Happy New Year to All and Sundry!

A good riddance to 2007.

Come on 2008!

Happy New Year to all.
And to all, a good night.


Ode to Jeffrey

The dragonclaw sits by the bed
ashes split amongst wine drops
The mouthpiece I wipe clean of red
But pillow shams are plummy sops

A corner holds a few bags crumpled
The pitcher an unfinished ale
Four posters hardly even rumpled
The floor however, tells the tale

This whole vignette- this dreadful sight
My party tales do tell on me
Í sigh and pack my well-loved pipe
And coax it to flame most gently.

It makes things right- five farthing blend,
and what of last night shameless glory?
The smoke shoppes closed today my friend
But that, alas's another story!


just thinking about stuff

Coming up to another advancement in the year #. In our Western cultural reckoning:

My already boggled mind boggles more.


Some times when my mind BOGGLES in caps, I go here, and concentrate.

Living with a boggled mind is both a curse and a blessing.
A blessing in that it breeds compassion where indifference may have taken hold.

The biggest struggle in my life is communicating with my own family.
Sounds ridiculous but they are the worst offenders in not recognizing nor honouring boundaries.
--- MY boundaries!
They forget what lies beneath and are reassured by what the surface shows.

I am blessed in that I have never looked my age. This comes in handy as they tell me I have never acted my age either. -and- as more than 2 decades of this life are just things I have learned by rote - I don't feel my age either.

There is always a faint hope that time will dull this maelstrom and chemistry of the aged may offer respite to a tired mind. That is the only part of me that does get tired. My mind.

Perhaps the coming year will hold some peace.
God, I hope so.

Car Rant -- and meds rant --- and and and...

My car is a very sweet little Pontiac Grand Am SE. Although she is getting on in years, she looks pretty damned hot for a 1999. My car is equipped with every extra available for that model that year including the very smart rain guards on all four windows. When you live in the Rain Forest that is one smart option.

Although my car looks fantastic it has a teeny tiny issue with brakes. Ok it is a big fat issue.
It goes through front brakes one set per year.

The last time I got the brakes done, I paid extra for the top of the line callipers and rotors and blah blahsie blah and yes, here we are one year later and AGAIN with the brakes. (grrrr)
Apparantly this is a recall issue in the U.S of A. but not here in Canada.
Always a price for paradise.

rant 2 is the tired old brain meds one.
About once every three months I get a very nasty side effect and one that is potentially fatal. I throw up in my sleep. I have been lucky. I wake up a micro second beforehand.

So yes once again I am considering this cruel reality.


The Best of Both Worlds

A wonderful thing about working for the Government in Health Care is that someone else does the intakes, the administrative work and writes the cheques.

A wonderful thing about working for myself is that I can work full scope. Before you start thinking I am a wanton giver of catheters and enemas, a big nooooo to that. Working privately you can actually voice an opinion with your name attached to it. When you work for the Government your voice is only about the task involved. That is it. You may think as you choose but watch what you say as you represent our Health Care system. I like to tell my (government) clients:

" I am just the hands. You need to talk to the brain."

Works every single time.

I am kinda choosey about private care. I get the most satisfaction from Palliative Care so that is primarily what I do. I am not particularly interested in privately bathing and dressing people. I like a challenge.

This coming year I am considering a change. A big change. I am thinking I would like to renew my license and work full scope. This would mean working a set number of hours to keep my license. Remember, this is how I lapsed it - not working full scope.

To renew I have to go to school again. Upgrade.

There is a big huge part of me that wants to go back to being the BIG boss. Must be my age.
What to do?


A Boxing Day Zopiclonic

Zopiclonic you ask?

It is a therapeutic treatment - Like a colonic but less anal and more hypnotic.
More later.


A Boxing Day listening bit of BBC fun - here

I always had a soft spot for Siouxie Sue.


This being on my own experience has turned into a bonding extravaganza with my man, Tuckerkinz. He was a teensy bit disappointed that my idea of a perfect Christmas was to come home from work, take him for a walk, have a nap, take him for another walk and go to bed.
The very best part of that was the unplugging of my telephone and turning off my cell.

There you go, obligatory warning label. Off to bed with the last of the blues.


Our Christmas Present from Neil

You know you really should link off his site but ---

click HERE

Now tell me there is no Santa!
OOooooo thank ye web-gods and goddesses


Very Merry and Bright

Pre-Christmas blahs have set in around Paradise. It is the great expectations of the propagandized generation.(s) Lower the expectations and voila - stress falls off.

No expectations here - I am working Christmas and happily so. There is no one to put a stocking up for, no sitting down for a meal with family, no nadda. How wonderful! Being a Christmas elf for others suits me far better. As always, in helping others I can forget myself - those maudlin parts.

Before there was a label for it, I was a Goth in a world of Beach Boy wannabes. An Elvira before Midnite Theatre aired in my area. A big weirdo my sisters said. Altho the kids now think of me as boringly straight and staid, it still is an effort to get up and out that door every day. Left to my own devices, I would not venture far. I DO NOT venture far. For Christmas Day, I can do it with no effort at all. That is what Christmas is for me - doing something of value for someone else.

Of course I do get double overtime. But I would do it anyway.

Thus endoth Birthday Week

It was not a banner birthday. In fact it rather stunk as birthdays go. The week, however was rather nice and I took much pleasure in NOT BLEEDIN WORKING AT ALL!

Alas fair Lady D is in despair as Chemotherapy treatment number 1 did not agree with her at all. Nausea set in before her anti nausea drugs took hold and she was world class retchingy ill. I admire that she could undergo the intravenous chemo at all. For me, it would not work. My reactions to needles are so catastrophic it would be worse than the disease. I would likely keel over from the shock. The pills I can do. The radiation I can do. The other.... no way. D doesn't believe me that I admire her for it but I do. I am lucky I wont be losing my hair.

Finding out that her hair will definitely fall completely out within a month was hard for her. We went to the Cancer Society to choose among their wigs for something that would suit. It was awesome to see hundreds of wigs there along with scarfs and hair bands, bandannas and other headgear all for free. At no cost to the borrower I should say. It ain't free.

As I signed the register, there was a bad moment where Diana's eyes went down to the paper and saw the entry above ours. ((*deceased*)) yikes. It was pelting with rain so we did not investigate the big city as much as we would have liked. We did take luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel where our server was obviously hung over. The food was great. Being treated less well than the half male party beside us was less so.

It broke my heart to hear Diana say: "I already feel ugly enough..."

It is awful to know she means it.
Bloody cancer.
Does it leave anything?

Going to bed with Neil Gaiman

oh yummy what a tasty thought THAT is....
so very tasty that my cunning sleepytime plan failed.

The audiobook of Stardust in my possession is both written and read by Neil Gaiman.
Since I gallivanted about with my Father today and braved the shopping mall crowds, my return home was to a lite meal and bedtime. The storytime was but a bonus.

Having gone to bed with Neil Gaiman, I am now awake without him. The book is finished and even the interview with the author has been heard.

PIty I have to work tomorrow. I bet I could sleep in.


Learning to Live.

I'm learning to live.
This new way, this medicated restrained way, has become my new normal. Finding out it has been over one year - ONE YEAR - amazed me. Part of the change is that strange indifference to time. Strange new kind of indifference. Time is a topic that does not benefit from written dissection.
When you have lived so many years in an altered state, something new is not only challenging, it is downright weird.

Life in the very very weird Pepperland has some perks.
Small joys.
And this unending quiet rebellion against time.

Some things never change.


It's so quiet. (sshh! sshh!)

OOooooo I have the place to myself for a few weeks.

And what does this mean for me?
Guilt-free HGTV viewing!
teeny tiny bit of loneliness
Oh thank ye God.


My Birthdayness

Opening my eyes to my birthdayness, I allowed it to settle upon me.
Once ensconced in it, my hand flew to my mouse to check my Gmail.
Yes yes I know.....

