Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

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Looking Up

May 6, 2012

Long time no see and all that. Truth is I think I’m becoming a Facebook addict. Way too much time checking in there.

But anyway I thought I’d check in and provide a quicky update as to changes to frame of mind and such. Due to a combination of a variety of factors I seem to have improved – somewhat to quite alot; depending on the day. Contributing factors include but aren’t limited to: compliance with taking meds as directed; increased physical activity (almost none to regular, light exercise); seasonal changes; slightly increased opportunities for socializing; proactive mental attitude and self monitoring; regular check-ins with my MD.

One other major factor was that job competition – it gave me something to invest time in, in a positive way. The focus and prep and anticipation was key for a while there. And I handled the outcome – placing second – pretty well. Had a few crumby hours there but that’s to be expected. Gotta say it’s difficult suiting up and going back to my regular job most days since. ūüė¶ But it pays some bills……

Lynda continues to go through periodic rough stretches in terms of dealing with Craig’s death. The second anniversary is coming up in another 7 weeks or so. It’s bloody torture for me in that I can’t assauge that grief or ‘make things better’ and go away like¬†some bad nightmare. It also seems that she is reluctant to be proactive in dealing with her grief as it’s another way in which she feels she would be¬†saying a final goodbye to him. She WANTS to hold on to him so she won’t consider counselling (group or one-on-one); or talk with other parents who have lost children via accidents or health conditions. Anyway, we have that coming down the pipe and I hope we can just quietly observe it this year without all his friends showing up and making a drunken circus¬†out of it.

 

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Time Flies

April 20, 2012

Pretty soon I’m going to forget how to log in here if I don’t do it more often. Everything lately had been about the interview I attended yesterday – studying the job description and specifications; looking through my notebooks from college, searching the Ministry website and printing off applicable material, cramming, reading, studying. Now it’s over and I feel it went really well – that I have a solid shot at this job. I should find out next week.

The one nice break during the last week was driving Mom into the eastern Toronto suburbs to my Aunt Jane’s place to meet up with her remaining in-laws – my Dad’s sibs. A¬†few of my cousins were there having brought their parents so it was good to catch up on their lives too. Here’s a shot of me showing Jane a shot¬†I had taken of her. In back of me is Jane’s daughter Lynne; atop the cabinet is a photo of Lynne’s daughter Sarah from her wedding day; behind Jane is a stained glass shade that my father made.

Family Fun

Yup, time flies when you’re busy. Working later on today and lots lined up for the weekend. Have a good one, peeps!

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Bra Tree

March 9, 2012

The Power of PinkIn conjunction with raising awareness¬†and funds for¬†breast cancer research a couple of staff decided to do a bra donation drive. Those that aren’t in good repair get fully recycled and diverted from landfill. The ones in good shape are being shipped to Africa for distribution. There is also a money matching scheme which is dependant on the total weight of the donated bras. Word spread around town and the drive has been extended past this week for an additional two weeks. Just through word of mouth some women at¬†various large employers in the area have been networking and dropping off bags and bags of bras…… there are tons of them around now. This picture doesn’t do justice to the quantity of them.¬†Just goes to show the ‘Power of Pink’ and how one small idea can bring about positive¬†results.

Me?, you ask? This has been an incredibly busy week for me. I’ve been up early each morning with one thing or another scheduled to be done before heading off to work. Frankly, I’ll be glad when tonight’s¬†shift is over and I can get some rest. There were two visits to the Dr – one for my annual physical and one to check in re the anti-depressant dosage. We’re doubling up on dosage and checking back in a months time to see if there has been any discernible change.

I just returned from a union meeting which wasn’t too impressive. While our negotiators managed not to cave in on any concessions that management wanted we also didn’t make any gains. If we vote to¬†strike our foreign-owned company might just close the doors as they have done in Germany and France. Nice alternative, right?

