Category Archives: Blogs

I tell you, the inmates are running the asylum… again

Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV.
Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister
English: Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canada has a Prime Minister named Stephen Harper.  In case you misunderstand, I do not say that with any pride.  But there he is.  He has a chief of staff named Nigel Wright who it seems has more money than brains.  We also have a Senator named Mike Duffy.  Now Mike is a proven liar and crook who claimed more than $90,000.000 in expenses for a primary residence which was not, and apparently the government (dear dear Mr. Harper), said that if Mikey paid back the 90 grand ‘the government would go easy on him.)* CVT News.

When Mikey repaid the dough the ‘ government praised him for showing leadership.  Now just what has all this proved?

*You can lie, cheat, and steal and as long as some other guy – no not ‘guy’ but the Chief of Staff pulls out his wallet and pays you will be lauded a hero.  A fine specimen of a human being.

*One must wonder just what ethics Nigel used in accumulating his fortune.

*Young up-and-comers to the political scene have now learned honesty no longer exists -did it ever in politics? – just make sure you have the right friends with money and power.

Nigel Wright has taught us that money rinses of the stench of thievery and one must then wonder exactly what did Mikey have on old Nigel.  Or perhaps old Nigel did it to ensure future favors.  Such a circle.  Such an insanity.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photos/harper-s-chief-of-staff-nigel-wright-slideshow/nigel-wright-appears-house-commons-ethics-committee-tuesday-photo-20101102-145222-488.html
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photos/harper-s-chief-of-staff-nigel-wright-slideshow/nigel-wright-appears-house-commons-ethics-committee-tuesday-photo-20101102-145222-488.html

Now I must dash off to send my dear friend Nigel a letter.  I do hope he remembers how close we once were because He could pay off my existing debt although since I did not accumulate it illegally he may not want to help.  Damn.  How can I make it look like a crime?  Oh yeah – he is the crime.

BTW 2 other criminal senators are big time po’d that they couldn’t give Nigel what he wanted cause they have been left out to dry.

A Sad Day in the Neighbourhood

Image representing Kijiji as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

About a week ago, on May 6, 2013, Timothy Bosma 32 took 2 men out for a ride to test drive his truck he was selling.
He never returned. One ‘suspect’ Dellan Millard is in custody identified first by a unique “Ambition wrist tattoo.

Tim’s truck was found on Dellan’s mother’s property, his cell phone found, and sadly this morning Tim’s burned body was found on one of Dellan’s properties. The man who police report is remaining silent, no doubt feels his wealth will protect him, and in this very unjust life we live, it very well may.

Tim leaves behind a young wife and young child.

Now this is important – Tim was selling his truck on Kijiji.  There is currently an advert by Kijiji running on TV that says ”’so and so sold his truck on Kijiji”’ and what a wonderful way to do it.

If you must sell anything, please take precautions.

Take a photo of potential customers and their licences and do not ever go with them.

Always have someone else with you when making direct contact.

It is preferable if  you do not meet them at your home.

I have never sold anything on line yet so please do tell me of other safety measures I can follow.

It seems it wasn’t that long ago that someone on Craigs List lured men to his garage where he killed them.  It isn’t always the buyer that can be dangerous.

By the way, Kijiji continues to run the ad.

Oh, and the lawyer for the accused says his client is 100% innocent.

 

 

 

The Sheldon Board

big bang theory new season
big bang theory new season (Photo credit: Heavybm)

 

There are all kinds of boards; the mother board, the ironing board, the board of directors, shuffle board, leader board, but there is only one Sheldon board.

 

I have an addictive personality so I become enthralled, perhaps even obsessed with books, authors, movies and the odd television series.  ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ has been an addiction for sometime, and I suppose it is somewhat pathetic that when my friends and I meet we always find some part of a long conversation dwelling on the antics of Penny, Amy Farrah Fowler, Bernadette, Howard, Leonard, Raj, and of course Sheldon. And, even worse we can -well I can- quote the script with great accuracy resulting in gales of laughter, not to mention the theme song, the best ever, by the BareNaked Ladies.

 

Some of my favorite scenes take place in the laundry room, where amongst great wit and humor we find Sheldon folding laundry as only the iconic obsessive compulsive can, complete with a board that ensures every item comes out in exact identical specifications.

