Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Ellie dozes by the patio door in the heat of the sun. Today is the last day of May and we finally have some intermittent sunshine! In fact we are having our first hot day. We need the warmth so plants will grow. Her crossed paws are next to a flower pot placed there for lots of sun.

Can you guess what's growing in the pot? 
While still living in Fredericton, my youngest daughter took a slice of a tomato and placed it in a glass jar filled with soil. It was February then and she wanted to try growing indoor tomatoes. She was experimenting. The seeds sprouted and she was very happy but this event presented her with a challenge. Her apartment lease was ending and she was coming home for good. She gifted her house plants to friends. But not the baby tomatoes. Easter weekend they were carefully packed into the van for the drive to Toronto. Though a bit in shock after such a very long ride, they survived and were placed on our kitchen table along with the orchid and African violet that continue to bloom.
On the Mother's Day weekend,while creating all my lovely planters, she transplanted her little plants into several pots. The ones in this photo are the biggest ones from her many seedlings. She's very proud of these plants and is hoping to harvest some tomatoes this summer. I wish her success. It could be the beginning of her future in vegetable gardening. She has mastered floral pot arrangements so this seems like a natural progression. Who knows? I'll keep you posted on how well these plants do. 
So far the cat has not nibbled at them. Do cats eat tomato plants? Perhaps we should be adding a catnip potted plant to minimize the risk?

Monday, May 30, 2011


With the patch off and three types off drops four times a day, my eye is getting much better. It has improved my ability to see. Clearly!! Perception?
The patch appeared on the left side of my face in the previous post. That photo was taken from my web cam on my laptop. There is no flipping of that photo so it allows it to appear as if my right eye is patched. Cameras and mirrors are tricky things. We must be careful not to be fooled.
For the record it was my left eye that had surgery. In the image below it is the eye on your right that is improving. I took this self portrait using my iphone camera flipping the camera (phone) first. This gives the correct image.
Thanks for being patient with me as I resume blogging. I now read a few blogs and am able to comment too but I must proceed with caution so that I do not strain the eye.

Today there's an unplanned visit to the dentist. Seems my temporary caps were too temporary. I swallowed one with my lunch yesterday and caught the other one just in time before eating dinner.  LOL. The temps are part of a denture set up for the lower teeth. The process should be completed by July. New vision and new teeth all in time for my 65th birthday!
Ah yes I am keeping those professionals who work with seniors very busy. They seem to like the business. They are always friendly to me.

P.S. Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the USA.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


This is where I now rest. Since I had cancer I have my on bedroom and I am able to have peace and quiet. There is a  large screen TV at the foot of this bed so I can amuse myself when I feel up to it. Any family member is welcome to come and share special moments. It is here that we have some great story times. Right now I'm spending extra time here.
The eye surgery went well. I hope you will be patient with me because in order to read or write I currently wear two glasses so I can see. It is my hope that it will soon be over so I can enjoy blogging and sharing with you more regularly. Thanks for being so kind and wishing me well. 
The risk seems to have worked for me. I have peeked from under the patch and saw images on my TV. Today I'll be seen again by the surgeon. I guess that's when he'll lift the patch and further assess the progress. Updates will follow. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


   Yesterday my entire day was spent at clinics for one little eye. Tomorrow morning I will be measured for a new lens at the hospital's optical ward. On Wednesday (May 25th) morning I will be the first person in the OR for what will hopefully be a successful one hour corrective surgery to my left eye. 
  But the doctor clearly forewarned me that the risk of vision loss in that eye is high. I refer you to a previous post about my Sight to give you the detailed background of the condition of the eye. 
  I have taken on the risk willingly but I must tell you that both my eyes are continuing to lose sight due to macular distortion brought on by high myopia and an odd shaped eye. There is a lot of pressure on the back wall because of it leading to cellular destruction. To date little can be done for it but I guess the stem cell research will some day offer hope of regrowth where tissue loss occurs. If the surgery goes as hoped I shall have a lens that sits correctly lined up inside the iris. But if the macula is too weak to support this then that may result in vision loss perhaps totally. It was a tough decision but I plan to take the risk. 
  This picture was selected because it shows both clarity and blur and represents my hope of reducing the blur, arriving at a beautiful crisp visual acuity so that the little things like this blossom can be enjoyed a bit more even without my Rebel. 
  May this flower turn into a juicy ripe nectarine in August and may I have the improved vision to see that it's ready to harvest. I just hope I'm not being seen as being greedy for having these wishes. My outcome lies in the fate I have chosen by taking a risk. Are my odds good?
  Of course I feel nervous and will spend a bit of time like right now worrying. But thinking of friends and family and meditating will steer me forward.
  Prayers and good wishes are welcomed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Filter Bubbles

   This planter sites on my front porch and you can see an intersection is close by. What is not visible is the fact that Google has silently mapped the area. So has the digital postal system. The information is public. 
    Each of us using digital technology can be found by a network of algorithms. And even if you are not logged in Google knows who you are and what you "like" and sets filters to "personalize" your searches. 
   What does that mean? Google uses 57 filters that customize your searches but you cannot see that. You are being given what the filters decide for you. What this means is when you search a topic and your friend searches the same topic each of you will be presented with different links based on your search history. Eli Pariser has coined this phenomenon a "filter bubble". 
    I see a problem with this. How can you be on the www open to all that there is? You are out there as an individual but in personal bubble getting preselected results according to your location and previous searches, all of this is invisible to you. You don't choose the filter, it chooses you.
    Learning that is the way of the present day www how do you protect your democratic right, freedom of censorship? And how do you protect your political and religious views?  How are groups predetermined? Are like minded individuals in senior groups all lumped together?
    With all the information that is available filters are needed. However, I believe in our freedom of choice. We ought to be able to see all possible links and make our own selections. I believe we must strive to find ways to make the necessary changes that will ensure that right. Democracy demands it.
    We cannot allow invisible technology like algorithms to overpower our individual personal rights by trying to outguess us and force us accept links based on our search history. 
    While social media allows us to interact with so many there's a hidden agenda built in. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Google all track our moves and even try to make recommendations. Keywords say it all. Should we continue to allow artificial intelligence to make us its slaves? Can we correct this?