One positive thing that has occupied about 8 or 10¬†hours of my time this week is re-writing my CV because my sister forwarded¬†a job posting to me for an Addiction Counselling position. The competition closes Monday evening so I’ve sweated bullets over this thing trying to get the best I’m able down on paper. I’d love to get back into the biz again. This position is a government job at the nearest ‘super-jail’. Woo-Hoo!! Good pay (more than double what I make now)¬†and loads of benefits, too! Shazzam¬†& Zoweee!!

Co-bra

Here’s a really bad shot of one of the gals at work. She broke her hand in a fall and when it was set it was at a right angle making it resemble a snake. Her sister got out her crafting supplies and added eyes and a tongue to complete the look. Snazzy, eh? The brown-skinned gal laughing in the background is my smoking buddy Sherry – sweet woman, she is.

We’re looking forward to having Owen with us for all or most of next week while he’s on March break. Lynda and I are brainstorming ideas to keep him occupied during his visit. We were talking about how when we were kids we were given a stick, a rock and a pack of matches and sent out to play. My, how things have changed.

Have a good weekend all. See you on the flip side.

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Where To?

February 27, 2012

So, where to indeed. While I’m glad to have shared with you folks about this recent setback into another bout of depression, and your messages of support are important too me…. I don’t think I’m going to dwell on it here as it wouldn’t be very entertaining reading, now would it? On that subject¬†I may update with a quick note from time to time but that’ll be it.

I was supposed to have my annual physical this morning but my Dr called in sick. That was the fourth time it had been rescheduled¬†– now I’m getting paranoid instead….. ha, ha, ha. So, next week it is, I hope.

Lynda and I enjoyed a good weekend with her eldest son and young Owen. Two trips to the flea market, two trips to the bakery, one to Toys ‘R Us. Busy, busy. Here he is wearing a mask he found at the toy store.

Take THAT you villain!

It’s back to work in another couple of hours. I’m hoping to get at least one more post up before the end of the month. Don’t get to post on Feb 29 very often, do we?

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Counting Down

December 20, 2011

Speechless Pause

Day by day we’re getting a little closer to Christmas and the end of another year. I just did a quicky browse through my posts for the year thinking I might re-post a few favourite pictures as a Top 10, or Top 5. Out of slightly more than 40 posts for the year I found only a few pictures I would put out there again. Is it because so few of them have people in them, I wonder? Less emotional connection perhaps. In any case I’ll try to pull a few together here and maybe post a couple that didn’t make it to the pages here. Lemme see:

Autumn Colours

Our four-legged Godsend, Milo.

Sunset Reflection

…a warm, bright place to work full of warm, bright people.

Mountain, Sun, Cloud

… a reminder of travels and the massive grandeur of nature.

I (heart) Tree

¬†I DO have a sentimental side…. see!

Caitlyn Isabel

A joyful addition to the family…. a wee, big¬†blessing.

Visual Impact

Ridge banked by cedar

Our two-legged Godsend, Owen. Lynda’s nightly phone buddy has helped her keep her sanity.

pox upon hand

There I think that should be about 10. I’m actually surprised there are that many that still stand up for me. I’m adding¬†one more (if I can find it) of the prettiest young lady I know.

Madison

 .. and the one fave lady in my life Рunfortunate about the hand / arm placement but it was to see her having such a good time.

Auntie Lynda; 4 nieces

¬†I’ll likely be back again before Christmas but just in case that doesn’t happen I’d like to extend my best wishes for a very happy Christmas season to everyone.

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Walking The Lakeshore

December 13, 2011

Having some time to fill I headed down to the beachfront for some fresh air and sunshine.

To the east

It didn’t take long for the camera / phone to come out and start snapping away.

To the west

It seemed funny to be in such a large park and it be practically deserted. I passed a few folks out for a brisk walk and a couple of dog-walkers but they were sparse. Mostly stacked picnic tables, leafless trees and empty walkways.

Due south

Good to relax, stretch the legs and powerwalk into the wind.

Rivulet in the sand (my fave)

I like the last picture because the water is transparent at this angle but really brings out the tonal range in the sand. Just a wee spring coming out of an embankment and making its way into the lake.

