Friday, 31 October 2014

In the face of grief: Madonna Badger on resilience

Some days, all you can do is find a friend
This was a timely rerun for me. Still sick with a virus, I'm am slowly improving. It gives one time to reflect. Resilience is an important tool in our repertoire of keeping ourselves mentally and physica

lly healthy. I was pretty sick last week. I've been sick in spirit, as well, with the horrible news our country has been facing. The trolls come out of the closet. The hate mongerers darken the comments sections. The people in power who did nothing. Shameful.

What was I thinking about? The news is full of horrible stories: including the sexual harassment by a former powerful CBC personality, bullying, murders of Canadian soliders, death and dying.
When my principal harassed and bullied me. Documented with 7 single-spaced pages, the powers-that-be shoved it under the table. You cannot risk your job. I understand how many women feel.
Remember the beauty in the world
The times I was sexually harassed, groped on the subway in Toronto as a kid, have come back to my mind.
The grief you feel over mistakes you've made.
The grief you feel over dreams that die.
It is all grief.

The recent news events, has made me think about how I managed to get better. How you survive such heartbreaking circumstances?  The behaviour causes much guilt in the victim. Whether you are 10 or 20. People tell you to let it go. One cannot. One must share the burden, charges must be laid, closure must be had, things must change, and prevention is the key.
I found some comforting words.

It was an Oprah interview. She does get to the heart of things. In the light of the recent murders of two soldiers in Ontario, I found these comforting words. They say there is nothing worse than burying your children. Madonna Badger would know.

This is an amazing woman. Her three lovely blonde little girls (7-year-old twins, and 9-year-old), and her parents, died in a fire in Connecticut, on Christmas Day, 2011. She tried to save them, she climbed outside on the scaffolding, facing the horrific fire, but could not.  The powers-that-be were blaming the family, to determine a cause; ashes from the fireplace, and a lack of smoke detectors. Madonna says that the embers were dead. It sounds fishy to me. As she searched for the truth about the fire, she was blocked. She saw sparks on the home, coming from the Hydro box and arcing that Christmas Day, but the municipality tried to blame her, and had the house torn down for safety reasons the very next day. No investigation.
Badger tells us,
"There is peace in the truth. There is dignity and honour in knowing the truth."
You don't have to like the truth, but you can accept it.

Madonna spent months in bed, being cared for by a friend, under the care of psychiatrists, and finally emerged. She has recovered, remarried, but still cannot 'celebrate' Christmas.

Madonna told Matt Lauer on The Today Show that she’s been comforted by a book written by a neurosurgeon called Proof of Heaven, and further buoyed by dreams and visions of her daughters Lily, Grace, and Sarah:
I’ve seen my children in my dreams. When I pray, I see my children. Lily came to me very early on and said, ‘Don’t worry, Mommy, I’m right there in your heart and I love you.’ Once when I was having a level 10, the worst sort of crisis, (where it) feels like blood is coming out of my eyes, Sarah came to me in the mirror and she said, ‘Mommy, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything is going to be OK.’’’

When you share your burdens with another, they take a piece of your burden with them. This lessens your load.

When the connections between children and their parents are severed through death, the nerves are raw as the bond is cut. You need to form scabs, and heal a little at a time. Severed from the ties that bind, we must grow more skin.

You must feel the feelings of grief, experience mourning and bereavement. You can't stay outside your pain or outrun the pain, or you become manic.
I've written this: you take your cloak of bereavement out and you wear it for short periods of time, until you work through your grief. You can put it away when you cannot manage, and bring it out later when you are ready to deal with the emotions.

When you ask, 'why me?', remember, why not you? You're no more or less special than anyone else who suffers. Hopefully, those of us who learn resilience will survive and have lessons to teach one another.

"God is not a puppeteer. God cried first."

You can't think your way through your grief. You have to get up each day, just get up out of bed, put one foot in front of the other until you achieve small goals.

Read also: the difference between

Sadie is the reno queen!