SAM_0839

And we find ourselves saying, ‘I want a board like that.’  I remember them as an item back in the sixties or seventies, but short of contacting Chuck Lorre directly we couldn’t find a single one. Until one day.  The day.  My sister who likes to peruse Dollar Stores came across one.  I think in the end it had to cost her a fortune because she bought not just one for herself, but a dozen others for our group.  It’s not blue like Sheldon’s but it does the job.

Perfect  fold every time
Perfect fold every time

Others in this house find their laundry missing for short periods of time.  I have to do it since I do not have enough foldables to get fair use from this miracle.  By the time said missing items are rediscovered they have all been obsessively folded.  Just like Sheldon.

My sister lives in an apartment building with a laundry room and I drove her crazy each time I visited begging her to ‘let’s go to the laundry room and play Sheldon and Penny’ but she has a strong sense of propriety so she has declined. So far.

 

 

Spummer

SAM_0819Hey It’s Spri..uh no ..it’s Summ..Nope since it is May it must be Sprummer!

We seem to have bypassed actual spring, which is much better than last year when we had a false early spring, and the buds all responded to warm temperatures just to be hit with more winter that killed off a huge percentage of our crops and flowers. I sadly mourned (I know how can one mourn unsadly?) the particular loss of our magnolias. So close to bloom then frozen and dead, never to recover, at least in that year.
So today I am happy to change that wintery header of mine to our beautiful magnolias – alive and just shouting life and color. It seemed to be a long long winter although it was not harsh. Perhaps due to the false spring. We felt cheated somehow.

It was fun to get the patio ready first with the power wash that cleansed the soul of grit and dirt as well as fences and patios.

Daddy teaching our future patio cleaner
Daddy teaching our future patio cleaner

He who took great pleasure in water, force and strength.  Made him feel like the Hulk!

SAM_0793

Now that’s the way to start the season!

sam_0814.jpg

Creativity takes a swerve

I have been wonderfully busy these last few weeks – being creative that is – however none of it is writing.  I have done a lot of thinking about writing and spent some time pondering if there are any new stories to tell.  Of course there are.  New twists and turns to entangle the mind of the reader in a web of intrigue and interest.

I have not come to any great conclusions because after all there might not be any great conclusions at least for my mind, in the here and now.  So I took my focus elsewhere and the idea was to create something that required concentration and to complete the task (I am a great non completer).

We took walks
We took walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of us
All of us
I began to knit - fancy dancey scarves like this
I began to knit – fancy dancey scarves like this
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
2 aran knit sweaters for the boys
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater
a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater

Creativity thrives and now as I am almost finished the last sweater I will do for awhile (it is for a 95 year old friend – so I must not dally), it is time to think about words, stories, and adventures.   Have a wonderful weekend all!

 

 

Rhythm

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...
Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured in dance: an early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rhythm

Ya Gotta Have Rhythm

I’ve been caught up in a few projects lately, setting goals which look good on paper or screen, and wondering why I am not getting all the things done I want to or need to accomplish.  It seems that with the arrival of the vernal equinox there came a need to reflect, to assess, to plan.  At the same time it seems the chain on my wheel of life slipped off the universal cog, and while I continue to function I am out of step.

I have come to the conclusion that reflection, for me at least, is not best in the long run.  At least not when said reflection takes up the entire day. Day. After. Day.  I pondered days of yore when I was organized, and enjoyed the thoughts so much that I returned to them again and again.  Aren’t memories wonderful?  One can be so selective in choosing them.

Then when I noticed I seemed to be out of sync I spent a great deal of time thinking about that.  Wondrous thoughts like ‘I’m dancing as fast as I can’ came to mind, but really I wasn’t dancing, I was stumbling.

Now how can something like that happen to someone like me?  Fleet of foot, well balanced, witty me?

It finally occurred to me that I was missing Rhythm.  The Rhythm of getting up and getting started getting done.  Of course then I had to ponder what Rhythm does for us.  Aside from musical Rhythm which is obvious in its expression I considered the successful people I knew.  What did they do differently?  Was there a secret to their success?  And the answer?  Rhythm.

There are all kinds of Rhythm; some may remember the old fashioned birth control method, which didn’t work as often as it did work, then there is the toe tapping finger snapping feeling good kind, and then there is the very intrinsic, silent to the world but loud to the soul type.

This Rhythm gives us momentum as we dance across the floor of life.  This Rhythm is life.  It is energy.