What’s new, hmmmm….?? well, we didn’t have an Xmas tree so we paid a visit to the Evil Empire (aka Walmart) and picked up a decent sized one along with a bunch of new ornaments. We spent a couple of hours around dinner time Saturday assembling the beast and adorning it. Good times. Then lolling about watching a seasonal movie – sort of paying half attention to it – and admiring the tree, decorations and lights. More good times…. and early to bed.

Mom got moved in with younger sis Linda on Saturday. I managed to stay out of this move as bro-in-law Mike had lots of help; younger, stronger help. We dropped over Sunday for our first look at the place and they’ve found a nice spot. I think they’ll all be happy there.

Light Wash

¬†Things to do, places to go, people to see……. later!

  

 

 

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Nine Times Nothing II

November 23, 2011

Oh, it’s one of those mornings when Milo had me up far before I wanted to be out of bed. Just wanted to snuggle back down into the warmth and catch a few more zzzz’s. What is it they say about best laid plans? Ah yes, they often go awry. Murphy! ¬†Sort of a brain-dead haze in front of the computer catching up on news and posting a couple of pics on Facebook.

Things to do – must get motivated and moving. Murphy!

Glimmer

Looks like the cloud is cupping the sun, doesn’t it?

My Attitude Adjuster

(The image above is the intellectual property of my friend Lea Kelley; all rights and credit for its creation are hers. Her writings can be found here: http://leakelley.wordpress.com/ ) 

Must choose my attitude before I head out into society at large. Clean up; show up; give it a shot.

Sidewalk Chalks

Co-ordinate my colours and put a smile on my face.

My Yoda

Seek wisdom from the ancients. Ssssh…. listen and you will hear.

Okay – I’m ready to face the day. Have a good one!

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Autumn Arrives

October 21, 2011

… with a thud.

Showing offWhat'dya mean I've changed?

Yes, so… a little catching up. We had nice summery¬†weather over the Thanksgiving weekend – a beautiful run of temps in the high 20’s which¬†I think set some records around here. It deteriorated¬†come Tuesday and it rained for most of the rest of the week. Gotta take the bad once you’ve enjoyed the good I suppose. Now it has gotten lots cooler – around 7C¬†at night and daytime highs of just 12 or 14C.

That puts Lynda and I at situation normal for the fall and winter months already. She continues in perma-hot-flash mode¬†and complaining that she’s still too hot or reveling in the coolness. I’m chilled all the time and can’t get my hands and feet warm; already layering up and dreading the real cold weather to come.

Back on the TG weekend I saw my next oldest brother Dave and his wife Deb. Dave I see fairly regularly but I hadn’t seen Deb for 2 or 3 years. Good to catch up. Unfortunately it was at a memorial service for her father.

This past weekend our eldest brother passed through town to visit Mom so we slid over there to catch up with them before they take off south for the winter. Hadn’t seen Gord and Roberta for at least 2 years. Sucks that we’re all so spread out at points all over the map.

Had a bit of a shocker from Mom last week, too. She’s intending to sell her condo and move in with sister Linda and her new hubby Mike. They’ve got an agent searching for someplace suitable and have listed the condo.

Stepson #3 is moving his chip truck at the end of the week to a location closer to his home. Walking distance – YAY!!!! That means I won’t have to¬†get up each morning and drive him to¬†work = more time between the sheets for me!!!! Guess what Kel? Poutine has been his top seller through this season; closely followed by his ‘peameal bacon on a kaiser’ slathered with molten cheese.

straight as a die – jet contrail thru high cloud

¬†Me? I’m working on my head space which¬†hasn’t been great lately. I was glad to get that trip out to see my kids and their families but it made me realize how much I miss having them around on a regular basis. Trying to make the best of my¬†work situation too and sort out¬†finances. Lots to do; lots to stay on top of. I’ll see which way the wind blows me.

**Note** I thought this had posted the other day but just found it in ‘drafts’. Looks like it dropped one of the photos too. Oh well – here tis anyway, as is.¬†

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Tripping

September 21, 2011

How many more sleeps? Just 4.

