know for sure is that my beautiful brilliant Nurse friend is sitting in her home, contemplating endlessly on the nature of her panic attacks. Does she know there are thousands of people in this part of the world doing the same? Would she believe that even one other person could feel a similar despair?

That unnamable dread DOES have a name.

Take a moment and breathe.

Today's Book

This is a feelgood book.
My sister comes to visit and frequently asks me if I have anything to read that ISN"T inspirational or meant to be a devotional. In a home like mine where there are thousands of books, you might think there would be a *lite* reading section. I tend to read lite books and give them away or re-donate them. Only something INCREDIBLY amusing gets kept.

The bulk of my book collection is the result of a lifetime journey studying the brain, meta-physics, grief and loss, mental illness, Tolkien, mythology, symbolism, and philosophy and religion. There are quite a few nursing books geared to specific things of interest to me, but really, you are more likely to find yourself surrounded by essays on the nature of Sin than fictional murders or comedic throwaways.

I have a guilty pleasure. The Star. Yes, that rag. I can read it very quickly, and I consider it to be a latte. Costa lotta and for not much nutritional value. I also subscribe to Hello magazine and Vanity Fair. Oooo how I love them. It is completely indefensible this junk reading habit. I just like it. Sure, I hate myself in the morning. But hey.

So todays book is yet another anthology of inspirational quotes and stories coupled with Scripture, designed to cheer. I knew I wanted it when I saw the chapter called: "The Nameless Dread."

The books is "Hugs for the Hurting"
ISBN 1-878990-68-3
The contents are chapters titled
one--- the gift of rest

two--- the gift of life

three--- the gift of healing

four--- the gift of hope

five--- the gift of significance

six--- the gift of love

seven--- every good and perfect gift

It even has space for journalling.

Todays' other book: I finished reading-
"Micah" by Claude Tremblay
(A father survives the suicide of his son)

It is a very interesting journey he takes us on.
Mr. Tremblay is a man of inspiring faith.


Today I ponder one of my favourite Scriptures: Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

It is a small thing God asks. I have the first part down.
I have the second part coming along nicely...
and the 3rd... well...
I am still being humbled.

Thank you God for waiting on even me.


This from my *in* box today!
God bless you Widdy--
Dear Friend-
As I was sipping my coffee and reading this mornings devotion you came to mind.
This devotion is from Oswald Chambers who was a Scottish minister in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7

We always have visions, before a thing is made real.
When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on.

Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
"Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter'd by the shocks of doom
To shape and use."
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way.
Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.
Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.
We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality.

Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape. The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be.
Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision.
Don't lose heart in the process.

If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.
You can read his daily devotions at http://www.myutmost.org

I know Oswald Chambers well. "My Utmost for his Highness" is my most dogearred daily devotional.
Doesn't mean it took.
I am still a work in progress.


Strange Theories, Hopeful Harmonics

From a very early age, dreams have visited me.
As a pre-school child, smells and sensations; thoughts unmatched to words, danced in dandrites the night long.
There were grande themes even then- good and evil, good versus evil.
The headiness of it all. (no pun intended)

There was one dream I disliked so intensely, that waking from it seemed perilous. My mother would find me with my sheets soiled gibbering unintelligably, or in a dazed state wandering the house, or, the worst times, frozen in my body, unable to move. It was not a dream of things, it was a dream of emotion and movement. Wind and sky and looking down from great heights. Thrilling until *wham* the awakening.

Four years old and trying to explain something to a Mother who just wants to go back to sleep.

I would lie in the bed shaking for hours, afraid to return to dreamland.

When teendom beckoned, these dreams became nightmares. No longer was I soaring in freedom, I was being pursued by demons and monsters. I was terrified. When I awakened, I would be frozen for many long minutes. I could hear everything in the real world but was unable to move even an eyelash. My mind was conscious but my body was not.

By the time I was 22, it was such a problem that I rarely slept. Days would march by and adrenilin and willpower kept me upright. 3 or 4 hours was about the maximum I would manage until once every 6 or 8 weeks I would quite literally crash. That night would typically be a 14 to 18 hour sleep of dreamlessness.

Around this time, I began to dream of the Crystal City.
It is very familiar to me as I have been there many times.
It is a place for the dead.

Many years of this dream before I realised that.

There are other things there; even other beings but they cannot interact with me. The oddest part about the crystal city is that when I walk there, I am not myself, not this personality. The soul is harmony, the garment it wears it not.

Once in the Crystal City I realised it was my dream and my being slammed back to consciousness. I woke up in bed with a migraine. The next time I realised this, instead of waking up, the reality shifted and I was floating above forests.
"This is not real! This is just a dream!" I knew it and THEN *wham* Awake again with a head throbbing.

Now it is a place I go so regularly that when I remember it is a dream I stay asleep but try to be conscious. What strange things we humans are.