Reno queen from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Sadie is the Reno queen. We took her in in 2005, a rescue cat, and renovated the house: new roof & skylights. Then, in 2006, we moved to Bala: new roof, new bathroom, upgraded the water system. In 2010 we moved to Lanark County, new roof, again. She's the pro.
We had new windows installed Thursday, and she was non-pussed!
More photos later!

She was torn as Daddy built a fire in the basement, but the action was upstairs!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

I did not scream like a girl!

Daisy and I were on walkies by the pond. Sitting on our stumps, breathing in the fine, cool, crisp air, I heard something in the leaves. This poor little frog was having its blood sucked out by an incubus.

OK, it's too close to Hallowe'en. It was a massive Water beetle. You can see the size of my shoe in the 3rd photo. All I had was my videocam, and its photos aren't great, but here you are! I picked the frog up, tossed it into the pond water, after the Water beetle let go. Thankfully. It's about 3" long.

Have you seen these bugs? Beetles, I suppose. They fly. A water beetle, but they don't need to live in the water. I spotted this one, below, in September, 2011 on my 2nd story back porch. Seriously. They have quite the pinch, apparently. I chose not to touch it, bad role model for Daisy.

Isabelle, Sadie, Geraldine

Another full day. Hubby went off to dispatch Meals on Wheels on Tuesday. I hunkered down with cats. After MoW, he went off to buy some more of his supplements, pick up a couple of books for me, and killed a pizza for my dinner. (He can't eat them anymore!) What a man!

Isabelle, Jesse
My antibiotics are gone, and I hope the sinusitis doesn't come back. I had a lovely little Skype session with Isabelle, who has the runny nose and was home, for the second day, with her cold. She, like me, rubbed her eye with a hand she'd blown her nose with and needed some eye meds. (Even Buster seems to have a sore eye.)
She was wearing her gold polka dot wedding skirt (right), with an orange Darth Vader t-shirt. Seriously! She's the fashionista and trend-setter.

<= Here she is with her Uncle Jesse at his wedding last May.
She is a trooper. We had a fine visit at Thanksgiving. She was asking me to come downstairs and colour with her in her large colouring book. Of course, I did. She has a pen mark on her cheek.
Isabelle at Thanksgiving

Poor Sadie has a terrible cold, too. She is wheezing and sneezing. Poor thing. She doesn't seem to have affected the other cats, as she pretty much only likes hubby. Full stop.

Sadie's flowers from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
My daughter brought me a lovely Thanksgiving bouquet to our dinner. They seem to have become Sadie's flowers! Normally, you'd expect the older cats would be role models. Sadie's picked up all the bad habits of her younger siblings.

These photos were taken with the videocam, at the same time I was filming. It needs a bit more light than I had. Hubby cannot get enough photos of cats, he always read by blog posts, so here we are.

Outside, it was a beautiful afternoon. Dorah and I fed the Blue jays. I refilled the goldfish pond and cleaned out the bird bath. (No helpers for that!).

Geraldine resurfaced. Jerry hasn't been around. He might have gone down to the frog pond. Notice the leopard frog on the edge of the pot! I hope she is too full to eat it. She looks quite content to veg.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

It was a beautiful funeral!

A fitting funeral for Canada's son.
I spent some time watching the funeral for our soldier. It was stirring. Full military honours.

'Twas interesting that CTV's coverage, their locales and shots, were better than CBC's. This is a sad example (below), hard to see anything. It was a full military funeral, with pipes and drums, kilts. Yam, you would have been impressed.

Do you think CBC needs the banner across the bottom?
He was with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and all of them turned out, even the cadets, which he belonged to not so long ago.  There were thousands of police officers, RCMP, all marching. Normally, they told us, the bands only play subdued drums, but they were playing their hearts out. 

His young son, Marcus (5), in the sweet care of his loving, young aunt, marched along with his little Canadian flag. His grandmother is totally distraught. I hope she can get it together and remember that it's not about her, it's about her grandson now, and she has to step up. She was leaning heavily on the arms of two supportive Highlanders. 
He watched Gramma like a hawk during the funeral. She can model grief, mourning and bereavement for him. It's important to be strong. I recommend a bereavement group and counselling. There are many kids who lose their parents, and there are many people who will help us.