Now with this trip on the doorstep I’m so distracted that I don’t want to even go to work. I just want to pack, drive to the airport, hump my bag to the counter and get the heck gone! Really looking forward to spending time with my kids and their kids. Don’t really care if we do anything special or not…… just be with them.

Sorta wishing I had another day to spend in Vancouver cuz if¬†I did I’d likely arrange with Lea Kelley¬†to meet up in Bellingham over coffee. Looks like it would be just an hours drive each way but there is always that border crossing to consider. That would make two blogbuddies¬†I’d have had face time with since my first and only meeting with Kel and Mr X last New Years eve.

Anyway, at work the strike has been settled and the workers back at their desks, smiling. The contract still has to be voted on and ratified but there aren’t any foreseeable problems. Seems they’d all rather be inside working as opposed to walking the picket line even though they had great weather 95% of the time.

The weather has cooled off somewhat. The crab apple tree and weeping willow’s leaves are thinning – likely because of the extended drought through July and most of August. Grapes are heavy on the vine. Grass has returned to being green and lush. A month ago you could hear it crinkling as you walked on it, it was so dry. We still have a few late blossoms pushing out their last petals.

this morning's bloom

I’ve a couple of loads of laundry to do in preparation for this trip – some warmer clothes – and that’s about it. Pack it up and go. Oh yeah… how to get to the airport? Park & Fly? Works for me.

Latest book – ‘Tales From The Vinyl Cafe’ – Stuart McLean. Very good.

Tunes – Leon Russell & Elton John album ‘The Union’. Very good

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Thanks Ma

September 16, 2011

Strange Fruit

Due to the generosity of my mom, Mabel, I’m heading west to visit my kids at the end of the month. First I’ll be staying¬†with Sarah and Zeph in Vancouver for a few days. Then a quick hop over the Rockies to Calgary to meet my new grand-daughter Caitlyn & staying with Russ, Melissa and Madison.

Yeah, a couple of days after Caitlyn was born Mom said, ‘ You really ought to get on a plane and go meet her, you know.’ I just raised my open hands and shrugged… as in, ‘how is that to happen considering my bank balance?’ ‘Hell, I’ll send you; I’ll send you and Lynda, too.’ God, it’s nice to be related to someone who considers family connection to be so important. I’m honouring her offer and going while I can. Lynda won’t leave home and travel anymore so I’m going solo.

While in Vancouver I might try and hook up with an old friend I re-met recently via FaceBook. She was a server in a bar where I was a nightly regular when we were both in our early twenties. It would be good to get some face time and do some catching up over coffee or a meal. My friend is suffering in the mid to late stages of tick-borne Lyme Disease and any plans will have to be later on in the day. She says getting moving in the morning is the hardest thing she faces while waiting for her meds to begin to work.

It’s been a year since the kids and I were together – at Russ and Melissa’s wedding a year ago Labour Day weekend. Sarah and Zeph were there and of course the kids mom Vicki, my best ex-wife. A little earlier last summer Sarah had visited here for about a week on the occasion of my stepson Craig’s funeral. I’m really looking forward to checking out the changes in Zeph and Madison – at their young ages the changes over a year will be huge.

Late Bloomer

Once again, here it is Friday already and I’m glad it’s here. The strike action at my workplace continues and I’m finding that being around a bunch of anxious people for hours at a time¬†is making me just as anxious as them. Osmosis-like. It’ll be nice tonight to see them all out of the building and have the place to myself. Conger up a zen moment or two with a big ‘OMmmm’.

Tomorrow Owen and his father are coming for an overnight visit…. woo-hoo! Now that the weather has cooled off maybe we can go for another of our walking adventures. Something to look forward to. Last time Owen was out Lynda asked him if he knew what that high-pitched sound was. ‘Oh, that’s a cicada.’ “And how do you know that?”, asked Lynda. ‘Pops told me when we were out walking. They only do that once it hits 80 degrees, you know Gramma.” Such a good kid; listens too.

a skywatch for Kel

Gotta go Рadios.