I had the most peculiar feeling in the Crystal City a few months ago.
I was seized by the idea that those souls who wander lost for all eternity are stars. Forever drifting sorrowfully away from each other.

The sadness overwhelmed me and I was suddenly in deep space looking for lost souls. It was amazing.

The sheer magnamity of it prodded me into full consciousness and *wham* I fell a million trillion stories from space at thousands of times the speed of light to sit bolt upright in my bed with stars dancing in my wide open eyes.

Noone can ever make me believe that the dust that forms our bodies is all that we contain.

Where do you go when you sleep?

When I die I am sure I will walk through the Crystal City *to* someplace somewhen else.

I am certain it is a portal.

Perhaps it is kinder NOT to remember your dreams.
In dreams, time is distorted. Time is not a jailor; rather it exists parallel.
I wish I could convey what it is like to think and be asleep and yet, on a primal level, aware that humanity is where I am contained.

The force that propels me back into this body is awesome and unmatchable.
In those moments outside of time I know there is a God. And I know that the human spirit is HUGE. Sometimes I see those things I used to consider good or evil and I know them to be lesser things. Not lesser than me so much as lesser than God in me.

It is an odd thing and the thing that makes me truly absolutely know God is God.
The one true God.

Jude 1 24-25

24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.


Since I am too one-dimensional and prone to horrid procrastination, I have decided to meld into this blog the list of books I am reading this month. Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone, but the theme is loss.

A few flicks about variants of strange but similar beings, and a book or 5 read just in the tub.
I still say "donnie darko" is really a great film.
It is about loss AND strange but similar beings.
The best one on loss was "Magnolia" despite having Tom Cruise in it. How I dislike him.
Poor Tom. Not only does he seem overblown but he really is not a great actor.
A great icon yes, a great movie star, yes.
In Magnolia, he acts, and acts well.

Watched "The Last Samurai" and couldnt get through it without being annoyed.
Every Japanese actor was killed by Gatling guns, every horse shot down, but no, Tom's character lived on.

phhht and shame.
(snippy aside-- (in theme of the movie) "But that is not their custom..."
Hollywoods only custom is coin.

Nutella for what ails ye

Nutella and crackers!

Eaten by the glow of my flatscreen monitor conveniently located on my bedstand.
My rolling bedstand with the retractable shelf I use for keyboards.
Decadence? Nah. A remedy for a terrible night's sleep and a day spent hustling about, attempting to get my ducks in a row.

Nutella is one of my very favourite things.
When I was a young child growing up, my family had a property with many trees on it.
There was always a bountiful harvest come late summer/fall.
We had two mature hazelnut trees in our front yard, along the border between our property and the neighbours. They were magnificent! The tree boughs bent over the sidewalk in graceful arches. We could climb the trees and sit on the overhanging branches, and shake showers of brown nuts down to waiting grasping hands. It was a good time.

Only as an adult did I discover the creamy hazelnut and chocolate spread that now decorates my bedspread in smears. I bought it by accident. Happy, wonderful, divine accident.

There are many delectable ways in which to use Nutella.
I can think of one excellent one RIGHT now that has a dim liklihood of happening.

Meantime, pass the crackers.

Book au jour--
"Chronicles of Amber" by Roger Zelazny
Movie au jour--


Sorry bout that!!

Two useless words: "I'm sorry."
Sorry is too late.
At least that is what my old kite-flying friend Ray Bethel used to say to me when I messed up in stunt ballet. I wonder if he even remembers me. I was part of his past; part of before he became a legend in kite International Circles. Part of the olde guard. Rob Riley, Cal Yuen, Ray Bethel... these were the big guns. Two of them still are!

And me? Me and my olde smoking barrel have hung up our lines now. I don't like trick flying or slack flying. I like stunt ballet. Flik-flaks and waterfalls are technically impossible on older kites and really, not beautiful to watch at all. This olde dog chose not to learn the new tricks.

Not that Steve didn't try to teach me. Sorry Steve.
Steve is from the jurassic period of stunt kites too! He even remembers being in awe of me. Me as a pioneer woman in a male dominated sport that was not considered a sport.
You are a great teacher but I am just not made for this new-fangled stuffs.
Steve, if by some miracle you ever find my blog and read this.
You are a world-class flier even if you do live on the Island but still--- slack flying is ugly.
I kinda miss you Steve. And I am truly madly deeply sorry.
Even if it is too late.

More miscommunication. Boy I am good at that.

Same topic:

Hey Steve: I googled you + kites + 2005 and returned 99 links.
I see on some webpics site you and Dan Whitney and The Brits at a party.
Does this mean you got your kite finally?


Best flier on the Island. Best kite-maker too. And best kite ambassedor by far, and by near.
Yes Steve, I am sorry, and sorry is too late.
By kitefliers, for kitefliers, ..... etc.

