Having had a lengthy recovery process from a relatively insignificant fall, I have nothing but admiration for my clients who are all decades older and less bone-dense. The former is obvious but how do I know the latter? Well-- let me elucidate.

Prevention is much more sensible than treatment and where bones are concerned, most treatments to help density take 10 years to be effective. Really! My father has osteo-arthritis and some osteoporosis. He is also elderly and reaping the negative benefits of a life of peril, turmoil, and turbulence on the high seas. Since I strongly favour my father in most things genetic, and since I have an older sister who likewise resembles him, the two of us went off to have heel scans. This is a service offered by appointment at our local Pharmasave.

I am not sure what I was expecting, other than the $50 fee. The most onerous part of a heel scan is the part where you fill out a form. The actual scan itself is almost without sensation. After the scan the technician goes through your chart which she has just printed out from the gathered statistics and then you go off to chat with a Pharmacist who has recommendations for you.

Oddly, it was during this last chat that my heel began to vibrate. I suppose my scrambled brain took just that long to recognise the sensations. My scan showed me to be 14% above the average for my age group. My sister who is nine years my elder was 40% above hers. We have good genes. Thanks Dad.

--------------- **

A cause may be inconvenient, but it's magnificent. It's like champagne or high heels, and one must be prepared to suffer for it.
Arnold Bennett


Uhm, not in Hindhi....

What's in a name?

Well- when I started this blog, if I googled "Pepperkinz" the only results were me and my blogspot posts. Now- it seems pepperkinz is some sort of catch word for spam.

Go ahead - google it.
I find it very difficult to believe that there is truly another pepperkinz out there.

वहत'स इन अ नेम?

oh hmm... Is it just me or did that title just become hindi?

--- must check settings....

Hard Times.

This winter has been terribly difficult for alot of people on this left coast. It has been cold and dark and bleak. Winter blues are everywhere.

After my experience at a meeting where a co-worker basically blew her cool and behaved in an uncommonly hostile way, I was discussing the phenomena of anger in the workplace with some folk who work in Facilities in this area. They also had noted that the instance of employee distress was way up. One of the facilities had a fist fight between two female co-workers and another had a grievance lodged against one Nurse who had physically threatened another. Unbelievable? No, all too believable. People are hurting.

My firm and unwavering belief remains that the antidote to hostility is kindness.
Those who confuse kindness with weakness are just that - confused. More kindness and less reactionary befuddlement goes a long long way to establishing firm boundaries. The peak of my management career came when I had the realization that credentials were far less important than adaptability. Many many people who came in knowing nothing became cornerstones of the business I was in. Skills are important, but trainability trumps every time.

As the economy slows and people everywhere are being forced to downsize, anger and bitterness is exhibited everywhere. The culture of entitlement is biting itself in the behind. Yesterday, a photo montage of what life is like in the Phillipines for those who have nothing and less than nothing was shown to me. I saw what changes can be made in lives without hope for what we would consider a pittance.
Yes, we in the pampered west have had change. Yes, times are turbulent. Tell your troubles to those who have nothing. They will listen respectfully, but I doubt they will understand it.

We remain the most spoiled brats on God's green earth.

------------------ !!!

Violent peace
blah blah blah
buy it right now
blah blah blah
we are the world
we are so huge
blah blah blah
johnny can't read
blah blah blah
I' can't see
blah blah blah
tuna on white
guns all night
blah blah blah

blue jeans coolies
everything huge
petrified food
pizza killers
from napalm to nice guy
nifty fifty
hit 'em where they live

the most spoiled brats
on god's green earth

pop before the war
(Iggy Pop - Blah blah blah)

My Angels

The complexities of life have led to my friends being more wide and varied than most.
A goodly gaggle of artists musicians and performers exist alongside those I met through work or just along the twisted path that has been my journey. As I had a very difficult young life fraught with illness and injuries, addictions and recoveries, the one constant has been my great ability to persevere. No matter how dark, no matter how bleak, I have kept going.

When you have lived hard, it is sheer luck that determines if your number comes up. That and a guardian angel. Either you believe in angels or you do not. If you are a doubter, my words will seem babble. If you are a believer, it will affirm your faith. Nothing less than a supernatural force could possibly have kept such as me alive.