I am not sure why I lost my Rhythm.  Does it mean I am not doing something I should be doing?  Is it Writer’s Block?  Or is it Life’s Block?  It is more than the inability to write anything worthwhile.  I feel like it is a shadow I am chasing, just catching it in the corner of my eye and then disappearing.

I am not depressed or sad.  I am my own enigma.  A puzzle.  The feeling is intriguing, and certainly entertaining.

I expect it will depart soon.  One can only be entertained by such things for a while.  I also expect that the secret to finding that particular kind of Rhythm is just in the doing.

Have you ever felt the same way?

I Don’t Know What Parallel Universe I just stepped out of but…

Multiverse by Leo Villareal
Multiverse by Leo Villareal (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

Have you ever seen time do a wobbly thing in front of your eyes that you have passed over as je ne sais quoi?  And kept on going as though you were in your right mind?  Perhaps it was a small wrinkle in the space time continuum.  I have also heard it, in less scientific terms as a brain fart.  It’s like a glitch and lasts but a second but you are left somewhat perplexed.

Anyway I probably have had the best blogging weekend in ages starting with a very early morning post about Odds and Sods  that ended up with my considerations on Bullying/Brutalizing and an argument about over protection and the consideration that if Adversity were needed to build strength, we might be facing a problem.

Then sad news of murder in Long Term Care and thoughts from my own experience in that particular arena sort of fell out my mind onto my screen and before your eyes.

Then I reblogged a post from my dear friend Pat Cegan our Source of Inspiration on Truth.  It was soothing and wonderful.

Then I got caught up in the world of innocence and direct clear language  of 5 yr olds so just had to post that.  And then the bend in the time warp happened.  I saw my stats clearly and posted that I was one hit from 30,000 views and I comment from 3000 comments.

For some reason I went back to check and yup you guessed it.  I was wrong – in error- I must have been looking at an alterverse of me, because and yes this moment in time is the exact number:

VIEWS 29,129

COMMENTS 5,016

Jeesh short a few on views by about 800 and shorted my self on comments by about 2016.

Next time check Christine.  And again Christine especially if a little of space time fabric does a little crease at your eye lever.

 

 

I Am Finished Sleeping

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wa...
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a certain purity that exists in each of us for a short time that occurs during our beginning years on this earth.  All the oohs and aahs, in response to precious first words and phrases tickle even the grumpiest grumps I think. Wrapped in innocence it amazes me that children move from gaga to actual words and once the verbalization process starts it increases exponentially and sure to amaze anyone who takes the time to notice.

I especially love the period of time before contraction development.  Sentences are spoken in purest phrases.

I am hungry.

I am finished sleeping.

Keetan is not my friend.

I want to go home.

My legs are tired.

I am Luke Skywalker and you are Obi Wan Kenobe, the young one, not the old one.

We look for purity in language, adding twists, descriptive tantalizing poetic bends, decorations with subtleties or profanities, catchwords, buzz words, all kinds of words.

And I cannot help but wonder how the world might change if for one day everyone found themselves speaking pure direct, cannot be misunderstood language.  Can you imagine what that would mean in politics, in business, in every aspect of our lives?

 

A View of Death by Murder in Seniors Homes

I was saddened at the news of the death of a Senior Resident who was killed by another Resident of that Home in the Toronto area.  A seventy-five year old gentleman assaulted and killed a seventy-two year old woman who was also a Resident and inflicted injuries on a ninety-two year old woman.  He has been charged with second degree murder and assault.

Did it have to be that way?

There are a number of cautionary statements that should be made for those who read these accounts or listen to them on the news, but before I address them, I need to tell you a story about my personal experience with violent Residents.

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I was the acting Director of a Long Term Facility, and we admitted a gentleman to one of our units.  The assessment by CCAC and admission history from the family did not indicate a potential for violence.  In fact he was delightful and seemed happy with his room with its large view window and naturally a little shy.

I went to welcome him when he was admitted and again at the evening meal to introduce him to his table mates help him feel some level of comfort.  He was pleasant.  But one late afternoon all that changed.  He suddenly became aggressive, and ranting and swinging and tried to get out of a second storey window.

The staff reacted perfectly, removing all other residents who may be at risk, keeping constant contact with the man and directing others to call the police.  He was safely removed from the Home to the psychiatric unit at a local hospital.

