I Love a Rainy Day

Unlike the Carpenters‘ Rainy Days and Mondays song always getting them down, I like rainy days.  The kind of day that begs for hibernation, curling up with books, and reflective thoughts of life.

When I awoke this morning to that delicious half light that accompanies immane cloud cover (BTW immane is a new word I learned – means monstrous, huge), my consciousness cuddled with my soul and prepared for one nice snuggy day.

I love skies filled with clouds (note I say that while staying in and looking out.  Not unlike my admiration for snow filled days also).  The best clouds in the sky photos are taken by my friend Celi so pop over here at thekitchensgarden to have a boo at this header.  

*and catch up on her farmy adventures!  Below is one of Celi’s skies.

Celi's sky

I must admit that retirement has rendered me one of the lowest maintenance gals around.  My needs are simple.  Gone is the need to impress anyone, including to dress to impress, to speak to impress, or anything else of the ‘ess’.

Especially days like this.  Some tea, clouds, and of course reading material.  I figure I will never run out of material because push come to shove I can make up my own.  But I love well written books and my sources are many.

One of the most exciting things I did this year was to make an effort to get out of my comfort zone in the literary world.  I know what I like.  But this year at the encouragement of my dear dear New Zealand blogging and Skype buddy, Judith who chooses how she will spend each day and who started another blog near and dear to her heart, about of course, books and more book 2017. I ventured out to other sorts of books.  I am glad I did!  I just wish I kept track of every book just to impress the daylights out of you. OH! forget the ‘impress’ anything.

Another wonderful source that soothes is Joss Burnel, words to live by, breathe by, dream by and who has found Eden in Ecuador.

 

Quiet days like this means leisurely perusing the news.  So today I see that Vancouver has beaten Toronto as the most expensive in Canada to live.  Of little matter to one such as I but an interesting fact.

Also Canadian, is that in a bar in Dawson City, Yukon, you can buy what is known as a ‘sourtoe cocktail’ and that said toe is a truly mummified toe that must touch your lips as you drink your cocktail, AND that said toe was stolen, AND that the alleged thief sent a letter to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) saying that he had returned the toe to the bar by mail. And you think we Canucks don’t have news?

Next I read an article that the approaching solar eclipse is expected to cause a terrestrial problem for us.  It seems it will cause a 70% reduction in energy output which will in turn put stress on regular old energy production.  If you rely on solar power, we are forewarned that at 2:30pm on Monday August 21st production will drop.

Well, other than a fine chap from the Ottawa area who won 22 million dollars in one of our lotteries, and who is NOT related to me, or is one of the people on this earth who adores me, but intends to benefit others with his win, I think I am finished with news.

I will make another cuppa, work a bit on my own creative endeavor, and then resume reading. AHHH lots to be grateful for.

 

IS WANT DESIRABLE?

Four years ago…

bridgesburning

IS WANT DESIRABLE?

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Want’ lately.

The most frequent definition is similar to Merriam-Webster 1. To be needy or destitute.  2.  To have or feel need.

Thefreedictionary.com says it is – to desire greatly; wish for.

Wiki.answers.com goes a little further and says ‘Want refers to what you absolutely have to have and ‘need’ refers to something that you don’t really lust for – but you just need it.

Answers.yahoo.com says – DESIRE is when you want something you can’t have.  WANT is when you don’t need it but you get it anyways.

I always thought that reaching a point where one says, ‘I want nothing’ was a sign of happiness, an expression of gratitude.  I don’t think it means you have everything you could want, it just means that you are grateful and appreciative for what you have.  I disagree with M-W that…

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Terramundi and Centennials and Birthdays

5 years ago at the youthful age of 65

bridgesburning

Friday June 8th was not only my birthday but also the city of my birth, Kitchener Ontario.  The city was 35 when I was born and I think that is about all I will say of that.  Its original name was Berlin and it was renamed when the first World War took place.  I guess our city fathers felt Berlin was a little Germanic considering so it was named after Lord Kitchener.  It did not change the fact that the largest population was German.  The city apparently boasted a spectacular bust of Kaiser Whilhelm 1 and a few days after war was declared three young Berlin men (Fred Bolton, Alan Smith and John Ferguson) toppled the bust and dumped it into the lake at Victoria Park.  Unfortunately in 1916 there was considerable animosity from the non-German residents.

It has been interesting reading the history pages on line as…

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I Lost A Friend

The Laughing Housewife

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

Photo copyright RR Nichols

Her personal blog

Her political blog

Some of you read Laurie Nichols’ blog; more of you will have seen her comments on my blog.  For those who have been wondering, I’m sad to report that Laurie passed away on February 17th, aged 49, due to complications caused by her cancer.  Her husband Robert told me that he was with her the last 60 days of her life full time in the room, talking, and holding her hand and making sure she was comfortable.

Laurie was a beautiful woman, inside and out.  She was sweet and kind and lived life to the full.  She loved politics, gardening, travelling with her husband, cooking, movies, her dogs but, above all, she loved her family.

She was one of my greatest cheerleaders and we corresponded privately as well as through our blogs.  A favourite memory is the time she sent…

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Jacqueline Wilson …

Fascinating video!

Routine Matters

Jacqueline Wilson …

The popular and prolific children’s author, Jacqueline Wilson was born in 1945. She has sold over ten million books, which have been translated into over thirty languages.

She is the author of the highly successful Tracey Beaker series which has also been adapted for television. Other works include The Suitcase Kid (1992), The Illustrated Mum (1999), Lizzy Zipmouth (2000), Kiss (2007) and Four Children and It (2012).

