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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Seek MORE and....

Challenged to finish the story that wasn't really a story about Iris Apfel of the huge glasses and elegant jewellery,  I went back and looked at captions on some of the photos, and found that the reason Iris's photo was in images reached by a search for empty-headed woman, is that she gave fair warning to someone interviewing her that she was not just an empty-headed fashion designer....

There is a message in there.  Eons ago, I was interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen about a grant program I was working for.  It was a provincial program spilling money out to the community for cultural, sports and multicultural initiatives, and I was one of the consultants making recommendations on proposals from community-based groups.  It was a popular but sometimes rambunctious process and many groups not receiving money were distressed and vocal about it.  I thought I tap-danced my way through that quite well, explaining the criteria and the community benefits and of course, the total transparency of the program and got ready to head home.  "One more question?", from the reporter.  "Sure!"  said I, and rattled off a 7 digit figure in response to " How much money does this area have access to?"

Next day, the community page has a picture of me, looking calm and reserved, very little story content and a huge caption: She's the Six Million Dollar Woman!

It took ages before my colleagues stopped laughing.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Seek and ye shall find

I decided to look for an image to express the way I'm feeling today, so I googled "empty-headed".
Photos of this woman, whose style and energy are inspiring to me, were all over the page.

Now, I'm not feeling empty-headed, just angry.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

And so, we took a weekend away from politics

This weekend, Dave and I went up to Barrie for our grandaughter's wedding.  Phoebe is 19 and statuesque, as well as a romantic and a sentimentalist.  It made for a great wedding.

 This is where the sentimentalism came the rehearsal, Chris and Kevin, both her dads,  practice escorting her down the aisle

Here she poses with two of her uncles and her sister

Here she arranged to have her bouquet and those of her attendants left at mom and dad's headstone so that they were part of the ceremony, and elsewhere I've lost a photo of her bouquet, with my mother's Eau de Lourdes rosary entwined amongst the flowers.

And of course, those were only the things that we knew about; given that there were 7 sets of grandparents, multiple family on both sides, friends young and old, I'm sure there were some other things to wring the heartstrings.

Young love!  there's nothing like it.

Monday, 27 July 2015

BIG guilty pleasure

I have a few guilty pleasures, almost all of which are based on ownership of a disreputable number of whatevers, like shoes, chocolates, books, Pinot Grigio, scarves and gel pens.  That is not an all-inclusive list, by the way.

Given that guilt is something I am seldom without, it seems reasonable though, and definitely manageable.

This particular guilty pleasure was a movie...a movie I would probably not have seen had not my daughter Sarah invited me to go out Friday afternoon, and neither of us had done any investigative research.  Which would have been redundant anyway.

The only local review of it, which we didn't see before we chose the movie, said in several cranky ways "This is one of the most unintelligent, boring mysoginous movies I've ever seen."

I don't know to what I can attribute our amazingly good experience with this movie except that it was Friday, I hadn't seen a movie in weeks, we went out together and had Mars bars and popcorn and we were 2 of the only 5 people in the auditorium.

We laughed at everything rude, at lots of things that were vicious take-downs, at absolutely impossible matches of faces to crotches, a physically impossible car/scooter chase and we left entirely pleased with ourselves.

And to add to the unbelievableness, I kept forgetting that Jude Law was in the movie.

Thanks Sarah!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Churchill called it a black dog

For most of my adult life, I have fought depression: not knowing what it was early on, not  wanting to acknowledge it as Dave and I made a life together, trying to treat it with natural remedies, and finally, when things became very serious and I didn't even really fear for my life, accepting medication for which I'm more grateful than I could say.

I'm not depressed because of any thing or person or action in my life.  In fact I have a caring family and friends and my circumstances are enviable in many ways. However, even with the medication, sometimes I can't face answering the phone, reading email, driving a car or walking down the street.  It doesn't really last long, although while I'm in the midst of it, it seems impossible that I can pull myself through and go back to the woman I know I am. Still, knowing that I have ridden it out before gives me no confidence that I can do it again.  

