Archive for June, 2009


The Whole Enchillada

June 28, 2009

This could be short; may be long…. dunno yet. Grab bag time!!

Last night was absolutely ‘the night from hell’ here at work. A new arrival whose using had done himself some major damage had his room-mates awake and very upset all night. Each time I got the guy settled he found a new way to mess up. Some substances take much longer to withdraw from than others and he hasn’t re-landed in this dimension as yet. The day counsellors had a crisis team up here to assess him and then sent him to a local hospital for a psych assessment as well. After his arrival at hospital he declined to be examined which ultimately meant he was also choosing to leave our treatment. He departed just before my shift started this evening much to his room-mates (and my) relief.

My son and his family arrive Tuesday from the west and we have a ton of prep to do both inside and out about the place before they arrive. With Freedom’s lengthy recovery from surgery we’ve gotten way behind on day-to-day cleaning and yardwork. Yoiks! Add in a few hours work, time for shopping for food & a playpen, a longer than usual meeting and some sleep and we’ve already run out of time. Something might have to give, somewhere…..

Once they get here I don’t expect to be around home much so blogging will be light. I might just have to share a photo or two of grand-daughter Madison when I get a minute though.

Oh, yippee!! We have air-conditioning again – Hallelujah!! It’s SO much easier getting along with a hot-flashing menopausal woman when the house temperature is 70 as opposed to 86. Thank you Mr Serviceman, thank you. Blessings on your soul!

There has been no time lately to download & upload any of the pictures I’ve taken lately so lemme see here…. what have I got in the media library…..

Take Yer Pick

Brain Scan

… a small sampling of the rocks rattling around my cranium. (I’ll likely re-post this when I’ve cropped it properly – that’s why it was still in the bin.)

We’re planning to have some family & friends over for a BBQ on Canada Day, July 1, for a meet and greet with Russ and family. We’re doing it early in hopes of taking in the local municipal fireworks display. Saturday we’re supposed to head into Toronto for what is called the ‘Festival of Fire’ an international fireworks competition. A couple of decent photo-ops, I would think. There ought to be lots of ooohhs and aaahhs on those two nights.

Which reminds me…. each year in August we are treated to a natural display in the form of meteor showers: the Perseid’s. There’s a great viewing spot just north of here away from incidental light contamination at a conservation area called the Purple Woods. We were there a couple of years ago skywatching for several hours and the parking lot was full. You would hear someone gasp from across the lot at something they had seen; then you’d hear all the folks muttering who had missed it. Too funny but it was a wonderful show.

So, officially I’m on hiatus. Unofficially I’ll check in here when I can and on blog friends as well. Woo-Hoo…. I finally get some time with my son!! It’s been way too long once again.


Perception Check / Alteration

June 26, 2009

Oooo, there’s been trouble brewing in them thar hills this week. I don’t normally have tough weeks or particularly tough days for that matter. To have a string of them in a row is really unusual. Each day this week has seen some sort of problem right off the get-go to start my day. It has been a struggle to get my mind and mood altered sufficiently to be civil once I get to work in order that I treat our clients accordingly. ‘Cuz it wouldn’t be fair to take my frustrations out on them, would it?? No. Thank God for that 20 minute drive to work, I tell ya.

Most of it stems from problems getting a service guy out to check the air conditioner; then when he did arrive for the check up the fan motor was seized. This, of course, occurred during our first real hot weather of the season – the house is like an oven. Anyway, it has created some tension between Lynda and I – plus there have been other situations happening in concert with that which haven’t helped. The weather is supposed to cool off somewhat by Saturday which is when the replacement motor is to be installed. Natch. So that has been my week so far – less than ideal…. but read on. This isn’t just a bitch session.

On arriving at our community meeting tonight, on the bus with our clients, I ran into my female friend C___. We give one another a hug and a check in, ‘How you doin’?’ We both acknowledge that we’re having a few tough days, laugh it off initially but it’s really apparent that C___ is deeply troubled, dwelling on something. There’s an interruption, my cell rings with a call from a former client, a quick dialogue and then the meeting starts. Following, C___ and I cross paths again and she asks if we can talk – ‘Sure, what’s up?’ “During the meeting I realized I’m angry; really freaking ANGRY and it’s AT my therapist!” We didn’t get into the issue that is causing her to be angry but did have a talk about who her anger is harming, what the anger might be a symptom of, how to deal with the subsequent emotional fall-out and whether it might be an adverse reaction / delaying mechanism to where her therapy is leading her. She had cancelled her last scheduled appointment with him because of how she was feeling about him. (Besides being an alcoholic and an addict C___ struggles with having been sexually abused as a youngster by someone in a position of trust.) I came away feeling my problems were small potatoes. I can deal with my stuff.

