Archive for November, 2009

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Chief Cook….

November 25, 2009

… and bottlewasher.

fractured vision

I’m doing a pretty good job at staying away from blog cruising and have only indulged briefly a couple of times this week. Mostly I have set aside a couple of blocks of time in the late morning and late afternoon devoting myself to the job search. I find I need a break from the computer screen…. and also the frustration and associated anxiety at the paucity of jobs. I have sent out a fair number of CV’s but without any resulting invitations for interviews.

Besides that, it is me that largely takes care of things here on the homefront; hence the title of this post. Laundry, vacuuming, dishes, cooking, looking after the animals…. I’m your guy. Yesterday I threw together a nice beef stew in the slow-cooker and that’ll be tonight’s dinner; beef, potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, sherry, a little tomato soup and browning sauce. Mmmm, mmmmmm…. good.

What else?? The weather has been unseasonably mild (daytime highs around 8 or 10C) but lots of grey skies with some drizzle and rain. On the bright side…. I prefer this to below zero temps and snow. The trees are completely bare and all the songbirds have flown off south for the winter. The last of the migrators – Canada Geese – have been over flying the house in continuous, enormous flying Vee’s.

With Lynda on afternoon shift this week I’ve had a few hours out of the house in the mornings to run around town. Yesterday I blew a wad of cash on a new set of tires as the old set had little tread left and were beginning to show some cracks. No way they’d have been of any use in heavy weather. There have been some problems with the documents regarding my unemployed status which is holding up my benefits. Lots of phone calls between me and my former employer; then to the employment benefits outfit. It’d be nice if things could go smoothly especially at times like this… but no.

Generally Lynda has been pretty good about it all but had a couple of off days where she was pretty snappy and strange. Likely because she spent a couple of hours talking with her #2 son, C. He is what we refer to here as a ‘shit-disturber’ and he’s damned good at it, too. We aren’t one another’s biggest fans, he and I.

Lynda’s brother has now been living with us for 6 or 7 weeks and everything is going really well. Well, except for one minor complaint (natch). Ed is a really big fan of all the low-brow shows on the Fox Network and will plunk himself down in the living room and watch all these crappy shows back-to-back, by the hour. Lord, give me strength. I have to leave the room and find somewhere else to be else I’d be in full rant about Judge Judy, Family Court or Jerry Springer. Ed quite enjoys them and laughs like a loon at all the foolishness he sees. Me… can’t stand any of it. Patience, tolerance, understanding…. it’s an exercise, right?

Otherwise; the kid’s mother flew Sarah and Zeph to Calgary last weekend so that Zeph could meet his cousin Madison. Sounds like a good time was had by all. My Mom is good – spoke to her this afternoon. Mother Mary is still a concern and is waiting for more diagnostic tests. Freedom is coming along slowly and we’re concerned about how she will fare once the snow starts falling. Will she blow out her leg? Hope not. Milo and I have been having some fun in the yard as I’ve spent some time training him to do a few things… and burn off a little energy at the same time.

Having some difficulty focussing on reading these days; can’t seem to get into an Anne Lamott novel I borrowed; same with the Vonnegut compilation of early short stories. Listening to a lot more music lately as a way of moderating moods. Today’s ‘ear-worm’ is Billie Holiday’s ‘Willow Weep For Me’. Not the most upbeat tune but better than ‘I Wish I was an Oscar Myer Weiner…’, fer sure. 

Time for dinner and the news. Later…..

shadow and flare

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Peek-A-Boo

November 18, 2009

I’m coming up for air…. a little re-emergence today. Thought I’d do a bit of catching up here and maybe roam around the blogs a bit.

I see colour again

 Things have been looking pretty dark and dim for these last few weeks but I’m feeling a bit of a turn-around. It’s been a ‘good days – bad days’ scenario; trying to appreciate those spare good moments and so much as possible ignore or downplay the bad. A few points:

– although I’m still suffering with some chest congestion and coughing it seems my virus / chest infection is largely gone. I’m going to try another smoking quit and see if that doesn’t make the difference.

– Mother Mary has one major test behind her but will have to wait a couple of weeks for the next one and probably more waiting for the results. Lynda whipped up to spend the day with her on Sunday. The fear is that she has bone cancer and she is waiting on a biopsy. She has had a catscan.

– I attended that Town Hall meeting last Thursday night which was very interesting and had a wide range of presenters from various area agencies and institutions. I delivered my resume into the hands of the Director of Services of the local detox and mental health and addictions facility…. had a good 15 minute chat. I also met our regional Chief of Police and one of his officers who runs a youth engagement program. 

-Yesterday I got out of the house for a few hours to do some running around. (Lynda’s brother was here to look after the dogs.) I squeezed in an hour long visit with my Mom and got caught up on a bunch of family news. On my way to the door she pressed a cheque into my hand and told me it ought to keep the wolves from the door for a while. Wow, what would I do without you, Ma? My expenses are covered for about a month and that relieves a lot of uncertainty because I don’t know when my benefits will kick in.

crystals everywhere

99% of Lynda’s money goes toward keeping this house going and groceries in the cupboards. One evening she spied these sets of crystals on The Shopping Channel and couldn’t resisit ordering them. We used to have a short curtain across this window but now there are a dozen crystals draped across it which catch the morning sun. Well worth the money, I’d say. (and of course, one of these produced the spectrum of colour in the picture above.)

our big girl - Freedom

It has been six months since Freedom’s original surgery on her knee; 4 months since the second one. One of us is still with her 24/7 because she is still at risk of tearing it up with any quick, vigorous movement. Most days she moves pretty well but when she strains it, she feels it and starts gimping around not wanting to bear weight on that leg. I think she feels changes in the weather, too. I know I used to in the years following breaking my ankle. 

