Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Mural

 I've loved this mural forever on the side of a building that is now being refurbished. The Benevolent Irish Society has rescued it and is placing it on their building now..

Sheila's Brush is a Newfoundland weather superstition. It's a winter storm believed to follow on the heels of St. Patrick's Day (March 17). 'Brush', according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English is a Newfoundland word for 'stormy weather'.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday Selections

Joining others in this Sunday Selection mix of photo-dumps.

Elephant's Child

From The Highrise

Drifting Through Life

And maybe more!

Well, actually it's late Saturday here.

Here are a few shots from my day here:

Bangers and mash and baked beans for supper tonight.

I worked on spreadsheets for quite a few hours - spreadsheets, my well-paying work for it seems like a century now.

I like this configuration beside my office desk. The list is all the stuff on my agenda, I have a habit of shouting "finito!" when I think I've ticked all the items that come into my day but I glance up at this blackboard and go: "Oh crikey - no!" Crikey is a euphemism. The clock is an old railway one picked up at an antique store one time, the calendar features opera of the month. May is Giuletta e Romeo.

I woke up to heavy fog this morning outside my window. Normally there's lake and ocean on view in the distance. I'm a weirdo who loves fogs and the accompanying foghorns.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Processing Bad News

I haven't seen this topic written about at all.

But receiving news that is upsetting or awful or tragic or frightening?

How do we process this?

In different ways?

Grief is weird and awful. When someone close to me has died I take ages to process it. When my father died it involved flying to Ireland with delayed overnight at Heathrow and a complete blank of what happened after Heathrow, the journey to see my dead father, the wake, the funeral, the reception at a hotel with the entire family and friends. 

Then over coffee with a few friends in downtown Cork the following day - four days since I left Canada - was where I finally burst into floods of tears and had to be carted off to the nearest washroom and mopped up and comforted for a very long time.

I was only in my twenties when my mother died from a horrific form of cancer and I hit the bottle savagely (giving "bottling it up" a brand new meaning) and it took me years to walk away from that and get the help and counselling I desperately needed.

I bottled up all the deaths of nine close friends in the space of a year and half about six years ago and it was only when my doctor told me I was falling into massive ill health as my blood pressure was through the roof and my kidneys were failing and then asking me what the hell was going on when I told him, after some difficulty articulating it, about all my dead dear ones. He immediately referred me to a grief therapist and I will be forever grateful for what followed. Six months of therapy. I was up to that point in my life completely unaware of how unrecognized depression and darkness and grief can impact someone physically even mortally.

I received really bad news about a family member in the last few days and I am crying freely and often about it which is a massive improvement from the old me. Bottling it all up and tamping it all down.

How do you process bad news or grief?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Long Blurt: Understanding the Trump Cult.

I admit, try as I might, I never could understand how so many are swept up in the Cult of Trump and now I finally do - I finally do, and it scares the bejesus out of me. For if it could happen here, in the microcosm that is my world, it could happen anywhere.

My building has 49 apartments with approximately 55 tenants. All of us are seniors ranging in age from 65 to 90+, independent, self-cooking, self-feeding and self-bathing and -dressing.

The building was purchased last September by a very well known charitable organization. I have donated to them in the past as they help so many disadvantaged and have a stellar reputation. As you know, I was elected Chair of the Tenants’ Committee.

So the manager of the building was fired. We are not privy to the reasons and we shouldn’t be as he is an employee of the building owners (who have at least 500 employees). It would be a breach of confidentially.

He has been allowed to stay on here in his reduced rent apartment until he finds another position. Which is more than fair.

Since his firing last week he has gone around the building summoning support for a petition requesting his re-hire as he has been treated so unfairly.

I overheard a few of his conversations with fellow tenants, he has threatened some and yelled at others and monitors the notice board in the lobby all day and night dragging tenants over and hovering over them as they sign.

I have asked the committee not to get involved in this as the full picture is unknowable at this point and our new owners would certainly have grounds to dismiss him. (I know of a few of his transgressions, learned on the grapevine).