Grant me the Serenity to Accept the Things I cannot Change


Give me some of what that Francis of wherever has... and make mine a double.

"Life is a series of lessons. The more I became aligned with knowing that I was being given gifts to grow from - the less I believed that the purpose of life was to punish me - the easier life became."

Serenity - Accepting the things we cannot change
By Robert Burney



More on the honest comments front:

A wonderful fellow who smoked for 1/2 a century sits in his oceanview living room upright, dying a conscious death from emphysema. He is not bitter. He is not angry. He is rather uncomfortable in spite of all the medication and cannot bear the oxygen removed even to shave him.

The smell in the home is that of decay, and death is days away, not weeks nor months.
His heels are pooling blood. His arms and legs are covered in bruises.
As I washed his arms and hands he said to me:
"I wish you wouldn't do that. They will only make more."
(He meant the bruises.)

I asked him to make sure the next Nurse or Worker massaged his feet and legs.
He gave me a puzzled look.
"Don't you get someone tonight?"
"LORD ... I hope not."

Heh, God bless honesty.
As I left I told him: "Take the rest of the day off eh."
His quick answer: "I will if the bloody Home Help ever leaves."

Not bad.

(And while you are thinking about this: take a silly online quizz.
This one hits home more than most. http://www.queendom.com/tests/minitests/fx/honesty.html)

and oh yes: my score--- (not that it would be a surprise to ANYONE who knows me)
What does your score mean?
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: you are
painfully honest in almost every situation. While honesty is a virtue, exercising it with your "no holds barred" approach can do more damage than good. You may think you're doing others a favor by leveling with them - about a terrible haircut or a gift you don't like, for example - but you could be needlessly hurting their feelings. Even the most honest people tell little white lies from time to time, especially when they know it will spare others pain. You may even put yourself at a disadvantage by shooting from the hip; confessing during the first minute of a job interview that your last boss fired you doesn't do anyone any good, does it? The secret to being honest, without trampling on others' feelings or getting yourself into sticky situations, is tact. How you deliver the news is as important as the news itself. So instead of telling your boss that her breath stinks, offer her a mint!


What is Radical Honesty? What is Radical Honesty? Radical Honesty is a kind of communication that is direct, complete, open and expressive. Radical Honesty means you tell the people in your life what you've done or plan to do, what you think, and what you feel. It's the kind of authentic sharing that creates the possibility of love and intimacy.
The practice of Radical Honesty is based on the work and writings of Dr. Brad Blanton, a psychologist who found that the best way to reduce stress, make life work, and heal the past is to tell the truth.

The Ladies of the Swamp

I don't cook for him. He does his own baking.
I don't clean for him. He tells me that fills up his day.
I don't take him for walks; it's too early in the day and too cool for him.
I come from a home where I am run off my feet and regularly putting in 15 to 20 minutes of freebie unbilled extras and I go to a home where a client is dying a conscious death and I can only do what he is comfortable with me doing. That client would prefer his wife to do it all.

In the door I walk like the Queen of everything and either we sit in the living room and watch the traffic through the hole in the shrubberies his grandson clipped or we sit in the dining room and yap while playing cards. I feel a bit guilty for enjoying it so much.

"Aww come on please.... let me do something!"
"You are doing something!"
"Yeah? I am sitting on my butt. You should see what I have to do elsewhere Sir. I should be working here."
"Aren't I your client? I say you're working so you're working."
"All righty. What, exactly am I doing?"
"Wouldn't you feel a little lonely if you sat in your house all day with noone to talk to? Wouldn't you enjoy someone coming who listens to you and is good company? Wouldn't you say that's more important than taking pleasures away from me?"
"Ah, ok."

We sat for an hour, the hour I am supposed to be cooking and showering him (but he is full and showered hours ago) and he told me about his family.
"They got no time for me."

He understands they are all working and busy. What he does not understand is his own family not calling him. His sister... who is 16 years or more younger.
"Bah she is too busy."

"Busy? What doing?"

"Ah she is a Lady of the Swamp."

"Eh? Lady of the Swamp?? What is that?"

"Eastern star I think you call it."

We laughed for about 4 minutes. I am sorry all you Eastern Star types.
It was just such an honest comment.



"Come Come Maurice...

"Come come Maurice. What is a simple bite on the butt? It's among friends. Here!~ Give me a nibble!"

Oooo how I laughed.
If you have not seen "Madagascar" thinking it is a kids movie or a stupid cartoon, I urge you to see it. It is hilarious. That is the best line I have heard in a long while.

"Bewitched" on the other hand is abyssmal. I wish I could say it was witty or well-writ but I cannot. Shirley McLaine as Endora is great and the Uncle Arthur character is great but everything else, _everything else_ , is truly awful.

I watched "Anchorman" on the advice of my Macedonian friends. If you remember the 70's with fondness,this will serve as a reality check. It is a very funny film. Stupid funny, silly funny, funny funny.