P.S. On a more personal note, my very long awaited eye appointment is tomorrow and I'm praying that a solution to my distorted vision will be found. If that happens then reading blogs will be way more fun!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Reception I

   May 6th we headed for the airport to take an AC flight to Winnipeg, a city we've never been to. Leaving Buddy behind made it more relaxing since we had only each other to keep an eye on. At the departures level there was just enough time to get our boarding pass, drop off our luggage and take the very long path to the gate. With an Air Canada app that I had downloaded I had all the flight details right at my fingertips. And it surprised me when we were just seated at our gate and got an an alert. I gazed at my phone in disbelief. The gate had been changed and the flight was delayed due to plane tech problems. Really?? I had received this info even before it was announced to all the passengers sitting around us. How cool is that? With an hour to spare we decided to have some lunch. While we sat munching I heard our name being called over the public address but Hubby who didn't hear it said I was just imagining it. Later when being boarded the staff asked us why we had not responded to their call. They had wanted to let us know about the seat change. Funny thing and no app to tell me this? Guess apps still have many limits. 
   We had great seats with lots of leg room. The flight was smooth and lasted 2 1/2 hours. I watched The King's Speech to pass the time. Hubby dozed. After landing it didn't take long to retrieve our baggage. We opted for a limo to take us to our hotel, the Fairmount selected by Hubby, where we were given a lovely room. Once settled we took a stroll outside the place and  discovered we were in the heart of the financial and theatre district of the city.

 We found this statue of John Hirsch and Tom Hendry outside a theatre very interesting. Those two created the Manitoba Theatre Centre (MTC) in 1958 and in1961 the regional theatres began throughout North America. A friendly local person offered to take our photo beside those famous dudes. On our walk we saw many gorgeous older buildings. Sadly they were often unoccupied and neglected. What a waste of real estate! Below is a Confederation Life Place for an example.
 When my eyes caught the golden letters on this structure I grinned and just had to snap a photo. Who knew there would be a white house in Winnipeg? Notice it's vacant too.

  After our walk we treated ourselves to a fancy dinner at the Velvet Glove. I chose poached pickerel from Lake Winnipeg served on a bed of lentils mixed with capers and fresh local vegetables. He opted for the filet steak and had calamari as an appetizer. Of course we did the wine and dessert too. And he ended this eve with a bit of a cigar. Saturday would be busy so we headed to our room and retired before midnight.
   At noon we met up with his relatives who were also staying at the Fairmount and planned our trip together to Portage La Prairie where the wedding reception was to take place at 5:30pm. A van that accommodated us was rented for that purpose and at 3:00pm we headed out of Winnipeg. The hour long drive took us past the Assiniboine River and we could see how very high the water level was. Fast too. Predicted to crest a few days later, by today things have turned for the worse. Much rain has fallen. It is likely to seriously flood its banks this weekend. And the water will remain on the flat prairie for weeks to come. Farmers expect to loose a lot. Canada grows much of the world's wheat on those fields.
   The Herman Prior Hall was rented for the occasion. Much work went into the detailed decorations. The bridal party wore the same attire as at the alter to add to the charm of the event since over 3/4th of the guests were not able to be at the ceremony in Mexico. The reception was lots of fun. Hubby made it his point to be the bride's uncle to remember and he was a hit with many of guests. His many years as a Rotarian have taught him to find the right words in any situation. He knows how to be humorous and relaxing with any audience. He wooed and charmed the ladies and of course he took any opportunity to share his best Cuban cigars with those who dared to puff them! A live band blasted some familiar tunes and there was dancing and lots of food and drinks. That's how weddings are. Lots of fun. In the wee hours of Sunday our designated driver returned us safely to our hotel.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


     For some time now I've had trouble feeling inspired to blog. I was surprised that others were also noticing a slum. Perhaps we have just been flooded with too much sadness in the media? The weather's been bad for so long too and it's continuing. Rain and more rain. Flooding. Global warming? Absolutely!

     For the weekend I'm on my way to Winnipeg for my niece's wedding reception, to follow up the Mexican vow exchange from January. Our family was fortunate be able to attend it then. Hubby and I shall be going this event without the kids. Not having travelled without Buddy for years, we've decided to make up to him for he's sad. We hope to fly with him to Florida later this month. It's his wish and we would like to honour it.

     Mother's Day this year will mean mom's not home with her own kids but the nieces have a plan to spoil their auntie this time. And everyone is okay with this plan. I'll take my Rebel and try to find some special moments to capture. Never having been to that city, I hope to be surprised. May a change of scenery put some new life back into me. I need to refresh. Hope this will do it.