I remember that first time I saw the commercial that shows how depression has an effect on everyone with whom the depressed person interacts.  For a person who throws a cloak of guilt on with incredible speed when something goes wrong, this was almost unbearable.  

Dave, the kids and I worked hard to understand each other, make concessions or build fair procedures and took pride in having worked through the kinds of issues families face. 

I got counselling, medication, compassion from friends, family and co-workers and figured out how to spread my energy over a work week or a holiday.

Still, in my black days, I can look back and see every mistake, near mistake or possible mistake I could have made, and agonize accordingly. 

I know I'm not alone in this, but I also know that I have reached a place where I can talk about it, hope people understand when  I don't return their calls or like their Facebook pages, and perhaps, offer  an insight that might help them to better understand someone in their lives whose moods seem unreasonable.

And while I'm at it, and not in a black place, thank you if you've been one of the many understanding and generous people in my life.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Totally as expected

You may have noticed that I've been away.  I was in Calgary with my sister and her family and my other sister's family.  It was lovely there, but believe it or not, I had trouble with my electronics, which means " .Yes, I took photos, Yes, I intend to share them, and Yes, I have no idea where they are."

I can tell you I have no photos of the Calgary Stampede.  I've been to the Stampede five times in my life and the fact that the last time I went was 61 years ago held no sway.

I have photos of my sister's wonderful welcoming beautiful yard/garden which I loved from the moment I went out there because I knew it was the yard/garden my mother would have had, all things being equal.  I have photos of my family and their families and photos of me with Alberta Photo Opportunities.

I also have every intention of making myself crazy until I succeed in downloading those photos to the right place as soon as I find them.  In the interim:
from the Calgary Stampede Stories

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Photo Challenge Redux

A long time ago, I used to be part of a group that posted photos weekly to interpret the word released by the gamesmaster on Friday nights.  I had decided when I started that I would only use photos of myself that I could take on my laptop, and sometimes the challenge was pretty hard.

I accidentally opened the folder last night when I was looking for the photo with the cucumber eyes I used yesterday, and was surprised and mortified at the latitude I allowed myself.  Here are a few of the more outlandish ones:










This is the one I can't remember.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Things that are going to make me stay up late.

I'm going away for about 2 weeks and as a result, have already tested my carry-on bag to make sure I could fit in everything I wanted so that we wouldn't have to pay WestJet for checked baggage.  I did very well actually, meaning that my sister with whom I'm staying will have to lend me all kinds of things like make-up remover, housecoat, sturdy shoes and laundry detergent to get me through my stay.

Then, belatedly, I checked to see if my usual carry-on still fit WestJet's requirements.  It does not, and since we have no wheeled baggage of the appropriate size, we've calculated that it would be cheaper over two flights to buy a new bag which does meet the requirements.  Life gets complicated when your husband checks a fully-loaded bag to see if you can easily carry it.

Even more annoying was that I did my nails last night, two coats, a base and a top coat.  Then today, I did all the housework that needs doing so that Dave doesn't have to take on an even larger amount of the shared tasks than he already has.  Like I do the washing and he maintains and cleans the car.  Fair, don't you think?  Not on your nails.  Now mine are so chipped that I'm going to have to entirely do over at least my right hand.  One does not visit one's sister with chipped nails.

Nor does one visit one's sister with a smartphone that won't let you answer it, so right now, I'm taking a tutorial to find out how to manage the "hello" thing with voice instead of fingers.  I'll probably be up till midnight.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Calm, Calm, No!

Yesterday, my daughter Emily, her two children Robyn and Maddy, and Dave went to watch the RCMP Musical Ride.

Later in the day, I saw an amazing photo of that very ride taken by Suzanne Ure, supreme photographer.

I kind of love the contrast.