Influenced? Influencer?

Power is a tool, influence is a skill; one is a fist, the other a fingertip. Nancy Gibbs

This is not about mental health. It is not about my recovery. It is about two words, influenced and influencer.

I am not a professional marketer. In secondary school I did, however, I took marketing classes for three years. It was basic, there was not any social media. It involved print, radio, store front displays, and television.

I have been noticing something in my life that has caught my attention. I have given this much thought. What I have noticed is the fact that I have been doing certain things and then my best friend also begins doing these. It has been little things, like trying a new product from the grocery store, watching a certain program on television. I was an influencer.

I have had conversations in the past with a person a debate about name brands versus generic. His stance was, always by name brand products. I would rebut that with the fact that I found generic products are also good. Also, generic is can usually be cheaper. Saving money at the checkout line!

I am not timid about trying new products. I have just recently tried a new cereal and found that I enjoyed it. I spoke to my best friend and he tried it and now has added it to his morning breakfast.

I can sometimes be influenced by how a product is packaged, or maybe a friend or family recommends one to me. I have now been influenced.

In some cases you get what you paid for. When it comes to electronics I have gone to a name brand that I have confidence in. Generic in this matter is not always the best venue to choose.

I am sure Vee from Millennial Life Crisis could go into greater detail. She is the professional when it comes to matters of marketing.

So dear reader, I would ask you this question, Are you influenced more than being an influencer? What are your thoughts about name brand versus generic? I welcome your thoughts on this idea.

Some Thoughts Since I Last Posted

I have enjoyed my time to re-connect with friends, to spend some time finding myself. I have kept myself busy reading, listening to some of my favorite music, and also, my break from watching cable news.

I feel great and I have been adjusting to life without pain, or heavy pain killers. I still am struggling with my sleep and really do not know where to find the answer.

I had my last appointment with the therapist and I even gave her some surprises along the way. It has only been since May for the surgery, but yet, it feels like it is further away than just three months.

I have some catching up to do with reading all of the blog posts that I follow. What I found amazing was the number of people who have started to follow this blog. For that I am truly thankful!

Not really sure about what future blog posts will deal with. I realize there is much to write about concerning “mental health”. Ideas are running through my brain. Some will never see daylight, while others are piecing themselves together.

Canada is facing a federal election and politicians wasted no time making promises of what they will do if elected. I do not hold much hope in the polls. The only poll that counts is on election day. Pundits are saying Canadians may not know the results for a couple of weeks. I am sure there will be knocks at my door, candidates asking for my support. I never tell them which way I will be voting. For me that is something I keep to myself, no signs on the lawn from any party.

School here starts back on September 1 and for this guy I am thrilled. It will now be safe to shop without being over-taken by children who have found a way to break from the grips of their parents.

Soon thoughts will turn to Thanksgiving Day here in October. In America they celebrate that day in November, with the Macy’s Parade signaling the start of the Christmas season.

So dear reader, it feels good to pen some thoughts, somewhat disjointed, but nevertheless, some things that I have been contemplating during my “time out”. How has your summer been? I would like to hear from you!

Can’t Wait…Look Out Summer

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck


First, I went for my vaccination on the 14th. I was given the AstraZeneca vaccine. I did not experience any side affects, not even a tender spot. I really didn’t even feel the needle go in.

I was talking to a family member and I mentioned getting the vaccine. The family member told me that they were not going for vaccination because of the fears of blood clots. I tried to encourage them by telling them that the odds of that happening are very great.


I have already start dreaming about what I expect I will be able to do after recovery. My thoughts turned to walking through the community and maybe seeing a deer or a moose. It is common to see them around for it is quite the site to look and see them walking through.

Walking through the area and being able to chat with those who are out sitting on their decks. To look and see some of the new trailers that are being brought in. Taking my dog out for a long walk along the roadside.

