Saturday, October 23, 2021


Feel free to join in on That Was The Week That Was. 

Monday, I had a long chat with a brother who has the same condition(s) I do. He was hospitalized and put on intravenous antibiotics as one of his symptoms was high fever. So infection for him and chronic anaemia for me. But interestingly, no pain for either of us.

Tuesday I had a spyhole installed in my door to avoid the cranks that this snarly hermit tries to avoid at all costs. Started compiling a writing workshop layout for a series of eight workshops I am giving for another anthology.

Picture is of Fogo Island, Newfoundland from a few years ago.

Rolled with two cancellations of social plans on Wednesday. I am never bothered by such things as I have masses of plan Bs to amuse myself with.

Thursday not much, several books arrived, two from Ireland and one picked up at my local charming library.

More on books later, my books read list is waaaay overdue.

Friday, we had a meeting with local bank to start legitimizing Support Our Seniors, the group I founded. I am always amazed at the emotion showed by young people including my CBC interviewer and now the bank manager, when they learn about the dismal poverty many seniors are in, living way below the poverty line in a "wealthy" country. More awareness is needed. More on that later.

Had to cancel today, Saturday, though not much was planned as I had dizzy spells this morning which discombobulated me. Now thankfully gone. But had a long nap in the afternoon to recover.

Tonight. I was alarmed at not reaching my friend Lana (read about her here) for the past month so contacted her son and she has been put into a luxurious assisted living facility. Something she, like many of us, never wanted to happen.

She had been ill with clots in her right leg and her mental stability had worsened, so he made this decision and caretook her all the way through it. He gave me her number and I was so delighted to hear her - so accepting of her new situation. She is rapturous about the care she is receiving and the incredible meals which she told me about. And how the staff chase her down, laughing, to give her her pills as she walks all over the building to get her exercise. And how she is accepting she is there forever, so to speak. I cried I was so happy and moved. She is younger than I by a few years but one never knows when life can change irrevocably.

This dear friend died during the week. She lived to a great age (94) and this was a study I took of her for a painting by an artist about 6 years ago. He wanted her eyes downcast as she had a "saintly and modest demeanor". He didn't know her obviously, as she could swear and curse with the best of us and had endless talents.

Some lovely conversations with Sherkin Island aficionados, sharing memories and with one planning a trip to Newfoundland.

Sherkin - a part of my heart resides there. Always.

Friday, October 22, 2021


 I managed to squeeze in an ocean restoration trip during the week. I was delighted to see a drummer practicing his craft at the shore. And even more delighted to find I could walk (with George, my cane, just to be safe) down to the waves and marvel at how life has changed for me.

I finally had the energy to walk in the glorious back garden of my building and snap these two shots of the tenderness and long shadows of autumn.

A lunch snap one day. Sour dough bread with gorgonzola cheese. Who else likes weird cheeses?

And finally, this made me laugh so hard - for all you cat lovers out there.

Sunday, October 17, 2021


 I remember a BBC show called "That was the week that was". Also known as TW3 and I thought perhaps to start a meme, though I don't wish to clash with other end of week memes like Sunday Selections.

With a health status that I really thought would never disappear (never mind returning to more energy and no worries about the daily smidgen of spoon stock being depleted, etc.) I was able to return to some activism and also re-ignite my writing workshops with funding in my grubby little hand.

I awakened SOS (Support Our Seniors) from its Covid-19 slumber and found someone to take over the office mundane tasks while I concentrated on ideas and promotion and media presence. I pay her a pittance out of my own pocket until we can get some funding. 

While thinking (which I did all through the week) I came up with a plot which should get us massive attention (I hope) more on that later.

I went to a new café, affiliated with its neighbour book store.

I got so involved and forgot to take pics. An old friend, a baker, is supplying the gorgeous goodies, so we had a long post-covid chat after her delivery. (I hope I'm not jinxing us all with that remark).

Then another patron who was listening to myself and friend chat about memoir writing over our cappucinos for the upcoming series of workshops interrupted us quietly to say excitedly "Writing? Workshops?" and bingo we were off. While with us she sketched the inside of the café in pen and ink and hung it on the wall as a gift. Genius. Forgot, again, to take pics.

She and her friend (who is also a writer but wasn't there) will attend the workshops so I'm now at full capacity.

Three cherished long telephone calls during the week, two dear friends from Ontario where I used to live and my sister who lives in my home city of Cork.

A loss of a childhood playmate and wonderful adult host in his farmhouse from Sherkin Island hit hard. Parkinson's.

My to do list has loads of items still on it. I'm a devil for to do lists, even for the simplest tasks. My head has always been in the clouds.

And how was your week?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Language of Love

I'm not  writing of actual language here. Though in some cases that is true.

I'm writing of the acts of love which speak far more than expressing a sentence or so, which is fine and dandy. But language expressed in other ways.

