Byproduct of a Geriatric, Transient Population

Did I say "transient"? Paging Dr. Freud once more.

adj 1: of a mental act; causing effects outside the mind [syn: transeunt] [ant: immanent] 2: enduring a very short time; "the ephemeral joys of childhood"; "a passing fancy"; "youth's transient beauty"; "love is transitory but at is eternal"; "fugacious blossoms" [syn: ephemeral, passing, short-lived, transitory, fugacious] n 1: one who stays for only a short time; "transient laborers.

Of all words to use!
Are we not all "transient laborers"?

A metaphor for life indeed.
Now I am off on one of my tangents; non-clear obscurities.

So many people come here to retire and then downsize or die and their great collections end up at the Thrift alongside every other bodies funque junque.
The art of it is to be able to tell the difference quickly as there are thousands of pickers out there. And not just pickers: Bookstore owners and antiqueries--- flea marketers and talented amateurs. They all come to our Thrift. I am quicker than most. One day I suppose I should revive the business. Not yet though.

Another interesting thing about our Thrift is that the book section has more spiritual topics than any Kitsalino antiquarian. Aging wealthy scholars seem to favour strangely titled leather bound books. I got another this weekend. "The Soul's Code" by James Hillman.

Not bad at all.

My primitive art collection is growing too.
I have 3 more Inuit carvings. Very crude. Lovely.
50 cents and one dollar. I guess the pricer missed them on eBay.
I get a kick out of the new pricer there. She looks up things on eBay and prices accordingly.
Now if it was prices realised I might applaud that.
But honey, Noone and Nobody III are going to pay $330 for an enamelled crown and if Mrs. Nobody buys that Sherman brooch at $250.... well: HIGHLY UNLIKELY!

As Jerry Jerry ( okay so it is not the most current review but it catches him perfectly) says:
' "You must be mistaken" (or maybe I'm wrong) '


Time Time Time

It is that time of year when vacations not yet taken must be addressed.
If the time has been allotted already all is well and good but if not then it must roll over to the next year to a maximum of 5 days per year. If you have more than 5 days owing, and you need to take them GOOD LUCK finding a day that workload will allow you to take off.

It winds up being oddments and pieces of weeks you get. I have a few of those coming my way. Being the broke curmudgeon that I am, it makes me very happy to have a day where the doggie and I can snoozle without the telephone ringing. I look forward to this. YEAH!
Do I tell anyone I am off? No way. I believe I have 3 or 4 of these sleeping in days coming up soon. It is going to be sweet.

Do not forget to set your clock back tonight.
I know I won't!
mmm sleeps.

If its Saturday....

The wonderful rhythmn of routine. I love it. Boring old sod that I am. I take comfort and joy in doing the same things happily. mmmm routine.

We breakfast at the local A & W where they use real eggs and real bacon and we can practically FEEL our arteries hardening. Today I went for the French Toast and Bacon and used extra real butter on them. MMMM butter. Naturally I was driving the family car, the car that ISNT mine, the car I DONT pay gasoline bills on and the car I could never in my wildest dreams afford... yes DAD's car.... and we left our doggies in there after a nice walk. I have screens for the windows that keep the sun from beating in and making things too hot for them and I also drape a towel over the window where the sun is shining most toward. Dad hates this because it looks trashy. I have no such qualms. Functionality is more important to me than form. And I do not really care what people think about it as the dog's health and safety comes first.

Part of why this is important to me is that one of the key ways in which I see changes in my parent is in the judgement department. Last year when health problems took my license, I was driven by my parent to the Regional Hospital for a CT Scan. Parking was an issue so I got out and went into my appointment and did not see where parking was chosen until we got out.

There was a note scribbled by a furious hand on the car, which was parked in FULL SUN, and the window cracked 1/4" if that. It read: "You IDIOT! You should be in that car. People like you should not be allowed to own animals." It had not occured to me that judgement was an issue until that occasion. And it has gotten much much worse.

I know if it were not for my very wonderful Sister coming over each weekend I would be in dire straits. My burden, although self-imposed has been long and wearisome. I was so happy when he married. And then that horrid woman off-loaded every undesireable aspect of her relationship onto ME. DUTY, you know. It has been seven years of having a very needy parent leaning hard on me. In many ways the last six months have been the easiest as he is free in his own place now, and my sister visits often. I wish the previous six years had not worn me out but they have in many ways. Helping someone disentangle from an abusive arrangement is thankless. You get reflected anger directed towards you that is misplaced. But it has to go somewhere and you are the most convenient place.

It is clear that what is needed and what is wanted and what can be done are three very different things. It is also clear that it is going to cost every single nickel to maintain the King on his Throne. What a shame his marriage did not work out. In many ways what he needs is a good wife.

Saturdays are cool though, I like them tons.
Thanks C.L.



Out comes the fleece

When I get cold, I get crabby. And a crabby me is not desirable.
The last two mornings as I left for work, I was noticably cold.
My warm cozy bed was where I wanted to be. I had to inhale coffee and oatmeal to get myself in working shape. Usually I can take my time over it but being cold, I knew I needed it in now.
FEED ME (Seymour).

I was rambling through my broken down closet looking for a longsleeved something to wear under my uni when I came across a beautiful green fleece. It has hearts and moons and stars on it and perhaps once was intended for nightwear but once in my ownership it became a general service item. I put it on and *ahhh*
In Spring and Summer, fleece and I are distant acquaintences. In this late fall, early winter it is a very good friend. I know I should take it off. I know it. Maybe tomorrow....


Ray Davies for Poet Laureate of Britain

Yes, I agree on that one.

Where is Love (the Kinks, Preservation Act 2)

In a world full of jive, Full of homicide and suicide,There's no room for love and romance.
In a world full of spite, Full of hatefulness and bitterness,Sincerity don't stand a chance.
And every night I close my eyes And ask the stars above,
Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where is love?
Where is love and romance,
And appreciation of storybooks, fairytales
And the ordinary things people did long ago.Where did it go?
Where is love? Where is hope? Where is sympathy and trust?
Where is faith? Where is joy in simplicity?
And where is regard and respect? Oh where, oh where is love?

This world is spinning and turning
And my head is full of learning
,But my thoughts keep on returning
To the things I used to know.
I should be stronger,
But my mind continually wanders
And deep inside a voice keeps crying
Where, oh where is love?