Prior to my brain injury, I did, in fact see auras and dream heavily. As a very young child I was unable to distinguish my dreams from reality. It not for this knowledge perhaps I too would attribute my dreamings to scrambled body chemistry.
Through all my turmoils and temptations, there was an awareness that what was happening to me was not me. This distinction kept me going always through, not around until I could once again discover what was me.

One of the reasons to write, blog, journal and compose, is to keep memories fresh and alive. My dearest friends know all too well that my memory is completely unreliable. I am all right for the immediate as long as I write a reminder down. I am excellent as a responder as my skills are high and automatic. But if you want an accurate account of events - hmm, no, dont ask me. It does not trouble me to admit that altho it seems correct to me, I have had demonstrated countless times that I am likely to take two, perhaps three, truths and combine them into one. Not exactly confabulation, but definitly not historical evidence. It is therefor perhaps not true that I remember seeing an angel but I cannot imagine what else could be in my memory banks that would account for the brilliant orb I saw in my bedroom as a teenager. This orb emanated peace and goodwill and absolute love. I was not afraid, I was amazed. It told me to rest and renew and be still in the knowledge that I was important.

In my hospice work, I frequently have students along for the ride. Almost every one of them has given me a small gift on their graduation and almost every gift has been an angel. My clients and their families also gift me with angel pins keychains and ephemera. My dashboard and my headliner are adorned with dozens of these things. They watch out for me and remind me that in this vast universe, a being of light had time to calm a teenage heart and mind and place a life-saving truth within my soul.

I believe.


Dodged a Bullet

For some time, my old faithful car has been making an odd sound; a grinding clunking sound. As my particular model of Pontiac is notorious for going through front brakes, and as it had been almost one year since the last set went in, I was blissfully untroubled.

Around the time of the great snowfall, and after I had been stuck in two different drifts and pushed out by complete strangers, the noise level escalated. As I was driving my dad out and about he lost patience and raised his normally placid voice to bark: "For God's sake get that noise checked before you kill us all." Okay, I heard that!

Two days later as I was breakfasting in the dub, my friends of friends who had been so helpful and hireable during my September move from hell appeared. They were looking lithe and lean and oh so tanned as they had been in the Philippines for the past 3 months. I mentioned my car dilemma as the gent is a retired mechanic. I asked him to recommend a garage that wouldn't take me to the cleaners. "Pop by the house and I will have a look. Then we can go from there."

Visiting these people is fraught with peril for me as the gent has a bit of a crush on me. I found that out in a bit of an awkward way, a big bit of an awkward way when we were painting my old condo. I no longer deem it wise to be alone with him but neither do I wish to offend as he was very good to both me and my father. I am well aware that we all can only be who we are. That is who he is. The middle way around this, I decided, would be to take Dad along. So - off we went.

Brakes and pads and rotors for old faithful vary in price HUGELY. Stock parts and after-market ones seem to wear pretty much alike. This insight came to me after set #4 went in 11 months after set #3. Set #3 was the time I spent big with the very best, the most heavy-duty, and of course the priciest installed. Set #4, the cheapest of the cheap, lasted almost 2 years. So for 350$ I got a year and a bit more than my $1700 bought. What I wanted from my mechanic advisor was an opinion on what would constitute a reasonable price for the work needed.

Our buddy went out for a ride with Dad in tow and returned in less than 3 minutes. He could not speak as he came in making for the telephone. He looked at me with a red face and dialed. After a 2 minute phone convo he turned to me to inform me the car was unsafe to drive. Anywhere. I was going to call a towtruck to move it to a garage and then rent a car when our buddy said:
" Arent you taking your dad out for dinner?"
Yes, yes I was.
"Do you have an hour or so?"
Yes, yes I do now.

So it was that Dad graced their couch for a wee nappie, the wife made coffee for herself and me, and we chatted about life in the tropics for a few hours.

My brakes remain undone but my wheel bearings have been replaced and in Spring when the sand salt and sludge is gone my brakes will be restored.

Our mechanical friend said that when he took the wheels off, the bearings broke in his hands. Dodged a bullet there.