I am not one who sits out in the sun because I think that too much sun causes wrinkles. Yes, that sounds like I am somewhat vain. Maybe, but I don’t think that I am. Just cautious and keeping the odds great from having skin cancer.

This past year has seemed so long, days seem to meld together. Trying to remember what day it is. It has been a battle to keeping my spirits up, not to fall into the depths of depression. Fighting to not giving up, doing what I can to see the better or best of the situation. Finding things to be thankful, even if they are the smallest.

So dear reader, here is to a better summer than the last one!

Great News, Hip Surgery May 3, 2021

This morning the phone rang. It was the scheduling O.R. office. It was to inform me that my surgery will take place on May 3rd here in our hospital.

On Monday I will be at the hospital to go through all the pre-op procedures. This will be around six hours of tests and such.

They told me that I need to be careful not to cut myself or catch a cold. The surgeon is very picky, if I have any of those things, like an infection, he will post pone the surgery. On the next day I will see the surgeon once more at the hospital.

I am not sure how long my stay in the hospital will be. I will not be allowed visitors, I have a feeling that it is for all hospital patients.

So dear reader, this is one guy who is excited today and I can’t wait for Monday May 3rd evening with surgery behind me. I have no idea how long it will take me to be 100 percent.

“Frustration” Is The Word For This Week!

It has been one hell of a week for me. I have been without access to my internet since Monday.

I really didn’t care on Monday because I spent most of the day resting in bed. But Tuesday I tried to login to my internet and absolutely blocked. I tried everything I had learned over the years about resolving problems with logging in. Nothing I tried worked, so I call the support line. He basically walked me through everything I had already tried. From his end he could find nothing concerning my problem. Then he tells me to push a red button to reset the modem. Well, I do just that and to my ever increasing frustration, nothing, ziltch, nada! So, the answer was to wait for someone to come to my house and try to resolve this issue.

Today, Thursday, a support guy shows up and begins trouble shooting what might be wrong. He found the trouble, apparently when I was told to reset, it reset the username and password to the default that is given by the ISP. He goes out to his truck and brings in a new modem and a new switch. The modem I was using was a bit old and the switch was for me to be able to hardwire my laptop. He sets up a new network with a name I chose along with a new password.

If today would have been a flog I might have thrown everything out the door! But, I am connected again and I have missed not being able to access WordPress. I have some catching up to do with reading all the blogs, but I am thankful I am back on the wide world web.

Update- The Hospital Is No Picnic

Back in March when I was having such great pain my friend took the lead and spoke with my surgeon’s office. She gave me a date to see him, which was today.

I was up early because it takes me a long time to get myself moving. Along with a couple of cups of coffee and breakfast. I started getting ready to be at the hospital for noon time. We called a cab that can carry my wheelchair, my friend’s car was out of the question for it rides low. The cab arrived and I slowly make it out to it and a hobble to get myself into the back seat.

I arrived early, which is nothing new. Of course Moose Jaw is on high alert for Covid, so I had to be screened before going to register. Finally, registered and make it to the area where the surgeon was conducting a cast clinic. I sit in my wheelchair waiting to be called into a room. Forty-five minutes later I am called in to see the surgeon. He has me jump, well in my case hobble, onto a bed. I lay down and he moves my leg and barely off the bed which makes me scream. He quit because he didn’t want to make me hurt anymore. He decides that he needs an updated x-ray. So, back in the wheelchair and off to have the x-ray done. After the x-ray it is back to the surgeon, where I sit another thirty minutes before he makes his return.

He proceeds to explain the condition of my hip. It is far worse than it was three months ago. He explains about my hip and there is a ball that is attached to a bone and the ball moves around the hip. Where the ball should be is nothing more than a flat piece of bone. And still no answer of when my surgery will take place. No thanks to Covid to bring things to a grinding stop. Here is what he said, “I sit at home with nothing to do, no surgeries”!

So dear reader, the hospital is definitely not a picnic!

What A Week!