Where is love and romance, And appreciation of storybooks, fairytales,
And the ordinary things people did long ago? Where did it go?

In a world full of jive, Full of homicide and suicide,
There's no room for love and romance.
In a world full of rape, Full of hatefulness and bitterness,
Sincerity don't stand a chance.

And every night I close my eyes
And ask the stars above,
Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where is love?
Where oh where is love?
Where is love?
Where is hope?
Where is sympathy and trust?
Where is faith?
Where is joy and simplicity
And where is regard and respect?
Oh where, oh where is love?
Oh where oh where is love?
Oh where oh where is love?

Another Heartbreak

It was a bad day for my client. She was not expecting *me* and she really did not want *me* but since I was there anyway I was welcome to come in and sit down. And she downloaded a whole whack of crap. It was heartbreak after heartbreak.

My client is Hepatitis C positive and is suffering from liver disease. She is in so much pain that only her anger at the system is sustaining her. Her dignity is being slowly eroded. She is on a Disability and the Provincial Government in it's wisdom has decreed that no cheques can be issued to her unless she attends, in person, the general offices where she must swear to the fact that she is not out moonlighting. And sign.

The office is 26 miles away by Highway. She has to wait in a lineup for her turn.
She was just released from Hospital last week where she went when the pain became intolerable. As she lay in the cot in emergency one Nurse said to another: "Who is that in Cot B?" and the other replied: "Oh another suspected druggie trying to get a legal fix."
She told me it was only exhaustion that stopped her from flinging open the curtain and saying: "Yeah I am a Prostitute. Get over it." She said she wanted to say that because prostitutes would be treated better than she was.

I was furious.
"So what if you were a prostitute? Or a drug user? It is none of their business. You have an illness and require care, and all HealthCare Professionals are supposed to assume everyone has AIDS. Universal precautions and all."

The list of stupid people just gets longer and longer.
What makes people think it is all right to kick a person when they are down? It is becoming not just common but acceptable practise. It is a vile trait.

I heard more in that visit than I could ever stand. If not for anger this woman would be dead and not from liver disease. She did not contract Hep-C through needles or drug-use but that should not matter. She got it from Canada's tainted blood supply in the mid- 80s. The records of her hospitalization were destroyed in a (very convenient) renovation and upgrade of a City General Hospital. Amazingly, alot of blood records just dd not make the move. They *disappeared* so although her Doctors have records of her, no evidence to satisfy the Red Cross are handy so no settlement for her. Not that she has time or energy to spend it.

She is a little angry over taking a treatment that was reported to have a 98% success rate.
She tested negative for 4 months following her gruelling year long treatment and then it returned. And she was not alone. Apparantly the stats were misleading. The treatment is no longer offered by Health Canada.

So I sit and listen and think about that bone fusion I was slated for in 1989.
Two Orthopedic Surgeons told me to have it. Number 3 advised me to wait until I was writhing in pain, kicking and screaming every hour of every day before consenting to it.
I went with 3.

So when I look at this woman, I know it could be me.
Tainted blood.
A long road of sorrow and heartbreaks.
And for that woman, every day holds another heartbreak.

Keep on rockin in the free world.

But there's a warnin' signon the road ahead
There's a lot of people sayin'
we'd be better off dead
Don't feel like Satan,
but I am to them
So I try to forget it,any way I can.

Keep on rockin' in the free world,
Keep on rockin' in the free world (Neil Young)


again with the puddin!
This time is was caramel. I am not buying them anymore.
My dog was covered in it and my bedspread too. I did my morning abolutions and then came back into my room. And sat in it. Reached over to rub the dogs tummy and encountered sticky puddin hairs. YUK!

Last night I dreamed one of those regular dreams again. The zapping and faster than light speed travel through other peoples minds and eyes and the lost feeling that even a memory of takes my breath away. The feeling was eternity, unending wearisome lone-alone-ness.

No wonder I eat puddin in my sleep.


Ellen's Story

Ellen is really one of my favourite people to attend to.
She has joy and positivity and loves to communicate with life and the world.
Last week she told me this story:

She was born to a simple couple.

Her farming parents were illiterate and could make only the most rudimentary of marks. As Ellen grew older she tried to teach her Mother how to read but it never *took* as Mom had little time and much to do. Her mother was ever angry at her own parents for not schooling her. She had been forced to attend Church every Sunday but School was a no-no. It was all work in those days regardless of gender. Her mother had no use for religion ever after and Ellen grew up loving hymns and nature but never felt any calling to Church or Church-Folk.

Ellen met and married her husband in the dirty 30s. Around the six month mark of their marriage an official letter arrived for her husband, and the two of them had to find Ellen's birth certificate. She had none so she had to go to the District where her birth was reported and have a legal copy made. A lot of fuss but it seemed that when she was born her mother had put her mark beside the name the Official heard: "Allan".

Good Old Ottawa was making sure Gay Marriage waited until the next century.
Ellen remembered how annoyed her husband was and how shocked her mother was.

" Imagine my dear, having to swear on the Bible as to your sex."
"Could be worse, Ellen. At least they didn't ask for visual confirmation."

She gave me some physical conformation for that one.



That Meyers-Briggs thang

OH the joys and sorrows of being a self-righteous prat.
One of the joys is the fascination I have for those who try to categorize and generalise personalities into *types*. One of the sorrows is seeing my *type* describe me and my various delightful (and most UN) foibles.

Which brings us to the Meyers-Briggs Personality Sorter Tests. I had this done as part of a core program in College; it was not elective. Much moaning and groaning and gnashing of teeth accomplished nothing but dental appointments. We got sorted. Then we were instructed on how to analyse our responses, and retested. I remember my shock at disocvering that I am an Introvert. Years of training myself to act in an extroverted manner did not change the fact that I am, at heart very shy. We had alot of fun with it, mostly involving much mockery of yours truly, but in the end we did learn valuable things to take forward.

iNFj-(read about it if you dare)
Take the test yourself http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

It is sobering that a tool like this could be so accurate in my case.
But then I am the consummate stereotype.
Or is that archetype.

ya ya...


She always thanks me so effusively...

