Saturday, April 28, 2012


   For most of this month I've been away from blogging. It seems that I was caught up in a world of my own, lost. I couldn't seem to grasp what needs to get done or to prioritize my needs. I'm not sure I know where this has come from but the feeling was beginning to annoy me. I know that having had cancer, I occasionally worry about a reoccurrence. Other times my eyesight is a challenge but why should that make me so listless?
   Perhaps I had a case of empty nest syndrome? Both girls had moved away to another place in January. Or maybe it was the annual April case of the blues because hubby was away working seven days a week late into the evening doing clients' tax returns? Whatever it was I was feeling sorry for myself! Yet not sure why?
   Buddy is so patient. He's up each morning cheerfully awaiting to see what I'll be up to. At 10 a.m. his bath help friend comes and an hour later he stands in my room reporting,
 " I'm ready. How do I look?".
Lately I was very slow to respond to his eagerness to be out and about. He was persistent. And he showed excitement even if it was to see the doctor. That's just what we did yesterday. After a gruelling two and a half hours there, blood work and urine tests completed, we headed over to the mall for a late lunch at the Pickle Barrel. Then since it was windy and cold outside we decided to stroll a bit through the mall. We needed to stretch our limbs.
   At a phone shop we entered and selected a new Samsung mobile because Buddy's recently broke. Ready for more we walked on passing several ladies shops finally stopping in one having to buy a new T-shirt for mom for Mother's Day. Our last stop was Best Buy. Buddy wanted to check out some kind of Xbox 360's with motion sensors that he'd seen in TV commercials. His curiosity challenged me to join in his quest to learn more. The idea of moving one's body without any controller, appearing to use a Jedi Knight sword to fend off daemons, was what drove him to explore the possibility. Seeing boxes of consoles and games he figured he would need help to set it up. I agreed. Then came the decision of when to purchase it. He had the money but I convinced him it was expensive and would make a great birthday wish. His smile and it's his eager approval of suggestions idea that makes it fun to be with him. He was so pleased with himself when he feels right about his decision. On the way back to the car he uttered, "This was my best day."
I chuckled. Simple pleasures. I have to admit that his joys put smiles on my face. My empty nest thing has  to be ruled out. It doesn't really apply does it?
   Looking back a few weeks it seems I was busier with him than I realized. Several visits to the ENT specialist for that ear of his, but many other outings like shopping for groceries. And one day it was for a gift for a baby shower on Sunday. He still insists he should be allowed to attend. He was very helpful in the selection of what Baby and parents would enjoy, books which included CD's like the ones he once had. Who knew he even remembered? Our selections included 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein and 'TheVery hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. And I just had to buy a little outfit with Peter Rabbit stuff on it. I've always been a Beatrix Potter fan. We also selected the card and wrap together but not on that day.
   On Friday, April 20th we went to see 'The Lorax' in 3D right after a light lunch at Kelsey's. That was followed up with a quick stop at a nearby Wal-Mart. The movie's powerful message motivated us to want to plant a tree to help our planet but they didn't have any in stock. Still we got sidetracked into purchasing a Sony cassette, CD, radio player. Buddy's older tapes had just been rediscovered.
   Then Sunday, April 22, Earth Day, we set out to the nearby Sheridan Nursery to buy that lovely tree. We started with the idea of a weeping pussy willow but it didn't fill his idea of a real tree because the branches drooped down. In the windy, cool outdoors we searched around for the gem that Buddy wanted and found, a 3m (12ft.) acer red maple. When we went to the cash we were pleased with a bonus for coming that day. It was a 20% reduction in price for the tree. Now the tall tree and our van were not a good match. Staff to load this larger item into our van where it spent the next two nights waiting for the high winds to calm down.
   Now it's on the back deck waiting to be planted. So far the weather's not cooperating very  much. Snowy, then very windy and still too cold for us to brave the work. Hopefully it will get put into the ground on Monday, April 30th when daughter will be around by for a visit. We could use an extra hand with the shovelling. In fact we still need a good shovel. Sure hope Canadian Tire has the right one. It's closer than Wal-Mart.
   Now I that my blues appear to  have moved on, I hope they stay away! With a baby shower and a tree planting just ahead so is the last day of tax returns. Buddy will spend Sunday at the office but I'll bring some lovely photos and treats from the shower just for him.

