Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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Yadda, yadda, yahoo

December 6, 2012

PressureSo, all these months later I start on Monday doing what I was hired to do… daily program presentation and individual counseling. These have been interesting times (since July) building relationships for the centre with the area’s 12 Step groups and their service arms. Personally it has been advantageous getting re-acquainted with lots of folks I hadn’t seen in a long time, plus meeting lots of newcomers to the program who have arrived in the interim. Plus, PLUS, I’ll be able to participate at my home group on a regular basis and actually contribute after a long hiatus and very spotty attendance. Woot-woot!

Here at the centre we’re pleased with how everything is shaping up organization-wise and program content. We’re having major successes with some complex cases; poly-substance and major mental illness mixes. As for staff… heh, heh… we try to put principles before personalities and work toward the common good of our clients.

While those things are all good and fine what it really boils down to NOW is being able to get into a solid routine with Lynda on the homefront. She has been very patient and abiding as this is a new start-up business but she could use some quality one on one time…. and I’m looking forward to that too. I miss my honey.

Although it is still months away I find I’m looking forward to celebrating 10 years clean and sober…. and thinking about all the people who have contributed to my sobriety; both inside and outside the ‘rooms’. As for outside; some of those folks are right here online. Others, people I attended college with when I studied for my Addictions diploma. Still others are close family and friends who have leant their support during trying times.

During this period of re-adjustment I’ll be trying to catch up on some much needed rest and establish a good working structure for mind, body and spirit. That and take time to count my blessings. I’m a happy guy. Ciao for now.

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Wherefore Art Thou Blogmaster Norm?

May 23, 2012

Another shot using the Paper Camera app on Lynda’s Android smartphone. I like using it….

So, very busy of late. Just through our Victoria Day long weekend. Saturday I cleaned house in prep for having our two sets of next door neighbours over for a going away party. Michelle & Keith have been living beside us for 8 or 9 years and decided to move west where they hoping for greater opportunities. They have distinctly different personalities but make a good couple. We’re especially going to miss their little boy Peter who is a frequent (constant) visitor. That evening went late around the firepit and setting off fireworks after a late dinner.

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater

Sunday I hitched a ride with sister Linda, her hubby Mike and our mom up to my late Uncle Art’s cottage so we could all gather and spread his ashes behind the cottage. That’s where his wife Amy’s ashes are so now they are resting together once again. My sis dropped me at Lynda’s Mom’s place up in L’s hometown and we carried on to Lynda’s brother’s place for a wonderful bbq steak dinner. Good to see Mother Mary looking well. Lynda hadn’t seen her for a couple of months and was overdue for some quality time with her. Late getting home but worth the journey.

Monday morning L & I dragged ourselves to ‘that job’ we do each weekend and once completed got into a bunch of yardwork at home. I cut both lawns in one shot (and lost 2 or 3 lb doing so) and we moved a bunch of stuff around so we could clean up some raggedy, weedy bits in the corners. I had time for a quick clean up before heading off to my homegroup A.A. meeting. It was the first time I had been back since I had a Monday night off back around Xmas. Renewed acquaintance with a bunch of folks I hadn’t seen for ages and talked a bit of group business with other members. The speaker was one I had heard before but her message is so positive I don’t tire of hearing it.

One issue taking up some headspace is that the mortgage on the townhouse is coming due. That means it is 5 years since Lynda and I broke up; 4 years since we reconciled. Honestly, still haven’t a clue as to what that was all about… but anyway. Having made a couple of calls regarding getting a new mortgage with a different broker it has caused me to draw back somewhat and look at my bigger picture. Am I happy with the status quo? Should I consider my other options? Are things here likely to change approaching satisfactory / ideal conditions?

As any regular reader here knows I’ve struggled somewhat with my mental state…. how much do I depend on my perceptions when it comes to big life issues like this?

Bulletin Board

Here’s the view beside our desktop computer in the basement. Lots of family shots including my parents, sibs, kids, g’kids and pets. Plus a few of my cultural / music heroes. Quite the conglomeration, eh? I see a couple of cousin BJ – she recently turned 65!!!! Hope to see her sometime this summer.

Anyway, that’s it for today… hope to be back sooner and stop ignoring this space. Peace, love and grooooviness, peeps!

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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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Good News

April 10, 2012

wtf?? where did my post go??

Harumph! Ahem….. DO OVER!!!! (next day) I was just about to leave for work yesterday when I finished up this post and hit ‘publish’…. poof – GONE! I dunno what happened but I wasn’t impressed.

Anyway, to the best of my recollection, I was sharing what happened yesterday at my Dr appt. He was REALLY happy with the results from my physical exam and subsequent tests…. apparently he doesn’t often see those sorts of scores in a guy of my age. Blood sugar, both cholestorals LDL & HDL, kidney and liver function – all excellent. Thank you…. thank you very much.

No real change due to the increased dose of anti-depressant so we’re keeping it the same for another month and monitoring. He was a little miffed that I hadn’t followed up regarding counselling but I had been thinking it wouldn’t be of much benefit in regard to depression. There’s a saying about ‘contempt prior to investigation’ that rings true for me here so I think I’ll pick up the phone, follow up and see what happens. Can’t hurt.

In addressing the absolute bane of my existence, insomnia, he is finally changing me from one non-benzo sleep aid to another which is newly approved for use in this country. I’m truly hoping this will make a difference in my ability to get a restful night’s sleep and therefore my energy level and ability to function at daily tasks.

On the home front – Lynda put her back out last Monday and spent the week at home recovering. A nice well deserved rest for her but her mind was active….. adding to the ‘hunny-do’ list and supervising as the jobs got ticked off. She works in a very stressful job and had done a couple of double shifts covering for a sick workmate in the week prior. Although Lynda knows in her rational mind what her age is, she doesn’t apply that knowledge when it comes to physical challenges….. and acts like she’s still thirty.

1916

On an entirely different note…. the year 1916. Pictured here are my Mom’s parents on a motorcycle with Nana and my Uncle Art in the sidecar. Nana was so determined that Art be born on Irish soil that when she knew she was pregnant she booked passage to Belfast… had Art and returned to Canada via the port in Montreal when he was about 3 months old. This in the middle of WWI. Papa met up with Nana in Montreal and returned she and Art to Toronto via this motorcycle. Incredible given that back then there were no highways; just a series of two lane roadways that didn’t likely make for the most direct route.

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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 – unfortunate 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.