Followers

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Falling for our bonny Bonnie-Belinda

It seems I have taken to falling down at inappropriate moments (not that there are appropriate ones) and have fallen more than once, so am quite sore all over.

HOWever, most of me seems to be fine now that I've rested, so I decided to start test-driving our bonny wee Bonnie-Belinda.

Bonnie loves being in the car, and doesn't seem to mind that she's all by herself in the back seat, strapped in with her wonderful new harness. She knows I'm there, driving the car and chatting to her. So far we haven't left our own neighbourhood, but I'm thinking of a test drive into the city (Medicine Hat, Alberta, a whole lot east of Calgary).

Back to my falling, however...blogging friend Sallie (Full-time Life) did ask, so I must admit I've had two falls lately, one splat, spread out on my front-side a week or so ago, and another less dramatic one this past Saturday.
The second time, I was trying to put a harness on the dog by myself, without first seating both of us on the couch. Thought I could do it standing up and bending over.
How wrong I am.

I suddenly found myself sitting flat on the floor, legs sticking straight out in front of me and my poor aching hands on the floor, all help-I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up.
Dick was a couple of rooms away, talking on his phone, so he didn't hear my yelling right away.
Eventually, however, he arrived and hauled me ignominiously up to a standing position.
Ouch.
So, more bruises to add to those acquired the previous weekend, it seems. Sigh.

I didn't do much of anything for a couple of days after that, but today I felt up to putting the harness on Bonnie, this time sitting comfortably on the couch with her, and, yes, accepting help from my husband.
Then Bonnie and I went for a couple of little expeditions around the neighbourhood, and she was as good as gold both times, just looking around and taking in this new view of the neighbourhood where she is accustomed to walk with her daddy.

So now I'm thinking of going into Medicine Hat. We have friends there who dog-sit for us, and I want her to feel comfortable there. However, I think Dick and I just might stick to car trips this year, taking Bonnie-Belinda with us.

I'm hoping to share this with Fiona's marvellous meme Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's a horse, it's a cow...oh, wait...

It's neither...it's our new little dog, our bonny Bonnie-Belinda, looking for new grass in our back yard, because she thinks it is ever so yummy.

Found some here! Yummy!  





Hoping to share this with Lady Fi's wonderful meme, Our World Tuesday.
Thanks so much for being there, Fiona. Computer problems have kept me a little bit off kilter lately, and the world news isn't helping much, is it? 





























Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bonnie-Belinda is our world Tuesday

On our way home!
It is Our World Tuesday time. Tuesdays and every other day, these days, our world is white and brown.
After the death of our beloved Golden Retriever, Lindy, last month, my husband's friend Sam, a dog-owner who lives across the lane, suggested we get another dog sooner rather than later.
Well, we had adopted Lindy from the wonderful SOS (Save Old Souls) in Medicine Hat, Alberta, so I checked their website. However, they had only one dog awaiting adoption...a large male, while we were hoping for a somewhat smaller female.
So I then looked up the SPCA website, where I saw Bonnie. I could not resist her sweet face and beautiful eyes.
At home—I can see more if
I sit on the arm of the couch!
So we were off to the SPCA, where we were introduced to her—a sweet but very shy little girl whose four puppies had been already been adopted, leaving her at the SPCA for two months. During that time, she had accepted the SPCA, with all the other dogs, cats, rabbits, and other critters, as her home. The staff and volunteers loved Bonnie, but no visitors offered her a forever home.
Until we came along.
She was brought out to meet us, crouching close to the floor, shy and uncertain, clearly more at ease with SPCA staff than with anyone else.
And at that time, we were certainly "anyone else".
We kept our visit brief, but promised we'd be back.
The next day, when we visited, it was suggested that one or both of us take her out for a walk. Off we went, with Dick walking Bonnie on a leash attached to a harness, and with me tagging along to offer suggestions (which Dick calmly ignored, as usual).
We were very grateful Bonnie was wearing a harness because that little girl could really pull, and didn't necessarily want to go where we were taking her but, still, she obviously loved going walking. The Medicine Hat SPCA is in an industrial area, which meant few pedestrians but quite a few large, noisy trucks. However, that little dog paid the trucks no heed.
A walk? You want to
go for a walk? Me, too!
It is believed she's part British Bulldog, and her legs are very short, so my favourite Bonnie-thing was watching her jump over puddles. So cute! (I wish we had a video.)
The next day, our friends Gayle and Larry came to the SPCA to meet her, because they had always cared for Lindy when we travelled overseas.
As we took Bonnie out for a walk, Gayle fell in love with her, just as I had done. Dick and Larry were pretty much willing to do whatever Gayle and I wanted.
And we wanted Bonnie.
The next day I started on the necessary paperwork, and yesterday I went to the Redcliff village office to get her dog-tag.
When she came home with us, Dick suggested we call her Bonnie-Belinda, so we'd have a remembrance of our golden girl Lindy in her name.
Now she is our bonny Bonnie-Belinda who, much to my delight, has decided she is my dog.
Before she came home, I had prepared not one, not two, but three different dog-beds in various parts of the house...and Bonnie ignored all three in favour of my bed. I'm not particularly delighted with her sleeping with me on my rather narrow bed, spreading her rather heavy self across my legs so I can't escape. "Claustrophobia city" as my brother and I would have said when we were young, and I can say it again now.
Therefore (as any dog-lover would understand) I have decided I'll buy a larger bed. There was a time when my husband would have thought me crazy to do that, but after all the wonderful years we had with Lindy, he understands that I would do or buy anything for my bonny Bonnie-Belinda.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Something blue for Friday



Sea meets sky in the south Pacific.