Daughter went off to Ontario to visit her father and daughter and various long term friends. Before she left she quietly put some homemade soups in my freezer. Carrot and ginger. I was so keen to dive into this I nearly forgot to take a picture.

I always had difficulty in feeling loved, rooted in childhood, of course. But lately, with the help and care and compassion I was shown through my baffling and lingering illness I've become more aware, that yes, I am loved. Gifted food is a manifestation of that. Grandgirl voluntarily cleaning up a bathroom which was an awful mess before one of my procedures was another.

A friend downstairs brings me a hot Jiggs Dinner when she cooks it.

Another sends in home made jam or bottled moose from the country.

A blog friend and I share the details of the challenges of our health on an almost daily basis via email which is comforting and gives that feeling of not being alone with pain and lack of mobility and often zero energy.

Niece provides delicious family meals complete with boxed leftovers to take home and her daughter bakes delicious pies. 

Her special blueberry cheesecake.

Niece also had a crack at her mother's Yorkshire Pudding, which was marvelous.

And here is the turkey and Jiggs which was wonderful

A cousin taking the time to write me after reading one of my articles was another. (You'd be amazed at the lack of response I get when I send my articles or essays to those I think would be interested). But yes, one or two out of ten or twelve can be enough.

A gift of knitted socks, endless cards in the mail, muffins left on the shelf outside my door, the laundry service gifted by Daughter, streaming services gifted by family, and on and on. Every day the language of love is there if we look for it. 

The kind and caring words of blog-friends are especially dear.

If you'd like an actual mailed personalized card from me, email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom with your snail mail address.

There's nothing like real mail is there?

And please feel free to share your language of love experience(s).

Monday, October 11, 2021


Different to the US date. So have a happy one as we forge into winter and remember all that was good in the spring and summer. And the harvest. I think we're due a harvest moon soon. Out here on The Edge, it signals oyster hunting. Best time apparently.

I am here to report that my health has shifted mightily into comfortable hemoglobin and iron levels. So thanksgiving abounds in my small world. A combination of some stomach pills and iron every day. Some healing has occurred or some restored balance. And as my GP says: you are one of the few we can definitely say has no cancer or ulcers. 

We continue on this path in spite of the diagnosis of diverticulitis - a not uncommon condition of us elders due to age-thinning of the linings of our nether regions. I am relieved and grateful for the incredible medical procedures and superb care I have. I am now awaiting a report on the right eye blindness which seems to have been caused by a small stroke during one of the procedures (stress). So I had an MRI on my neck ordered by the retinal specialist to see if there was a blockage.

So there you have it. The organ recital.

In other news, I was on CBC television and radio chatting about the impact of recent price hikes on seniors, plunging some into poverty and looking at foregoing their cars due to unbelievable gas prices. My activism, in light of my renewed energy, has been re-ignited.

I also received unexpected funding for a series of writing workshops which excites me no end. It's the process I love and not so much the end of the journey where, last time,  we had an anthology published and launched proper-like, with food and signings and reading and joy.

I'm on my way to Niece's to gorge on turkey with all the trimmings and celebrate much with her lovely family.

My gratitude list is enormous.

How about yours?

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

On Grief and Condolences


I'm old. It's expected. People have been dying around me though since I was five when a classmate, cute little Geraldine with her shiny black hair and fringe, died of meningitis.

I lost Eithne,  a sweet friend, when we were nine. She was in the kitchen early in the morning and turned on the electric fire and her nightie caught fire. Pre fireproof clothing days. A terrible, agonizing death. I was devastated. Every Tuesday after school we caught the bus together into the city, she for piano, me for elocution. She was quiet and so was I.

And on through the years, death becomes more of a familiar as we age.

One of my closest friends out here lost her identical twin sister a few weeks ago. Due to my health and The Plague, we hadn't gotten physically together until this evening for dinner.

She is destroyed. She is 8 years younger than me. I had brought her some potted fall flowers, a little custom of mine for any dear one who loses his or her beloved. Flowers are for the living and not for the dead. 

I told her I couldn't understand her loss, not having a twin. I asked her to be real with me after I gave her one long hug. So then she cried and cried and talked all the minuscule details of her dear sister's death. And I listened carefully. Not interrupting. She was executor of the significant estate and her sister's adult children had fallen out. And she was finding it a tough balancing act. 

Her last promise to her sister was that she would look out for her children. So she finally told all concerned to please allow her her grieving time (she's awfully good on boundaries, always has been). She asked me when the grieving would be over. And I just looked at her and said "Never."

And then she smiled at me through her tears and said as she held my hands:

"Thank you for that. Thank you!"

(I can only imagine how sick she is of the holy platitudes).

The barest minimum of words are often the best of condolences. And intense listening to every tiny detail. 

But my heart breaks for her.