There was a message from he_who_works_for_Uncle_Sam. Sorry he cant engage in felicitations but he leaves this morning at 1030 for Iraq. Strange he would be deployed on my birthday.
Wonder who chose THAT flight.

Apart from my feelings on the whole Iraq-America conflict, I have a horror of anyone I know entering war zones. He does not believe himself to be much at risk despite the fact of his uncommon height. Large target. I have bad feelings about this....

Back to the birthdayness-
Also in the Inbox was a cute E-Card. Very nice indeed.
I then took myself out for breakfast, went and bought myself a heavy winter coat for dogwalking in colder weather, and stopped in on the Office Christmas soiree. I gave the Union sponsered party a pass last night. I dont do nights well, if at all. So fully loaded on delicious treats I came home to:

A dozen roses from my evil twin brother. Beautiful red roses. He is so thoughtful.

A three course Japanese food dinner followed by gooey cake.
I feel sick@!^%$%#@

Whilst at my fathers, where aforesaid gooey cake resided, I idly picked up the Church bulletin from last week and noticed a memorial service for Vern Dahl.
I had to sit down.
I love Vern.
Now THERE went a gentleman.

Vern is another uncommonly tall man. He retired from a fabulous job in the RCMP to Paradise here and lost his beloved wife not long after. I met him at a Church function. We continued our friendship at the local A & W our Thursday breakfasts. And sometimes Fridays too! Over the last 3 years we developed a mutual affection. He was too olde for me but we had a good flirt. We were doing just that not 3 weeks ago.

Apparantly Vern had prostate cancer and did not know it until too late. Diagnosis was 3 weeks before death. THAT is a shock and a loss. No wonder our date didnt pan out. (!!)

So another year older.


Requiem for a deleted post.

This space stays in honour of a man who used his wife's potentially fatal illness as the basis for insulting her.
This means you M.L.

Have to be circumspect about the name thing but -
you still get the shit of the year award.

Birthday Week!

Oh ho it is birthday week. MY birthday week.
This year not only did I take my birthday off but five more days around my birthday too.

What do I want for my birthday?
True love & romance.

What am I likely to get for my birthday?
Good wishes and a gooey cake.

I am giving myself a present this year.
I will let you know if I like it.


Obligatory Rant on Brain Meds.

Risk versus benefit.
The cruelty of beneficial medication for brain problems.

Nevermind the Short Term Memory Loss.
Nevermind the acid reflux.
Never even mind the scary notion that in ten years or less my liver might be so damaged it won't matter what shape my mind is in - this is what irks me about brain meds:

Having grown up with a pharmaceutical junkie, that is someone who took dozens of pills daily for everything but the real problem- I was always opposed to the use of prescription drugs unless direly indicated. Climbing aboard the good ship brain medications was only done when my own ship capsized for the umpteenth time. before I was cognizant that I had a brain injury. Years of neglect and absentee parents had left me psychologically scarred, but I did not yet know that I had a traumatic brain injury in my past. The informed mind over matter thing, despite being incredibly interesting did not work for longterm management.
All that information.
All those therapies tried.
No regrets - I learned more about the workings of the mind than I could have in two Doctorate theses. Interesting.

Succumbing to a brain accident or stroke was becoming more and more probable. I did not sleep more than 2 hours a night for weeks on end. Once every 4 to 5 weeks I would crash. This had been my pattern for as far back as I could remember. Nothing - not alcohol, drugs or unending sexual pursuits had calmed this pattern. I also had the ability to think about many things at once; way way too many things, and combined with my hypersenses made life in the big city almost unbearable. Almost because I wore light sensitive glasses and wore earplugs.

Finally, it came to an end. I was done. Grudgingly, kicking and screaming all the way, I consented to try brain meds.
The difference after 3 months was flabbergasting. I slept. SLEPT!
The sleep debt got paid off in little bits. It was fabulous. Now I truly understood what other people took for granted - normalcy of a kind was mine. Heaven for awhile.

Five years into Brain Meds I had a seizure. Or five.
Always a heavy dreamer, a parasomniac, nighttime became a terror for those around me. Sleepwalking. Sleeptalking. Sleep SCREAMING.
Then I blanked out during the daytime. The weirdness had arrived.

This was the PTSD diagnosis.
I still have trouble saying that. But it is true.
So I have new meds. Different meds.

I am one year into this treatment.
This is what life now is:
I have a new body. It is 25 pounds heavier than my olde one.
I have a slower mind. A new ability to sleep ten hours with minimal yelling.

Is it worth it?
Well -
(heavy sigh)

I am still alive. I have not stroked out.
But I am profoundly depressed over side effects. The same medication that has kept my brain in check has also sucked my ambition and enthusiasm. I have gone from freakishly off the charts high energy levels to very low energy. I have acid reflux. My short term memory is suspect.

So we are back to the start of the rant.
This cruel choice. The trade-off.

The Cancer Clinic

(cue creepy music)

Driving down ye olde highway into the sunrise.
Normally, I am already at work by now. Normally doesnt figure much anymore.
It is a cold day and all I can do is pray there is no snow on the Malahat.

The anglo saxon coming fast and furious from my mouth hints as to my state of terror. The other person in the car - Lady D., has just completed her part in our long discourse on whether or not using the f word constantly in sentences means you are a comfortable inhabitant of the working class (her contention) or just plain lazy in your speech (mine). In an eerie echo of my Edwardian grandmother I hear myself say: "It sounds so common."

Aha! It is out. I am a snob reveal-ed.
A language snob at that. An unarmed language snob I think to myself.

We wonder on to the topic of my cruel trade-off which of course is one of my trademark rants.
The Brain Medication rant. I suppose I nurse curse AND rehearse that one.
It is a cruel trade-off though. I miss my metabolism, my smaller self and my multi-tasking. I do not miss the inability to sleep and the hyperactivity. I want middle ground. Sadly, not possibly. So say goodbye to more of my liver but a happy decade of roundness is mine.

We soon arrive in the Garden City and find the Royal Jubilee Hospital very easily.
Our destaination, The Cancer Care and research place, sits just behind.
The Centre is a newer building. As we enter, I am instantly aware that this is very probably the very best building/ work site our Health Authority has. It is open and airy and has windows that can let in fresh air. I have some serious workplace envy happening.

We see a series of people. Firstly a Client Care Aide. Excellent information compassionatly delivered. (Thank you Terry) Then we see a Radiation Oncologist. Another wonderful influx of information. But weighty, and oh so serious.

We stagger out under the weight of tmi to find a funkie lunch spot. We agree on the Parsons Cafe, and two thumbs up on that! YUMMY! Now is it Parish Cafe? Rectory Cafe? Parsons?
well buggerit all but it was tasty. Organic food grown locally. Cooked beautifully. Priced moderatly.

Back for round two: Chemotherapy 101.
Now we are getting somewhere. This is the suggested immediate.
We are fully loaded now with options a go-go.
After agreeing to be part of a test study, it is off for blood samples and then out to the car and homeward bound.

It is Lady D at the wheel. She does not take well to my suggestions of driving below the posted speed on the icy road. She believes that the posted speed is just an indicator and it is best to keep up with traffic. I bite my tongue so as not to mention the other drivers are in cars more winterized- we dont even have snowies on.

So again we rant our way home. Rant on her crazy ex- husband, on my ongoing war on mess in the home, and blah buggery blah blah.

The truth is we are both processing the information that in ten years time 20% of women just like us die of the cancer. The truth that even with chemo AND radiation it is still 7% that cannot be helped. The truth that we hate cancer and we hate these salesmen of treatment.
Yes they are salesmen. They are selling a product that likely we will feel obliged to buy.

That will be one round of chemo over 18 weeks thanks.... hold the radiation for now.
And the Tamoxifen 5 yr plan for dessert.

Lovely. Just bloody lovely.


The Pain of Enduring.