Sharing with the popular meme Skywatch Friday, where you can see beautiful sky photos from all over the world.
Hosted by Yogi's Den.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A rant...what to do? How to do it?

Can we at least try?
Try what?
Try doing something to help those far, far less fortunate.
As Canadians, we find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma.
We know we want to help all the women, men and children suffering in the horrendous food crisis in Africa. We want to help because they are all (all!) starving, while we bloggers are well fed.

We want to donate, but to which charity? and what will that charity do with our money?
How do we know which of those will best use our donation?

Therein lies the rub, as the ubiquitous "they" used to say. Do those charities, the ones we most admire, use our donations wisely or are they perhaps using our money to overpay money-hungry executives?

To explain...yesterday I stumbled upon a website (a motorcycle website, so you know I had to have stumbled upon it). The author was discussing well-known charities and how their funds (our funds) are being dispersed.
So, let’s look at this author's numbers and,  for purposes of this discussion only, assume his numbers are somewhat close to today’s truth...

Motorcyle Blogger didn’t pretend to be any kind of expert on the subject, but he says the worst offender in money distribution is UNICEF! Imagine!
His blog states that only 14 cents, out of every dollar donated, will go to those in need, while the rest of the money (donors' money) is making millionaires of the charity’s top executives.
According to him (and, again, I cannot verify the numbers) the second worst offender is the American Red Cross, with only 39 cents out of every dollar going to charity. The Red Cross. The holy grail of charities. Less than half of the money donated. (I don't what it is in Canada, probably close.)
Next, the religion-based, do-good United Way wisely pays its president only $375,000, not to mention many expense benefits. Somehow, however, only 30 cents of the United Way’s dollar reaches people in crisis.
Fourth on the list of big spenders is the president of World Vision (Canada) who receives a home with all expenses paid, maid service, pool maintenance, private schools for his children...the list goes on, leaving about 52 cents of every dollar available for charitable causes. Well, that's not too bad...a little more than half, but...
Finally, the author of the motorcycle website identifies an organization using 93 cents out of every dollar for charity. Yes, almost a whole dollar “goes back out to local charity causes” if you donate to the Salvation Army.
Gotta love the Sally Ann. No denying that, drums and tubas and all.

However, dear Sally, local charity causes, as much as they do need the money, cannot solve the burning question now, in March, 2017... how best to feed Africa's starving children, many of them infants, plus their families, without any executives receiving absurd amounts of our money?
We’ve all seen those children on TV, absolutely skeletal from lack of food, many of them dying every hour, and their parents are in worse shape because they feed the children what little they manage to scrounge and eat little or nothing themselves.
When photos of starving children are shown on our televisions, do we change the channel? Do we go to the kitchen for coffee or maybe a stiffer drink to numb our charitable instincts? 
What do we do?
Younger Canadians can probably go to Africa, and perhaps even should, just as North American youths went to Israel to work in kibbutzes in the 60s, but where to go, exactly? What to do there? How to help millions of people? Young people with hearts and minds full of goodwill don't know how to do it.
Syria, across the Red Sea from Africa
...years of war, years of starvation
Senior citizens cannot simply don a backpack and go to Africa in person, so that lets me, most of my friends, and several of my relatives out of the long trek.
Plus...here in Canada, as in Europe, we have accepted Syrian refugees, and have taken on a responsibility. Try as we might, we can’t teach English to Syrians if we are in Africa helping to stem the tide of starvation.
What to do? What to do?
Do we weep and wring our hands at our helplessness? Do we ignore the cost of a charity's religious recruiting? Or do we embrace it because 52 cents per dollar is more than the other guys?
Or do we try to find a way to send help, that 90-cents-out-of-every-dollar kind of help, right now, today?
I don’t know, but I’m putting this out there for all the world to see, because my fellow bloggers are good people, I know they are.
(Many thanks to http://cruiser.mototribe.com/ for that thought-provoking post, and for the cost comparisons. I don’t know when it was written, or even how much of it is true today, but I do know a good person when I see his writing.)
Linking with Lady Fi's popular meme Our World Tuesday

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Early morning repartee at our house

Lindy some years ago,
during a walk around the coulee.
(One morning, soon after our darlin’ dog Lindy died, when neither my husband nor I happened to be in fine form.)

He had been up for oh, probably a couple of hours, but I had just managed to struggle out of bed, get myself a cup of coffee, and go in search of him.
My computer was acting up, you see, and I couldn’t get online, so I was looking woebegone.
No dog+no internet=no nothing, in my opinion. Instead of hitting the computer with a stick, I went to face him in his lair: his home office furnished with two computers.
Surprisingly, after only a few moans, groans, and grumbles from me, he said I could use one of them to go online.
That perked me up a bit, until he refused to log himself out of Facebook.
“You have to log out,” said I, “or else I won’t be able to log in.”
After a few attempts to prove himself right, he had to concede. Okay, he would allow himself to be forced to log out, but he wouldn’t enjoy it.
I went back to the dining room.
No sooner had I started my second coffee, than along came Himself, to begin (without a word) rifling around in the pile of stuff’n’junk on my side of the table.
“What are you doing?” asked I.
“Looking for my clipboard,” replied he.
“Huh?” asked I.
“My little clipboard. You borrowed it,” said he.
“I did?”
 "Did I?” I repeated, always quick with early-morning repartee.
“Yes, you borrowed for your trip to Scotland last fall.”
“Oh...” (more brilliant repartee) “...that thing. I hate that thing, but you insisted I take it because you said it would make my trip easier.
“And it didn’t help, you know. It drove me crazy, sticking up out of my purse, or else lost in the bottom of my shoulder bag.
“I didn’t want to take it, you know. I did say I hate that thing, didn’t I?
“Besides, it can’t be on this table, because I cleaned it off for Christmas dinner.”
“Well, I want the clipboard now,” said he (Mr. Oblivious).
“I’m sure you do, but I have no idea where it might be. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee today, and already you’re asking me about something of yours, which I didn’t want to use, and which you made me take anyway, ’way back in October!”
Not getting to that happy place of marital bliss this morning, I can tell.
Then he went...out the door, and into his car.
“Goodbye,” said I, not really meaning the ‘good’ part.
After a strenuous day yesterday, I was planning to mostly nap today, but maybe his little clipboard will launch itself out onto the floor in front of me on my way to bed—then I can produce it, triumphantly, pretending I had actually looked for the silly thing. I really don't know where to look.