Jian Ghomeshi brings scandal to CBC

Put the "C" back in CBC, drop the show "Q"

When in 2010 she revealed to the show’s executive producer that the host had said he wanted to “hate f—” her, and had groped her buttocks, the manager suggested there was no point confronting Mr. Ghomeshi about his actions, the woman said.
“[The executive producer's] comment to me was …’He’s never going to change, you’re a malleable person, let’s talk about how you can make this a less toxic work environment for you,” the woman recalled. “No one was going to talk to Jian, he was too big. The show was a f—-ing juggernaut at that point. His face and name were inextricably linked with the brand of Q.”

Absolute power corrupts. This is a danger in all workplaces. I was bullied and harassed by a couple of my bosses who didn't like who I was and what I was doing. The powers-that-be deny the issues, blame the victims, and move you, rather than the perpetrator. My 7-page letter, documenting the issues, I sent to the Superintendent. She sent it to head office and my problems were swept under the rug by my Health and Safety Officer, after he was told by the big brass to let it go. The bullying wasn't based on sexual harassment, and I didn't have a case. Don't let the big brass think that there will be only one victim. There is usually a history of corrupt power based on gender, sex, low self-esteem or high self-esteem of the bullies. This abuse of power escalates.

Finally, my complaints are echoed on the GLobe and Mail's pages:

When Q launched as the new afternoon arts program in the spring of 2007, it had a core group of young and ambitious producers, almost all of them in their 20s and 30s. Mr. Ghomeshi had a very specific idea of what Q was going to be, and it was not typical CBC.
The aim was to land big-name guests, and not to adhere to the usual CBC mandate: promoting Canadian content coast-to-coast. A couple of veteran producers who objected ran up against Mr. Ghomeshi’s star power; they were weeded out. The five that stuck around quickly began to understand that, although Mr. Ghomeshi had “brilliant instincts,” they were going to pay a price for being part of this wild experiment, said Matt Tunnacliffe, a former Q producer and director.

It just keeps getting worse

And even more comes out, and the fact that people at CBC, and in the media, knew about him:


For at least half as long as I have been been alive, a string of five short words, or something very like them, slipped through the back-channels of certain social scenes. The question was whispered around wine glasses from Toronto to Vancouver, they were tapped out in texts and Twitter direct messages between old friends, or between kindred spirits newly met. In time, the answer that most followed became just as familiar as the question that preceded: a nodded affirmative, a mouth twisted in a rictus of disgust.

Eight women have come forward

Yes, this morning at 7:35-ish, Stu Mills was replaying an interview with a lawyer who was explaining what S & M is, in all its glory. Seriously... TMI. My kids listen to the radio in the morning while getting their kids ready for school!

Rough sex a murky legal area: experts

The limits of consent. Our conversation with Ottawa lawyer is on now.
It's been a long time since I was last quoted on the legality of unusual sexual practices. Wait no longer:

CBC has been spending a lot of time going on about S & M since they fired Jian Ghomeshi, infamous host of Q, a fluffy arts show. I never liked him, he was a musician turned arts host, and spent a lot of time making himself famous. I don't know why Q would have to be taped in L.A., for example. I have tracked his guests and they were more US authors and artists, rather than Canadian.  Puerile humour. 
He isn't Q. Many are employed by CBC to create programming.

The CBC wanted to bring in a younger demographic (what am I, chump change?), and used this 47-year-old to do so. It's all hit the fan.

First, he was on leave, his father died this month, and then he was fired. Then he admitted to being into S & M with a 20-something girl, who, he claims, is after him. He later followed that up with a Facebook posting saying he has been the target of “harassment, vengeance and demonization.” He explained the entire story, fully admitting to rough sex. That was his mistake. Mind you, I was thinking maybe he was after boys, not girls. Silly me. Glad he cleared this up!

Then the Toronto Star came out with some interesting allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour. Months of investigations, beginning in May, who knows why. 