P.S. Let's hope I get back into a better routine. Your work deserves readership and comments. That's why I joined your posts.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

EASTER Remembered

  Last month I found one of my paternal aunt's handcrafted tablecloths in one of the many boxes that I continue to sort through whenever I am up to it. Though the boxes were sent to us in mid-summer of 2010, there being over 375 of them ,the task is a seemingly endless one. Nothing is in any order. Kitchen items mixed with master bedroom ones in a box labeled east bedroom or library make the sorting a frustrating challenge. Moreover it has become a good time to purge. Much of what the cleaners reclaimed or restored from the fire has been duplicated or has lost it's usefulness for us. Time has passed so we must get rid of the excess. But there remain items that carry an emotional attachment, a personal value. Those are sought out and set aside. They will be carried into the future.
   For this current season I've put her favourite piece on our table. It brings smiles when we care to revisit Easter times with her. Gertrud always made Easter Sunday very special for each of us. There was always some home baked yeast cake or bread and some coloured, decorated hard boiled eggs. And she would give the youngsters chocolate bunnies in baskets she handcrafted and hid in her place. She knew how to get the family to share time with her on her terms. Her affection was clearly there for those who wanted to be with her.
  At her home there would be fresh cut flowers often with pussy willows on her table. She did this each year. As she aged I helped her set these up. She loved 'her' Easter. I loved her for it and for much more.
 We have pansies and pussy willows in planters outside by our front door. Carnations and a tiny orchid sit on her favourite table covering in our kitchen area. And the coloured eggs and bunnies were also remembered. Buddy made sure of that! Home made cake is almost ready for tonight's family dinner in our home. And in UK our daughter brought auntie's version of this time of celebration to her new family. There were hidden baskets for them. For her there was a chocolate eggs with her name on it, a first for her and then dinner with new relatives.
  So as we are carry on her tradition remembering her in our own way I wonder if you have special items or recollections of loved ones?
 Have a very happy weekend and here's hoping that you are able to be with those dear to you. 

Monday, April 2, 2012


   You all know Buddy. He's in his late thirties and living with us. He's fortunate. For many adults with disabilities there are group homes. Buddy chose to stay with us and we are fine with that. Keep in mind that those homes only work for those who have some skills and the ability to function within that facility by applying their skills. If an individual's faculties require a more intensive care then the solution is to send that person into a long term care facility. There were special centres for the handicapped. There were others for those requiring drug abuse treatment and those needing help with other psychological issues. Each had it's own resources and space allocation. And there were long term facilities designated exclusively for senior care.
   However in order to save on staffing and space our government very quietly has changed the way all centres are to be used. From some time now they decided to just combine all of those units and allow the residents to be mixed together. That means a senior could be sharing a room with a psychologically challenged younger person suffering from a severe bipolar impairment. Even a criminal who can no longer be kept in prison due to a medical impairment will be in such a long term care place. As a bed becomes available clients are placed into spaces with no serious consideration of how the roommates match up in age or disability. And confidentiality makes it impossible to know what's wrong with one's roommate.

   On Friday, March 30th,  W5 aired a documentary highlighting what is really now happening in those care centres, the ones that get our government funding for the services they provide. The clients get very little in protection. In fact studies show that the abuse rate is four times higher there than anywhere else! And even the undertrained staff get harmed!!
   I cannot bear the idea that Buddy or I might end up in a place like that. The only solution preventing that would be private in-home care. Who would be able to afford tho huge cost of that? Are there any insurance policies willing to cover that? Likely yes for a high price but I doubt pre-existing conditions would be considered insurable unless the policy clearly stated it does.
   Are we being sent fearful messages like the one I saw to help make it better for those in care now or to push us more towards seeking spaces that will take payment for home care? And is this to shift our the tax contributions to lessen the number of long term care units? If so then what private heath care businesses are lobbying behind the scenes? What's really happening to our health care system?

The video provides you with information of how clients in those care centres struggle and how the government using our tax money refuses to hear that this situation is totally wrong. Clients should be selected to be with others of similar issues and age. Those who require similar care ought to be together. Integration can be useful but it needs to be constructive to the clients not just the budget. It seems to be going backwards with this issue. It appears to be creating monster institutions just like in the past, one that destroy the dignity of the elderly and the less abled. Back in the day we opted to have that changed citing cruelty to the clients mattered. Well it seems it no longer does. Cruelty is back and on the rise.
   What's wrong with our elected officials? Have they gone deaf and blind? They chose not to acknowledge there's an issue. Perhaps they ought to be forced to share a room in such a place, to feel the pain they are creating on so many poor helpless folks?
The direct link to W5 could not be created from my mac. The link you get takes you to the menu page. You will need to manually go to the part of the CTV News subheading, find there  W5 under News and click on W5 to get to the clip. The clip takes at least 20 minutes to tell the whole story The date is 12.30.03. A written version may be found under statistics but it does not have the harsh impact of the video.
    What have you got in your area?