Archive for July, 2009


Square One

July 28, 2009

Freedom’s surgery was more extensive than we had been led to believe it would be. It had to be completely re-done as tha man-made material that had been inserted had completely torn as well as the attaching pins broken. We’re all back to where we were 8 weeks ago; poor, poor Freedom!! So, Lynda and I are juggling shifts and spending all our time with her – she is sleeping right now. We’re back to sleeping on the living room floor with her.

I won’t be around here much – catch-as-catch-can times.

Hope everyone is doing well out there in blogland. I’ll be playing catch-up when I can manage.


Catch-up Monday

July 27, 2009

With all the bands of rain we’ve had during the last week I had better seize this wee window of opportunity to tend to the lawns. There has been no time lately when the grass has been dry enough to cut. If I don’t get out there I’ll need a hay-baler soon.

I’ve already dropped Freedom off at the vet for her surgery and dropped into Mom’s place on the way back for a visit. Great news on that front – she made an offer on a condo last night which was accepted this morning. W00-Hoo!! Nice to have that concern off her plate. Big move at her age.

Tonight I chair my A.A. home group and I have asked a woman friend of mine to be the speaker – Cindy has some good sobriety under her belt to share about. Her sponsor and my friend Audrey (who I’ve mentioned here before) has come down wuite ill so I don’t expect to see her there but she’s in my prayers. At 88 or 89 even a garden variety virus can be devastating to the system. God love her.

Mus go & get at it. Pitter-patter; let’s get at ‘er.



July 26, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doppelgänger: In the vernacular, “Doppelgänger” has come to refer  to any double or look-alike of a person.

Earlier tonight one of our clients calls me aside and says, ‘ I finally figured out who you remind me of; it’s Peter Fonda.’

‘Hmmm…???’, I’m thinking. Okay, is this a set-up?? Where is the zinger coming from?

Yeah?, I say.’ The more current one of ‘Ulee’s Gold? (1997) Or the old one from ‘Easy Rider’? (1969)

Peter Fonda - 1997

Peter Fonda - 1969

‘Oh – definitely Easy Rider’, he says.

‘Good answer’, sez I.

(Buddy should really get his eyes checked.)


Mistaken Identity:

A few weeks ago I had just arrived at work wearing a dark crewneck shirt that had a cream-coloured band around the neck, a collarless black shirt over it and a grey jacket. From 15 feet away the mother of one of our guests looked my way and said to her son, ‘My, I didn’t know they had clergy on staff here, as well.’

in my father's house

in my father's house

I laughed nervously as I waited for the bolt of lightning to smite me straight to hell. From on high my father is laughing his butt off. ‘Say WHAT???’


Self Image; Self Esteem; and the Face we present to the world

Recently someone (who shall remain nameless) commented on a shot I had posted here of myself and called me ‘handsome’. My reaction to the compliment was same as always – HUH!?!? – I never know what to do with them when they come my way. I suppose it’s because I don’t think much of my looks and like most folks I ‘get up, suit up, present the best face I can, and show up’. Like Popeye always said, ‘I y’am what I am and that’s all that’s I y’am.’ Gotta work with what God gives ya.

I think I could get a consensus to this proposition – 10% of the population would get classed as attractive, beautiful, handsome; at the other end, 10% would be lumped in as unattractive, ugly, hard on the eyes; the rest of us – the other 80% fall somewhere in the big middle ground.

A post I was reading last night included a section where the gal used to play a game with herself – ‘if I could change one thing about myself it would be…..’. Well, as I’m starting to show the signs of my advancing age that one thing would be my eyelids. I’m getting this hooded look to my eyes that I don’t like but in the big scheme of things…. so what?? I’m not going under the knife anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Far more importamt to me these days than the external is anyone’s internal composition – heart, mind and soul sorts of stuff. By the time I sought help for my problems with addiction I was a hurting unit bled practically dry of identity and self-esteem. This process of recovery I’ve engaged in for the last 6 years has been very much one of  re-building; putting things back together when you don’t have all the original pieces. At first it was all about substance, the absence of it and finding ways to a new state of ‘normalcy’. Then it got to be about re-attaching to roles – son, husband, father, friend, employee. Finally it came about to integrating values, ethics, qualities of character, moral beliefs and living a life that included spirituality. From that eventual internal foundation I’ve been able to move more to outside concerns where I’ve been allowed to be of use to others – family, friends, clients and strangers. It’s being open to ongoing change, adopting an attitude of willingness and engaging in action toward improvement. Progress not perfection….. hand steady on the tiller.


When is the last time someone confused you for somebody else or told you that you strongly resemble someone??

Has anyone ever thought you actually were someone you aren’t??

How do you deal with compliments?? How do you feel when complimented??

Do you feel good about how you look?? Satisfied?? or, are there things about your appearance you would change, given the chance?