Another exercise in grace.
Another series of object lessons.

I sat in a room of 14 people all who work with me in the field.
I listened to the concerns and voiced a few of my own.

I work with some wonderful people. Almost all of my coworkers are people I would not hesitate to trust my life to. Amongst the pearls there are a handful of ten year+ employees that have something else going on.

The something else is a strange disconnect between what the Policy and Procedures of our region are and what they actually do in their practice. It is all about safe practice.
For me there are only two issues : Health and Safety --- is it safe? is it aseptic?T

These people of the something else never report incidents that put their co-workers at risk unless forced to.

So the meeting continue. We address the regional no lift policy.
No, they have no concerns.
My eyebrow goes up.

Interesting because in the room are two of the something else who several times a week violate the regional no- lift policy. They consider it to be stupid to call in another worker for a 3 minute transfer. They take the risk. But when they are not available and someone new is sent in, the new person is now at risk. And the new people get hurt.

These two of the something else never bothered to report 5 serial incidents where their client took a swing . They agreed that he really did not mean to hurt anyone.

We are all different.

I sat across the room watching.
They contribute __Nothing__ say __Nothing__

Where do we get these people?
Did they actually go to College?
Or were they *grandfathered* in?
Is it coincidence that they are supremely confident that they know best?

Sometimes when I get pissed off on the job, I have been know to say: I am not your boss. I am not your supervisor. I can only be my own best person, just as you must be for yourself. If you have some problem report it to your supervisor. I aint your supervisor. But for heaven's sake report it.

This post was prompted by finding out that two of my coworkers were injured in a place where the no lift policy was violated. Repeatedly.


RIP Hubert

Hubert, our fish, lived in an outsized brandy snifter on the dresser in the other bedroom.
Hubert was decidedly low maintenance. Seemingly content with his lot he lived a loved life.

I came out of my long lovely hot shower to a screaming roomie.
"Were you in my room? Did you touch my door? Did you slam something?"
A few more questions and I asked what was going on.

The snifter lay shattered on the floor. Hubert lay quietly dead.

I think the sudden cold low temperatures caused the glass to contract too suddenly . I think.
I once had a man make me an etched glass mirror in Art Noveau style for my December birthday. He had worked on it for a few months and it was breath-takingly lovely.

I brought it home in my car, and hung it up on the wall. The night was cold, the wall was an outside one and the next morning there was a huge crack right across the mirror. A pattern destroying one. To this day he thinks I dropped it carelessly.

Bye bye Hubert. That was an ignomious way to go.

and yeah - roommate suspects I slammed a door.


Carol Maureen Barker

Ah time the great healer.

No matter how many years pass, my memories of Carol Barker never diminish.
She - The lively strawberry blonde with such electic artistic flair - and I - the angst-ridden brunette with a withes mop of hair brooding over couplets. We bonded over our shabby treatment by a fellow artiste. Nothing like a good rant to clear the air. At the end of the day we found ourselves like minded. The artiste was never admitted to our inner sanctum.

Ours was a relationship of joy.
We had such fun. All too soon came the night when:

The phone rang.
A promise was called in.
I reneged.-
Carol walked home.

Death on Oak and 46th.
The stop light now blinking there remains as testimony to our need to make sense of her death. t flashes to commemorater our canvassing of the neighbourhood and petitioning City Hall.
Carol, no longer Carol, became a stat.

I made peace with her in the graveyard at 41st and Fraser years after her burial.

November 30th is the day she died.
November 29th is the day I reneged on my promise.

If nothing more, this day serves to remind me to be careful not to make promises.
I wear a telephone charm on a bracelet some times.


Brain Drain

I approach the coming month with disbelief. Today, Carol has been absent from us for longer than she was ever alive. Next week was her birthday and one later, mine.

This year I am celebrating by buying lottery tickets.

If I won a substantial jackpot;
  • I would immediately take a leave of absence from work.
  • I would wean myself off my meds and take up drinking single malt scotch again.
  • I would employ a keeper to keep me out of trouble. ( I am an exuberant drinker)
  • I would take my guitar up again and rock out up and down the little clubs on this coast.
  • I would get Morgostas to build me that Harley.
Mostly I would reedit my huge collection of fiction.
---and--- publish.

Silly dreams.



Comment on the pic....

Can you see the differences in the two chairs?
  • height
  • arms
  • ball decoration on arms
  • etc
The pic looks bad until you click on it and see the glorious detail.
I am not embarressed by my animal print cheesy throws.
That's why I am commenting on it! Justify, justify, JUSTIFY!

Oh!, and one shelf of my books.

Living with Creative People -or- Zen and the Art of vintage leather chair buying

Anyone living with a creative person knows what that likely means.
I live with a very creative younger person who LIKELY could win national awards for mess.
Why put up with it? For starters we are related, if you take my meaning.

My own minor creativity comes out in writing, playing games, and, yes, moving the furniture around. -heh

When I moved from my castle to the current micro-estate, there was a surplus of many everythings. It was difficult to decide exactly which of what to keep once it became apparent that this was home for a few years. My teeny tiny cozy condo was purchased for $59,900. The current value is just a lick under 200. The castle I sold for $155k is now worth a cool million.
It is a small regret since at the time I could no longer afford the maintenance, but harder to say bye-bye to that ocean view and the nature trails. Prices have soared as the masses are here. Entry homes are $300k. ( I should file this under: my real estate rant)

So now.... whilst sauntering through my local Sally Ann- what to my wondering eyes did appear but a black leather chair, twin to my beloved at home. This chair was overpriced as some Einstein told the staff that just the arms sell for $50. I dinno about that. I subdued my inner cheap gene, bought it and scratched the bejeez out of my car's leather upholstery cramming into my old pontiac to bring home. And? It is, alas, not a twin. it is a cousin at best. (grrrrr)

Now, after rearranging the living room a few hundred times, I am bracing myself for the inevitable fireworks when my firecracker comes at last home. The taste of crow is anticipated.

Do as I (try to articiulate coherently) mean, not as I (inevitably) do.


More HealthCare Musings....

Kill 'em with kindness . . . well that is my way of confronting conflict.
Health Authorities are unwittingly doing the same thing.
That pesky road to hell - being companion to good intentions, creates no end of mix-ups.

On the one hand, we want to keep seniors at home as long as possible as we know through the gathering of statistics (likely flawed surveys of the wrong people at the wrong times **) that the elderly do best when living at home. On the other hand, sometimes people really, really want to go into a situation where they get more care. Read those last five words : where they get more care.

Many times what happens is that they go into extended care where they have no peers among the demented and stroked-out residents, and they die in despair. Many more times they go into Government-assisted living situations, where they do not get more care; they get 2 meals a day, and a small room in a co-op style environment. The problem with this is that most of these people in these placements are people who could not thrive at home with Home Support assisting them. So into Care they go in Assisted Living and their care is taken away at the level they had at home. Give them 3 months and yes, it's off to extended care. There IS no Intermediate care anymore. Not really.

It is a comedy of tragic proportions. All at the top of these healthcare pyramids are people who need desperately to get out of the office and into the field. They need to send out polls to clients in service for longer than 6 months asking questions like:
  1. What are we doing right?
  2. What are we doing wrong?
  3. What can we do better to enable you to stay in your own home?
  4. Your suggestions to make it a better experience for all concerned.

Too easy I suppose.
I have yet to meet a client who is completely happy with their service as provided.
And I have yet to meet a client who was asked about it.

This needs to be on paper.
Otherwise, apparantly, it doesn't exist.

** like that famous stat that clients statistically expire within 6 months of entering a Care Facility. Kinda a no- doh when people cant get placed until they are dangerously, critically, ill or completely burned out from trying to make it on their own.

Someone talked..... (secret police...)

Poke enough people with a stick for too long and someone, somewhere, sometime will shout out loudly enough to be heard. Well: someone talked!