I have had one crazy week. There has been some good things happen, but there has been some totally frustrating things.

Let’s start with the frustration. Twice this week the power has gone out, once while I was trying to write a post. When the power went out it has done something to my wi-fi and it has been a pain in the butt with trying to stay connected. I am not able to reach my modem to run a hard wire. If I had my ability to move freely it would be no problem. So, I need to find someone who is capable of moving my tv stand and to help me run the wire. Next I have to re-configure my network to recognize it. There have been moments where I just wanted to wipe everything off my small computer stand. UGGGGGGHHH!

The last couple of days though has brought me some good news. I received a letter from Sask Health that I am eligible for the Covid vaccine. I waited all day for a call back and late last night the call came in. I now have a date to get vaccinated. I now need to find a way there that won’t cause me great pain.

The best news came yesterday morning from the Surgery Scheduling Office. It was to watch a video about all the things I need to get done before the surgery. Since I couldn’t go they sent me a link to their video on YouTube. I have everything already done, except for the raised toilet seat. I have all it done because it happened when my back was at it’s worst. So, I feel that I have just made one hurdle. The next hurdle is where I have to go and they take measurements for the hip replacement. There will be other tests that have to be done. Things like my heart, lungs and my circulation due to my history of blood clots.

I also have to have a coach and that will be my best friend. He has to be with me for all the next steps. He now has also watched the video. I am fortunate that I have him to rely on!

So dear reader, I guess all things considered, the good outweighs the bad!

Book Review – Managing the Depression Puzzle

For the past several days I spent the better part of them reading the book, “Managing the Depression Puzzle” written by Ashley L. Peterson(blog: www.mentalhealthathome.org). On the first night I decided to write a review, this is something I have not done.

***I have not received compensation, or was asked to write an review of this book.***

This book is not a step plan guide where if you follow the steps you will reach complete wellness.

The book is divided into parts:

  1. Part l – Illness Treatment
  2. Part ll – Wellness Promotion
  3. Part lll – Putting The Pieces Together

Ashley presents everything like pieces of a puzzle. Each piece is for the reader to choose. The reader can pick those that fit their plan and leave the other pieces.

Just in case you are not sure what the pieces are, Ashley ends each chapter with: “This Chapter’s Potential Pieces of The Puzzle”. I found this very helpful, it is a way to refer back to at a later time.

I bought the book because I follow her on the “Mental Health @ Home” blog and found on the greater part that I could understand what she was writing about.

The book is written with humanity from the author’s own struggles with mental illness. Ashley writes as somebody who has been on both sides of mental health care desk. It was refreshing to read an author who bares her own struggles about her own battle with mental illness.

The book progresses seamlessly from the various types of mental illness. Such as; “Schizoaffective Disorder” to “Adjustment Disorder”.

The reader is then lead through the many options in treatment. The various medications, what they do and their side effects.

She tackles and busts many myths in this book. One myth that she busts is concerning “Electroconvulsive Therapy”.

She writes;

There’s stigma up the wazoo about electroconvulsive therapy{ECT}, sometimes referred as electroshock or shock therapy. Many people’s familiarity with ECT is what happened to Jack Nicholson’s character in “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” The reality is much different. It is not barbaric, despite the popular misconception.

Ashley then proceeds by describing how ECT is administered and why it is used. I can honestly say I have a better perception about this procedure.

From there the reader is guided and focused on:

Complimentary & Alternative Therapies

She writes about “Activation”. For this reader it was one paragraph that gave me an understanding what “Activation” is.

Walking probably the easiest form of physical activation, especially if your energy is only slightly above non existent. There’s also lots of research demonstrating its benefits. It’s very adaptable; today you could walk to the nearest intersection and back, and the next week you could work your way up to going around a whole block.

There is so much help and resources packed within this 135 page book that I do not have the space to write.

For this reader “Managing the Depression Puzzle” is a keeper and placed into the “resource” section of my personal library for further reference. It was well worth every dollar it cost to buy.