I truly believe that all my angels guarded me. My flotilla can stand down for awhile now. And me - I am breathing: in out in out in out.


“These things I warmly wish for you Someone to love, some work to do, A bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer, And a guardian angel always near”
(Irish Blessing)


Projects - - -

Install Closet in Bedroom - dressy clothes and shoes...

Downstairs balcony lattice - privacy screen.

Upstairs balcony - cover.

Car - touch-ups for paint, front end work and brakes - again.

Papers and disks - short stories. Submissions. Collections.

Archiving.... again.


Oh My my!

Today, I have been given two more weeks of exercise to get my shoulder back in shape. Two more weeks! ... (sigh)

One of my great pleasures in life is communication. It is such a joy and a privilege to listen to tales of other folk's. Their experiences and opinions are treasures that are sometimes hidden and other times displayed for all if they only would use their senses. So many times, people have this need to be heard and there is no one there TO hear. The saddest are the ones who have alot of people in their lives and flurries of activity everywhere, but nothing that connects in that deep satisfying manner. The part of my job that I most love is that connecting.

These days of exercise and physio I am connecting all right... with my piano, with my guitar, with my keyboard, with my dog. I miss my lovelies.

----- !!

"As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin. "

Alan Watts : English mystic & writer
(1915 - 1973)


Catch Up

You would think that with so much time *healing* I would have my house in order and all my projects at least started. Not so, my friends - the house is the familiar messy creative den it always is and the projects are still awaiting my attentions. Turns out that healing takes alot of energy and rest and 5 days off of work does not necessarily mean 5 days of ease.

I have been stretched and ultrasounded and medicated and encouraged but the shoulder is still mis-behaving. Tomorrow I see my Physician again to get the yay or nay for back to work. Since I am not being paid I would really like to be back AT work. Job #2 although wonderful does not pay the bills. I do have a Lotto tic or 2 about the place....

This week I did use Facebook to reconnect with some of my favourite people from the Vancouver Art and Music scene. If I had been in Vancouver I could have gone to Jim Cummins "Nite of the Living Devil Kittens" show. In my mind and in my time it was more of this kind of thing.

The most worn and most borrowed t-shirt of my entire life is my Braineater "artist poet thief" - I still have to wrest it away from the replicant when I wish to actually wear it myself.

Also from my inbox - and another Vancouver first wave punk/new waver Tony Bardach - he of "pointed sticks" and "Modernettes" fame has a new band. "Slowpoke and the Smoke" - they play at falconettis (1812 Commercial) the first friday each month-next show is march 6- 9-12p. Frankly I always thought Tony to be one of the most beautiful men I have seen. He used to quite take my breath away. And then of course there is the music... always the music.

"It's only when you hit a nerve that you know you're on the right track."
-Jim Cummins


Don's still writing...

With great delight I remember to post the link to Don's musings. I posted about him way back when- - -

Here you go: http://dontoearthagain.wordpress.com/

He is well worth the read and gives the world a great example of what being 90-+ is like.
It is rich and rewarding.

Go Don GO!!!


People I love

I have to post this. My friend Bill I., the man who works for NASA, had this on this blog... life of Bagginz:

""When people asked me what kind of car we bought, I tell them we got a Hummer H2 that runs on the blood of virgins. It gets 18 MPCS (Miles Per Catholic Schoolgirl.)""

Bill you made me laugh manically in my room scaring my dog.

(one of these people is Bill) :)

Lux Remembered.... with a smile

Before the Pixies, there were the Cramps. Before the rebirth of Goth/Punk/pyschobilly, it was just music in clubs. If you were of a certain bent you probably went to see the Lux and Ivy show (also starring Nick Knox or Kid Powers....)

Lux was a constant in my Vancouver life and nitelife. Being a silly scenester from the dinosaur ages and being a lovely lush for a time, I did manage to meet most everyone I wanted to and boy how I wanted to meet Lux. Instead I met Ivy and then in the most offhand manner possible met him. He adored her. Hard not to, really.

The Cramps toured and retoured always with the same show - new guitarist from time to time but the same show. I never tired of watching Lux work that neoprene under the cool gaze of Ivy. "Ever get down to California? You can come visit if you want...."