After a time (I am not sure of how many weeks as I naturally don’t have exact notes to refer to) the hospital, CCAC, Social Workers, Psychiatrist all wanted to have a meeting to discuss his return to the Home.  I took a stand that this man still posed a risk to the rest of our fragile population.  Everyone else took a stand that he was safe to return but could not promise me that he was in fact ‘safe’.  There were actually a number of meetings, by phone with the hospital, discharge planning, and CCAC.  They were mad and frustrated and I was standing firm.

*Please note that explanations of how the LTC system works would involve a great deal of information and could not possibly be disseminated in one article.  It is a complicated and complex system, and I caution you not to make judgements based on who says what and suggested ‘solutions’ from a myriad of sources.

Anyway, the hospital wanted him out.  Hospital administrations are under a great deal of pressure not to allow patients to stay one day longer than what the Ministry perceives as necessary.  As a result, the old pendulum effect is that many people are discharged too early which leads to its own problems.  I argued that this gentleman should be put on a general medical floor with other patients to see how he managed – which led to a very loud roar of ‘how dare you suggest something so reasonable you idiot.’

While this struggle went on our staff were busy.  My nurses, some of who were among the best I have ever seen, along with our Social Worker were seeking a solution that would allow re-entry.  He was not judged as evil or bad but as a resident we/they truly cared about and wanted to see safe and happy.

They closely examined all the information we had about him, and finally pieces of the puzzle came together.  He was a boy of about nine when Nazi Germany occupied his country.  He had seen his best friend killed by soldiers.  He lived his youth in justified fear and in his aging mind he began to live in the reality of those days and at times could not distinguish between now and then.  We were unable to understand his ramblings in his native tongue at the time of ‘the episode’, but gradually some things became clearer.  He did not see himself as the aggressor but a victim.  The staff in uniform he viewed as the enemy.  He was not trying to commit suicide when trying to get out of the window –a consideration that had to be made if only to rule it out – but was trying to escape danger. It is interesting to note that while the committees and Drs. insisted this fellow had no violent episodes in hospital, a quiet chat on the side with staff actually doing the care revealed that he was  not violent because he was restrained physically and pharmaceutically, something that is prohibited in Long Term Care Facilities.

What happened is that a bed became available on one of our secure units and he was admitted there.  More staff specially trained in cognitive function and dysfunction embraced his welcome and for a while he was fine.  Eventually he was moved to another secure unit and again in time began resort to aggression again.  By that time I was on my way out and the solution lay with other brighter fresher minds.

The purpose of telling that story is to let you know the potential for deadly action and reaction by Residents is there every day, and the solutions are not so easy.

When something like this happens it becomes a blame game.  The unions, in this instance CUPE, starts yelling about needing more staff, the administration gets blamed for non-action on Ministry findings *and let me tell you there is a lot wrong with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in Ontario who list findings of non-compliance which may in truth be minor or major but are at times like this with no regard to severity.  As a matter of fact I believe their standards were created to CYA (cover your ass) or actually their asses when something does go wrong.  ‘Not our fault’.

Too much in Health Care today is about finger pointing somewhere else instead of taking responsibility.

Unions, or anyone else who pounds their fists and shrieks when an incident occurs, take the easy way out.  More Funding.  More Staff.  More more more.  I would suggest in fact that MORE is not what we need.  I would suggest that every level right down to the front line direct care level has become about, ‘Not our fault’.

I would suggest that layers of management structured to justify position and documentation need to be stripped bare. 

RNs need to be back on the floor, not doing QA reports, company reports, ministry reports, but front line assessing and directing care, teaching, coaching, and mentoring.  The MOHLTC has made reflection of care an idiots game of using the right words or turn of phrase and God help you if you fail to put it ‘just right’.  Documentation does not reflect care, it is purposefully complex.  Get back to basics.

Staff in this current case documented over a long period of time the violence and potential violence of this particular gentleman – their way of saying, ‘not my fault’.

Senior administration will blame those below who will argue, well we told you.

People are so busy justifying and avoiding blame or responsibility the actual front line care is compromised.  When a budget has to be cut it is the front line that suffers.  This is a truth, and the fact is that somewhere above that front line another position for the justification of moneys will probably be created.

I believe the surprise at this deadly event is not that it occurred but that it has not occurred more often.

For many people old age and dementias of one sort or another leads them to live in a younger time, not just in memory but in actuality.  Many years ago one woman in LTC would shriek absolutely terrified during her shower.  It turned out she was a survivor of Nazi death  camps which gave the term ‘shower ‘ a whole new meaning.  There are still survivors of wars who relive those events again and again.  Residents who never experienced war but lived through spousal abuse relive the moments.  The good old days for many are in fact the bad old days and once they take up residence in those aging brains the reality changes.

The company who owns this particular Home is a good company, they have to be to have survived and thrived in this particular atmosphere that challenges and prevents really addressing the problems.

All I can say is don’t be too quick to judge or believe anything written or reported in this situation.  We don’t know the specifics and the answer is not clean and neat.

Long Term Care in Ontario needs a completely new approach, one so daring that it might undermine the comfortable justification not my fault approach of today.  Somewhere out there are people who know what has to be done and hopefully they will be brave enough to step up and take on the misguided leaders and politics in this very sick system.  Just remember that in spite of this – good care is being delivered, Residents are being kept safe.  But I do find myself wondering if this is just because of plain old dumb luck or if perhaps we will be brave enough to make the changes.

One thing I am pretty sure of – good care and safety are a result of our front line workers who persist under a cumbersome system because they do really care.

Odds and Sods – Late Night Early Morning Musings

Physical bullying at school, as depicted in th...
Physical bullying at school, as depicted in the film Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 3:30 am and here I sit wide awake.  Yesterday the boys and I headed off to Kitchener to meet my SIL and her 3 grandchildren at one of the city’s museums.  There was a special area set up for Circus themes and activities which included high wire walking for the children.  We waited.  In line.  For almost 2 hours.  Each child after being strapped from stem to stern with safety wires and harnesses had the opportunity to walk the high wire and we quickly figured that the wait would be about 5 minutes per child in line.  That meant of course that 12 children equaled a 60 minute wait and the adventures therein were many but that will have to wait for another post.

The point is that by the time I got home I was exhausted, stiff, and sore.  The day was tons of fun so it was worth it, but I knew when I got home I would want to sleep so I kept moving, puttering about here and there and finally gave in to a couple of glasses of fermented grapes and a little TV.  I finally surrendered to the sandman way too early, but oh my, it did feel good to slip between those sheets and head off to the land of nod, just to wake bright and early – well the bright part is me as it is still dark outside my window- thinking great thoughts, and pondering all things ponderable.

I noticed more brave little stories on FB about bullying and an article about Charlie Sheen on yet another rant, this time about his daughter being bullied, and this got me to thinking about this way too sensitive subject.  And from that pondering came questions.

Where will the heroes of tomorrow find their brave?  So many outstanding people suffered some form on bullying or rejection (which seems to somehow have become equalized to bullying) and in doing so became braver, became stronger. They became our leaders, our artists, our models for success.

Strength, I have heard, comes from Adversity.  Are we removing or trying to remove all adversity for the younger generations?  And in doing so are we making their future more difficult?

Are we over defining bullying?  When does a taunt between children playing become bullying?  The lines have become blurred.  I can clearly see brutality, which I think is a more accurate word than bullying, which ends in child suicides and torturous lives, and should have far more severe consequences than it seems to.  But where do we draw the line?  How will anyone learn to ‘suck it up’ and carry on?

When I was a child there were lessons to be learned; Life is not fair, some people are jerks who will be hurtful and the challenge was not in negating hurt but recognizing it and becoming stronger because of it.

I fear that because of the extreme cases of brutality we are going too far in teaching our children to cry ‘poor me’ in less severe situations, instead of teaching them to stand up, be strong and understand the reality of the world.  The reality is that in spite of our great hue and cry against brutality (bullying) there still continues to be bullies and there still will continue to be bullies in the future.

George Carlin and Dean Koontz have both expressed, one on stage and one in fiction, that when we over protect our children we are doing them a disservice.  They cannot become immunized against adversity because we do not allow them to experience adversity.  Is that what we are doing in this situation?

You see, I applaud anti-bullying programs.  We have more situations when groups of people, particularly students are standing up as a group against bullying. That is a good thing.  There are all kinds of education on recognizing when bullying takes place, stopping the act of bullying, and denouncing it publically, but I have yet to see a program that teaches us the reality of the how and the why of it and coping.  It just seems that we are so busy with the ‘buzz word’ of it all, that we are failing to carry through with the successful coping of it all.