How do you feel about your internal condition?? Mental, emotional, spiritual??

If other people could see / hear the nature of how you think would they be terribly surprised??

Have some fun and comment.


The ‘Oops, I forgot to title this post’ Post

July 25, 2009




During down time between sessions some of our guests have been busying themselves by doing a little building out back. There were plenty of a variety of bricks left from the immense interlock patio that was laid last summer. What’s that saying? ‘Busy hands are happy hands.’


Last night and today have been fun following along with ‘Skywatch Friday’, visiting sites, leaving comments and replying to comments left on my post. I plan to do it again but not every week. It sure bumped my number of visitors. Pretty fascinating to scan through the list and drop into the various sites for a look-see – some beautiful images captured around the globe.


Ah, change. There are instances that crop up where I can be grateful not to be what and whom I used to be. There used to be times where a situation would crop up and I’d get all reactionary, easily offended and wind up blurting and spewing my outrage. Thankfully today I was able not to be that sort of person and have made peace in a reasonable way. No offence intended; none taken. But it wasn’t without a couple of those ‘wtf!?!’ moments. Positive change over time has a good cumulative effect.


Freedom update: Had her up to the vets for a check-up with the surgeon on Thursday. Seems the mesh they inserted to replace the tendon has shifted around the bone and that is why she hasn’t come along as well or as quickly as she should have. Monday will mark 8 weeks since the original surgery and that’s the day she’ll go under the knife again. This time less invasive and right back to the level of activity and exercise we’ve got her to. Although we’ve managed to get her weight down by 8 lb to 70 they are asking us to make her drop a further 10 lb. Yikes – there’ll be nothing left of her, poor girl.


A reminder of and a link to a previous post of mine – for a couple of reasons. 1) Because there have been a number of posts since, it’s about to drop off the tail end of my current page, and 2) there have been new updates to it. So, if you haven’t already I’d encourage you to have a look at blog-friend Susan’s site as well as my original post regarding it HERE. Or you’ll find it on the sidebar under ‘Appeal’. The update is on the ‘What Happened Next’ page but go ahead and read it all.


Christmas is 5 months away. Double Yikes!!


Cousin BJ hasn’t been mentioned here much lately but the emails have flown back and forth this week at a high volume. Her’s tend to be much longer than mine and roam over more topics. It’s good to have someone to bounce things off and get feedback and direction from.


Skywatch Friday (#54)

July 24, 2009

This is my first stab at submitting a shot at Skywatch Friday. To see all entries go to their Home Page here:  My entry should drop into the list around 234.

These are some cell phone camera shots taken while driving: The top one as I drove to work one evening; the following 3 as I drove home the next morning in the space of about 5 minutes.

cell2 014

cell2 039

cell2 029

cell2 058

Yes, I know I should be watching the road but one eye is always on the sky.


Random Shots

July 23, 2009
Light as Fluid

Light as Fluid

This reminds me of the ‘good old days’ when you could smoke everywhere and anywhere and no one commented about it – situation normal. Rooms where you could cut the smoke with a knife. But I digress; this is a reflection not smoke….



See the lion head?? or something else entirely?? or nothing at all??

xx  oo  xx oo  xx oo  xx oo  xx oo  xx oo

Today, being as I’m a dutiful, loving son-in-law, I did a check-in call to my dear mother-in-law Mother Mary. She’s been suffering with terrific pains in her head – beyond headaches – for the last 6 or 8 weeks and landed in hospital last Friday night for an overnight stay. The CATscan showed nothing unusual, t.g., but didn’t provide any answers either. The potent meds they have her on aren’t very effective she says and make her unable to drive herself anywhere. A couple of her daughters are keeping close tabs on her and keeping her company.


Tonight we have a steady soaking rain falling – good for the crops, I’d say. But it means I miss out on tracking the planets and constellations as they arc across the sky. Occasionally I chance to catch the International Space Station as it passes. It’s orbiting times can be found on the net and it’s quite a sight to see. LINK – choose country in box at left; then state / city.

xx  oo  xx  oo  xx  oo  xx  oo  xx  oo  xx  oo  xx  oo

I’m over the hump and into the second half of my work week; I hope the balance of it is as quiet as it has been so far.


Bouquet of Dead Flowers

July 22, 2009

cell2 086

Now if that doesn’t sound like a John Prine song title, I don’t know what does.

During some down time last week I trimmed the dead roses from the bushes in front of the house and then sat idly pulling the light peach coloured petals from the blooms. I was kind of lost in ‘the doing of it’ enjoying the fleshy feel of the petals and the faint aroma they still carried.  Did I bury my face in them?? Naturally!! Once I had amassed a pile of them I added a single whole red one that was holding together pretty well despite how far gone it was. After taking a couple of pictures using my cell phone I piled them into a little dish and put them on a windowsill in front of an open window in hopes their sweet smell would carry through the house.

Here Prine performs a song written by his late compatriot Steve Goodman – ‘Souvenirs’.


Mondays – Addendum

July 21, 2009
Festival of Fire I

Festival of Fire I


Festival of Fire II

Festival of Fire II


Festival of Fire III + moon

Festival of Fire III + moon


Ta-Dahh!!! Got ’em.


Mondays – Blecchh!

July 21, 2009

The downside of a new week of night shift is that I don’t normally sleep well once I get home Monday morning despite Sunday having been a 20+ hour day. I got between 4 and 5 hours; not nearly enough.

There is always an ‘up’ side naturally. Being up so early afforded me the chance to download a bunch of pictures from my cell phone to the computer; upload a bunch of shots to Facebook from my son Russ’ visit a couple of weeks ago; and upload some to my media library here.

On July 4 we went to Ontario Place to enjoy the park, attractions and fireworks display – Lynda and I, Russ & Melissa and wee Madison. I’ll share a few of those shots here.

My Fair Lady ... leads the way

My Fair Lady ... leads the way

 Ontario Place is a multi-acre park spread over a number of man-made islands; located minutes from downtown Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is all interconnected by bridges and waterways.

attractions pods

attractions pods

 Besides rides, attractions and entertainment there are also convention halls for corporate events, shows and displays.

the cinesphere (and part of Russ' head)

the cinesphere (and part of Russ' head)

 The cinesphere is North America’s first permanent IMAX theatre.

The Festival of Fire is a long running multi-night international fireworks competition. (The centre picture was taken on my cell phone. The two outside shots were lifted from Russ’ Facebook album.) After having walked miles around the site during the afternoon we sat atop a hill facing the lakefront to wait for the fireworks. (and after dinner at the marina restaurant, too) In front of us right at the shoreline a very loud salsa band played for a couple of hours keeping the crowd entertained. Behind us in the Amphitheatre (concert bowl) a heavy metal show was going on – Def Leppard & Poison. The volume from both shows was about equal where we were sitting so we got buffetted from both front and back. Both shows ended just in time for the fireworks to begin – the display was done to a simulcast radio broadcast which was aired over an enormous P.A. system. The half hour long show was gorgeous and seemed to be over in just a very few minutes. A dazzling feast for the eyes and ears. Remarkably Madison managed to sleep through the entire show – wot’s a baby to do when the sleep fairy arrives? Nap, of course! (The shots I was going to include here aren’t co-operating.)


Computer Withdrawal

July 20, 2009

I’M BACK….. woo-hoo!! Lord, that was a long week. Like I said in a previous post I didn’t really intend to be away from here so much but that’s just how things worked out. Lynda and I get very little face-to-face time and once she decided to take the week off we got down to spending pretty much every waking moment together…. doing stuff.

There were a couple of visits from out of town family; lots of time spent working around the house; time spent with Mom; with the pets; cooking. Every day was a busy one from morning til night. It’s almost a relief to be back at work for a rest, ha, ha. By the end of my last work week I was absolutely exhausted and was hoping for a quiet, relaxing couple of days to catch up on some rest. Hah!! ‘No rest for the wicked’, apparently.

It’s now 7 weeks since our older dog Freedom had that surgery on her leg and as a result we’ve been pretty much house bound. (We’ve both been craving more outside time and freedom from the constraints of tending to the dog.) Freedom is still on the mend – gimping and limping about – but she’s well enough now to be spending more time on her own. Actually there is no holding her back now either. She trashed the lower part of the basement staircase when we left her the other day – she hasn’t destroyed anything since she was a pup. Today she managed to break out of the second of two cages we had borrowed. Now she will have the run of the house when we go out – the heck with trying to keep her contained.

As to the ‘withdrawal’ – lemme tell ya, it has taken some getting used to… not having ready access to a computer on a regular basis. I had been taking maybe 10 minutes a day to check banking and emails each day and that’s pretty much it. Harsh!! And I still have about 100 unread emails in one account to hash through. So, tonight has been spent reading up on a couple of fave blogs but I’m nowhere near caught up with everyone.

Two bits of good news – Mom’s house was listed last Monday and sold Thursday night. Now she and sister Linda are into their own housing search.

Lynda and I really enjoyed our time at the wedding on Saturday – beautiful ceremony, great location for both the wedding and reception, wonderful food, lots of dancing to some great tunes. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We didn’t make it home until about 2:30 a.m. – not bad for a couple of old farts.

Oh, and another personal milestone…. today marks 6 years sober for me, o.d.a.a.t. Another miracle.

Things should settle back into a more regular pattern tonight. This evening has also been spent getting organized for the week ahead and I’m in good shape now.