Posts Tagged ‘Norm54’

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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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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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New Growth

March 29, 2012

Peony SproutsPeonies sprouting through last years stubble.

Up early this morning running errands for my stepson’s chip truck…. along for the ride is a buddy¬†of his, Billy,¬†to do the heavy lifting. Billy’s an aspiring guitar player and I had Howlin Wolf’s London Sessions CD in the deck. ‘Hey, I’m liking this – who is this guy?’. So, I’m explaining to him about Wolf’s place on the Chicago blues scene and some of his equally famous bandmates – Willie Dixon and Hubert Sumlin – and some of the more recent bands who have covered his tunes. My brush with greatness being knocked on my butt when I literally ran into Willie in a hallway leading back to the stage in Toronto’s El Macambo tavern back in about 1972. My 130 lb frame didn’t stand a chance against Dixon’s 260 lbs. The big man leans down and says. ‘ Can I help you up, son?’. Good ride, good time. Loaned Billy the CD.

Fishing Hut

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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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Marching In Like a Lion

March 1, 2012

so, it should go out like a lamb.

Fluffy Dusting

In the last 24 hours we’ve seen it all – high winds, heavy wet snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain and back to no wind and light fluffy snow. The driving has been fine as roads were just wet but I thought I’d be blown away walking between my car and the buildings on campus yesterday. Getting away from work last night was a bit of a chore¬†because it took a good 10 minutes of steady scraping to relieve¬†my windows¬†of their casing¬†of ice.

Hedge-a-snowy

This morning it is absolutely still with light snow drifting down…… silent and beautiful.

This morning didn’t get off to a good start though. I heard the phone ringing before I got out of bed and thought whatever it is will wait. It turned out to be a call from my¬†manager wondering where the keyset for my building might be. Yikes – turned out to be in my work pants pocket. So, I’ve made one trip to work and back already today; and extended apologies all round. I guess my record for perfection has taken a dent. ūüėČ

Time to get cleaned up and do it all over again.

 

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Happy Leap Day

February 29, 2012

Leap Day is sort of odd. I know the ‘why’ of it but to plunk an extra day into the year, once every four is strange to me.¬†This one is shaping up as a doozy. It is 10:30 a.m. and it was cold, windy and cloudy when I got up a couple of hours ago. Let the dog out, had a smoke, made coffee, had my cereal and I’ve been browsing around FaceBook, posting, sharing and commenting for an hour or so.¬†I break to make another cuppa and go out for another smoke and it’s snowing like 60 out there. Yowzah!! I still have about 3 hours to go before leaving for work so it could be an interesting drive getting there; nevermind getting home if this should keep up. Ah well, deal with it when the time comes.

Reflected Sunset '2'

I enjoyed a break from the routine last week at work as it was reading week for the students. It was only our most distant and international students who stayed around campus so there was very little foot traffic through my building after service hours were over. I was able to set up my mp3 player with it’s new external speaker to enjoy hours of glorious music. The speaker uses vibration resonance instead of the usual old cone tecknology – you set it on any solid surface (table top, counter)¬†and it uses that to resonate the sound. It is about 3 inches high and 2 in diameter; sounds great.¬†Here’s what¬†my 5 watt version¬†looks like:

Mighty_Dwarf

On a couple of nights I took along the new laptop and watched a movie or concert video. One was ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ based on the long running radio show of Garrison Keillor’s. It has a great ensemble cast including: Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, John C Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones and Virginia Madsen. I loved everything about it.¬†I didn’t often get a chance to listen to the radio show but always enjoyed it when I did. The movie portrayed it all very much as I had imagined it. ( a $3 bargain from the flea market – woo-hoo!)

The other movie I watched was one I downloaded via Torrent – ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’ – the Coen brothers updated take on ‘Homer’ featuring George Clooney. A remarkable film in and of itself with a twisted storyline and great soundtrack produced by TBone Burnett.

Another evening was spent with David Gilmour at the Royal Festival Concert Hall (2002)¬†running through a variety of his and¬†Pink Floyd’s repertiore and a number of covers. Loverly stuff, really well presented and performed. It was a nice break while it lasted but the students are back this week so no more playing around and goofing off for me.

I’m back taking the occasional picture once again….. my eyes are coming alive.

Light-Washed Wall

Time for my final morning coffee and a puff. Hope¬†I don’t get blown away out there – it’s a wall of white hustling past the windows. Catch 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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Bluenote

February 6, 2012

Dusky Blue Snow

So, having been absent again for awhile I thought I’d tell you why…. another of my periodic disclosures.

Seems during the time since Lynda’s son Craig died I’ve transitioned from grief through into another round of clinical depression. Where the boundary may have been isn’t important, only that I’ve arrived here again. During these many months I’ve been actively self-monitoring… but, you know the saying about the doctor who treats himself; he has a fool for a patient.

This is my third period of clinical depression. The first two were spaced about 10¬†years apart; it is now about 8 years since my last descent into the abyss. So goes the cycle – this wasn’t unexpected. Perhaps if circumstance had been different then this wouldn’t have come about but the only really important thing is dealing with it appropriately NOW.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my physician for a routine Rx renewal appointment and as chance would have it he had some time on his hands for a change. He started a pretty lengthy Q & A session about life, work, relationships, finances… the whole gamut. At the end of it he asked whether¬†I had any feelings about being medicated or not. ‘For….?’, I asked. ‘Clearly you are depressed’, says he. ‘Er, um, hrph, well’. We decided on a newer, cleaner version of¬†a SSRI anti depressant which is to have fewer side effects than the older version. It’ll take another couple of weeks for it to build up in my system to the point where I can expect to feel any effect.

A quick shout out to a blog friend who, having reviewed my posts of the last few months, gave me the heads up that I wasn’t relating as I used to do…. and perhaps it was time to stop waiting and act on the symptoms. Kudos – good read.

I’m not overly upset by this setback. Just sticking to my daily routine and trying to be good to myself – food, rest, vitamins. That sort of thing. Looking for ‘the joy’ in the¬†small things like music and the mild winter we’re having.

So, I’m okay. Just sometimes I¬†have little to say here around the blog. Cheers – be back soon.

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Seesaw

January 25, 2012

Yo-yo, rollercoaster….. that is what this winter has been like so far. Lots of fast moving fronts coming from all directions.

Frosty View

This shot was from after one of just a very few really cold nights. Any time we’ve had a snowstorm it has stayed on the ground for a couple of days because it’s been followed by days of rain. This, to my mind, is what a Vancouver winter would be like. Nice, but I’m not used to it being so mild and wet.

I haven’t been around here much because there really isn’t much new. I was sick for those first couple of weeks of the year and have been taking it relatively easy on myself – not pushing to ‘get things done!’. A few outings with Mom, a visit from Owen and his Mom, a dinner out with a few of Lynda’s siblings…. that’s about it.

Imprint Oak

The weather hasn’t been that condusive to picture taking either so I don’t have much of anything to share thataway. I will be back though – sooner than later, I hope.