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Crabby rants about people, places, things, and the use of the English language.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Recuperating is different the second time around. The first time, 19 years ago, I was in the midst of a busy household with three children, two dogs, a cat. I really didn't lie around eating bonbons. This time, alone on an isolated road with my husband and two dogs, there is plenty of time to contemplate more than nature.

I am completely floored by the kindness of people. When someone's been awfully sick I may have sent a card. Or not. Now I know better. Now I know what happiness each communication can bring to the shut-in. The mail is eagerly looked forward to because there's always something there. Have to be dressed and teeth brushed quite early before the neighbours drop in for a quick hi, do you need anything in town. And, best of all, the sight of your children coming through the door, the son and daughter who always make you feel safer, is beyond any card in any mailbox.

I don't want to become one of 'those' women, but I do intend to turn over a new leaf immediately. I may not have a stock of cards on hand but I will 'phone, send, and visit like I never did before. I feel better just thinking about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I must say fall in this neck of the woods is a glorious experience. The sky somehow seems bluer. The air feels soft, unless it's a real blustery day, and you can smell the leaves drying. There are a lot of wasps buzzing around and not too many flowers left. There's sometimes frost to be scraped off the windshield in the morning and one turns on the heater and rear window defroster, yet when you come out of work in the afternoon you have to turn the air conditioning on to cool the car off after the sun's shone on it all day.

Now, have I covered all the senses? No, there's taste but that doesn't apply. How about, that's it, sound! Yes, what's that crump, crump, crump I hear? Why it's the sound of the Great Northern Pinhead as he manfully blasts away at defenceless birds. How I wish guano weighed 500 pounds per dropping and birds could aim. And does this brave soul need these birds to live, does he hunt to feed himself and his younguns? Why no, I do believe I was behind him in the Tim Horton's lineup last night. He's out there because this is Sport with a capital S. I once saw him and his friend in front of our living room, about 30 feet back from the river's edge, sailing by in a boat cunningly disguised as a duck blind. Uncharacteristically, I was speechless.

Really, I'm speechless every fall. It's the one time in the year when city life looks almost bearable.
Whew! For a while there I was just a touch nervous. About a million people in Florida are still without power. Many are depressed - don't blame them a bit. There's still a lot of rehearsing going on before the much-heralded presidential debate this week. Two hostages have been released in Iraq - that's great. Major league baseball seems revitalized. But hey, there's been no really horrid news for a few days now, has there?

But finally, Mother Nature to the rescue for CNN again - an earthquake in central California! Eureka! On behalf of Wolf and the gang, it's good times in Atlanta once more as peoples' miseries are recounted over and over and over.

Let's hear it for peace and quiet.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Time to revisit one of the old urban myths. Supposedly, if you do not use deodorant, your risk of breast cancer declines. This goes for men and women, of course. And also supposedly, this is all a lot of hooey. But seeing as the big-business-cancer-societies have come up with nothing better, and having recently been quite interested in a radio talk show devoted to the subject, I've decided to give this no deodorant thing a whirl.

This doesn't mean you, entering the summer season, must go around offending your fellow men. It means you use organic deodorants such as those put out by Tom's of Maine or Ombra, found in Zellers and who knows where else. These products contain no aluminum chlorohydrate. Yet another urban myth linked aluminum to Alzeimers.

An interesting question on the talk show was why don't men get as much breast cancer as women? And the answer seemed to be women shave under their arms but, for the most part, men don't.

It will be a lot easier for we organic types if those manufacturing the gentler deodorants take out whatever it is which causes rashes - not in every case, I hasten to add.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Our friends go to Florida for five months every year. Nice place, two bedroom condo, and friends from all over congregating every winter.

In March Barry had a severe heart attack, in fact died in the waiting room and was brought back to life. Then he developed pneumonia in the hospital. After about two weeks he was stabilized enough to be flown back to Canada, along with his wife, where he was operated on and is now recuperating nicely and riding the stationary bicycle every day, etc.

But meanwhile their van and belongings were still in Florida so two couples from their small New Brunswick town offered to drive down in one vehicle and one couple would bring the van back. Good deal all around - the two couples stayed at least two weeks in the condo, ate the food still in the fridge and freezer, used the linens and left them used, and actually planned to stay a month. Mary got wind of this and 'phoned to say the condo's owner had refunded part of the five months rent and they had to vacate. An untruth but it worked and the two couples drove back.

Upon arrival one of the men presented Barry with a bill for $850 - for driving and motel and meal expenses down and back. Wary of his heart perhaps, Barry paid. How I wish he'd said: "You know, we were just working out your bill. It's $500 per week for the condo, $100 for the utilities, and $50 for maid services to clean up the place and the laundry. So that's a total of $650. Per couple. U.S. funds."

Friday, April 09, 2004

It's Good Friday. Since 9 p.m. December 29, 2003, I have not had a cigarette. I did have a few puffs of an old cigar found in a junk drawer but the cigar taste was not what I was missing.

You'd think after all this time I would be getting only brief flashes of longing. You'd think that. But I have to believe it's getting worse and a friend the other night likened it to grieving. She may have a point. If, way down deep, I know I'll never have another Benson & Hedges, this is a grim thought. Closer to the surface I'm thinking this can't last. The only thing keeping me going right now is the certain disapproval and disgust from my family should they glimpse me with a cancer stick (that's supposed to scare smokers) in my hand.

Of course the only people who have an iota of understanding these thoughts are smokers or ex-smokers (except the latter are often quite bent and unreasonable). Only those who've been addicted can understand the constant pleasure cigarettes have given them. Through the good times, the bad times, after a meal, sitting on a deck watching the loons, sitting in a traffic jam, motoring down a country road, talking on the 'phone, with morning coffee or evening wine - there's always been a common thread.

To my knowledge, there's no substitute. There's nothing to take the place, mentally or physically, of a cigarette. My brother tried cinnamon sticks. I once tried sunflower seeds. This time I'm using food (i.e. 20 extra very uncomfortable pounds) or sleep. So if lung cancer can't get me maybe a heart attack from the added weight will.

So when people say you may not feel better (I've rarely felt so low in fact) but your health is no doubt better, I know they're right. All smokers know it's a stupid, dangerous habit. We all know, too, that living is somewhat dangerous to your health. And the five or so extra years to be gained from quitting? At this point in the process, they don't seem at all to be desired.

Happy Easter. I'm at least going to try to avoid chocolate.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

I've so much to say I'm going to have to think it over and get back to you.

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