Written by me, somewhat fictionalized, and inspired, perhaps, by the fact that I’ve been re-reading books by the late, wonderful Stuart MacLean, a Canadian icon: a writer and humourist with a long career in broadcasting and print.
RIP, Stuart, and if you see Lindy up there, give her a cuddle from us.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Lindy says goodbye


I don't know how many times I've posted photos of our beloved dog Lindy. Dozens, for sure, and many more.
I might post old photos of her again,
but there will be no new ones.

Lindy Davies-Schear left us last week
after a brief but incurable illness.
Her veterinarian came to the house
and told us what we already knew:
there was no hope of recovery from kidney failure.
We will be forever grateful
that we had the opportunity to adopt
our wonderful girl, because she has changed our lives forever.
She was sweet, pretty, fun, amusing...and kind:
Lindy didn't have a mean bone in her body.

I am sharing this post with Lady Fi's wonderful, dog-full meme

Our World Tuesday



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Proprietorial puppy-paw

When our beautiful Golden girl first came to live here, she wanted to be close to one of us. This is a photo I took, looking down at Lindy's paw on my knee. I've always treasured this. It isn't great photography, maybe not even good photography, but there is love in this photo.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Preparing to say farewell

“And now, the end is near
 And so I face the final curtain
 My friend, I'll say it clear
 I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
 I've lived a life that's full
 I traveled each and every highway
 And more, much more than this, I did it my way.”


Image may contain: dog, plant, outdoor and nature


Lindy's veterinarian is coming over this evening, and we are getting ourselves ready to say goodbye to our Golden girl, but it's impossible to be completely prepared to face the inevitable.
It isn't easy for me, and it's especially difficult for my husband. When Lindy first met him, it was love at first sight, he was completely captivated.
I know she loves me, but she has always loved her daddy best.






Our darling Lindy has lived with us for a good long time now. She came to us from SOS, a wonderful dog rescue organization in the Medicine Hat, Alberta, area. She and another Golden had been living wild for a year or so, and had taken refuge in a barn. The farmer fed them for the winter, but then had to take them to the SPCA. 
Thank heaven for the Medicine Hat SPCA. They phoned SOS, and said the two Goldens were wonderful dogs and would be a welcome addition to any family.

Since then she has been the light of our lives. She has often travelled with us, to visit my family on the west coast of British Columbia and also on other adventures, some as far away as the Grand Canyon.
Lindy loved to travel. However, she wasn't very impressed the first time I took her out for a much-needed break in Arizona, only to find there was no lawn, not even any grass of any kind, just sand, gravel, cacti and other unfriendly plant life. She was not amused.

Now we don't know how much longer we'll have our beloved Lindy, but we will follow her veterinarian's advice. We promised one another we would do everything we could for her as long as she continued to be a happy dog, but now we will do whatever is suggested.
She's been off her feed for several days now, eating a bare minimum, and refusing her medication, including the little pills being presented to her in a tiny peanut butter sandwich.
And she is having trouble walking on uncarpeted floors now, so I went to to the local Home Hardware to get floor coverings of some sort, the kind on a roll, which they sell by the foot.
We'll buy carpet for her, and feed her peanut butter, as long as she's happy. We don’t think she’s suffering...her veterinarian will know more about that...but she doesn’t eat now, she just drinks copious amounts of water, then goes outside to relieve herself.
Kidney disease in a senior dog, my veterinary research says, leads to just this sort of behaviour, and it isn’t going to improve.
Linking with Our World Tuesday, dog-lover Fiona's popular site.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trump fans, don't read Mencken

Or should that be "Trump fans have never read Mencken"? Take your pick.

My best friend (who now lives in Nova Scotia) e-mailed me these words of wisdom, written by H.L. Mencken for the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1920.
A man well ahead of his time, it seems.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

'Take Two' for Tuesday

Liz at EA Photography/Australia posted photos of rusted machinery in a field in Queensland, Australia. The photo brought back so many memories! Thanks so much, Liz.
So many memories flooding back to me, most of them concerning my much-younger brother Rob, an already talented artist and avid photographer at the age of 14, who accompanied me on an incredible journey in 1982.
My friends had told me I'd be able to stay in Australia much longer if I didn't take "that kid" with me, but I'm glad I took "that kid" because he was a ton of fun, and Queensland wouldn't have been the same without Rob's keen eye pointing out things I might have missed.
I still smile when I think of him saying, "Look at the kookaburra on top of that pole!" and his having to point my head in the right direction. He was and is a treasure in my life.
I also cherish the memory of one day on the coast of Queensland, where we found the Australian racing yacht Gretel, who had been put out to pasture, and was sailing for the first time in her new incarnation as a day-sailer for tourists that very same day.
Image result for Gretel II
I can't go into her entire history because I don't know enough, but I do know I had been a fan for a long time. And there, on board with us as Gretel took us for a short cruise, was a member of her crew from the America's Cup Yacht Race.
I was delighted to be able to discuss the sport with a man so experienced in the history of my all-time favourite racing yacht.