The answers from the 66% (so far) who have signed are:

(1) He’s a wonderful kind man and it’s appalling how they are treating him

(2) They were forcing him to do jobs that wasn’t part of his agreement (they’re not)

(3)They told him he had lied on this application about being computer literate.

(4) They’re saying he went AWOL and we know that’s not true (it is)

(5) They’re saying he wasn’t out of his pajamas before noon and watched TV all day and that’s not true (it is)

And on it goes. The man should have been canonized long ago.

I have no idea how it will all go down But I did phone one of the board today to give them a heads up on the confrontation the tenants have planned. The adversarial discord in the building. The glares those who didn't sign up are getting. Some on the committee have caved under the pressure. 

I felt it only fair to warn them. As this board is truly amazing on what they are planning for here (and have secured funding for). And I just know they would never dismiss anyone without just cause. And this “saint” of a man has definitely given them many.

And it really hit me, as I mull all of this over, this is Trumpville. The truth doesn’t matter but let us hang my hat on a cause and be part of this wonderful cult.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Blurt on Old Age and Community

What I didn't expect when I took on the position of Chair of our Tenants' Committee was the level of enthusiasm and engagement at our first couple of meetings.

There was no problem with securing a secretary and a treasurer and a vice chair and a liaison person with the social committee. A speedy agreement on our mission was established. 

Frankly, I was surprised at the different life stories and backgrounds that bring so many to the table of mutual benefit and co-operation. 

There are 5 women and 3 men on the board. All in the same age bracket. 70 and upwards. I expected some misogyny from the men, being of the age of more patriarchal dominance, but so far I've seen none exhibited which heartens me completely. None over-talking the women, everyone listening and respectful.

I am not a social butterfly in the building for I am a gregarious loner as long time readers of my blog know. I do not participate in all the social activities here apart from the odd BBQ or Seasonal Communal Dinners. The fact that I was voted into this position continues to astonish me. I have only a select few co-residents in the building that I would call friends. I have very strong boundaries on those with whom I engage on a familiar level and discourage doorbell ringing and unexpected "drop-ins." 

But it really struck me after the last meeting a few days ago that elders have so much to contribute on a communal level when given the opportunity.  

We have a seniors environment that often resembles a boarding school with cliques and infights over the tiniest things. As I've mentioned before, I have the kind of face that everyone tells their secrets to. So yes, I hear about the spats and romances (you'd be shocked!).

But with expanding their worlds into the bigger picture, kindness and working, even a little, for the benefit to all, these elders show a different, side, a better side.

I'm hoping my perception doesn't change. 

And if it does, only for the better.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Blurt on Dogs


Ansa 2012

I was reading about that awful Kristi Noem. You know that sub-human governor of South Dakota who bragged about shooting her puppy in the face?

It sickened me. As much as it did most civilized people on the planet. My heart hurt for that poor wee helpless creature who loved her until death. Whose last image of his beloved human was her face behind a gun, her face full of hate.

ALL dogs are trainable if they respect their human. Ansa was my last dog. The best dog I have ever had. 

I've written about her many times. She was a rescue and it took me two years to train her. Every chance she got she ran away from me. Often miles away. I knew never to punish her. She had been chained up and abused before she found me. So every time she ran, I got in the car and tracked her down, to finally see her trudging along the side of the road, dejected and tired. I would greet her with delight, coax her into the car and give her a treat. I wanted to be her haven, her safety net.

When she finally trusted me she stopped walking ahead of me on a lane one day, sat down in front of me and gazed at me. I took the leash off her and petted her and cried tears of gratitude. After than she never left my side and travelled with me all the time and I only leashed her on busy roads. She learned hundreds of words and played hide and seek with me and everyone just adored her. She never failed to thank me for a meal (licking my hand) or tuck her head under mine in bed as I read a book.

How we treat animals is how we treat humans. When Noem said she would do the same to President Biden's dog, I felt total revulsion that she is such an abject slave to the opinion of the Orange Maggot, another sub-human who hates dogs. 

Animal haters should never be put in charge of the lives of others.