Going about my beeswax today, a client's daughter asked me what I thought about the paper.
"The paper?" I was clearly not getting it....
"The front page of yesterday's paper" and she handed it to me.

Someone, a very brave someone, took the intiative to call the paper and report on the results of cuts to scheduled visits. ie: from 60 minutes to 45 minutes. That particular someone exposed themselves rather too much when they commented that they were sent to a home without being informed that another worker was injured previously.
I think I went there as well but I was prepared.

You have to pick your battles.
I am pretty sure I know who this person is, but really, it is all of us.
We are not anti-employer, we are pro-client. And as we work on the Government dime, you and me and every tax-payer of the Province is paying our wage. We want to give quality care. We know where privatization leads, and it is not to over-abundances of quality. It is to caste system care- got the cash, get the perks- otherwise its wash your hands face give your privates a wipe and we are outties.

I used to call in to my Supervisor every single thing that outraged me.
She got the point.
My new Supervisor, my 6th in 6 years, knows full well what I think.
We have crossed swords in the past. I know she does what she can, and I know she is an inherently good person. I report things that can be changed. I report health and safety problems. I don't report microshit crap.

When you work the day shifts, there is always someone who has your back. Help is just a phonecall away. When you work evenings, it's catch as catch can. My regime of report-o-mania occurred when I worked evenings. Believe me, every single evening contained at least one reportable incident from violent outbursts to people fainting from dehydration, to addresses obliterated by branches necessitating getting out on busy roads to walk up and down looking for house numbers in the dark.

My compromise was to work days. I also make a point of refusing assignments that contain unsafe components. My employer would say that every assignment is safe, but with the increase in dementia clients living at home, I beg to differ. My old photo name tag has the dental imprints of a man who had a delirium. If I hadn't been wearing the tag, he would have bitten my nipple off. And what was I doing where this could be an issue? I was pushing him in his wheelchair through a door and right at the point where my hands where in a different room than his teeth he tried to bite me. Pretty savvie for a delirium I would say.

We work at risk.
All we want is to be informed.
Be safe.
Be respected.
I know the person who called the paper did it with the best of intentions, although there was one sentence that annoyed me...** We have enough legitimate provable issues to address without speculative scare-mongering.

I know, I know. What a dream!

** only the one you say?



Lady Di and I left our demons in sleepytown and ventured out to catch the matinee of Beowulf.
It was quite disheartening to discover our theatre only supported 2D. (buggerit) This gives us an excuse to venture down to Victoria for IMAX. -- perhaps even next week. At any rate once the disappointment of 2D left, we settled in to watch the epic.

I am not the kindest of critics -- all this opinionation in me bursting forth at inconvenient moments (see ""blog"") and I must constantly edit even this site to remove outbursts inappropriate, but - like Mikey -- I liked it. Lady Di liked it. We liked it - we really really liked it.

Naturally on the way home we stopped in to Chapters to check the script book and a side by side olde english and translation copy over hot beverages. I cannot wait to see it in 3D IMAX.
But for now this was cool.

A personal snort for me was when, in the car on the way back, Lady D told me that she found Beowulf incredibly attractive. I wished I could play for her right that second then, the interview on the Beowulf site with
Ray Winstone where he comments on his stellar bod.
His body is about as magnificent as mine.

--alas alas

Wonder if he takes brain meds too?

Anyway, I told her they hired him for his voice and bravado, but the butt was all special effects.

I cant wait til I can have my own CGI self.


The Honey Man

Am I the only person that did not know what the Honey Man did?

Speaking with my 93 year old client who was raised in Inverness Nova Scotia, in a time where indoor bathrooms did not necessarily mean flushable toilets, and a steam whistle served as a fire alarm, I learn something new all the time.

So the Honey Man does not deliver honey.
It is some old fashioned humour.


The Big Relax-o (continues)

It is a work day. I hear the alarm going off. In the distance, I hear one of my chiming clocks strike. *one **two *** three ****four *****five ******six *******seven
-eh? Seven?

Yuppers, seven.
Luckily today is the day I start at seven with the old Army veteran who will be up, fed, dressed, meds taken, and only wish a game or 2 of crib. I use my travel time later in the day to catch myself up. I am getting lackadaisical. Aint it grande?

Lucky doggie-boy, no time for a walk means inbetween clients many many mini-walks.
Lucky me, I get to enjoy some sunshine.

After training my brain, I pick up Sharon Kay Penman's "Here be Dragons."
A little history with my fiction.

Today Beowulf opens. Lady D and I will attend on Tuesday.
Life, she is good today.


Cleaning, clearing, and bins

Because of the dreaded dragon, cancer, and the after-effects of treatment, I have dedicated myself to clearing out junk. There are those who might believe my entire home to be thus. Some of my beloved treasures I sent to homes where I know they will be appreciated. Some 50 of my clocks I just donated to Sally Ann. This day past, my evil twin came to assist me in packing stuff up. (Thanks, P.)

After 22 boxes left the condo, I hesitated over a few books. I cant bear to give away books without telling them how much I loved them. This ceremony amuses others, but truly I have to. In one of the books was a sheath of paper with poems of Arda. My own, of course. I gazed through with a smile. I have not visited Ardan soil since my falling-out with a certain Ainu. A certain Ainu who referred to my home as a "shit-hole." ----cough I miss the place, but not enough to go back. I couldnt bear it to be honest. One of the things about cancer is that it totally sharpens your senses to what is important. Although my holiday helped immensely, I still dont have enough in reserve not to burst into tears. No kiddin. I am a wuzz.

I have a feeling that Frank Gough told this little treat to me, I dont think it's one of mine. It;s sure cute though. I wonder what Frank is doing. If he is still on this side of the sod he will be 98. The scribe. Frank was part Cary Grant, part Edward Gorey. I adore him.

" A little lace in it's place - titillation.
A little frill a little thrill - stimulation.
Doff the lot, what have you got?-- revelation."

For some reason, this little ditty was with dozens of poems about hobbits. - heh

"A Soldier in Flanders"



Third Impression, January 1945
(Total 25,000 Copies)

Saturday, November 10th, 1917, the 7th Canadian Infantry was advancing on Passchendale ridge, step by step in the soft, deep, treacherous mud. One of them, a former sailor, proud of his own strength, contemptuous of any weaker than himself, caring only for his interests,was using a Lucas lamp in signaling when he saw the enemy approaching. In the ensuing defense of his position, this man's strong body was pierced by a bullet which changed not only his outlook but the whole course of his life. His strength was turned in a moment to weakness, and he fell into a yawning shell hole half full of water - unconscious. Some time later, as consciousness returned, he heard a voice crying for help, then cursing bitterly at the apathy of all who should have offered the help he demanded, then going on into desperate prayer for deliverance. Suddenly our friend realized that the voice
was his own, and the commotion ceased at once. Hours dragged wearily and painfully by and the soldier began to lose hope of being rescued.

Enemy soldiers were seen moving over the ground making prisoners of those who could walk, and killing at least some who could not. He fired his rifle, but apparently without result, and the enemy drew closer, looking at him - but from the grotesque position his body had fallen into - thinking him dead -
the soldier passed onward. This proved that he was lying in "No man's land," and made his chances of being picked up remote.
At about midnight, he saw figures against the skyline moving away from his vicinity and called for help, only to be told that some one would be sent to look for him at daylight. Now human props were knocked away from
him. He had been many hours without food, water, or sleep and was hardly able to keep awake, yet to sleep meant
death. What to do?

Towards dawn a heavy shell struck the ground just behind him, and exploded, and, in making its own crater, almost blocked up the one in which he lay, forcing the water in which he had been lying - close up to his chin, at at last he was able to west his parched and swollen tongue. A short time later another shell dropped
right between his knees into the soft mud, with its ugly butt close enough to touch. Terrified, he waited cringingly for the explosion which never came, and as he realized that the shell was a dud, his nerve gave way and he frantically shouted for help. However, help was not forthcoming yet.