We are regulars, she and I. We have a Sunday appointment for a shower. I guess on paper she must be incontinent or there would BE no daily showers. She is one of those people who really need support to stay in their homes independantly and we do not do a whole lot other than assist in the shower so she does not fall.

I admire this person tremendously as she is well aware of her declining health and can discuss it in rational terms without being maudlin or bitter. She really lives to the best of her ability. It is less and less beautiful for her but she finds moments in every day. That is all she can find. Moments.

We finish her shower and I clean up. I go and check out her kitchen and tidy a little. We have it down to a good routine now. She settles herself on her couch which is on concrete bricks now. This way she can sit on it without yoo much pain as she goes down, and she can get up without heaving herself or hoisting. She has a failing heart, kidneys at 12% function and a hip that was replaced after a bad fall that pains her no end. She is unable to deviate at all from a very strict diet. Her home is full of pictures of her husband now gone 8 years. Her journal sits on the hassock and it is titled: "Letters to Jim." She writes to her husband when things get too much to bear.

We always chat for a while as I can see she is such a people person. She tells me the greatest stories about things of long ago and I hang on her every word. She is really insightful.
Every day when I leave she gets up and sees me to the door. She then thanks me each time for the chat. Sometimes she says: "Thank you so much for listening to me. I really enjoyed our talk." I always tell her the truth: "It is totally MY pleasure and I thank you."
If I could get away with it I would bow. Actually I did bow a week or so ago and she laughed at me. I meant it though: complete respect.

I am seized with another idea.
I believe that my Sunday clientelle are failing. My regulars, 2 out of 3, are very much close to the time when they will NOT be on my schedule. I wish I had more time to listen to all that living history. I can only do my little thing one person at a time. Just one. And some days it is just one out of them all that I can give something of myself too. I get it back so very richly.


The things we think, the things we remember

Oh the things we think!

I wake up breathless and rumble around my room for a pen.
It is not clear where my mind puts all this stuff when I am awake and walking around in this world. Must have a huge trunk up in my attic. A whole new definition to:
"Junk in the trunk."

The day passes uneventfully. I have decided that the Government is about to pinkslip my branch of Health Services. This based on the criteria used to assess my parent. If you *can* do it yourself, regardless of the time it takes you, the Government does not wish to spend Health Care Dollars to assist you. -period- You are expected to do it yourself or hire someone to help you from the Private Sector. Welcome to the reign of the despot Gordon Campbell and his gang of appointed, not elected advisors. A pox on you all.

So if you do not provide Home Support Services through your Government agency, why would you need Community health Nurses or worker or really, anyone at all? You can just contract it all out to the private sector and still bill the same dollars. It just makes sure the working man and woman get paid FUCKALL and the holy middle-management get wads of bonus cash for saving money. (on paper) I am certain this is what they are doing. I suppose I should get my butt to facility where I will hate my job every day, one shift at a time. I suppose I could hang in there til we privatize and get our wages sliced like our pension was. I suppose I could rant more but this is a post about the Nightmare.

So I come home after cooking for my parent and having a hearty lunch together and I find on my bed a paper with the heading: Nightmare.

I pick it up and read it. It says:

'Time and panic. Skimming across many lives lasering thing slices and exploding from my mind the mall- it is closed. The shopper- then my clock chimes- and I am looking through someone elses' eye at the plane's wing and remembering a lurching take-off and suddenly I can see the wing crumple like a tissue. I scream and sit up. It is too much, much too much! The heat has reached through my dream to my room and I stumble down for water. I drink and drink and drink and fall back down into exhaustion and my covers and there is Mom. I want to ask her why I cannot get rest? Why is it so difficult? Why? But of course she is not really there.

Where is the bottle? I remember when it used to work."

Now I have dreamed this dream so many times in various forms. I feel 111 years old when I awaken from it and frequently I shake for an hour or so trying to get rid of it. My eleventy one birthday. The dream of living a long life of restlessness. A ghost dream.

I am pretty sure I dream this and believe it to be real each and every time unlike other dreams where they are familiar and I know it to BE a dream. Not this one.

Bad chemistry, they tell me, causes my kind of sleep disorder. Probably familial, and not helped by a history of accidents to the head. Daytime is almost reasonably doable these days but nights are still awful. I wonder if I will ever be completely free of these dreams.

I suppose if I did not remember them it would not matter.
I do not remember writing that note in the middle of the night and I do not remember the dream, altho it is something that I know I have experienced many times while sleeping.
Perhaps I can get to the place where even writing the note is unnecessary.

For now, I find it deeply troubling.


"But I’ve never caught a glimpse..."

It MUST have been Mercury in retrograde, coupled with the full moon.
What a bloody mess of a day.

Working in the Village is very convenient. We are allotted 15 minutes travel-time between each client, and frequently need them but my schedule was such that my day would end with me 1.25 hours ahead of myself. Five times point two-five.

"So I turned myself to face me..."
The one day I decide I do not want the extra time anywhere and start half an hour later, my schedule gets changed. CH-CH-CH-CHANGES!! No more long travel-time ... I am now officially *late* (buggerbuggerbugger)

"HEY! we were looking for you at Mrs' ___'s ... are you running a little late?"

And WHAM- changes.
So next client I am finished my work anticipating my long drive out to the boonies for two clients I do not know. One is for 1 and a half hours the other for one and three quarter hours.
-ring ring-
"Hello you! We had a call from (another in the field employee) They were expecting you at Mr. ____'s 30 minutes ago! Are you running late?"

I thought they had taken him OFF my schedule and replaced him with the two boonies people. Now I am in my car ZOOMING to the clients. He is in a foul mood probably from sitting waiting for me. He is swinging his fists and swearing and it is a bad day. He does not connect with my co-worker but it is not for lack of trying. He calms down a bit before we leave as I turn the charm up to SUPERCHARGE. And NOW I take off for the toolies.

I do not know the person I am going to, nor anything about them but their name, address and pertinent medical history. I pull in, walk up, ring the bell and NATURALLY there is no answer. Now I am obligated by the terms of my employment to stay in that driveway fifteen minutes, and of course I do but I am more importantly ethically obligated to make sure that person is not on the floor or fallen in the hallway just out of my earshot. So I peer in windows, telephone the office and get the office to telephone the client.

During the peering in windows part, a firecracker is set off right behind me. I am thinking: " Oh great! Now they are shooting at me!"

I call from my cellphone and the line cuts out during the call.
I drive to a payphone and wait while the office calls the home, trying to rouse someone.
When they cannot they call the contact number and again, there is noone there.
So I am given the addressed and I spend an hour driving from A to B looking for someone.
Rural area. Lots of pickup trucks and such. I give up and go for coffee after 45 minutes.

So now I go to the *other* client I have been switched to.
She has had a bad morning. She declines her personal care as she is exhausted.
She asks me to prep some food but there is no food. She wants me to vaccuum but I cannot....
So we chat. For an hour and a half.

Now my regular clients have been serviced by someone else, very capably I am sure.
And I have just been paid for doing sweet bugger all.

No wonder the Country is going broke.



"So I turned myself to face me ..."

o/ Still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

(turn and face the strain)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But stil the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

(turn and face the strain)
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
(turn and face the strain)
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through

(turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you rock ’n rollers
(turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time "

bah I will tell you next post....
for now, enjoy the wisdom of that Thin White Duke



*But I didn't tell anyone*

Who needs an alarm clock when cancellations and people taking unscheduled vacations force scheduling to call me at 06:45? Yikes.

My add-on was a client from my regular roster who I do not normally see on Sundays.
I was told she had fallen again. In fact I was told that the person going in found her on the floor and an ambulance was called. Walking in at noon, I asked her "What's this I hear about you falling?"

She was so mad. I had no anticipated that. (obviously)

"I am sick of all you people walking in and asking me how I am after my fall. It was NOT a fall. How do you all know about it? I did not tell anyone. You are the fourth person AT LEAST to ask me about this."

I had to remind her that we are a tight little team and that a fall is a reportable incident.
I also had to remind her that we are in her home precisely for health and safety. People need to be able to accuratly assess the possible dangers for their clients. Knowing who is wombly is very important!

"Wombly? I am no such thing! I merely slipped off the couch, that's all. That is noone's business but my own."

"Not completely correct." I said (daringly) " We really do have a responsibility to you even beyond that you perhaps believe to be appropriate."

Oh she was mad. She maintained that the gossipy morning person had no right to say anything at all. I know exactly what the problem is. She is afraid we will mention this to her daughter.
And very possibly the daughter might throw her hands in the air and force her Mother into a Nursing Home. That is the true issue here.

How many times can she fall before she realises that she really will hurt herself one of these times? How often will she have to hide things from her family? I do not rat her out for minor things but if an ambulance was in attendance I too would be obligated to report it.

After asking her a ton of questions about her position on the floor I am fairly confident she could have gotten up with a minimum of fuss. Had the person who walked in brought a low stool and placed it behind her, likely she could have got herself onto it. And from the stool up to a chair.
And then: home-free. And THAT would have been better. A slide off the couch is not truly a fall. And therefor not reportable. Unless there was another issue such as dizziness or substance overuse.

She is still mad. And oh well.


Trying to Reclaim a Memory

Since that strange day in Court years ago, I have tried to reclaim a memory.

On my way to a Sunday school picnic, mt car was hit from behind by a much bigger car. It was annoying as I was at a full stop due to the Ambulance and Fire truck proceeding through the intersection. The fellow who hit me claimed to have not noticed the line of stopped vehicles or the emergency teams.

The injury I sustained was deemed mild to moderate, but it did not seem to mend properly. My lawyer and I ended up in Court during Doctor's testimony, I was forced to leave the courtroom. I was awarded $23,000 for injuries sustained in that car crash, and during the Judge's summation he repeatedly referred to a severe accident I had endured as a teenager. The resulting trauma to my head and spine stabilised after a time. Years later, the force of this accident de-stablised them causing mayhem. The Insurance company had successfully argued that the damages were NOT the fault of the current accident and the Judge commented that he was inclined to award me $80,000 but due to these circumstances he reduced it appropriatly.

I went home puzzled.
Head injury?
Blunt trauma?

I could not remember at all.
It took me another year or so when I had to go for an MRI because of dizziness. The Neuro-Surgeon told me that he could see brain damage to my frontal lobe. Nothing horrific but "interesting" he said. Did I remember any blows to the head?

It was another while before I recalled my injury on the School-grounds of my Elementary School in Grade 7. The memory is vivid and in slow motion, in fact almost in stop-motion.
I had rushed out to the baseball diamond to tag up for Scrub. For the very first time I would be second to bat. I was so happy. I remember seeing Sherry K. coming lazily up the hill behind the backstop holding the bat by the base letting it swing in rhythm to her gait. I remember looking over at my neighbour and friend Geraldine and smiling.

"LOOK OUT LOOK OUT!!" I heard and bewildered looking around the dispersing crowd of girls, I saw Geraldine looking up . I followed her eyes and looked up too.

The next memory is one of pain. I sank to my knees and my hands flew to my head where I locked my fingers and pressed down on the sore spot. I can hear Gerry saying:
Can you get up? You guys... she is hurt. Get a teacher. Come on. Get up."

I remember little Gerry who was six inches shorter than me and thousands of times more sensible, trying to pick me up. I could not speak. I could not move. I stayed at home plate there with my hands of my head until another girl helped Gerry pick me up and move me over to the sidelines. Sherry was beside herself, apologising and trying to get me to speak.

I cannot remember walking into the School. I cannot remember any conversations with anyone except I recall so clearly everyone trying to get me to speak. I could not even think.

The Vice Principal's name was Mr. Pavey. To my young mind, he seemed rather a bully and very bad-tempered. He was annoyed to have his lunch cut short by a mute child with hands on head.

"You're all right. You get your hands off and let me see. Come on now. You are a big girl. Get those hands down."

He got louder and angrier and finally forced my fingers apart. I remember his anger and the strength of his hands pulling mine apart. I let my tired arms go to my side.
"See?" He said. "You are..... OH MY GOD, PUT YOUR HANDS BACK ON IT."

A fountain of red had spouted from my head. I remember Geraldine's smug face. She hated him. I don't remember anything else except my Aunt picking me up and taking me in the Vauxhall. And I was off school for a month.

Grade Eight I was off School for 3 months.
Grade Nine I was pretty much not in School at all.
Grade 11 and 12 I did by correspondance.

I saw stars, and music, hated the light, couldn't bear people near me and basically had every sign of a head injury for a long time. I was 21 before it was stable enough that I could live out loud like others. And yet... I did not remember it at all.

Not at all.

One of my friends from long ago recently told me that when we reconnected the saddest thing for her was to see how little I recalled about when we were friends. I do not even remember BEING her friend. I recall her being around. But nothing else. She isn't alone. Not much of my teen years remains for me. I have memories of pain and headaches, stomach-aches and wondering why I was so different from everyone else.

It seems so long ago. Geraldine's face -- the shock on Mr. Paveys' mean countenance, Sherry's repentive cries, and that sound in my head. The *whomp*

I do remember the Doctor telling me how lucky I was and how a heavy wooden bat like that being thrown up end over end with such force should have killed me. "a 1/4 inch in any direction and you would not be here." I remember telling that to my Mom and her detached:
"That's nice dear. Try to forget about it."

I have a client right now who has a head injury. Someone chucked something out of a car and it hit her in the head. She can't talk properly yet and it has been 14 months. She is in a state of shock and all the lights in her condo are dimmed because otherwise she screams.

I am so lucky.

It Suck-eth not

Things that do NOT suck:

I love my job.
I have surrounded myself with people and things that I enjoy.
I have a great little place that I own and can afford.
I have a funky car all paid for.
Positive energy surrounds most all I see.
I enjoy my time with my family.
I have a strong sense of a Great God.

Things that are on the suck side:

I do not make enough money at my wonderful job.
My little City is growing at an alarming rate.
My car sucks gas.
There is a definite aura of negativity in my Workplace.
My out-of-control and completely selfish sister is moving close to my home. (soon)
The man I date forgets what he says and rarely follows through on plans.

Things I can change:


Things I grudgingly accept:

(*hmm hmmm hmmmm)

I am not happy coming last in some peoples priority list.
I definitly am not pleased being told to make my own plans and others will *try* to fit into them. I need to plan things. I dislike having my time undervalued. I have so little of it to fritter away.

Drat it all, I really do not want my alcoholic sibling anywhere near me.
There is nothing positive in that.
Today contained a few majorally SUCK things.
I am delighted to go back to work tomorrow. DELIGHTED.

We all need to be appreciated and cared for.
I LIKE having reciprocal relationships.
The only one that appears to be functional is the client/Nurse one.

If you can believe it, my dog threw me over for my dad and my sister. (the other, very kind and nice one.) You know it's bad when your dog gives you the cold shoulder. Last night I had to pull him along on a leash to get him to leave my Dad's place. Tonight he was balking and ignoring me and ran back into my Dad's as soon as I turned partially away from him. I left him there. The little bum.

So let's summarise:
No dog, no date, no cash.



Stardust Memory Detectives and the Meaning of Cheese

Watching I <3 Huckbees and laughing so loudly even my Father came to see what the fuss was about. What a concept! Existential detectives! It reminded me of living in Kitsalino and hanging around with that madwoman Lise, Queen of New Age Therapy, whose ministrations to herself kept many a quack in food, shelter and glitteries while bankrupting a perfectly good jewellery business. If there was a Counsellor, quack or Contrarian promoting better spirituality through flaggelation, Lise would be striped.

Fey fey fey. But oh, how I laughed.
See one, play one. Takes one to know one.
Oh, how I laughed.

I lived in the Sir Galahad apartments. That was half the charm of being there. I had a corner suite that looked out over Broadway. It was a really cool spot to be. Across the street were Veterans Housing Buildings. I had an old couple who had there television set in the window who would sit looking across the street into my place while pretending to watch television. Folks, the binoculars were a dead give-away.

The neighbourhood was full of people with too much money and not much sense. You could be regressed to a past life on one corner and coloniced on the next. University students rented all the basement apartments in the area and pot mixed in the air with incense.

I had been kicked out of my own highly desirable basement suite for being promiscuous.My Landlord believed that everyone who came to my place was a lover. Now at that time I was living a rather rock and roll life. Well, not rock and roll exactly more like punk and puke.
The puke was me after a few drinks. I never could drink successfully.
The punk was me too. Arrested development.

My day job was very VERY lucrative. My night job was just for fun. And sleep was something other people did. I had weeks where I went 24/7 more than 3 out of 7 days and continued to work and appear completely normal-to-me. Can't say I miss it. It was more fall-out from being stupidhead. Manic depression without the depression? Full blown mania? Nah, just an adrenilin disorder but a spectacular one. So I would bring a few intelligent people home with me because otherwise it would mean a sleazy hotel room. People on the road never seem to stay at decent hotels. I had all kinds of people sipping single malt and dissecting life in that basement suite. But bad landlord got the wrong idea so it was only right and proper that I move to the Galahad. Redemption through the Grail.

The Sir Galahad was not without it's pecadilloes. There was the really cute guy who lived in the ground floor bachelor. He would position himself outside the laundry room and comment quietly as I walked by. I never quite knew what to make of him. He was a fan anyway. There was the Lesbian couple on the first floor who were routinely harassed by the Manager who lived across the hall from them. There was the olde Grand Dame in the Penthouse who had been there for 25 years. And there was me.

I had a crazy neighbour who smoked in our non-smoking building. He would invite his girlfriend over and they would tie one on and fight loudly for hours before making loud crazy love and bang against my bedroom walls. Whee. (gag)

Lise was coming over to get me and we were going to see Midnight Oil. I was all glammed up and ready to go when I had an attack. She knocked on the door and I could not speak... so she came in. I think she thought I was overdosing or something at first and then she remembered I was Suzy Straight. ("Don't give that to her! ... don't go near her with that stuff... you don't understand... she TOTALLY doesn't do that. I mean TOTALLY.") I remember her leaning over me dressed in paisley smelling of hashish and wearing 4 crosses.

Lise had a breath therapist. She had a guitar teacher. She had a voice coach. Lise had a Cousellor for her eating disorder and a shame counsellor and someone to balance her shakras, someone to paint mandellas with her, a person who talked her to death about her need for perfection and another for her addictions... but no Counsellor to wean her off Counsellors. That took a very cute younger man who worked at the Bookstore and dabbled in Magicks.
She gave up the Counsellors and he the mysticism and they lived happily ever after... or at least until I finish this little memory.

I loved Lise because she was full of life and fun. When things went bad for me and I had my own personal stalker she was the sole person who told me not to move. "DONT YOU DARE let that rat bastard wreck your life. You are allowed to choose for yourself." I didn't move. He stopped stalking me and Lise was my close friend become closer.

Now Rock and Roll heaven is no haven and some people fall for all the pixiedust crap.
Lise got dusted and the next thing you know there was cocaine and heroin along with the pot. I really am Suzy Straight. Once is an error. Twice an unfortunate coincidence but three times in my presence on heavy stuff and bye bye. For anyone else that rule would be twice. But I loved Lise. Just not the enhanced version. She really believed she would be onstage with Jane's Addiction. She really saw herself as the next best possible thing. Just.... drugs, baby, drugs.

Even Sir Galahad couldn't rescue our friendship from that one. She was pretty mad at me for that and took solice by befriending a younger prettier richer blonder version best friend.
My replacement had a rock and roll boyfriend, a solid membership in "THE CLUB" and was a righteous snob poser bitch. I pretended for old times sake but honestly... it was sad.
So the merry-go-round continued until Lise was broke. Then the Bookstore guy was her rehab. As far as I know she didn't break out on any scene. Sheryl Crow took her slot.

I can still see her and I arguing over some stupidass thing or other at an outside cafe.
There is a scene in the I <3 Huckabees where they hit each other with a stupid ball until they have a moment of nothingness. The two guys so desparate to find *it* .....that was Lise all right.

Huckabees made me laugh and laugh. I saw myself more than anything else.
How silly. I miss Lise. I never spoke to her again after a very unladylike encounter.
Addicts should never call anyone else out on a memory. They usually get it wrong.
Lise got it very wrong. Alas, I am not flexible in certain departments.

Seeing those silly detectives took me right back. It was stardust and moonbeams for awhile. I wish you happiness Lise. I wish you peace of mind and contentment. And I hope you look back at me and laugh too.

Every Woman's Complaint

A very beautiful woman lay in bed awaiting me. I had the timing to arrive at the same time as the Phlebologist. We see each other all around town so we waltzed in together happily. (I love her. She has blood-taking down to an Art. She is a Craftswoman in her field. No bruising no pain no nasty puckering skin to find a vein. She is absolutely the best. HURRAH.) We approached our client to find her already telling us her story.

Now I have an hour (plus a little) but the Lab Tech has mere minutes. No times for stories.
Some people you just cannot stop from their full disclosures. They NEED to be heard.
Our beautiful client was in this category. And so we hear it.

Her story was every woman's complaint. Tired, listless, no energy.
After a few months of this she asked her Physician what was causing it. He pointed out to her she had alot of significant events in her life that cause stress. It was natural and normal for a person under that much stress to feel like that. So she waited another 3 months.
She went to the Doctor who prescribed for her Anti-Depressants. Three weeks on them and she was ill and tired. She jettisoned the pills. The Doctor prescribed a blood test.
The phone rang at home the next day: "Get yourself to the hospital right now."

Wouldn't it have been nice if he did the blood work BEFORE prescribing anti-depressants?
Every woman's complaint.


Today at the Thrift (Confessions of a Magpie)

Sterling Silver Salt and peppers, looking grimy but in a plastic ziplock for $2.99.
Oh you know I had to buy them.

'The Testament of Charlie Farqharson' (leather-bound) for $1.99
It is on the Bible Shelf now. I wonder if anyone will notice. Heehee.

An incredibly good CZ fake for $9.50
WAY WAY WAY too much money but I will get more than ten dollars of pleasure out of it and I can wear it to work too. I like to wear jewels at the male clients. It stops the overt flirting.
Nurse Me pretends to be married V3.0 beta

Portugese pottery, a peahen. I did not buy the bull earlier this week as it was $12.00
I paid $1.99
Angel stationary and an angel pottery plaque for $4.00

Pale pink pants with glittery pockets $2.99
---Pink top to match fifty cents
Blue cushion housing a gentle foam for Dad $2.99

Oh God Bless the Thrift Store.



My brother used to wield that word as a weapon back when 3 year olds were saying *Bum* and such. A multi-syllabic insult was daunting indeed. *Stupidhead!*
Guess who the Stupidhead was? uh huh uh huh
Mom used to say: 'It's good luck dear. He calls you that because he loves you. Think of it as his own personal way of delivering good news to you'
Right, Mom.

When is a head-injury good? Never, of course. In my case we have a variety of injuiries to choose from and none of them brought goodluck. I seem to be a person who attracts accidents to the Head. The latest *stupidhead* adventure involved involuntary littering. Now we can't have that. So leaning out of my car and picking up the involuntary litter, being a good little citizen, I just had scooped up the item when ****wham****
The wind caught my very heavy car door and slammed it into my head.
I have a bruise the colour of green grass. It matches the colour of stars I saw for awhile.

I was bending down to get something from under the Pinball machine.
For about the 35th thousandth time, I misjudged the top and ****wham****
I stood up full velocity and force into the play table.

I have this vision that one day I hit my head lightly on a cupboard or brush gently past someone and my brains all spill out. Or I crack in half and the crackled dangling half is still cussing as it falls to the floor and splinters off to a zillion glittery gooey bits.

I took my stupidhead to the Esthetician. I was having a pedicure.
It was delightful. Especially the part where the person making me Estheticed said:
"WOW! Are you a boxer or something?"

uhm no.
She was commenting on the colours arraying on my temples and forehead matching the bruises on my toes. I did not know I had bruised toes. Must have been Mrs. Pureed Food's telephone she accidentally dropped on me while I was assisting her, hands full.

Good luck my Aunt Fanny.
Thanks Mom though.


Workplace Wellness

This is my new take on that catch-phrase.

If things go the way the employer needs them to, cool.
If things do not go the way the employer needs them to, thats too bad for you.


Perhaps I should have stayed in bed.

One of those mornings where you just cannot seem to get going was my reality this am.
I knew I should be out and about already but for some reason my brain would not kick-in.
Looking at the clock I could see a shower was out of the question let alone a coffee.
Zoom zoom zoom.

My dear Lady was so happy to see me. Yesterday I noticed her feet were so dry.
"It is from my heart" she said. I looked at her toes and the dry skin had collected between them. She is a very clean person and that bothered her alot. We normally do not assist her IN the shower just into and out of it. I told her I could wash those feet of hers no problem at all.
That was why this morning I told her I would make her breakfast after her shower and got her up and going. It was not easy. Her balance is poor and her couch low. She sleeps on that couch. The low couch is great for when she falls out of it in the nighttime. Not so great when she tries to stand up in the daytime.

Sooooooo: she is in the shower now and I am buzzing around the kitchen. There is a knock at the door, and I open it to see a co-worker.

"What are you doing here?" I said. And then I realised today is WEDNESDAY (eek) not Thursday. So--- after laughing at myself and rushing into the shower and telling my client I had to leave to be where I am supposed to be, out and off I went.
** EEEK.
I start earlier than most of my co-workers. That is because I am so bright and capable in the mornings. Most mornings. Almost all mornings. Not THIS morning.

At my next client I turned to my co-worker (a very nice man indeed) and said to him:
"So _____, why aren't you on the bus today?"
The clients wife gasped then laughed. My co-worker turned to me and then and only then I got it. I had called him by the wrong name. I had called him by the name of the single other male worker who he detests. ---- and --- he does NOT go on the bus.

My brain hurts.

I hate it when I get confused. It is never slightly confused. It is always like this.
Massive attack of confusion.

I am going to bed now.

and yes yes I know its 14:12



In which I become: The Destroyer! Slaughterer of Computers!

It was a dark and stormy night.
Outside the window, strange sounds could be heard, but not identified.
Inside the only sound was the gutteral sound of Anglo Saxon.
Yes, mighty, might me. I had vanquished yet another computer. Effortlessly.

I had purchased at the local Thrift store a computer for $4.99, untested.
It was a Pentium 2 and had a network card so it was an acceptable backup for me.
In fact it is a great little computer and I was pleased to have it in my backup squad.
This little Seanix has a date on it of 3-20-98. It also has USB ports. I checked the Seanix site for support and they ask for the serial number of the machine. My serial number is 622727.
I click enter, and am told this is not in their data base of Seanix computers.
---Perhaps they only archived after 2000 or something.

And why was I looking on the Seanix site?
well.... my pain erhm, main computer is the Aptiva. Crash crash Aptiva.
I have decided it is adequate to my needs as I can do all my *other* stuffs on my former computer which lives at my parents house. That is, as long as my sister is not visiting.
Then she tends to live on it.

Aptiva oh Aptiva the tortures I put that little beastie through. I paid $5.99 for the Aptiva then had the memory maxxed. It is a good little machine for watching movies on and chattering and blogging and such. Anything else is too much really. But I managed to kill it. And the resusitation required offshore assistance from Morgie and Dada who found for me drivers that the *expert* here in la la land said did not exist. Morg said it took his friend Rad and himself just a matter of minutes. He said we are acccustomed to replacing old things where they do not have that luxury and must learn to fix them. Probably true./;

I had the drivers on a disk. Hurrah I did at least remember to do that.
A nasty nasty virus attached itself to something or other and whammed my little battleworn Aptiva. It ended up I had to do a complete wipe of the HD and a Win98SE re-install.
One teeny tiny problem. I forgot to backup the network card drivers.


So I am on this little backup computer now.
One teeny tiny problem here as well. I had the brilliant plan the other night, after 8 or 9pm when my thinking is at it's worse. I reasoned that the drivers should contain the network card drivers too right? I was so sure. So I reinstalled the drivers on the Aptiva from the disk.

Only trouble is:
I wasn't on the Aptiva. I was on the Seanix.

So I am typing by grace atm.
Any moment now the video display will corrupt and I will see nothing but vertical bands.

It was a dark and stormy night.

.... yadda yadda yadda..............


A Treat

"On washday my Mom would make herself a treat. I thought you and I should have a treat today since it is so rainy."
---me too!!

The treat was rice boiled in milk til done. It was served in a bowl and cinammon and sugar were sprinkled liberally over top. A little hole was made in the middle then and some butter put in. MMMMM it was soo good.

Want a treat? Go boil some rice.


Cleaning the Fridge

The old widower still had a ton of food in his freezer(s) and nothing in his fridge. The dates on the food in the freezer were almost 2 years and older. Food safe it was not.

"Sir, can we clean your freezer and fridge today?"

"Oh no not today. No no. Leave it for now."

---------- six months later ---------------------

"Sir, we really should clean that freezer. You have not used any of it in six months and I believe we should throw it out now. Some of that stuff is almost 4 years old. Most of it is over 2. "

"NO! Just leave it!!"

--------------- six months later again:

"You know, when you stand there cooking it reminds me of my wife."

"Thats a good memory Sir. Was she a good cook?"

"Heaven's no, but bless her heart she tried. You know she would never talk about her illness to me, nor what was coming for me but she had it all planned out."

"Oh? How do you mean, Sir?"

"She stood at that stove stirring pots and making things for one full week just in the month before she was bedridden. Can you imagine that? She was so worried I wouldn't eat. I tell you, she was quite a woman!"

All that stuff in his freezer he had no intention of ever eating. It was just a memory. And he wanted to keep it intact.

Amazing love.



"I know what *it* was"

It was the first day in a long time that company was coming over, and she was not going to cook this time. She had some treats set aside, and all she needed me to do was peel some spuds for dinnertime. Not very taxing but you know, I just do what people need mostly. Whether at work or on my off hours if I can save someone elder some few steps I will. On the company dime, well we just dont tell, now do we?

Company was on the way! For her, this is a huge and momentous event!
I was determined her table was to be set all nicely.
She asked me something.
Answering, she came over to get something from the dining table.with this odd look on her face. She sat down abruptly. Whatever she was thinking about had taken her away from me. I longed to know where. Her colour was paling. She had that look I see when medications are not done on time. The "Help me I am in pain what can I do help me" look.

Not saying anything for a long minute so she could collect herself was an effort of will. Finally this:
"I have a sharp pain across my chest. Under my breasts."

We did deep breathing together as the minutes rolled on, and she SAID the pain was decreasing. She was lying. She _does not under any circumstances_ wish to go to the Hospital again. But it is her right to conduct herself as she sees fit.