Gretel II was no slouch, either! Do check her out!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gretel II


Halvorsen built Gretel vs. Weatherly 1962 America's Cup yacht races, Rhode Island:

Few things rival a sailing-yacht race for beauty combined with daring and excitement!

'Take Two for Tuesday'

Foot races for geriatrics

Last year, my gerontologist made me get a walker. Yes, gerontologist, or geriatrician, I forget which, but yes, made me. If you knew Dr. Rodriguez, you would know what I mean...shaking his finger at me (not quite under my nose, but it felt like it) and saying, with steel in his voice, "Get a walker! And use it!"

I felt like I'd ended up in the principal's office with all the other recalcitrant children.
However, there's more to the man than that.
Dr. Rodriguez chose geriatrics (or gerontology) because he believes seniors are an important part of the community, that we all contribute in different ways.
"A geriatrician looks at the whole individual," he once said in a press interview. "Mind, social and environment," he continued. "Multiple factors have to be addressed at the same time."

So...the snow is gone from our neighbourhood, except for a few dirty patches here and there, and my husband suggested that I take my walker out for a stroll, after he came back back from his scenic walk around the coulee.*
nb—
Wikipedia
Coulee (or coulée) is applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley or drainage zone. The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from the French word couler meaning "to flow".

Where was I? Oh, yes. So I took my walker out for a stroll, but apparently I had forgotten the meaning of stroll. Observers would have thought I was in some strange kind of foot race by myself.
It's true, I really didn't stroll. I pushed that cotton-pickin' thing up avenues and across streets for what felt like miles, only managing to go around one city block before reaching home again, but feeling that I had run the hundred-yard dash.

nb
"The hundred yard dash" is what they called it when I was a schoolgirl. It's now something to do with meters in Canada, and I get the impression that a meter is about the same length as a yard in the system I learned.

A hundred yard dash wasn't very far but I was small for my age, and running against girls 6 or 10 inches taller. Obviously, they had longer legs, but take my word for it— I won a few of those dashes, if I do say so myself. And some 20+ years later, I could outrun my 14-year-old brother, for one brief summer, before he became too athletic for the likes of me.

Now, back to the walker...it might have been good exercise if I had actually walked with it, instead of chasing it like a dog with a rabbit...but I didn't.
And then, back to Dr. Rodriguez. I'm seeing him again in a few months (appointments are few and far between, because he's much in demand, what with the aging population) and I just know he'll ask me about my walker, and why I don't have it with me. Note to self: remember to take it. Further note to self: don't lose first note to self.

Linking this post to Lady Fi's memorable meme Our World Tuesday.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

My World Wednesday, on Thursday

I would be remiss if I didn't write about yesterday's sad news. We Canadians have lost a wonderful part of our country's history.
Stuart McLean, Vinyl Cafe radio personality, humorist, author, and traveling raconteur, died yesterday at the age of 68...
two years younger than I am! ...the same age as my younger brother! I mention my brother because Stuart felt as close as a sibling in the hearts of many Canadians, male and female, young and old.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/stuart-mclean-dead-obit-1.3984826

My husband Richard Schear and I were privileged to see him onstage here in Medicine Hat, Alberta, a few years ago. McLean was still healthy then, full of fun and joie de vivre (a bilingual country, Canada, don't forget) and kept the crowd  laughing with his many Vinyl Cafe stories about Dave, Marley, and their son and daughter, all of whom got into one sort of mischief or the other, at one time or another.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/shelagh-rogers-stuart-mclean-1.3985688

Although McLean performed on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (now CBC), both radio and television, his passing is mourned countrywide, to people of every persuasion, and the news of his death was also carried on CTV News and on radio stations everywhere in the country.

I hope some of our American friends have been able to enjoy his stories, on radio and on television. He was a true Canadian treasure, his wry humour reminding us of events in our own lives.
One of the most wonderful things about Stuart McLean was his habit of talking to ordinary people in every city he visited, people on the street, in coffee shops and restaurants, always asking them about their own lives in a gentle way that never offended, and certainly never frightened, anyone.
There aren't enough adjectives to describe him fully, but he was warm and friendly, courteous, considerate, compassionate, amiable, empathetic, exuberant, frank, generous...the list goes on, it really does, check it out on
https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/238935
and you'll see I needed help finding the right words. Words were my thing when I was younger, I used to play with them and work with them, and toss them around like confetti, but they fail me now, and I have to look them up.
Somehow I doubt if words ever failed Stuart McLean, though. That great Canadian treasure always knew what to say.
Today I ordered a number of his books (I forget how many, but more than 10) from an online book store. It will take two weeks for them to get here, and it will feel like two months to me. Of course, you know what will happen...as soon as they arrive I'll remember where I put the ones I've had for years, but I believe there is no such thing as too many Stuart McLean books.