If I want? (faint)

Sipping tea in the shade outside their very cool house by the desert talking about vinyl..... ooo thats livin!. No rock stars in my friend collection just people who happen to make good music. I never gave anyone else the title but them: Cool as fuck.

After becoming a momzie, I found that for a time I could not handle the concert crowds. One night at the Commodore I actually had to leave a Cramps show.... on the stairs were two teens all dressed up who had no tix. I gave them my stubs and said go enjoy- the guy looked at the girl and said: Talk about the generation gap. Who would walk out on the Cramps? I just smiled.

When I heard Lux had died I was not really sad. He lived a good life with his lover and lived it exactly the way he wanted to. They did everything they chose in the manner they wished and did it well. And loud. A life lived well is not lamentable. But it is the end of an era. No other man will ever climb scaffolding in stilettoes half naked and look so barbaric.

The best of YouTube is Lux and Ivy from June 1978 where they gave a free concert for patients at the California State Mental Hospital in Napa. They didnt do it for the money - they made a point. God bless em for it.

----- Lux's obit here -----

------------- !!


So Thankful!

Now that the Naproxen is working, I feel very much better and the tendons in my arm and shoulder are calming down. I am thankful.

My evening position, bereft of lifting or repetitive motion, continues to be a source of joy in my life. It is such a little job in such a little place but I do love it so. My Manager is a bright warm witty woman and my co-workers are mostly very happy to be here in the same way that I am. It is always a pleasure to work with the young and be awash in their energy and drive. The folks who we serve are of a median age of 80. They consider me young! Bless their hearts!

One of our new residents has a son who is another beam of sunshine. He stopped by to visit his mom and then came over and sat with me a few hours. It was a Valentine treat!

I am so grateful for my charmed life.

------- *

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward


In a Perfect World...

This week's event to humble me is very basic and not something someone who works in Health care should be having trouble with. I blush a not uncomely shade of Valentine's red as I recant to you the details.

In the snow and ice that lasted ever through December and January, many unpleasantries occurred not the least of which was a fall outside a client's home. This particular client lives just one long address off the accessible road and has a small residence at the front of a very large acreage belonging to a family member. The driveway to the home had been ploughed once or twice but was still very much packed ice. My car had been stuck in this very driveway a week or so before.

Not wanting to spend another hour going back and forth to free my vehicle, I parked nearer to the very start of this driveway. I was blessing my new shoes which are stamped *WORKSAFE* as I trundled my way along. As I left the home, my client told me how she had watched me the week before and had a good hearty laugh over my antics. At least it had amusement value....

So chuckling to myself, I round the house and begin my trek down the driveway. 1-2-3-4-5-6-CRASH! A fall! Me, the fall preventer- fell! argh! As I went down, I only barely had the presence of mind to drop my books and put out a hand. All my soft round feminine divine weight came down on my wrist. I sat on the ice for 5 minutes, waiting for the burning sensation to depart. At first I believed my wrist to be broken but as the minutes went on and function returned I realised I was one lucky girl.

Banishing all humilating thoughts from my mind, I continued on continuing on. For a few more days, my wrist ached and I had a road rash along my arm. Thankful that I had averted serious trouble, I took it with a smile. One night as I lay fitfully turning and wondering what was wrong with my shoulder, it came to me! All my weight coming down on my right hand. hmmm.

Now there are several spots here where you could say: HEY that doesn't sound like company policy. Or: HEY shouldn't you have gone to the Doctor and had yourself checked out? In my mind, I was viewing it as an *almost*. I was mistaken.

The moment it was reported to my employer I was booked off. The moment I entered the Doctor's office I was told it was an WCB claim. And oh good... off with no pay.
grrr. My Doctor presecribed Naproxen for the inflammation and told me to beware my stomach as it is a drug notorious for causing trouble that way. All week I took my Naproxen and was sick until taking 2 or 3 Tums. I did not seem to be getting better.

Follow-up visit to my Doctor and I tell him how the Tums are keeping the bile down but the Naproxen doesn't seem to be worth it. "Tums? " he says quizzically. "They will neutralise the Naproxen - take Zantac 75 and you'll be fine."

So he said and so I did and so I am.

-------- *

“Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "Failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

--Mary Pickford