So Quiet

Yes, this blog, never very noisy, has been extra quiet. Most of my belongings are packed in boxes awaiting the big move the first week in May. It’s been a hectic few weeks, but I feel like I’m on top of things. I’d like to move into a new home, but that doesn’t like like it’s going to happen. So everything is being put in storage until just the right house pops up. Then, I look forward to painting and decorating and making it ours. And, getting some garden put in. I miss my gardens!

A Disease Diagnoses-Throwback Thursday

I’m not sure what type of Throw Back Thursday post this is. Surely not uplifting or lighthearted. I’ve been hesitant to write about my husband’ disease. Perhaps because we live it everyday,  I have no energy to relive it in writing. Nevertheless this is what I remember of when we first learned my husband had Parkinson’s Disease.    I’m not even sure I’m remembering this all correctly. This will seem disjointed as I dig up small details from a time that already seems distant.

A stiffness in one hand and arm. A slight limp. We attributed it all to sleeping in an awkward position and a fall on the ski-out at Sunshine in April of 2005. A chiropractor that finally admitted he couldn’t do anything to fix these problems,  suggests a visit to the GP. The doctor makes a referral to a local neurologist. July 2005 and My husband goes to the appointment alone. A mistake. The neurologist diagnoses Parkinsonism.  I know what you have, he announces. He says it like my husband has just won a highly improbably lottery. My husband, at that first appointment hears only Parkinsons. This is not news you should face alone.

If I could use one word to describe the weeks immediately following this news it would be blackness.

I believe it was the second appointment when the neurologist prescribed medications. There is a chair for my husband and I  stand with my back to the wall in a corner of the office. I already dislike this doctor, who has made me feel like an inconvenient interloper. From where I stand, I read the computer screen. The diagnoses is actually Multiple Systems Atrophy.

My husband takes two weeks off of work as he ramps up the medication. The medications however, quickly prove more troublesome than the symptoms they were to alleviate. He is unable to drive, is paralyzingly fatigued and suffers from mental fog. He spends most of the day laying on lounge chair on the deck.

He still doesn’t know about the original diagnoses of MSA, a disease with a lifespan of less than ten years after diagnoses, and still doesn’t. And probably won’t unless he reads this blog. That’s okay.

A Little Crafting

Front door sign - please remove snowshoes before entering.
Just a reminder if you should come into my house.

Now that all the Christmas decorations are put away I needed something fun to put on my front door. This was a quick craft that I whipped up while hubby was watching the hockey game this evening. Cardstock letters are Mod Podged to an inexpensive signboard I bought at Michaels. I made a sign like this several years ago when I first got my Cricut and it is still holding together well with only a little fading of the colors.

In lieu of an interesting ‘photo a day’ this will have to do. I remember having this problem last time I did a photo a day challenge. During the winter months the scenery started to look all alike. And sometimes it was just too cold and wintry to go out exploring and looking for something new.

A Photo A Day – January 5

As friendly a January day as is possible. Sunshine, blue skies, fluffy clouds, a frozen pond and a beautiful old barn.

At one time, it would have been filled with loads and loads of hay for the dairy cattle that lived in brick dairy barns beside it. The brick barns are long gone, and only a little rubble left. Only this structure and a hodge-podge frame house remain, along with the impressive brick gate posts that marked the entrance to the “City Dairy”.


I wish this old barn was mine. What would I fill it with?

Happy New Year 2019!

I always feel a little down when the holidays are over. But I’m setting my sights on some new goals this year. So there is lots to look forward to. I know there are some hard times coming but, that is just life.

Two small projects that I intend to keep going through the year are another photo a day project. And I am going to do another big year just using lists of birds that I see in my travels.

I know that some people do a big year and follow migrations or travel to see specific birds, but I am just going to record what I see in my daily life and see how many I can get. Today I saw wild turkeys chickadees and a cardinal. Nothing spectacular, nothing new to put on the life list, but a start anyway. I also took a photo as I went for a very chilly walk this afternoon.

