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! 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.*
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.

"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 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.

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.

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
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 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.
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 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