Would one of my posts be complete without a shot of the clouds?? I thought not! Here ’tis:

last evening at sunset

When I get a chance to read I’m into a new (posthumous) compilation of Kurt Vonnegut short stories. For music – I’ve borrowed a half dozen CD’s from the library which include a couple of Diana Krall’s recent releases. I’m in a piano sort of mood.

Thanks all for continuing to check in – that’s what life looks like these days.

 

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The Basics

November 12, 2009
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ABC's of Life

This engraved stone was a table-top display at the funeral home where Terry’s viewing was held. I tracked down the text but wasn’t able to find who to attribute it to. Here ’tis:

Live With Intention

 Accept differences;  Be kind;  Count your blessings;

 Dream;  Express thanks;  Forgive;

 Give freely;  Harm no one;  Imagine more;

 Jettison anger;  Keep confidences;  Love truly;

 Master something;  Nurture hope;  Open your mind;

 Pack lightly;  Quell rumors;  Reciprocate;

 Seek wisdom; Touch hearts;  Understand;

 Value truth;  Win graciously;  Xeriscape;

 Yearn for peace; Zealously support a worthy cause.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

I’ve been hunkered down trying to apply myself to searching for a job…. any job that brings an income. Objectively I know I’m mentally hyper active but at the same time I’m battling a seeming inertia – lots of confusion, wasted and mis-directed energy, dithering and stewing.

Mainly I’ve tried to impose order in life – little things. Get up at a certain time; ‘x’ amount of time to eat, have coffee and be cleaned up and ready for the day by ‘y’ hour. Have a plan for the day; vary the activities, accomplish little things.

My CV has been re-written into a couple of new formats stressing different things. There are a couple of leads to track down and get more information on today; calls to make. Tonight I intend to attend an a town hall meeting put on by an elected provincial MPP on the topic of Mental Health and Addiction. There might be contacts to be made there and perhaps I can make some noise about the closure of the centre.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Thanks ‘out there’ for your acts of kindness and interest. Means a lot; really it does. I’ll be back soon.

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A Quick Thanks

November 5, 2009

Your supportive messages mean a lot to me – Kel, Robin, Lea, SuzieQ, cousin BJ, ybonesy – and are much appreciated.

With Terry’s funeral over yesterday my focus shifts more completely to the job search. … and OH, I did the right thing back on Monday and saw my doctor – he prescribed a heavy-duty antibiotic. His major concern is that this illness has lasted for so long – it’s a month since it began as a minor cold. So far the antibiotic doesn’t appear to be doing anything so perhaps it’s viral not bacterial.

State of mind and time/opportunity will dictate when I’ll start back into regular posts once again. With some work and luck maybe I’ll have something more positive to report soon. I’m using my contacts to generate job leads and working overtime on the on-line posting sites. Truth be told I’m full of fear for the future and stressed to the max – sick and run-down. All in all not a good combination but I’m coping and working it ‘one day at a time’ – one thing at a time. Once again everyone – thanks for staying in touch. I feel the positive vibes radiating my way. Bless you all.

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Bad News Comes In 3’s

November 3, 2009

These last few days I’ve felt like I’m being pulled in 16 different directions; dealing with the loss of my job, then Terry’s death, catching up on work around the house, initiating my job search, tending to my sick sweetie. Simply showing up for my meeting last night was emotionally draining. I had really hoped I wouldn’t be the first one there but I was. I wasn’t anxious to take part up front, but I did. Lynda had her flu shot at work last Thursday and has felt like crap ever since and took yesterday off work – a real rarity.

While I was out for an hour today Lynda recieved a call regarding her Mom and it sounds like it’s going to be bad, capital B bad – tests pending next week. Lynda is looking into taking more time off so as to be with her.

How am I doing?? Well, coping…. reaching out where appropriate in support of others and talking out the things I need to when I start feeling overwhelmed. ‘This too shall pass…’

Sorry I haven’t something lighter to share here but that is the nature of life sometimes. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, unfortunately.

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R.I.P. Terry C.

November 1, 2009

My friend Terry has died. His wife Audrey called me Thursday night as I was on my way in for my last night of work to tell me he had been taken back into Emerg by ambulance. Terry’s lungs had begun filling with liquid and he was no longer able to stand un-aided.

Friday night he enjoyed a long visit with his son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Through the night Terry slipped into a coma and died at 10 Saturday morning. Audrey called me before noon to deliver the news. Cancer, then congestive heart failure.

Terry was a retired high school teacher who had been sober 27 years. He was one of the men I met at my very first A.A. meeting and he was a primary reason why I joined the Grace Group of A.A. I haven’t met anyone who applied themselves so rigorously the the A.A. way of life or who put so much of themselves into practicing the principles. What he knew, he shared and I’ve been the beneficiary of his ongoing care.

God love him; his acceptance and faith never wavered. I miss him.