Thank you Ashley for this wonderful resource and help book!

You can find this book at:

*** I hope I have presented “Managing the Depression Puzzle Correctly” fairly and honestly.***

Surgery Wait Lists In Canada

ProvincePostponements
BC24,287
AB16,893
SK23,209
MB8,391
ON148,364
QC70,467
NB1,562
NL23,867
NS35,753
PE1,120
TOTAL:353,913
Source: Waiting Lists Numbers In Canada

Last night I tuned into the local evening news, something I like to do each night.

There was a report about the waiting list numbers across Canada since the outbreak of Covid. To be honest I thought maybe I heard the report incorrectly. I had not, for I went and found the report online at the CTVNews website. That is the reason for the table on the side, it shows the numbers of each province and it totally shocking.

What was really shocking to me was a man that they interviewed. He needs hip surgery and the surgery has been postponed four times. My spirit hit like a thud for I have been waiting for something to be done to my hip for almost six months.

When I saw the orthopedic surgeon after going through an MRI I asked how long will it be to I have the surgery. His response was astounding and also shocking. He said this, “I just work here”! Several days ago I called the Office of Surgery Schedule to see if they could give me an idea of when I might have my surgery. I learned that I am way down on the list due to the fact that they only received the report back in December. So much for a moderate wait.

This is Canada, we are capable of all types of surgery. Before I was born my paternal grandfather had the first ever brain surgery. He survived and his grandchildren watched as he had to go back to school to learn the basics. Learn how to drive a car once more. He passed all that with flying colors. However, his speech never came back fully, he managed to speak enough for people to understand his train of thought. When he couldn’t find the words, he would just swear.

I thought about writing the MLA in charge of managing the Health portfolio. I realized that my time would be better spent doing something else.

So dear reader, I am not sure what the answer truly is. I do no think it would be wise to perform surgeries around the clock, for one thing there would not be sufficient number of support staff. I just wonder if we are that far behind, what are the numbers like in America or even Britain.

Is anyone else experiencing a long wait for surgery because of how Covid has affected the Health systems?

Choices, Choices, Choices,…

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


Since I have been housebound I have had to find ways not to get cabin fever. At times it has been difficult, but I do my best to keep myself moving forward and aware of what is happening in the outside world.

I liked the above quote because it is true for my situation. My life at this moment does not give me many choices, but the ones I do have all are to do with me keeping a stable mental health. It would be easy to allow myself to slip into despair, but that is a choice I choose not to make. There are days where the thought about just staying in bed and pulling the covers up over my head, but again that is a choice that I will not make.

I could be like an old country and western song said, ‘Everybody going out and having, I’m just a fool for staying home and having none…oh lonesome me”!

My concentration is poor for being distracted by the pain around my upper leg and hip. So, writing also has been suffering. There are times I think I have something to write about, only to find I have already written it. I wonder how many times or ways there are to discuss being bi-polar and suffer from depression.

I am now again taking forms of opioids to manage the pain and a sleeping pill so that I can have a decent night’s rest. My doctor is only allowing me to have just seven days at a time, which means I have a phone consultation with him. I am happy that I have that choice. There is no way that I could get to his office because getting into a car would be impossible.

Over the next several days I am going to look for some books to read. I will have to order them online, going to the library is not an option.

So dear reader, I wrote all this to give you a head’s up. No matter how much you may be going through most have choices. If you have choices the option is there to make changes.

A Word of Caution

Comment Caution

The other day I had to do something that I have never done before. I had to delete a comment from a person. The reason being, the person had put a phone number in the comment that belong to a different person. I did not feel comfortable allowing to accept that comment because it was not from the actual person.

So, I am asking everyone not to place personal information in your comments, whether it is yours or another person.

I am not sure if this had happen to others and would greatly appreciate feedback from other bloggers. other than yourself.

What do you think?

A Letter to Dwain

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” ― Robert H. