How I Spent My Week Off….

August 4, 2009

Most of you know I was pretty much housebound as the result of Freedom’s repeat surgery and spent virtually all my time in the same room as her – the livingroom. We moved some furniture out and set up a double bed in there as it’s the only room on the main floor with carpet (better footing for her than ceramic or hardwood).

Thankfully, early in the week I got over to the library and picked up a few books and some music. What a change to have time and opportunity to read for pleasure. Over a few afternoon hour-long sessions I finished the autobiographic ‘Catch Me If You Can’ which detailed the one man crime spree of Frank Abagnale Jr. – con man, counterfeiter and ‘goodtime Charlie’ extraordinaire. Written in 1980, it was made into a movie in 2002 and starred Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent on his trail. Besides that one I picked up a couple on writing; one is very instructional and emphasizes the importance of clarity in thought and expression, and correct word usage. It is called, ‘Compose Yourself: and write good English’; written by an Oxford grad Harry Blamires, D. Litt. The other is titled ‘The Autobiographer’s Handbook’ (2008) and is edited by Jennifer Traig. Input is culled from 30 writers on a variety of topics and also includes a history of autobiography / memoir and a list of suggested reading. I’ve just started reading it but the first quote that struck me is, ‘I write myself into existence’. BTW, I had hoped to pick up one of Natalie Goldberg’s books but was saddened to find they have none of her books in any of their branches.

reddish-orange on green

reddish-orange on green

One afternoon we entrusted Freedom to the company of our dog-walker for a few hours so that we could pay a visit to a friend of Lynda’s – Debbie. Deb andher husband were recently on the receiving end of an enormous inheritance and had decided to have their house knocked down and to re-build from scratch. Deb wanted us to swing by to see if we wanted to scavenge anything – windows, doors, kitchen cupboards, whatever. We came away empty handed but enjoyed the time out and company. Deb’s husband and I removed a few last large items to their storage shed. The following morning the crane did it’s work in just a couple of hours bringing the whole place to the ground. Scattered about the property were a variety of trees, most of which are fruit bearing. One that I can’t recall ever having seen before was a Mulberry – bushes or canes, yes; a tree, never. Here’s a shot of it’s truncated trunk:

mossy mulberry

mossy mulberry

NEWSFLASH – TV is a wasteland especially at this time of year. The one shining nugget I happened to catch was a documentary on CBC-TV’s ‘The Nature of Things’ regarding brain plasticity (it’s ability to be rehabilitated after trauma). For an article about it and a link to view the episode see here; LINK. It covers some fascinating stuff and left me wondering if some of the therapies might have applications in recovery from addiction.

One of the CD’s I borrowed is journeyman saxophonist David Sanborn’s latest “Here & Gone’ (2008) which features the music of Ray Charles and his saxophonist Hank Crawford – a mix of jazz, blues, gospel and R&B. I was thoroughly enjoying the album, the music, guest artists and production right up until the last track came on when I just about went through the roof. One of my fave blues tunes of all time – ‘I’ve Got News for You’ – wrapped up the disc. The first time I heard that track was back around ‘the year One’ (well, 1971) when it was performed by Edgar Winter’s White Trash band with the great Jerry LaCroix on lead vocals. Sanborn’s version features Sam Brown on vocals. Here is Ray Charles performing it on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1990.

Hearing that tune puts me way up here:

on high

on high


  1. mulberry trees are great
    especially when you’re a kid 🙂
    not when you’re the mum doing the laundry….

  2. oh, I can just imagine how stained up you could get climbing one of these. this one was 25 – 30 feet high and thick with berries. 🙂

  3. I recommend Stephen King: On Writing It’s a great read whether or not you’re a fan of his work.

    Sounds like a great week off. I’ve had a month off and am trying to get back into the swing of things, launching a new career. What is it? Only The Shadow knows…

  4. I see Stevo is continuing to be mysterious. 😉

    There were mulberry trees in the neighbor’s yard, next door to my parents house. I loved them. As did the birds. My mother, however and as Kel pointed out, did not appreciate them so much.

    It sounds like you had a good week off. How is Freedom doing now?

  5. @ Stevo – I’ll keep an eye out for King’s book. In his early days I was a fan of his work but haven’t read anything of his in oh, probably 20 years or so.
    Only the Shadow, eh? One day you’ll have to divulge what all it is that you’re into. People want to know!!!

  6. @ Robin – It did turn out to be a good week once the first couple of big stress days were over and done with. I managed to find my ‘relax’ groove.
    Freedom’s energy is coming back as she improves. Only problem is that we aren’t to allow her to bear any weight on that leg for a full 2 weeks… and that’s tough. The incision has healed really well with no sign at all of infection.

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