"Can you raise your arms?"
--->yes she could.
"Is it better or worse when you do that?"
--->no effect.


Her lunch guest was expected and did not disappoint in promptness.

Company arrived in the form of the bappable woman. I quietly mentioned to this visitor that her friend and hostess was having some difficulties and that if it worsened would she should call her friend's daughter.

She said: "Yes of course."

I commented on how our mutual link had a fear of those 3 numbers: 9-1-1

The Visitor drew herself up to her full round plump and so supercilious length.
"Who wants to live forever?" she said.
"Of course she doesnt want to go to the hospital. How many times does a person want to be sustained? And for what? To come home and just live on like this?"

the "like this" dripped with distain.

My client sobbed quietly and said: "That's right' The tear shone in her eye.

Well fuck you suzy insensitive.
Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

That stupid friend-- I could cheerfully take her outside and slap her on both cheeks.

Where is the hope in that? I think she can smell my disapproval. I am trying not to let it show but *grrrr*

My client promised me a few times to call her daughter if it worsened and to make sure not to leave it too far. Then she looked at me:
"Are you feeling well?"
I felt fine. But I did have no lipstick on. And my hair is a shade darker in spots since she last saw me.
"oh I think its just my hair. I was considering going streaked lighter but I decided to add some streaks of dark brown and black."

Her friend, the disapprover looked me up and down. She sniffed as she looked at me, really looked at me. Her pronouncement:

"Oh heavens you should NEVER let anyone tell you to go dark. Not at your age. Women are supposed to grow old gracefully."

Thus says Ms. 50+ to me. She is aging in a chubby way. A chubby outspokenly hopeless, drag ya down way.

As if I was not amazed enough she went on:
"Your lips should fade and your skin lighten as all the rest of you fades too. It is a natural process. When you go dark like that it just looks awful."

uhm, ok.
My tongue had some teethmarks, but I did manage not to say anything.
I just left and boggled some more about her complete tastelessness.


The next time I looked in to this client, who thankfully was home and alive and well, I asked her if that heavy pain in her chest had persisted or if it had gone easily away.

"No it lasted for a few hours before it completely left but it's gone now."

---> did she think she might have pulled a muscle?
"No, *I* know what it was."

---> was it a spasm?
"NO. I know what *it* was. I have had them before."

Her daughter arrived just as she told me she had told her daughter. On cue.
So I asked the daughter if her mom had told her what happened yesterday.
'No, she didn't tell me. What happened Mom?"

Turns out, the client has nitro spray right there on the table in a box.
This is to be used when she gets chest pains. Once, wait. Twice, wait. And if the pain does not go away, three times. Then call 9-1-1 if it continues.

Maybe my client thinks like her friend.
To be revived for what? More of the same?

I go there 5 to 7 times a week and this is the first I have heard about the nitro spray. We all have the right to choose but when a person is cognitively and negatively affected by memory loss it is right not to hand them the damned spray?

And the stupid-ass friend?
oh I meant, the woman who says much.

She lost her husband in a sudden and unexpected heart attack 4 months ago.
So I shall cut her a break. She is not thinking with her head. She is still processing loss.
I wish she would go process it somewhere else.
I don't think she would be handing the spray over.
I really do not.


Happy Birthday to you, Ms. F

Send up fireworks and pass out the chilled tasty beverages.
Ms. Helene F is "offically old" now.

Whatever THAT means.
I felt officially old at 10.

I hope you had a wonderful day of contraband and cake.
And many more!



Those Lettered Jackets

The first time I saw one I believe I was watching some incredible film like "Die Hard" or worse.
The jackets said: "FBI" or "S.W.A.T" or "POLICE". I always wondered if they are this generations equivilant of wearing a white hat. Should we get jackets for the bad guys and mark them "CRIMINAL"?

I was pulling into one of the assisted living places. I saw this unassuming car and an equally unassuming man standing beside it. I saw the House Mother looking somewhat disturbed.
He turned to get in his car.



And did the House Mom go inside after he drove off? No she hung around the mailbox the outside mailbox looking perplexed. I guess I could have walked over and asked her something inane to launch her into her story. But somehow, I just could not make myself do it.



Mr. Fluffy Pajamas is a baaaad boy!

After a weekend of sitting in one place on the couch for hours without any movement, skulking around the house when forced to, having to be lifted outside for bathroom breaks and other odd behaviours including throwing up twice on dear dear company, my beloved little man, the doggie of the house made a full and instant recovery. What did it take? The company getting out of the car. What a brat my dog is!

On Friday night I believe he was overwhelmed by 4 new people staying overnite. He handled himself well but was uncharacteristically quiet. Saturday morning he was sulking. Saturday afternoon he was left alone for 3 hours as we went gallavanting on foot. Saturday evening he had his little emesis attack... (*scream*) and had to have a bath. He refused to even shake himself dry after his bath and stayed stock still on the couch until bedtime. Wrapped in a towel.

This morning everyone was concerned that he should see the Vet. Being the jaundiced eye in the group I decided he was _most likely_ fine. After all he seemed to have wolfed his food down whole in order to ensure the company did not steal it. I believe he ate everything in sight. And of course we saw it again, on D's pant legs. She said: "I am doubly blessed." Always the gracious one.

Those two sisters who visited me C & D were my absolute favourite kids in the world. They now have their own absolute favourites---7 between them! Can this be possible? Where did the time go? And they still look like teenagers. Little and gorgeous and so wonderful.

I had a few shiny things I had been shepherding for a decade. (or more!)
These were shiny things that they remembered well and meant something in their childhoods as associated to me. I wanted to return them last year or so but I knew that unless they could see my home and how many other shiny things are around me they would consider it robbery. Even so, seeing the mere externals of my little magpie nest, they were uncomfortable with going home with *things* even know both of them know that stuff is meaningles and neither is a hoarder nor a coveter. No, they are both exceptional in that regard. Hospitable and selfless to others just the way their mother was and remains to this day. A wonderful bunch of folk.
I was so lucky to be part of that gang for a time.

So with some bings and some bongs and even some bling home again home again go the girls.
Boy, I miss them already.

Did you hear that Cori & Deli?
I miss you already.
And I love you completely and dearly. Thank you for a wonderful weekend.