Monday, February 13, 2017

My world Tuesday, on Monday

My world today has consisted largely of three things: keeping Lindy happy until her daddy came home because she missed him so much, watching the CBC News, and an hour-long phone call with my best friend, Judith, who has moved back to Canada with her husband, Michael, after they spent more than a few years in in a narrowboat on a canal in England.
So, with her daddy safely home in the early afternoon, Lindy finally ate her breakfast, went out to explore the back yard for a while, and is now happily asleep.
Judith and Mikey are in the throes of a huge snowstorm in Nova Scotia but, once the heat was restored to their big old house, and with Michael beginning to recover from a fall down the back steps and some broken ribs, they are otherwise happy. Who wouldn't be, in a 100-year-old character home on a hill overlooking the ocean? And who wouldn't be happy, sore ribs aside, with this amazing antique kitchen sink in their new (but very old) house?
HOWSOMEVER, as much as I love Lindy, as well as Judith and Michael, neither of the above proved to be the biggie in my world today.
Today, many of you might know, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, (yes, son of another Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau), met with the USA's new president, Donald Trump, for the first time.
And the meeting went well.
Whew.
Justin was calm, cool, collected, and very handsome. Much more so than his late father, if truth be told, but Donald Trump mentioned the late Pierre Trudeau more than once, saying he liked him and they had been friends.
Whew again. No World War III in my world today.
One never knows, when people of power come together, what will happen. Yes, their speeches might have been carefully scripted, but Justin's smiles were as sincere as his hope that our two nations might continue to get along together. And President Trump's speech writers did a good job, too.
A success for my world Tuesday this Monday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lindy's mom is a little bit off

Hello troops—it's me, the unfittie, feeling unfitter than usual: aching and paining and grumpy and sore.
I hate when that happens, and hoping this is the last day of it.
So...having no words of wisdom and feeling completely unable to rescue last autumn's travel photos from something called "the cloud" I will simply have to resort to my favourite kind of blog post...you guessed it, photos of our darlin' dog Lindy.
These photos are from 2010, when Lindy was a beautiful red-gold colour, and our granddaughter was very young.

Posting to Lady Fi's wonderful "Our World Tuesday"!




Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies, Alberta, Canada

Monday, January 30, 2017

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee





Across my country, from east to west and from north to south, Canadian flags flew at half mast today in honour of the six men needlessly murdered in Quebec City. They were gathered with others in their mosque when a young man, another Canadian, shot several of them, killing six of them, and wounding others, at random, during their time of prayer.

There is no logic in this. There is no understandable reason for this.

I can only send out as much love, of which I have much to offer, and understanding, of which I have none...as much as I can, to the families and friends of the victims.

I am sharing this with Our World Tuesday


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The smile that won our hearts


This is the photo we fell in love with, when we first checked out the web page for SOS Senior Dog Rescue here in Medicine Hat.
She looked perfect!
Immediately, my husband and I found out where she was being fostered, so we piled into the car, along with with his daughter and our little granddaughter.
We had the address and we hightailed it out there in case someone else got there first.
They had her all tidied up and looking good when we arrived. "Oo," one of us said. "Awwww," said another, and "ohhh!"
"There's the dog for us," we all agreed.
I went into the enclosure to meet her first, elected because I have a long history of dog ownership. She was very nice to me.
Our granddaughter and her mom joined us, and our prospective dog was very nice to them, as well.
Then my husband came in. Well, darned if that dog didn't stand up on her hind legs, put her paws on his chest, and gaze into his eyes.
He was a goner. "We'll take her," we said.
But first, my husband and I had to be interviewed, our house had to be checked, and many answers were demanded of us, including "Where will the dog sleep?" We looked at one another blankly because we hadn't thought that far.
"Will she sleep on the bed with you?"
 Apparently it is a good idea, in some circles, to invite a large dog onto the bed.
We definitely earned demerit points for that one.
"Oh, no," we replied, "but she can sleep beside the bed."
(As it turned out, she wasn't interested in sleeping on a bed with either or both of us. But I digress.)
We all but had to be fingerprinted before we were declared fit for dog ownership, and maybe, for all I know, they had checked us out at the local RCMP detachment.
Finally, we passed the ownership test. But there was a catch...they had named her Lily, and we said we'd have to change that because our next door neighbours had a dog named Lily. We settled on Lindy (named for our then-favourite baseball player in Toronto) and finally brought her home.
What happened next is another story, and will have to wait until my next Our World post because Lindy is wurffling at me...it's time for us to go into the living room. I'm to watch TV while she sleeps on my feet.
Sharing with Lady Fi's wonderful meme "Our World Tuesday."



Monday, January 16, 2017

Once upon a snowy time



When Lindy first came to live with us, we discovered how much she loved going for walks in the snow.



Oops, the snow is too deep. With a little bit of help from her daddy, she dug herself out of this hole in the snow, none the worse for wear.



"Hmm, I really should go home, maybe they'll feed me."

Lindy and I are sharing these photos with Lady Fi's wonderful meme
Our World Tuesday.





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Still just posting Lindy pix

Until I'm sure Blogger and my computer are getting along well together, I'm just going to post Lindy pictures and not bother trying to write anything original, poetic, or exciting.
Of course, we thought this picture was exciting because her foster mom was getting her all spiffed up to come home with us. Her foster mother had already visited us to make sure we could pass the adopt-a-dog test.
She asked a lot of questions, and checked out our house and yard before giving us a silver star rating. We didn't get a gold star because we answered "no" when asked if the dog would sleep on our bed with us.
We were rated "okay" otherwise.


Even before she came home with us,
it was evident Lindy would be a Daddy's Girl, and she is.

Photo, Kay Davies, September, 2009

For now, until Blogger shows itself to be behaving properly,
Lindy's mom will continue to post Lindy Pix.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Frustrated!