The meeting itself was a special one celebrating one of the members, Murray, who had achieved the 30 year mark in his sobriety. Everything throughout the night went off without a hitch except for one notable absence – Vince, the fellow who was supposed to present him with his medallion pulled a no-show. Seemed sort of odd but he is, after all, pretty old and known to have problems with memory. Could simply have been feeling off as it has been awfully hot and humid. After arriving back at the residence I received a call to inform me that Vince had been found dead in his home today by a family member; likely as the result of a heart attack. Stunning….. and suddenly I felt as though I have no problems large or small. I’m living, breathing, am cared for and about, I had enough to eat today and have a roof over my head… I’m okay.

A couple of special notes about the meeting. Murray asked his 26 y.o. grand-daughter to be the speaker and she did a terrific job speaking about her 3+ years in recovery. Difficult circumstance with so much family in attendance; wonderful execution. I also spent some time talking with my 88 (89?) y.o. girlfriend Audrey – in a couple of days she leaves for western Canada for 2 weeks holiday at her son’s. While she’s away she will mark 52 years sober. God love her.


‘New To Me’ Music

June 25, 2009

More fodder for my ears courtesy of the public library:

David Knopfler’s (2004) release “Ship of Dreams”. I knew that the original line-up of Dire Straits included brothers Mark and David Knopfler and that David had left the band after their first couple of releases. I had assumed that he chose another career path. Not so; he has released 10 albums in the years since and also done some soundtrack work. He has one more recent release and one in the works for release later this year. “Ship of Dreams” is a very listenable, well crafted suite of music that tops out at 70 minutes. Kudos David – you have a new fan. I found at times his voice is remarkably similar to his brother’s; on other songs it is equally distinct and different.

Ryan Adamsand the Cardinals (2008) “Cardinology”. It’s in the player now and I’m liking it a lot so far – no surprise.

Alejandro Escovedo (2008) “Real Animal” LINK I’m looking forward to getting into this one; I like his ‘creds’. Uber-producer Tony Visconti handles the soundboard.

Sinead O’Connor (2005) “Collaborations” Bound to be chuck full of interesting vocals and tasty sounds from a variety of bands.

Lenny Kravitz (2008) “It’s Time For a Love Revolution“. I’m definitely interested to hear what Lenny has been up to as I’ve sorta lost track of him in recent years. His career kicked off really strong but I haven’t heard a peep, y’know? I know from past releases that he always puts 100% into his work and craft. He deserves more airplay, he does.

Brian Wilson(2008) ” That Lucky Old Sun” Wilson’s follow-up to the award winning “Smile”. Expectations?? More of his singularly outstanding music with his lush, flawless production.

Oh yeah, some upstart no-namer Jersey boy by the name of Bruce Springsteen?? Ever heard of him?? This release is titled “The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome”. I’ve heard this album before and wanted a fresh listen to it. Music written by or made popular by Pete Seeger.


5 a.m.

June 23, 2009

In the pre-dawn skies on a clear quiet morning Venus, Mars and Jupiter are the last and most brilliant objects to be seen. Beautiful! Venus and Mars rising in the east; Jupiter due south at 10 o’clock.

Sky and Telescope’s ‘Week at a Glance’ link: has a section for the planets at the bottom of the page.


8 Soul Songs

June 23, 2009

When I see something I like and am invited to play along; I’ll play. Kel at xfacta picked up on Magpie Girl’s ‘Songs For The Soul’ idea. I’ll try to keep so much as possible to their themes but the tunes I choose will be ones that make me feel connected to life and living or that make me feel like I’m in the presence of greatness; soulfulness. Some of them will have a distinctly Canadian vibe, too.

Seeing as how there has been a lot of talk about the blogs lately regarding people leaving mainstream churches I’ll lead off with this though. #1 – R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion’.

#2  – Steve  Winwood and Eric Clapton performing ‘Presence Of The Lord’ at Crossroads Festival 2007. It’s a song from their days as members of Blind Faith back in 1969.

#3 – From the tribute concert – Concert For George – Billy Preston sings Harrrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ backed by a stellar ensemble band.

#4 – k.d. lang performing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah‘. Must be heard to be believed…. amazing. ( 2 Canucks in one go)

#5 – Jesse Cook – ‘Dance Of Spring’  Amazing flamenco guitarist. It was Cook’s 1998 album ‘Vertigo’ which was the deciding factor in buying my Bose surround system. It kicks! (Another Canuck – that’s 3)

#6 – Neil Young – ‘When God Made Me’. Neil waxing lyrical about life, mortality and what it’s all about. (Hey, one more makes 4)

#7 – Rufus Wainwright with Moby & Sean Lennon performing the Beatles ‘Across The Universe’. (Rufus makes 5)

#8 – A beautiful George Harrison instrumental composition from his posthumous release ‘Brainwashed’ – ‘Marwa Blues’.

Keeping the list to just 8 is difficult but these are the first ones that came to mind. Feel free to jump on board and play along.

** Late breaking bonus: My late father’s favourite hymn to play on the church organ. He could rattle the rafters with this one. ‘Jerusalem‘.


Checking In

June 22, 2009

Ever have one of those terrific posts all hashed out in your head and then be unable to lay it out as planned?

I’ve done the background digging but the thread is elusive. Maybe later…. maybe never.

Otherwise it’s been a good night back on the work front for another week.

It has been a very long day; perhaps that is why the words are stuck.


Head In The Clouds

June 19, 2009
Whispery Thin

Whispery Thin

Light vs Dark

Light vs Dark

High Cotton

High Cotton

Storm Movin' In

Storm Movin' In

Well, my head may not necessarily be IN the clouds but clouds certainly draw my eye on an ongoing basis. For your Friday enjoyment a few recent shots captured either with my cell or regular camera. Have a great weekend!



June 18, 2009

Normally, I associate power outages with big electrical storms. Last night we were watching some show on TV and I was just about to come check for comments and emails before turning in for the evening. Click-Bang; what a hang; out go the lights! It had been raining for a few hours but not heavily so maybe someone ran into a pole somewhere… something, who knows. We got a few candles going, chatted for a bit but the yawns were becoming heavier and closer together until the tears were running down our cheeks. Time for nigh-night.

Today it’s a soft constant mist coming down which reminded me of the chorus from a Jimi Hendrix song off the Electric Ladyland album, to whit:

Rainy day, dream away
Ah let the sun take a holiday
Flowers bathe an’ ah see the children play
Lay back and groove on a rainy day.

Sounds like a plan Jimi…. I can find a thing or two to do around the place today (or not).


fStop Tuesday

June 16, 2009
Pussy in my Pants
Pussy in my Pants

 Here, Liberty decided to nestle into my jeans for a schnooze. Good Kitty, keepin’em warm.

Bright Promise

Bright Promise

 Our first peony of the season opened this morning – with a great many more to come.

Spotlit Fountain

Spotlit Fountain

 Another night cell phone shot. During renovations a massive rock fountain was built in back of the residence along with an equally over sized deck. While both are beautiful, staff had a bit of a problem with the expense figuring that money could have been better spent on computer and communication upgrades. Priorities…..

Relaxed Company

Relaxed Company

 Freedom has been getting all the concern and glory lately so here is our other, younger dog, Milo, keeping me company out on our front deck last week. If he was any bigger he wouldn’t fit into that chair – but he shouldn’t grow any larger so he’s good.

Windowsill Shamrocks

Windowsill Shamrocks

 Backlit shamrocks in the kitchen window. I like the forms and shadings of colour.

Your Shy Author / Gimee That Camera!

Your Shy Author / Gimme That Camera!

 While Lynda and I were sitting on the lawn keeping Freedom company we started goofing around taking one another’s picture. She would positively kill me if I posted the awful one I got of her. Not gonna happen, uh, uh.


Work Week Wrap

June 14, 2009

I’m out of here in an hour; maybe less. Today will be a scramble – a few hours sleep; a few hours spent working with Lynda at a job we do each weekend; a couple of hours break until after dinner when I attend a meeting I was asked to speak at. Yikes! Public speaking isn’t my strong suit but whenever I’m asked, I do. It has been quite a while since I did so I better hurry up and think what I’m going to cover this time out.

Monday Lynda is back to work following a frazzling week looking after Freedom. Free wants to do more as she feels better and it’s getting harder and harder to keep her still. Come Monday morning I’m back as doggy-duty-nurse. Monday night I chair my home group A.A. meeting.

Checking Facebook I see daughter Sarah is enjoying a long weekend visit from her Mom and she has downloaded lots of pictures. G’son Zeph is looking healthy and happy.

Sister Linda has returned from her holiday in Wales and Dublin. When I called she had been in the door just an hour and was already in bed. Can’t wait to see some of her pics.

It’s just 2 weeks until son Russ & family arrive from Calgary for a week long visit. Woo-Hoo!!