Into his mind now came the words of a song he had often sung before, "Where
do we go from here, boys?" At last the words became a sharp, demanding question, and a warning that he would soon be going somewhere, but WHERE? Then came the answer. Trapped in the mud, his once boasted strength gone, helpless; he knew now that his sould, stained with thirty years of conscious and wilful sin, was to go out NAKED
into the presence of a Holy God without covering or advocate! Terror of death fell on him, and he again made efforts to escape from what seemed now to be his grave.
"I cannot die," he thought. " I can't face God, I am not ready."

Still he could not think what to do.
"I MUST do something or I shall be dead, and then what?" "What can I do?"
Again and again he cried in despair, and then it seemed as if an answer came.
"Call upon ME in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee."
He did not see this as his answer and still wondered
"What can I do?" To every query was given again the thought, "Call upon ME in the day of trouble. I will
deliver thee.
" This must be from the Bible he thought, and it must mean God. But how call I call upon God? Yet there was no alternative, for sleep must soon end the struggle. At last came prayer, of its kind, the cry of a soul in anguish.
"Oh God, if there really be a God, and if you can hear me in all this confusion, and if you can pick my cry out of all those that cry this morning, and if you will listen to a voice like mine, this is my day of trouble, and I am calling." And fear receded and comfort came. Then he heard, "Whose calling over there?" "7th
Battalion" he answered. "Where are you buddy?" "Over here."

Finally two brave men, temporarily leaving their post- crawled to where our friend lay, and with difficulty pulled his helpless and broken body out of the shell-hole, but having done this, were not able to help further. So,pointing out the closest dressing-station, (Red Cross) they left him to reach that half-mile distant post as best he could. The wounded man could not lift his body from the ground, nor even use his hands, so he dug his elbows into the surface, and dragged himself laboriously forward a foot at a time.

Hours slowly passed. Shells fell beside him, bullets whined above him. Three time an airplane approached, machine-gunning the forward positions, but each time the place reached a point where its fire must strike that crawling worm on the surface, the firing ceased and the plane passed on. Whether this was due to to mere
"sportsmanship" on the pilots part, or to that great promise, "I will deliver thee" I will leave the reader to

The fact remains that finally he reached a point where he could be seen by other soldiers, and having attracted their attention, he again lost consciousness. But this time help was at hand, and he regained consciousness in a base hospital. Months afterward, telling part of this story to friends, he was given a Bible to read for himself these words so wonderful to him. They many be found in Psalm 50:15, but our friend found a sentence more than he had so far learned. It was ... "and thou shalt glorify ME." This became his new desire, and he has tried in some measure to fulfill his part, giving his testimony to his friends, or to careless folk brought to wonder "Where do I go from here?" He says in conclusion, "It is better to walk to God in health and strength, than to crawl to his feet through the mud of despair and in fear of death."

Mr. T has been granted the privilege of telling the story of God's love, warning of His anger against sin, and testifying from his own experience of man's helplessness in the presence of God without excuse. "Reader be SURE
your soul does not go out from you "naked" ! Shelter it under the blood of Jesus Christ - God's Son, shed on Calvary for you." "Christ died for our (my) sins, according to the Scriptures."
(I Cor. 15:3)

Rest in his finished work for time and eternity.


and THAT is my Grampa - evangelizing!


Ol Grandpa T

Having posted that tidbit on my Grandfather, it occurs to me that the picture left in one's mind would be of an obnoxious evangelical zealot, bombarding any and all with his idea of God.
Perhaps this is part of the man. Not really the larger part of him though.

My Grandpa T was named Lionel. Lionel Claude in fact. Somewhere along the conversion trail he decided that he would take the name Joseph. He referred to himself as Joe. Ol' Jo was 100% disabled in the Great War. He had his left hip shot out. But prior to those days he was a character and a half.

L.C. was born waaaaaay back in the 1880's. He ran away from home after his widower father remarried. (I can relate) His relocation project brought him to Canada but after an aggressive child find program from his publisher father, someone recognised him and he was sent back to London. That lasted another two years and he was off for good this time. He sailed on the three mast sailing ships all around the world and had some glorious tattooes including an anchor on his hand between thumb and first finger.

L.C. was one of those daredevil types who did feats of strength at carnivals. He was very proud of his physique. He fell in love with a lovely English rose who knew right away this was a man who could not be managed. She begged off as she was devoutly Christian, and he worshipped only his body.

When war came, he was in his early thirties, but he joined up anyway. True to form, he was promoted several times for acts of valour and courage, and demoted more times for insubordination. His clarion call in the trenches was after being shot and left for dead, as he heard the moans of the dying around him. He saw advancing enemy soldiers bayonetting those left. His tract said the yells and screams of a wounded man brought him to his senses and he tried to tell that man to shut up, until he realised he was that man.

A Bible verse ran through his head, no doubt courtesy of the English rose. "Call upon me in your time of trouble and I will answer you." L.C. called. He was found by medics 3 days later and brought out. He went to see the English rose and she immediatly reminded him that the Bible Verse has two parts. The second part is: "... and I will glorify you."

L.C. got the girl, my grama, and lived into the 1950's as a Salvation Army soldier and a Shantyman. He never lost the spark though, and never regarded himself as disabled. He refused to take a military pension for this reason. I see many of the traits of this man I never met in my own father, and indeed myself.

Proud. Zealous.
I am proud old Joe was my grandpa. I look forward to meeting him in other realms.
I can't wait to hear the stories that some of those old salts alluded to wouldn't divulge.




At 11:11 am, although at work, I stopped to remember those who gave their all for my freedom. On my drive home, a CBC radio segment on Passchendaele ridge was on.
This was of interest to me, as my Grandfather was grievously wounded in this battle. Miraculously, he survived and lived to tell any and everyone that God had heard his calling out from no-mans land and saved him. He believed that his duty to God was to become a Preacher and glorify God all the rest of his days. Somewhere in my home is a copy of the "tract" my Grandfather printed about his experiences. It was called "A Soldier in Flanders." One day I should transcribe it here to my blog.

My Grandfather was what they called a Shantyman. He picked up his wife and 5 kids and moved where the Lord called him. In the dirty 30's my poor Grandmother moved an astounding 23 times. I never met my Grandfather, but many many people told me he was a very charismatic gentleman possessed of an iron will and an ability to stay active every minute of every day. Since he did not condone radio, television or cards this involved human interaction. He was a well-loved man from all accounts.

After hearing a harrowing account of what conditions during that battle my Grandfather lived through, I felt very blessed indeed to ever have been conceived. Amazing really.


Burning questions answered...

Ok, ok, enough with the email.

Yes I know I do not go out of my bubble very often, it IS my life after all. (doh)

Yes, I did actually buy myself souvenirs. Perhaps not quite the conventional type.
Aside from the haircut, I bought myself a Nintendo DS and the Brain Age 2 cartridge.
(and the Final Fantasy one, and the Flash Focus one, and Mario...)

When I took the Brain Age quiz, my first results were staggering.
The first brain age test is this rock, paper, scissors thing where you answer orally.
Sometimes it asks you to win and sometimes it asks you to lose.
It, uhm, took me a few go's to get into it.

My brain age score was accompanied by a little tsk tsk-ing. "That's quite a bit more than your actual age, isn't it?" it said. My brain tested in it's 80's.
--- ouch ---

After 10 days on ye olde DS I have gotten it down to 58 years of age.
Still awful but getting there.

My neuropsychiatrist had a good laugh.

I also bought myself an amber necklace. And some dyed seed pearls.
That's all though.

Okay, back to my DS.


*Only* in Montreal . . .

Our Hotel is home to one of the best restaurants in Canada.
The second I saw it I knew I had to take a snap . . .

The name says it all.