I am having a terrible time with Blogger, so I'm not going to bother writing anything. I'll just post photos of Lindy for a while.



A young Lindy enjoying the lawn near the local swimming pool.



Young Lindy sleeping on her own spot.

And, below, Lindy now, sleeping on the couch. And sharing these wonderful photos on Lady Fi's Our World Tuesday meme.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

"hear my old hound dog barking"

Fogerty
I've always been a Creedence Clearwater Revival fan, and I particularly like CCR's John Fogerty, but this blog post isn't about him or them, or Fogerty's Born on the Bayou song...

It's about me, and our dog Lindy, who is old alright, but isn't a hound dog.
My husband doesn't like to wake up during the night, because he can't get back to sleep, but I can. I've had trouble getting to sleep at bedtime, but, once asleep, I can drift off again easily.
For instance, if Lindy barks to go out at midnight, I can get out of bed, let her out the living room door, then lie down on the couch and go back to sleep.
When she scratches at the door to come in, I get up, let her in, wipe her paws (even if they don't need it because that's part of her ritual, and you know how dogs love ritual) then I go back to bed and go to sleep.
Recently, I began hearing Lindy bark once, because that's her signal for "I want out" but, when I get up to let her out, she's sound asleep.
I, obviously, am not.
When this happens, I don't go back to sleep right away because I'm puzzled. I was sure I heard her, and leapt out of bed with more alacrity than usual.
Runyon
After this mystery had occurred several (or 'more than several' times, to quote Damon Runyon whom I loved long before I'd even heard of John Fogerty) ...but I digress... after I'd hallucinated Lindy barking more than several times, I talked it over with my husband who, wisely (because he's the wise guy around here) asked me if my medications had changed. (He never remembers.)
I said "Not really but, if you remember, the doctor did tell me to take melatonin at bedtime because I have trouble getting to sleep when I first go to bed. But it's not really a medication, just a sleep aid."
Well, we decided that had nothing to do with anything else because, if the doctor said melatonin is not a drug per se, then it wasn't a drug at all.
Being able to fall asleep soon after retiring is wonderful, as far as I'm concerned. Also, I've retained my ability to get up, let the dog out, sleep on the couch until she scratches at the door, wake up, let her in, etc. and go back to bed and go back to sleep.
So, we left the discussion at that, and time went on.

My husband
But, time didn't go on very long before I would once again awaken abruptly, certain I heard a summons from Lindy. And, also once again, I'd find her sound asleep.
I told myself it was an auditory hallucination, and I didn't worry because I didn't think such things existed.
Then I checked up on auditory hallucinations...
Turns out they do exist.
Scary.
Turns out, too, that hallucinations can be caused by melatonin.
Who knew?
Very scary.
Is it a good idea, then, just to be able to fall asleep more readily? Well, in this one insomniac's opinion, yes.
So far.
Lindy
If I start sleep-walking and find myself wading through the snow barefoot, I just might change my mind.
Meanwhile, I still love John Fogerty, Damon Runyon, and my husband. Not necessarily in that order.
And I leave you with this mystery, followed by a gratuitous photo of Lindy sleeping.
I'm sorry if this post frightened anyone. It was meant to be fun but I can see how it could be scary.
I'll be sharing a different post with Lady Fi's wonderful meme, Our World Tuesday. Do check it out. Other Tuesdayers aren't nearly as verbose as I am, and their photos are more scenic, except for the one of my husband, above, which was taken in Bora Bora.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I get political, with help

Noam Chomsky


I am linking
this post to
Our World Tuesday



The following are excerpts from C.J. Polychroniou’s interview with noted American philosopher Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, and cognitive scientist, born in Oak Lane, Pennsylvania, in 1928.

Note: I have inserted occasional parenthetic phrases myself, usually for clarity, or perhaps emphasis. It is not my intention to play fast and loose with the contents of this interview. —KLD


Polychroniou
C. J. Polychroniou is a Research Associate and Policy Fellow at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College (USA) and an interviewer and columnist for the nationally distributed Greek newspaper The Sunday Eleftherotypia. He is the author or editor of five books and scores of academic and popular articles. 

Polychroniou: "Some years ago, public intellectual Noam Chomsky warned that the political climate in the U.S. was ripe for the rise of an authoritarian figure. Now, he shares his thoughts on the aftermath of this election, the moribund state of the U.S. political system, and why Trump is a real threat to the world and the planet in general."
Q: Following the U.S. election on November 8, Polychroniu asked Chomsky these questions: 
“What exactly does Trump's victory mean and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on Jan. 20, 2017? What is Trump's political ideology, if any and is "Trumpism" a movement? Will U.S. foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?

Q: With all the talk (in the US) of near-full employment today, labor force participation remains below the earlier norm. And for working people, there is a great difference between a steady job in manufacturing with union wages and benefits, as in earlier years and a temporary job with little security in some service profession. Apart from wages, benefits and security, there is a loss of dignity, of hope for the future, (and loss) of a sense that this is a world in which I (as an individual) belong and play a worthwhile role.
The "change" that Trump is likely to bring will be harmful or worse, but it is understandable that the consequences are not clear to isolated people in an atomized society lacking the kinds of associations (like unions) that can educate and organize.

(On the question of science:)
One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the U.S. population does not see why it is a problem, since “Christ is returning in a few decades.” About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science.

