Archive for December, 2009


Squeaking Under The Wire

December 31, 2009

-10C and Windy Tuesday Morning

With a few hours to go (9) until midnight I thought I’d throw up one additional post to end the year. I mis-titled this shot above – it was taken yesterday once a high pressure system had pushed the storm on it’s way east. I like the ramdom patterns the frost makes when it forms between the windows.

Yesterday's view from the kitchen door

A couple of inches of new snow freshens things up a bit.

how I've been feeling

more what I'm aiming for

radiance and silhouette

Backlit dancers…. that’s what I see.

Oh yeah… happy new year, again. It’s a’comin’. I think I’ll take in a meeting tonight and then visit my Mom for an hour or so, then come home to watch the ball drop. See ya.


Poor, Poor Blog O’Mine

December 30, 2009

Well, I did slightly better in December with 10 posts instead of November’s 6…. which overall speaks to my commitment to focus on finding work instead of goofing off on-line. That said, I do miss the daily contact with all the regulars – checking out your posts and sometimes commenting… as well as your visits here. Perhaps I will have more and better news to share come the New Year so things aren’t so sparse here at Unmerited Gifts.

All best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, successful 2010!!

monochrome flare


Merry Christmas

December 24, 2009

Here’s a modified image that I ran through Dumpr’s Alien Vision.

I hope everyone has a peaceful, enjoyable Christmas. See you on the flip-side.


Around and About

December 22, 2009

Tho I haven’t graced my own pages here very much or often I’m still around. Typically I check for messages via my email account that is attached to the blog and that has resulted in a couple of new responders comments not being posted in a timely way because they go to moderation.

What else?? My smoking reduction is holding generally at 10 or 12 cigs a day – I’m being mindful about it…. and anything is better than more, right? I was normally smoking 20 to 24 a day so for now I’m satisfied with a 50% reduction.

The quest for work continues with active searching a minimum of 2 hours a day, usually more. I lie in bed at night wracking my brain as to what I can be doing differently because this ain’t workin’. I’m trying to network as best I can and have a bunch of folks feeding me leads and suggestions.

I attended a talk yesterday at the local mental hospital with one of the counsellors from ‘the house’, after which we went for a coffee and a chat. The talk was about interactions between prescribed psychotropic drugs and drugs of abuse; as well as over-the-counter meds and herbals. Bottom line message – read the recommendations that come with your Rx meds and ensure your MD knows of everything you ingest including herbal stuff like valerian, ginseng and St John’s Wort. You’ll live longer!!

Today is another of the Christian meditation sessions but I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend – lots of running to do – I had wanted to be there today.

There has been lots of A.A. related stuff going on…. an executive meeting I chaired on Sunday; our meeting last night; coming up Xmas Eve we have our hour long slot out of the 24 meetings from noon on the 24th to noon Xmas day. Another of my close friends in A.A., Jack,  died last week; that’s  8 in the last 8 or so weeks. Jack and I used to sit and talk by the hour – knew each other very well. I miss the man.

I had a call from daughter Sarah on Sunday afternoon and talked for a half hour. She was filling me in on their holiday plans and Zeph got on and chattered for a few minutes. Sounding good.

subject, flare and reflection

I’ll be back before Christmas. Enjoy the week and don’t get frazzled.


Bingle Jells

December 17, 2009

Cheer in the Dark

Christmas plans?? A few… and scaled down somewhat from usual. Lynda’s two younger sons will be here Xmas day for the afternoon and dinner. (One of them had an on-the-job accident the other day and will be off work for a few weeks. His back is badly messed up and might have a few cracked or broken ribs.) I’ll be popping in and out at Mom’s place Xmas eve and day; maybe get her out to the shops one day early next week. Seeing as how I’m not working Lynda has allotted the food shopping to me…. oh joy, oh bliss. Best make that list and check it twice.

At the hall where our A.A. meeting takes place there will be hourly meetings put on from noon on the 24th until noon Xmas day. My group got the 7 p.m. slot. Fellow AA’s can come and go and stay as long as they want. Lots of fellowship and savoury things to nosh on. A good place to spend some time especially if you’re struggling or have no one to be with. Afterward I’m hoping to search up a carol service to attend. (Have I ever mentioned I was in my Dad’s church choir when I was young?? Used to and still do love carol services.) { Wish I could still sing like I could then, too }

I’ll be placing a couple of calls to my kids out west before and during the holidays to check in on how their holidays are going. My daughter Sarah is threatening to come stay with us during the Vancouver Olympics – just 60 days away now. Apparently a lot of the natives are going to pack up and leave town cuz the city will be pretty much shut down for regular business during those two weeks. The Olympic Torch relay passed through our town yesterday on it’s way west… it’s in Toronto today.