Jacqueline has won many awards including the Smarties Prize and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In June 2002, she was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she served as the fourth Children’s Laureate. In the 2008 New Year Honours, Wilson was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

In 2007 she was interviewed by the Guardian for their Writers’ Rooms series.

Children are always asking me if I have a special place to write. Well, yes, I have a…

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Yesteryear: When it Really Was an Honour to Serve the Sick

Yesteryear: When it Really Was an Honour to Serve the Sick

congregation Sister's of St. Joseph

In 1978 I had the privilege of working for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brantford, Ontario where I remained for almost twenty years.  Then, as now, each workplace had its own ambiance, and culture, but the emphasis then had an awful lot to do with respect.  Not just in Healthcare but in business.  And not just for bosses but for everyone.

Those were the days when treating employees well, resulted in happier employees and happier results.  Employee retention was important indicating a well-trained, knowledgeable, productive and stable work environment.

In those days, at least in my world, one felt valued, and performed accordingly.  Doing a good job was self-rewarding.

The Sisters lived on the fifth floor of the hospital and were an intricate part of daily hospital life.  They had a vegetable garden and often cooked up wonderful soups for everyone.  It wasn’t unusual to come on the night shift at 11 pm and find a pot of soup simmering on the stove in the kitchen of each unit.

Our motto was simple: It’s an Honour to Serve the Sick

It was printed on the bottom of all our stationary and posted on walls.  I am sure not everyone felt the same way, but I believed in that motto.  I believed in the sentiment.  I felt it. Actually I felt it long before I even knew I was going to be a nurse.  I suppose that came from years of reading books when I was younger; Dr. Tom Dooley, Florence Nightingale.

I wasn’t a young naïve child when I went to work there.  In 1978 I was thirty-one.  It was just part of my nature to embrace the core value of nursing, as I saw it.

Now they weren’t true Halcion days, with constant joy, but looking at today’s work environments and standards of care it, they were the best of years.

Pretty soon some dim bulb decided that our faith based care had to become more businesslike.  The nuns were ousted to residence at the Mother House in Hamilton, and the fifth floor became offices.

The motto was thrown out, and ridiculous lengthy pretend words were posted denoting, Mission, Vision, and Values. (All of which took meetings on meetings on meetings to create).  The energy that was spent in delivering care to patients, staff, and families, and community was now spent in – yup you guessed it – in meetings.

The Ministry of Health changed funding and doctors and patient conditions no longer determined length of stay.  The running joke was, ‘It’s an Honour to Serve the Sick in five days or less’.

In any healthcare facility today you will see all kinds of information posted.  How many falls occurred per unit, per month, per year – interventions of the same.  Charts on infections, use of antibiotics – information ad nauseum.

This is what I call CYA.  Cover Your Ass with the Ministry.  Remember in Harry Potter that some Ministries were evil?  My thoughts exactly on our ‘Ministries’.

Have you any idea the professional dollars wasted on the positions putting together this information in a deemed acceptable fashion that could be used to give direct care?

STOP THE JUSTIFICATIONS I want to yell. You are not convincing anybody.  Least of all me.

I believed in Care and Caring.  And don’t let anyone tell you it is the same thing.  Care is something you deliver to those in need.  Caring is the way you do it.

I believed a good employer cares for and looks after his clients AND his employees.

I believed It’s an Honour to Serve the Sick.

I guess I still do.

*Sadly this hospital closed in the 90’s at a time when Ontario shut down many hospitals across the province.  I was actually sitting on a committee in Queen’s Park before that happened and when discussion came up about closures it never occurred to me that my hospital would be on the list.

** Of course I was also the one who said in 1970 that the new coffee shop, known as Tim Horton’s would never succeed.  It just never occurred to me that anyone would leave home to pay for coffee.

Oh well….

****Throughout writing this my mind has sifted through many memories of my Nun friends and what they taught me, but mostly my mind had been on Sister Patricia Valeriote, so this is a shout out to her.

 

 

 

Markus Zusak … The Book Thief

I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this book is.

Routine Matters

Markus Zusak … The Book Thief

Markus Zusak (born 23 June 1975) is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger, two novels for young adults which have been international best-sellers.

The Book Thief was published in 2005 and has since been translated into more than 30 languages. It was adapted as a film of the same name in 2013.

He spoke about his writing routine in an interview for the Guardian in 2008.

I find writing extremely difficult. I usually have to drag myself to my desk, mainly because I doubt myself. And it’s getting harder because I want to improve with every book. Sometimes I guess it’s best just to forget there’s an audience and just write like no one will ever read it at all.

I procrastinate in spades. In my defence, I also try to have all other distractions solved before I can concentrate on writing…

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A Personal Post

Searching family of long ago I have come across some treasures. Most recently I completed a story about my great-grandmother. Doing some research on my father tonight this post from January 2013 showed up.

bridgesburning

World War II poster from Canada World War II poster from Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure that anyone outside ‘the family’ would be interested in this particular post, so don’t feel bad if you pass it by.

Today when looking through some of my writings I came across copies of letters my father had sent to his mom in 1943, and one letter from his younger brother Dick to him.  My father enlisted in the army in 1941 when he was seventeen years old.  Not at all unusual for young fellas back then to enlist underage and to be accepted to go to war.   The Second World War was firmly entrenched and in its second year.  The government made enlisting sound exciting, patriotic and gosh darn it, the right thing to do.

A year later, August 6, 1942 my uncle Dick sent my Dad a letter to his training site in Niagara on…

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There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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