Don’t Shop Here Either

If you scroll down far enough on this page, you’ll see the Petfinder Seal of Approval logo.  I volunteer with a dog rescue, and currently both of my dogs, Jack Russell Terriers, are rescues from the Jack Russell Rescue of Ontario. Please, if you’re thinking of getting a dog, or any other pet, consider adopting.

And if you don’t adopt, please consider purchasing your dog directly from a reputable breeder. That way you won’t be supporting the horrific industry of kitten and puppy mills that sell to pet stores and pedal their animals online often on a site like Kijiji and Craigslist.

Breeders (most) care about the quality and health of their dogs, and who the new owner will be. Mills care only about their profit and the animal abuse that exists in this business is horrendous. I have a puppy mill survivor, and she will be scarred forever, mentally and physically.  Her puppies would have been weaned much too early, and many would have died. At the end of her career, she probably would have been left to starve or be shot. A fine thank you for years of service. Thankfully, a woman (angel) involved in animal rescue was able to get her out before that happened.

There are so many amazing dogs on Petfinder. And, the rescues take great care in placing the dogs in just the right home. Please consider adopting before you go out and shop.  

It’s All Perspective

Lenticular clouds
image: GooKingSword

The “401” is a highway that runs along the north shore of Lake Ontario from Windsor to the Quebec/Ontario border. As it stretches through the city of Toronto it is eighteen lanes, but gradually narrows to four lanes the further it gets from the city. Along the way, the highway runs close enough to the lake to get glimpses of the water where ever trees or buildings don’t block the view.

So it was along the 401 East that I found myself trying to keep my eyes on the road as I spotted an unusually shaped cloud. The cloud hovered over the lake like an oval space ship. Was this a lenticular cloud? I really want to see one of those. But,  they only form in mountainous areas. As much as I dared, I watched the cloud wondering why it was that shape. I was excited to think I was seeing something unusual.

Finally, as I progressed around the edge of the lake, the unusual cloud revealed itself to be the very end of a very ordinary bank of clouds. The cloud bank trailed off into the southwest and the mystery of the cloud dissipated.

Only perspective made the cloud I saw any different from any other normal cloud. Had I not had to drive on, I would only have seen something wondrous. But changing my physical position relative to the cloud revealed it was somewhat less so. That’s how it is with most things. Change your perspective, and the thing you are looking at changes too.

If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Christmas Shopping List

Socks: on sale-four, ninety-seven
Barbie Doll: so she now has eleven
Toaster oven: will do for Mom
Sweater: again this year for Tom
Box of Chocolates: may keep for myself
Grab some tinsel, it’s the last on the shelf
Wallet: for Sis, too bad it’s green
Earrings: for Auntie- the selection’s sure lean
Here this will do, come take a look
Good heavens this list is as long as a book
On Christmas Eve the shopping is hard
Don’t stop and worry, just get out that card

Over twenty years ago I worked in the jewelry and purse
department of a major department store in a large suburban mall. Christmas Eve was on a workday and although we had to travel an hour and a half to my in-laws Christmas Eve celebration I had to work to closing time at 6:00 pm.

I don’t remember what time started but I do remember a very busy day. Most of the day I worked at the cash register (not an easy job for someone who has trouble adding back in the day when they didn’t add and subtract for your, and certainly before debit cards existed). What I do remember vividly is the very un-Christmas spirit of the shoppers and their willingness to buy whatever was on the shelves–and the shelves by that time were pretty bare!

The manager of the department refused to restock the merchandise so that all of the items–some of it had been there since the
spring when I started–would be sold. remember tucking decidedly ugly wallets, many time passed over purses, and gaudy jewelry boxes. The store was full of sour, rushed shoppers but I decided that none of that would affect my Christmas spirit.

I managed to smile my way through the evening and keep my good mood intact. It was an important lesson on how to control my attitude! I also, many years later, was inspired to write this little poem! I hope you have a great Christmas Season and if you suddenly remember on December 24 that the next day you need some Christmas gifts try to keep a little Christmas spirits