But first, watch "Madagascar."
Lemurs. Who knew they were so open-minded?

Pride goeth before

You know this one.

Pride goeth before a fall.
It does not mean a fall from grace necessarily.... it can mean literally.
Falling is the number 1 way people wind up loosing their independance. It starts out by a fall.
If they are lucky they bounce. Or land well. Mostly though, its a shoulder or a hip that breaks.

Some people do not make it through the repair surgery with all their braincells intact.
Some people stroke out during surgery. Some never come out from the Hospital.
And those who do, are left with permanent pain at the surgery site.
I oughta know.... my client list is stuffed full of people with these scars and complaints.

When I found my little lady on the ground outside the other month, I saw my parent.
When my beautiful Danish lady landed on the tiles last week I saw my parent.
Living at risk is a right we enjoy in Canada. Living at risk to others is not.
Where is the line? When is your right blurring into mine?

Today I had a woman I know and respect tell me she "rescued" my parent.
Apparantly the dog walk went awry and this woman happened along at a critical moment.
She told me she thought if she waited ten more seconds he would be on the ground.

I had the Nurse check in on my parent.

SO I suppose it will be another trip to his Doctor to try to explain that yes, my parent is very capable and competant but no, that does not mean lying about pain isnt in the cards.

Fear and willfullness. Bad bad combination.
I know where the road goes. A fall and a lengthy hospital stay.
Please God, don't let it be tonight.


So fast!

It is all happening so fast! Life is whizzing by.
Although I am corporeal and therefore technically incapable of understanding eternity and matters outside of this temporal state, I find myself altered as I age. As do we all I am sure.

My altered state loads my imagery on some sort of superimposed pallette of events and occasions. I see change myriad and murky in my blessed paradise. Too much change.

My parent who died had a dear friend who endeared herself to me by those very words: "It is too fast."

My parent who lives on has fast-forwarded through disease and pain this year.

So fast.

My sister who only speaks when she wants something looks back and sees events as a source of blame.
"We are all victims."
"Speak for yourself, I am not a victim. Victimhood is a choice."

I am a victim though.
Of my own poor choices.
Of my own trapped and tangled thoughts.
Of knowing I can be better and still being less.

Perhaps one day I will choose something to surprise myself.

I mean in a GOOD way.

Days off

Hurrah for the red and white and red.

Another day off and this one a holiday to boot!
Time to chill.

Since my romantic plans fell through and my slightly romantic plans also, and heck, even my pleasantly enjoyable time with opposite gender plans were minimal but admittedly very pleasant, its back to swilling orc blood. Woo hoo.

It was party time in the olde town today and the parade was loaded with local celebs and fine folk from near and far. It always surprises me how many young families are in our area. And I don't know any of them :) That's what you get for hanging out with the seniors.

Fireworks tonight. I might even go see.
Another possibly romantic thing I can do alone. *yay*

What is it about alcoholism that it has the throats of so many people? And what is it about drunks who think that mentioning bad behaviour is verboten? I had a brush with a boozer yesterday. It was ugly.

My dear olde romantic disaster Kevin breezed back onto my contact list from Tasmania. He was on an army vessel doing IT stuff. It is always nice to hear good news from people. He seems to be thriving in his career with the US Army. I thought it was somewhat odd to think the Army has a vessel but it turned out it was one of those Catamarans New Zealand is famous for building. I looked at the ship on the Army's website and was awed. Wish my job took me to climes exotic on missions interesting. oh wait it does. The realm of the mind and heart is a journey I can trod fearlessly.

One of the best parts of being a compassionate person is how you got that compassion in the first place. It rarely is from living a pure simple life and being born intuitive and wise. If ever. Compassion is born of events etched into our psyches; events we never thought would be ours to claim. Glorious ineptitude. Sorrow unimagined. Joy unfettered. Ours to share. Ours to keep.

Compassion walks in the valleys of horror and sits in the theatre of despair where no visible exits exist. We live through and we live on.

There is no way to communicate visually how deep those valleys were or how dark the nights. Noone would believe it anyway. You can look perfectly respectable and still be a junkie. And there are many kinds of junkies.

Kevin is one of those people who also went down black roads. Some of them holding my hand. It is amazing we can speak to each other civilly let alone hold each other in love and respect for something that could be possible in another time, another shade.

Ah the past. I was loved once upon a time.
And beloved.

I kinda miss that more than I expected to. The bad part of opening Pandoras' box is you cannot take back what is unleashed. And I am very sad.

Once I was beloved of someone.
Now I am just a guide for others.
I really need to pray a whole lot more for a whole lot less.
Thomas More noted that Christ was overwhelmed by sadness, fear, and weariness which only could be resisted through prayer as Our Lord constantly reminded the sleeping Apostles.