He's suing the CBC for $55 million for wrongful dismissal. Welcome to the real world. You can be fired. 
Personally, I can't get an image out of my head of him in leather, with a whip. Just sayin'! 
  1. Toronto Star ‎- 2 hours ago
    On Sunday, the Star published detailed allegations about former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, who was fired by the CBC that same day.
At least, this has blown Rob & Doug Ford out of the news, I guess.

This is an excellent piece on the situation.

The Ghomeshi question: The law and consent

"But, when it comes to BDSM – or at least its more intense versions – the law doesn’t actually care about consent. The Supreme Court has said that a person cannot consent to an assault that causes bodily harm. While the cases have typically arisen in the context of bar room brawls or hockey violence, other courts have applied the same reasoning to the sexual context. So, if a sexual activity causes bodily harm, a person cannot consent to it." 
 "BDSM sexuality still lives on the margins of legality in Canada. Fifty shades of grey is actually a pretty good description of its legal status. This isn’t to say that the CBC should or shouldn’t have fired Mr. Ghomeshi for it. Simply that Mr. Ghomeshi’s defense that the sex was consensual – even if it is true – is not the end of the story."

Jian Ghomeshi case highlights why some women don’t report assaults:...

If a tree falls in the forest and no one files a police report – did it make a sound? Some of the thousands of people weighing in on the Jian Ghomeshi affair seem to be convinced that if a woman...

Leave it to a retired musician -turned radio host- to complain about the media!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

What a day! Elections, coughing, birding

Praise be: thanks to TLC, Rx. and taking it easy, I made it through the night without coughing! Thank you, all, for your kind words of comfort. I feel so useless, with much to do on the property to prepare for winter. This is the challenge when one is ill: accepting care, for there is giving in receiving.
Isabelle is home sick, too! We just had a Skype session, and she showed off her back of collected kleenex! She's really good about coughing into her elbow! She's been blowing her nose and watching movies, too!
About Time –excellent one, done by the Brits. Very thought provoking. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

Daisy & I took a slow walk around the frog pond Monday. The Muskrat house is growing.
Daise likes to sit with me on our logs.

Lots of election news: Ontario votes Alberta had provincial elections, too

Yes, it was our 4-year fixed date for municipal elections. Now, municipal have the most impact on our lives, but Ottawa, for example, had a 39.9% voter turn out rate.
  • Perth's mayor, our closest town, and his deputy mayor, was acclaimed.
  • Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, several near-by towns have new mayors.
  • Ottawa's mayor was re-elected. Yes, Jim Watson - who? Despite being a mayor of a big city, most of us are happy he doesn't make the news too much!
  • Doug Ford didn't get elected mayor of Toronto. Unfortunately, Rob Ford was elected into his old seat as Councillor. He's taking chemo. We'll see what happens. 
Unofficial Results Our little county doesn't have a mayor. We have 2 councillors and a reeve. They didn't tell us where to vote, or how many we can vote for. It was one candidate for councillor who sent us information on voting. Seriously. Our tax dollars at work - or not.

Mind you what do we get for our taxes?

  • You get up in the morning and brush your teeth with town/city water. (We're on a well.)
  • You flush your toilet. (We're on septic.)
  • You put out your garbage, recycling and compost. Yes, we have garbage and a moderate recycling program. Mind you, a lot of us have the room to compost and we have little garbage, the two of us. The landowner across the road dumps his construction dirt and rocks across the highway, on his land.
  • You hop on the bus for work. We are 5 km from Perth and must drive, or take a $25 taxi ride. Still cheaper than a 2nd car! You get the picture.

Funerals abound

Today, I expect to watch TV coverage of our young soldier shot dead on Parliament hill last week. I'm sure it will be a moving experience. The feds expect are tabling a new bill to give more power to our CSIS. This will allow them to work internationally, like MI-6 and the CIA. Having been watching Homeland on DVD (excellent!), I shudder. This bill was deferred with the shooting, ironically. However, the two men who murdered our two soldiers last week seemed to have been motivated by politics, but no more than the TV shows and movies that motivate many.