Q.  Noam, the unthinkable has happened: In contrast to all forecasts, Donald Trump scored a decisive victory over Hillary Clinton, and the man that Michael Moore described as a "wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full-time sociopath" will be the next president of the U.S. In your view, what were the deciding factors that led American voters to produce the biggest upset in the history of U.S. politics?
A. Noam Chomsky:
Before turning to this question, I think it is important to spend a few moments pondering just what happened on Nov. 8, a date that might turn out to be one of the most important in human history, depending on how we react.
On Nov. 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history. The party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand.

"No exaggeration," said Chomsky.

The most important news of Nov. 8 was barely noted, a fact of some significance in itself.
(Because, on Nov. 8) the World Meteorological Organization —WMO— delivered a report at the international conference on climate change in Morocco (COP22) which was called in order to carry forward the Paris agreement of COP21. The WMO reported that the past five years were the hottest on record. It reported rising sea levels, soon to increase as a result of the unexpectedly rapid melting of polar ice, most ominously the huge Antarctic glaciers. Already, Arctic sea ice over the past five years is 28 percent below the average of the previous 29 years, not only raising sea levels, but also reducing the cooling effect of polar ice reflection of solar rays, thereby accelerating the grim effects of global warming. The WMO reported further that temperatures are approaching dangerously close to the goal established by COP21, along with other dire reports and forecasts.
During the Republican primaries, every candidate denied that what is happening is happening—with the exception of the sensible moderates, like Jeb Bush, who said “It's all uncertain, but we don't have to do anything because we're producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking.” Or John Kasich, who agreed that global warming is taking place, but added that "we are going to burn [coal] in Ohio and we are not going to apologize for it."
(KLD—Fracking? My mind boggles. These are elected representatives whose decisions will affect the whole world, most likely the US first and Canada next.)
The president-elect calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.

Trump has already taken steps to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by placing in charge of the EPA transition a notorious (and proud) climate change denier, Myron Ebell. Trump's top adviser on energy, billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm, announced his expectations, which were predictable: dismantling regulations, tax cuts for the industry (and the wealthy and corporate sector generally), more fossil fuel production, lifting (President) Obama's temporary block on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Effects (of global warming) may soon become even more vividly apparent than they already are.
In Bangladesh alone, tens of millions are expected to have to flee from low-lying plains in coming years because of sea level rise and more severe weather, creating a migrant crisis that will make today's pale in significance.
With considerable justice, Bangladesh's leading climate scientist said that "These migrants should have the right to move to the countries from which all these greenhouse gases are coming. Millions should be able to go to the United States." (And go to all the) other rich countries, that have grown wealthy while bringing about a new geological era, the Anthropocene, marked by radical human transformation of the environment.

These catastrophic consequences can only increase, not just in Bangladesh, but in all of South Asia,Effects may soon become even more vividly apparent than they already are. In Bangladesh alone, tens of millions are expected to have to flee from low-lying plains in coming years because of sea level rise and more severe weather, creating a migrant crisis that will make today's pale in significance.

These catastrophic consequences can only increase, not just in Bangladesh, but in all of South Asia as temperatures, already intolerable for the poor, inexorably rise and the Himalayan glaciers melt, threatening the entire water supply.
Already in India, some 300 million people are reported to lack adequate drinking water. And the effects will reach far beyond. as temperatures, already intolerable for the poor, inexorably rise and the Himalayan glaciers melt, threatening the entire water supply. Already in India, some 300 million people are reported to lack adequate drinking water. And the effects will reach far beyond.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Resolutionarily speaking

Linking with Our World Tuesday
http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.ca/

 Photo by Daniel J. Cook for Parks Canada

But first, the answers to my little quiz about endangered animals in Jasper National Park.
Yamini got them all right. How is that possible, Yam? I know you have lived in Scotland, Australia, and India...but you know western North American wildlife? Really? You amaze me, my dear friend.
Yes, the first photo was of a mama Grizzly and her cub. No one wants to get in between those two bears. (Or any two bears, actually.)
Then came the wolverine, pictured above— pound for pound one of the fiercest fighters on the planet.
Photo: Donald M. Jones for Parks Canada
Then came a pretty white-tailed deer followed by, yes, the woodland caribou seen here.

And my dear but not Canadian friend Yam got all the answers.
I'm going to have to give up the quiz biz.

So it's back to the recently-dawned year, and I've given some consideration to the making of resolutions in this new year. I'm only a few days late in the doing of it, and have succeeded in confusing my foolish, elderly self about which of my character defects require resolution in 2017.


I do know that, here at home, where I live with Lindy and Lindy's daddy, I do resolve to be more cheerful.

Some people may find it hard to believe, but I remember when I was still living in BC, someone accused me of being "too damn cheerful." I thought it was hilarious.
I was no longer young at that time, and nor was I healthy, but I still loved living, and was grateful to be able to do it.

Now, fast forward 15 or 20 years, and some of the thrill has gone out of fighting chronic illnesses.
I'm still grateful, and sometimes still surprised, that I was able, after years of struggling, to thwart osteoporosis and ulcerative colitis: two worthy, nasty foes. I'm glad to be without them. When I walk out in winter (I'm living in Alberta now) I'm still not a fan of falling, but I no longer have to worry about my bones shattering if I slip on icy ground.
Nor do I now need to have my blood monitored because I'd been losing so much of it for so many years.
Today, in 2017, I'm still thrilled that those two plagues: osteoporosis and ulcerative colitis, are gone, and I hope never to experience either of them again, but there still remains that third enemy...which many medical practitioners, and pretty much all government pension departments, refused to recognize when it first hit me in the 1980s: Fibromyalgia.
The word fibromyalgia means musculoskeletal pain everywhere in the body... all the parts, sometimes one or two at a time, and often all of them together...yes, sometimes seriously a pain in the butt.
I laud all other women and men who fought to get fibromyalgia recognized as a very real, very debilitating, often disabling illness. I applaud them, and I thank them, as well.
In the 1980s, backed by the late, great International Typographical Union, I managed to plead the existence of my fibromyalgia before a judge. I'm glad I was able, also with the union's help, to fight the loss of my job to this awful illness. Recognition of fibromyalgia was immediately extended to other members of the union as well. Gotta love that ITU. Some union members, fighting disabilities and knowing what I'd achieved, phoned to thank me.
Thus I was, in turn, able to be a small part of the great fight to have fibromyalgia recognized by Canada's federal government disability pension department.