Here’s a shot of an ornament that I bought Lynda a few years ago when I was in school in downtown Toronto. It’s an icefishing snowman complete with rod and bait being observed by a penguin. Too cute.

fishing for an Xmas dinner invitation

May you all enjoy your time with family and friends during the holiday season…. ( and let’s keep Christ in Christmas ).


Baby Can’t You See??

December 16, 2009

feathery frost; shadow of a cross

…it’s cold outside!!!


Spectacle: Season 2 Premiere

December 11, 2009


Tonight on the CTV network here in Canada is the season 2 premiere of Spectacle; Elvis Costello’s music and interview show where he features different performers each week. Episodes are rebroadcast on Bravo channel on Saturday and Sunday evenings. In the States it airs on the Sundance channel.

Tonight’s episode features Bono and ‘the Edge’ from U2 which has to be considered quite a coup d’etat considering their stature in the music industry. I’ve had a sorta hot & cold take on U2 over the years so I’m hoping this show meets expectations. Looking forward to Edge’s guitar stylings.


I was asked a couple of weeks ago to speak at an A.A. meeting this evening and I really don’t like having a long lead time to consider what I might have to say – I’d really much rather arrive at a meeting, be asked last minute and let it happen. Anyway, I’ve put enough thought into it now that I ought to do alright even though my frame of mind hasn’t been the greatest of late. Today is my 2,335th day in sobriety and I have attained a measure of serenity in day-to-day living. 


Over the last couple of days we’ve had our first major winter storm which included lots of snow, sleet and rain…. and was followed by the big chill and high winds. Temps down to -10C and wind chills of -30C. The snow is now all crusty and about 3 inches deep. And so it begins….. I broke two snow shovels clearing the driveway and need a new one.

We’re getting close to the solstice so days are very short; dawn around 8 a.m. and dusk just after 4:30 p.m. Come on JUNE!!!



December 7, 2009

Hardy Pansies

Surprised!! That was me when I had a look at the front page of the local paper on Friday night only to find my picture there. I attended that funding meeting last Tuesday regarding the addiction and mental health services progamming that is on the chopping block. This isn’t the same photo that ran in the paper but I’m in this one as well over on the right side.

A little while ago I was out walking Freedom around the block and our postman stopped me for a chat. ‘Hey, you’re famous!! I saw you in the paper!’ I filled him in a bit about the issues at stake. I imagine I’ll take a bit of ribbing at my A.A. meeting tonight.

Weather update – There is light snow falling outside; first of the season.

Yesterday Lynda and I were invited to her brothers place for dinner up in Lynda’s home town. On the way there we stopped to see Mother Mary for a couple of hours. She’s looking rough, weary and is feeling pretty bitchy – not like her at all. This morning is her biopsy so we’re hoping having that out of the way and some answers forthcoming she’ll be in a better frame of mind and feel better physically. Oh, dinner and the company was good. I’ve been housebound way too much lately. Really nice to get out and about for a change of scenery.

Special for Kel - Canada Geese


Special to BJ; & Kel and Sue in Oz

December 7, 2009

This is in regard to the Christian Meditation session I attended last Tuesday. I had a reply from Carolyn, the woman who ran it, which contained some info I asked for. Following that I searched for and found some links.

‘The recorded talk was by James Finley – called Mediation for Christians: Entering the Mind of Christ. He was a long-time student of Thomas Merton.’

LINKAGE: James Finley

Thomas Merton

more on Finley and Merton

Finley downloads—James-Finley/product_id/3483/?cid=g0262&gclid=CJTFh47UxJ4CFchn5Qodf3o1pg

Wikipedia re Christian Meditation

I haven’t had a chance to go through all of it but will when I can.


Dashing Off Notes

December 4, 2009

** We tied a 70 year old record for having a snowless November. Woo-Hoo! Colder weather is upon us and the white stuff could start any time now.

** Getting political – just sent a letter to several local and provincial politicians to protest planned cuts to funding for local mental health and addictions services. Per capita funding is way below average.

** My smoking quit is more a reduction for the time being – cut use by half. Not great but better. Yeah, yeah… I’ll get on it.

** I attended that meditation session back on Tuesday and enjoyed it; found it to be beneficial. I’m getting details on whose recording we were listening to and will share them later. Prior to – they had a labyrinth set up in an adjoining room and I walked it. It will be there once a month on the first Tuesday of the month. Similar design to ‘Chartres’ but a wee bit different. Walking palms down inward letting go; upward on the way back out receiving. A bit of self-care.