The man who shot the 3 RCMP dead last June is being sentenced today in N.B. He spoke at his trial and he was remorseless, rambling on about various topics, revealing a lack of respect for authority, and the law. He played the 'it's not fair' card: not fair he has a rotten job, and no women in his life, as he embraced violence, and brought guns into his family home. I pity the parents of these men, whom I shall not name.

I turned off the news, waved as hubby went out to vote, and sat and fed the birds. Daisy decided to help. The blue jays were unfazed. The first photo was cool, Mr. Jay mid-hop! The Horse chestnut tree still has some leaves. I flung a peanut into the frog pond, just to see what the Jays would do. They didn't bite. I'll keep on with that experiment later!

The junco pick up the scattered seeds, avoiding the Blue jays altogether.
The Woodpeckers go at the feeder while I distract the Jays!
The Goldfinches have lost their brilliant yellow, and are ready for winter.

Monday, 27 October 2014

I must celebrate my caregiver!

Yep, I'm home sick. I have received much support from my friends. I appreciate your words of concern. Many thanks.
I began saying, 'It's just a cold.' But it is such a trial. It went bad pretty quickly.
Buster kept me warm.
He sure seems to know I'm sick!

Pneumonia. I haven't had it this badly in a long time. I usually get it -right into my lungs. That awful seal bark, whooping cough that drives your spouse nuts!

I'm not complaining, just weary. I shouldn't be! Once you hit 40 it's all downhill! However, once I left my classrooms behind, and all the germs and germ factories kiddies, I thought it'd be easier. Methinks it's been the stress around this year with all the health issues in our families.
I have many friends, and clients with terrible life limiting illnesses. I was so sad I had to cancel my hospice client visit. Good thing to keep my germs at home!

Here is the dude with cancer, my JB,  giving me much TLC, while he toodles into town and fetches me stuff. The other day, it was a wonderful Sub sandwich, then, a chicken Caesar wrap. I ate the former on the front deck in the sunshine. My friend, Nat (a PSW), wrote, 'Get out, get some fresh air." I took her advice.
It was so delightful! I watched the birds, wrapped in a blanket. That was yesterday's post of photos. It's a wonderful world.

A lot of my very ill clients watch TV all day. I've learned to embrace this when just walking causes you to cough. Hubby has rented me some DVDs. It's tricky him getting them. The young man at the store was most supportive, also giving him some healthcare suggestions: vaporizer, inhaling something or other!

The movies have had various successes. The day our sweet soldier was mourned:
Railway Man - gruesome scenes of WW II torture of soldiers. It was a great movie, just a bad one for that day.
The Magic of Belle Isle - fabulous. Monty Wildhorn, an alcoholic novelist of Westerns, has lost his drive. His nephew pushes him to summer in quiet Belle Isle. He begrudgingly befriends a newly single mom and her 3 girls who help him find the inspiration to write again.
Thanks For Sharing - about sex addicts. Alecia Moore (Pink) is in it!
At Middleton – Delightful! "Two parents fall in love over the course of a single day while playing hooky from their children's college tour."
The Color Purple  - 'nuff said.
Women in Love - Excellent! Lots of nudity, of either sex (only fair). Adaptation of D.H. Lawrence classic novels The Rainbow and Women in Love focusing on the lives of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun and their developing relationships with two friends Rupert Birkin and Gerald Crich in the aftermath of the WW1.

You can compare hubby's health cures with mine! They are quite distinct, but our symptoms and causes are quite different. The puffer with Ventolin is amazing. A nurse told me I have viral-induced asthma, as every time I get a cold I get asthma.

Chocolate is never bad for you!
This soothes the throat.
It's very nice.
Even Daisy cleaned up my glass!
This is hubby's.
Helps the immune system.
This was recommended by
the Naturopath.
He's got a ton of pills.
I have antibiotics.
Bless those scientists who discovered them!
These were good, too!
Here we are watching my chick flicks!
OK, cat does look a little bored!
There is nothing like cat photos (or kittens or puppies) to make you feel a little bit better. Buster was a hot water bottle. He slept at my feet for hours. Daisy would come by, but the minute I coughed, she was too upset to stay! Buster is my boy!