Having, some time earlier, been forced to sell my house in order to live on the proceeds, I finally had—on the basis of three disabilities—a federal pension income on which to live. To that end, pardon the pun, I had had to prove ulcerative colitis and osteoporosis, as well as fibromyalgia, on my list of disabilities before the feds would agree I was actually ill.
Total: three illnesses, each devastating in one way or another.

At the time, my federal Member of Parliament in White Rock/South Surrey, BC, was one of my former college profs: Benno Friesen. We had mutual friends, and took the opportunity to visit whenever we met. Benno, too, was instrumental in my fight for a federal disability pension, offering me whatever facilities his local office could provide.

For my pension, and more, I am forever grateful to the men and women of the the old ITU. I am still receiving a small a pension from the union, too, because continuation of the pension was considered non-negotiable when that grand old union dissolved due to technological change. Remaining ITU printers are now members of the Communications Workers of America.

I do digress. I started off with quiz results, continued with resolutions for the new year, and wound up being grateful for my pensions.
However, I now have my list of things for which I will try to be thankful in 2017. Bring it on, world. I'm ready (I think) to do battle again.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Anybody know these guys?

This game is rather like Name That Tune, only different because there's no music.

I have to wonder what effect the twinning of an oil pipeline crossing the Rocky Mountains via Jasper National Park will have on the critters below. These are species at risk in Jasper National Park, which is on the route of the Kinder Morgan pipeline about which I raved earlier.
So...who's next to enter that unsavoury category? Several species have already become extinct in the park, with roads and vehicles being the most likely suspects in their extinction.
These below are not yet extinct but are considered "at risk" by Parks Canada.

But back to the quiz:
1. Can you name the critters in the first photo? Besides just "bears" — or do they not have a further name with which biologists classify them?
2. What about the masked fellow with the stand-up hair in the second photo?
3. Or the slim and spritely ungulate in the third?
4. And, last but not least, what about the ones (male and female have the same headgear) in the final photo? They are the most endangered. Some few years ago the last five of them farther south in Banff National Park were killed in an avalanche.
Photos thanks to Parks Canada
and particularly to photographers
Donald M. Jones and Daniel J. Cox.





Happy New Year from here

Well, it is the first day of a new year, and I almost stayed awake to welcome 2017. It is a big year here because Canada will be 150 years old on July 1.

I'm not quite that old.

Our national broadcasting network, the CBC (both television and radio) provided us with plenty of memorabilia in addition to the news last night.

However, it breaks my heart that one of the headline news stories told of yet another attempt at mass murder, this time in the Philippine province of North Cotabato, known as one of the food baskets of the area, with its vast plains and rolling terrain supporting the province's agriculture-based industry.
http://cotabatoprov.gov.ph/

Meanwhile Syria, long shattered by a most horrific war, has now lost most of its population.

Think about that...what if most of the population of your country was snuffed out? Snuffed out by terrorists, and in many cases  by its own military which, in the process of  fighting the terror, accidentally killed many of its own citizens.

Look out your window. Are you home today celebrating the new year? What if the view outside your window suddenly included tanks, multiple military vehicles, and columns of soldiers...your own as well as an enemy's?

It is difficult, in peaceful countries, to imagine those horrors. Dead babies...and toddlers who died because they couldn't move fast enough to outrun the tanks.

To use a phrase common to my generation, the mind boggles.

Not to be outdone, much of the northern part of North America is fighting a war of a different kind...a peaceful war for a peaceful reason...to keep intact our mountains, forests, and plains.

It grieves me that some of my favourite Canadians will be affected negatively, at first, if the pipelines across Alberta and British Columbia are put to rest. There will be a new wave of unemployment, and some people will suffer.

I believe there is a solution. If, instead of giving Kinder Morgan the go-ahead to twin its pipeline across Alberta, across the Rocky Mountains, and across British Columbia to the coast, the federal government (this means you, Justin Trudeau) were to re-train, with pay, the displaced workers from the oil patch. New skills will mean new results.

Now, however, disaster looms. Any coastal waters, anywhere, contain fragile ecosystems which would be devastated by an oil spill, and with all the tanker ships containing Alberta oil through the coast of BC, there is an increased...not somewhat increased, but greatly increased...potential for an oil spill that will devastate all of those ecosystems.

A break in a pipeline could speak doom to Alberta's fertile prairie, also The potential for destruction is not confined to the oceans alone. Food production...so vital to our population, could be affected, and of course rivers on both sides of the Rockies could be polluted. The Rockies themselves could be devastated.

Meanwhile, down at a beach on the BC coast...from the humble clam to the magnificent Orca, and any of the hundreds of species in between, all are in danger from increased oil tanker traffic.

There could be a solution, if the federal government would look at it from a different perspective...if it tried looking forward with a solution, not a problem.