Iconic: Vacation Snaps

During my Montreal time, I only took a very few photos. I hate having my picture taken as I am notoriously unphotogenic. Somehow, this attitude carries forth into my excursions as photo-ops agogo are missed and squandered.

Being of icon mind, I did manage to sneak some shots in the Basilica.
So this then is what I loved in Montreal:


Home again Home Again jiggity jig

Montreal was great.

Glad to be home.

More later...


=*= Signs & Symptoms

Signs & Symptoms of Inner Peace.

Tendency to act & think spontaneously rather from fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakeable ability to enjoy each moment.

Loss of interest in judging other people.
Loss of interest in judging self.
Loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

Loss of interest in conflict.
Lack of ability to worry.
Frequently overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Frequent feelings of connectedness to others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to make them happen.
An increased suseptability to the love extended by others as well as the urge to extend love.


Change of Plan

The Rocky Mountain Express is out. We are going to Montreal.
On Sunday.

It is entirely possible I am the world's worst traveller. My brother knows this and is taking me anyway. He is in shock over my bf's dump of me. He couldn't believe anyone would not want to be with me, (uh huh) but when you have a TBI you get used to people not being able to handle your reality. I need more rest than 99% of people and I cannot stand noise or bright lights. (or breaks in routine, surprises and thousands of other things people take for granted)

I always tell evangelicals that I am not afraid of going to hell after death. I have lived my life in hell. It has to be better than this. Having said that I do love this crazy old world of ours and I am grateful for what quality of life I enjoy. Very, very grateful.

---note to self -- pack ear plugs, gameboy and dark glasses.



This vacation time was booked to spend with a person who stood me up last year.
--- Rerun.

People without familial obligations have skewered concepts of what it is like to have heavy ties not easy loosened, let alone broken. I am not surprised, merely annoyed with myself for being coerced into behaviour unsustainable ( by the other). Now my vacation looks different.

Rocky Mountain Express here I come. With my brother.
It will be fun.

- * - * -

Now for what is not fun.
That disease that has settled into my best friends body.

The diagnosis was worst case. The cancer was not contained, and the breast must come off.
Chemotherapy and then, possibly another mastectomy. *(wince) This week we will do fun things and not mention that c-word. It is just a terrible time.

I do not want to lose one more person I love.


Some good news, we'll take it!

Apparantly the Hospital's equipment is markedly better than our local Lab's and the new resonances show the tumour to be smaller than originally thought. This is very good news as it makes a difference in the type of surgery that is done.

Surgery is on Tuesday, and one week later the dreaded pathology report.
*fingers crossed, candles lit & negativity banished*

Tim C.

Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to a young person full of promise?

I am so glad my father failed his 3rd and final road test or it might have been him that hit this young man and cut short his life. As it is, some other 70 something has to live with it.

Tim was a vibrant young man, killed doing something he loved - longboarding.

Too soon. Way too soon.


Remembering Nick Drake

If you do not know of Nick Drake, take a moment to acquaint yourself with his work.
Nick Drake

There is a wonderful documentary airing on BBC this week.
Take the time to listen.
I think they leave the link up for seven days but dont wait.
Listen now. If my link acts up click off this page... http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/inthearchive/?focuswin
Tomorrow part 2 will be up.

I commemorate his passing each Nov 25th but this year I am a bit early because of the radio documentary.


Two shots of happy. One shot of sad.

After reading on Neil Gaimans blog that Jim Rigney (aka Robert Jordan) passed on, I was struck by the timing. September is indeed cruel this year.

How much nicer to read there about the Beowulf trailer. The second one!
Woohoo. Another thing to look forward to!

The other shot of happy is this:

(*insert your joy here)

Cancer, bloody cancer

My own cancer is at bay with more LEEPing and lasering and slice and dicing and all this without the benefit of a boyfriend to hold me and tell me all is well! Well, bugger the cancer anyway. It aint mine that is the worry, it is my best friend.

Once a Doctor says that dreaded c-word, the patient tends not to hear anything else as in their head a tape is playing.... Cancer, cancer cancer cancer. That is why they recommend you take a friend. We heard today that DREADED word. Yes, it is breast cancer. Now her choice is a surgical option of either lumpectomy or mastectomy.... but the part that she is staggered by is the radiation followup. She will be in Victoria for 15 treatments. Five a week for three weeks. Tuesday we go again for the last pre-microsurgeries Xray and consult.

My own date came and went. I went by myself because the only people I could ask are ex-husbands and elderly parents....
But I am strong in some key ways. I get mad and the anger propells me forward. My friend is more fragile and decidedly not a blogger or blog reader. I am ranting because I have paid my debt to cancer if debt it be. I want it to leave me alone now. And my friends too.

So we go.
In all honesty I would rather it were me than her. She has three beautiful daughters to raise.
Bloody cancer.



Sept 20th 1997

It was ten years ago today that my mother died.
It was a wretched time.
Her illness was awful in its wasting ways. She went kicking and screaming and lived 14 months longer than any team of Doctors believed possible. It werent pretty.

After Mom died, one by one we all fell apart.
In my case, after examining my life exhaustedly, I cast my lot in with a man I loved.
I loved him unlike any other person in my life. It was not the conventional romance, but a decade of longing and loving. I forgave him anything, permitted him everything and ultimately, watched as he walked away from me without a backwards glance.

Grief and loss. Twin themes.

It has been a strange ten years without a mother.
I have had to be companion, daughter and guardian angel for my father.
I long for the days of being just the daughter.

As I lay the flowers at Moms grave I will remember her for her secret legacy. Quiet charitable acts. I never knew about them until after her funeral when person after person came to me to tell me of her good works. She made them promise not to tell.

My mother was a warrior. Not gentle but fierce as Bodaciea.
She never had the struggles I have, but her own battles were epic. Somehow I think she emerged ever the champion.

One thing about Mom, -- she always commemmorated events.
So happy ten years in Heaven Mom.



Padraic Kennedy, FGA, GG

Sometimes you meet people who love life. Sometimes you find people who love words. -and- there are those who have such a love of both they spontaneously break into soliloquies verbose.
This then was Padraic.

We met at work. Padraic was the new Gemmologist. He had the very esteemed double degree that separates the sheep from the shorn. Padraic knew his stuff. He had to answer every question with a thousands words or more. He tried to fit in, he really did, but in an industry where speed is of the essence he really was a stand-out.

One night we went for appies and then back to his place for wine. He had the most amazing rental on the southern border of Chinatown. Padraic occupied the top floor of an ancient home. The ceilings were 12 feet high at their lowest which was a good thing as he had shelves of books everywhere, floor to ceiling. He lent me a book on Garbo (which I still have).

I had blue and pink hair and he was as straight as an arrow. For some reason it amused him to read me his long pedantic love poetry for his lost wife, and for an even odder reason it amused me to hear it. I used to think to myself: "No wonder she bloody left. The guy never shuts up."
Hey, I never said I was a nice person back then. I was a good person. Quite a different thing entirely.

I had heard that one of my co-workers from that time dropped dead at home suddenly. I thought it was Darren,(who used to dress up as Sherlock Holmes and take the bus to work).
It was just recently that I found out it was Padraic. To say it floored me is an understatement.

Now it is me sitting pedantically writing about lost loves and life.
I hope he looks down with a laugh and wonders when I will shut up.

I pulled down a book to read today and there was his signature.
Ah, Padraic. They were good times.


Late Summer Loverlies

mmm warm sunshine without the toxic heat. The winds are low and soothing; the skies blue and the touristas mostly gone! Woo Hoo!

It's paradise.
And I live here.


Downsides..... in Paradise

Perhaps I am slow on the uptake.
I did notice the markers in the concrete at the top of the street. I did notice that the concrete sidemarkers had been removed. The surveyers caught my attention. Yes, each detail was in my head but the meaning of the whole eluded me until....

7am.... my day off. Bang bang bang rumble bang.
Right til 6pm.

The inevitable yet again up close in my personal space.
The large and empty lot at the top of the street that once was industrial has been rezoned Residential (multi-family). So..... where noone lived will become 265 homes.
265. At the top of my street. 2 long blocks away.

There are currently 22 residential dwellings in this space including the (once) empty area.
Of the 22, 14 are in my estate (slash townhomes) . The road is being prepped for this upcoming change. Sewers, electrical, and yadda yadda bloody buggery yadda.


Everyone in Paradise wants to make MEGAbux. Noone wants to just *be* everyone wants to *maxx*. Yes it is inevitable, but golly it is sad to live through. Does every scrap of land have to be built on now? We are headed for a Los Angeleization of paradise.

I look down my hill to the water. It is about one mile away. I used to look up to the mountain.
Now I look at diggers and dump trucks.

Radio Boxes & Cosmic Checks and Balances

I awakened from the best single sleep I have enjoyed in years. Refreshed and happy and completely attuned to the wonderful world we inhabit. The day stretched out with promises unclaimed and like a little Mario I jumped up to touch every single one. The prizes glittered in my hands.

Seven clients were on my roster. Each one had some very nice thing to say as I departed. One, a 97 year old stodgy English woman, quite uncharacteristically laughed as she thanked me. Heaven on earth, as I saw the fruits of my labour ripened and sweet. The harvest was bountiful.

Now to the counterweights.
I had agreed to care for my parents dog whilst a wee trip was in the offing. Three days of the yappiest poodle ever highly bred, - a 4 pound menace to the eardrums. This dog is the apple of both my fathers. and my eldest siblings eye. Same eye, shared.
Every Thursday, faithfully comes sister 1, to care for the dog (and dad). Dad care involves med checks and simple meals. Dog care involved 5 or 6 walks a day, being carried around on her shoulder and lots of special treats. It is rather unseemly.

Our father has a pension hefty enough to care for extras such as dog-walkers, ex-wifes and new cars he cannot drive. His greatest challenge is to reach out and do things for himself. It is important that he maintain his independance. But no. In families like ours, someone always saves him. meh.

So I arrive to get the little menace and there is my sister who took an extra day off because she did not want the dog to be alone for 3 hours. (sigh) And on and on goes the advice and tips, as I am trying to register for an online semester of learning.

Radio boxes everywhere. I really am computer savvie, really I am. I am good at the human/machine interface after 17 years of this. It took, finally. But that damned background noise. Blah blah buggery blah.

So it was a wonderful day. A fabulous day. A day of late summer sunshine and roses.
And the registration somehow managed to leave off all the Core academics but included German and Cadets. Yes, Cadets. - - - cough


A Kindred Spirit - - - and my new addiction

My days are done by rote. I am a willing slave to routine. The need for peace in my head has brought my afternoons into a new pattern that contains my new addiction.


Listening to the "7th Dimension" I stumbled across a kindred spirit.
William Hope Hodgson. The dramatization of his "House on the Borderland"
has elements of my active dream life. I wonder if Hodgson had a head injury as a child?
Strange to find someone from my tribe in an audio story.

The story contains those things that I dream so strongly - the absence of time, the disassociation from the corporeal, the awareness of a presence not me. Gave me the creeps it did!

If Hodgson had not died in the first world war he would still be too olde for me to connect with sans fiction. I would have enjoyed speaking with him. Not many people can put into text that strange twilight world so few admit to occupying.


Bugger the Familes, Ask the Damned Client

This WAS my rant about families of clients.

Since we have similar issues in my own family with other siblings not me treating the paid help less than thankfully, graciously, and GRATEFULly, I shall consider the title of this post self explanatory.

Small life, small day - absolute bliss

The Work Day

04:30 open one eye and check the time. Yup too early.
05:30 Cuddle doggie and walk doggie
06:00 Oatmeal and mocha
07:00 - 14:00 work no break
14:30 Eat a big huge meal
15:00 Enter the sanctuary of my wonderful room
16:00 BBC7 and the seventh dimension and other dramas
19:00 Walk doggie
20:00 Lovely bath and book
20:45 zzzzz


The Waiting Game


The 6 month check up is now in the past.
My specialist assures me things look very good and just in case only, he took a couple of biopsies.
Strangely, I did not feel as badly this time altho I have been lounging about shamelessly since.

So good news all round.


Grey September

This weekend is summers last hurrah. Back to school on Tuesday for the kidlets and goodbye to the tourists. This is a holiday of course. Labour Day weekend. And I am labouring.

The beach is grey and quiet. The tide gently nears the shore. An abondoned lawn chair still sits on the float now beached. My lonely heron sit on the tide marker post. I realise that cranes and herons are different birds but I am fairly certain this is a heron. As a runner pelst the sands, shoes in hand, my bird flies away.

It is 7:15 and the morning regulars pull into the lot by the change rooms. The affluent dog walkers who visit while their dogs strain at the leash, alas, no walk just a chat. These particular regulars all drive 100 thousand dollar vehicles. They may be in the sunset years but they arent immune to the shiny thing bug. Several of their luxury SUVs are overly gold-plated. The Octogenarian bling.

Today I am close enough that they look over to me and strain to read my visible name-tag. They wonder why I come and go in these spurts. Simple, Watson. Early morning weekend and holiday visits are fraught with a built-in hazard. NOONE wants to see Community Health at & am. Or 8am for that matter. My regular assignments this day these times are not pleased. So I come back to my beach.

I know that on my next assignment I am lucky to have my quiet helper. The gentlest of the Workers has the uncanny habit of seeming slightly dense altho he is very caring and capable.
The usual helper I get there is a stocky woman of bad attitude who broadcasts her distaste through her body language. Today's helper is possessed of that great trait which cannot be trained nor bought - the trait learned only by the willing.

More dogwalkers breeze by. The average age on the boardwalk this morning is 75. They walk, I sit but we both heal the spirit.


- Apology

Alas the shiny thing blog still be not linked here.



Another friend!

Uncannily, just as I was lamenting to Randy I could not remember any friends from the murky past, a friend occurred to me. Now I have two longtime friends on Facebook.

It is hard to explain the delight of this.
I dont much live in the past and not just because I dont remember it very well.
But this I do recall. Mimi and her wonderful family.
I lived there in her house for 3 years or so. Oh sure I actually had a different address but it was her family that saved my teenage sanity.

I love this feeling.

Small Life

Tonight I am clicking away at the keyboard Facebooking to my dearest oldest friend, Randy.
I love Randy. *hug*

It is funny but one of the features of Facebook is to search for friends. I couldnt remember if I had any friends when I live in Vancouver. Other than Randy of course.

I must have lived a small life for longer than I suspected.

No wonder I am so happy.


Two Candles

One for my brother, who only wants what we all crave - love and acceptance. The candle is to open his eyes to see he already possesses both aplenty.

One candle for dear Diana - may your health increase.

I suppose I should light another for myself. That my faith multiplies enough to make the candles worth lighting


Monsters , scary monsters

Last week my very best friend called me to ask for a special coffee date.
Usually this means confiding about the antics and exploits of her wonky ex-husband. I always have time to listen as quite frankly if it were me, the man would be either in jail or dead. I have zero tolerance for violence and abuse. -= zero =-

It was rather worse. A lump had been discovered in her breast. A large lump. She was off for a mammogram and some unltrasound. One week later she is scheduled for surgery asap. A mastectomy most likely, a lumpectomy hopefully. And radiation following.


I have some candles lit. I think they will stay lit.




My goodness but what a fuss a video camera can make of a life.
Now there are 3 or 4 silly videos of me being myself (egad).



Ahh this is the stuff. Lounging about 'til all hours in the warm late summer evenings.
It is the time of year we know we are the lucky ones living here.
We have the best beaches in Canada right at our doorstep. In our case its a 7 minute walk down the hill to that gorgeous panarama and worth every step. MMMmmmm, paradise.
Apparantly the secret is *out* as every piece of real estate climbs ever higher in price.

Tonight, after the ritual visit to the bulk food store for lentils and grains, my keen senses detected a new real estate " house for sale" sign on the lawns in front of our estates. Another of our 14 is on the block now. And -shudder- it is my neighbour.

When my little haven was built back in the late 70's, it was targeted towards single elderly folk who were still capable of stair climbing. It was low end stuff, with one bathroom and a teeny tiny cubbyhole kitchen. No gratuitous use of granite, no sweeping countertops and high end appliances. There is no garage, attached or otherwise, and the back yards are little squares of hopefulness. We got lucky in the grounds department as a visionary planted low maintenance heathers, rhododendrons and low growing cedars. It looks great and keeps the doggies out whilst providing a home for the grouse and quail populations. They duke it out with the hummingbirds.

The quaintness of our abodes is unique for this area where the main target buyers are seniors wanting one level homes. There are oodles of condominium projects, mostly gated, mostly way up over the $250k mark. Our little corner of heaven has sold for $190k recently. A scandalous amount in these greed-ridden times but without parallel. There is nothing else in our price ranger comparable. --nothing--

The last two units sold to young couples as a first home. Will my new neighbours be like this?
It has been nice these last few years living between two older retired ladies. One is a gardener who keeps convent hours (and lifestyle) and the other a traveller who dragon-boats around the globe with her mates.

Ah change. Inevitable.

Relax -ed

After wondering futilely what lived on the floor of my roommates room, at last I can authoritively hold forth.

Within the bounds of a 8 by 10 space, there were 7 pop tins, 5 water bottles, 33 of my sterling teaspoons, two bowls, five plates, and 3 huge hefty garbage bags of scrap paper, clippings and other more sinister things. And how do I know this? I took advantage of an extra day off to make good my threat of cleaning it myself. This undertaking was only possible as said roommate was not home for a few days.

Believe it or not, I did not find it disgusting nor upsetting. I found it very calming and satisfying.
It was just totally time to get that damn beast under control.

And now, as the machines finish the last of multiple piles of laundry, I am relaxed and happier than I have been for a long long time.

And the roommate?
She said a guilty thank-you although I am sure part of her wants to kill me.
Luckily the part that is grateful is bigger.


Shake your brain...

I am chagrined to admit I now have a Facebook account.

Glory days but what fresh hell it is!

Gettin Olde.... r

Off I go, zoom zoom, after chit-chattering away a safety check, I change my shoes, adjust my glasses up my nose and step outside to the morning coolness. It is 07:15 and I am happ-hap-happy.

It is one small step to the walkway which will take me to my car. One step.
-=-=- WHOMP! -=-=-

I appear to be on my elbows and knees. yeowwwwch. 3o long seconds is what it takes for my breath to return. For a short moment I am concerned that I have broken my wrist but miraculously it has bent precariously and returned to a human position. As the feeling returns to my extremities I realised that I have skinned my knees and arms. Minor scrapes are like paper cuts: they hurt majorly for so minor a thing. The shock is beginning to dissipate and the pain radiates like a warm sun.

Now I pretend to be fine as I hear the door open behind me. My client is worrying that there was water on her step. No no, I tell her its the damned glasses. Can't take me anywhere. I get up to prove I am really all right and thank God I am wearing black pants. The blood does not show. My hand rebels and will not hold my binder. I clutch it to my chest with my arm and make my hasty comic exit.

Next client is a palliative care assignment. She had a bad night and wants her opiated sleep. Hello. Here are your medications. Good bye. Quick. Efficient. Over.

Now I am at the beach. A Crane, a solo Crane, is sitting on the float where swimmers will congregate later. He looks out to Sea. Alone, like me. I watch "The Stroll" where joggers burn calories and dog-walkers exercise their little companions. Almost noone seems to have a larger animal.

Off to my left, a digger starts up. It is a strange sight. It appears to be scooping sand up and pushing it into the water. Why? The Crane flies away, spooked by the sounds. My radio is set to, what else? GodblesstheCBC. Dustin Bentall plays some folksy tune. Is this Barney's son? Or Daves? Or are there more than 2 Bentalls in this world. Bentall, there is a name that sparks memories.

David Bentall was the first person I knew to have a White Spot credit card.
I always pretended not to care about his wealth and vanity but secretly I was very curious.
Until we went to Keats Island camp and I met Barney Bentall.
oh swoon.

I remember being young. It was glamourous and exciting and completely wasted on me.
I was always so busy. Running running running.

Now I stand still.
I like standing still.

breaks over... back to work.


Blessings raining down upon my soul

It is inconceivable that the me of the 1980s would recognize the life and style of the me of the now. Trading in infamy for anonymity - taking for giving - upward mobility for standing still.
I like standing still! Who knew?

A new name to me to replace a cancellation or two. A wonderful elderly gentleman so very pleased to meet me, a cancer-ridden woman not many years older than I being so very happy to share her story in a barely audible voice. Blessings are raining down on me like sunshine streaming through a country kitchen window.

My best of all worlds is to hear people remunerating life episodes wistfully/sorrowfully/joyfully. To live in this world so sensually alive is not a blessing unless you live one on one all day every day; quite impossible these days unless you work as a paid Companion.
Or in HealthCare. Community to be precise.
Facility is more run run and run some more.

To do what you love and get paid for it is Paradise.

A Chaucerian Blessing

Bless this house
Chaucerian Blessing

Blesse this house from every wikkede wight,
Fro nyghtes mare werye the with Pater-noster;
Wher wonestow now, seynte Petres soster?”

(The Mylleres Tale by Chaucer , also Chaucer's The Miller's Tale, annotated version)


A Very Cool Gentleman

Don To Earth, A Nonagenarian (90+) Ponders Life, the Universe, and Aging

This is someone I understand completely.

Go Don go.

read his blog-- as many of his very insightful posts as you can - -


More Stardust

Ah Stardust.

We went to see it on Saturday night with great anticipation.
It was a hoot and a half. Robert de Niro was grande as the fiercesome pirate whoopsie.

Highly recommended.


Or you can have the reading pleasure and enjoy that as well.
A purist might have quibbles with the film but it was great fun.

Quibbles and bits

Oh how people notice small things.

Ok ok so...

Never commit yourself to a cheese with having first examined it. - T.S. Eliot


Wellness Versus Chaos

Like so many people who look great, I have my secret invisible injury to keep me company day in and day out. Some days it is far away from me, and others right in my face. It is completely impossible to explain to people who have no experience with it, and sadly the very worst to deal with are one's own family.

I had a very bad few days for no apparant reason at all. I do not take time off work for these things but I do have to come home and go to bed in a very dark room alone. The people I work with and the people I work alongside never have any idea that I could have anything less than a perfect life.

Oh this looking good thing. Because of my lifestyle choices, alot of people assume I am independantly wealthy. After all, I display all the trappings of success including a workweek most people would chomp their teeth off to get. I work 30 hours a week at most over four days. At most. My clothes are beautiful and bountiful and my car is shiny and newer, and I have a ridiculous penchant for jewels, but no, I am not wealthy. Not in the material sense at least.

Bad day. bad night. Another bad day, another bad night.
What did my own family say to me?
"Don't you think you will feel alot better if you would just deal with it and get over it?"

Well, yeah that would be great. Could you send that memo to God about reversing brain injuries? I am sure He will get right on it.

So I still take these damn medications, and wonder if they do anything other than make me fatter and sleepier. I look so good. Plus-size good but good, so they tell me.

Does this mean anything at all?
Not to me.

If I won a lottery prize of any substance, I would go off my meds and take a year off somewhere to see what exactly would happen. I know I would not sleep very much, and I know I would not be able to stand having many people near me, and possibly I might have a seizure but ......

It doesnt translate to text this preoccupation of mine.

Like Pinocchico I just want to be real.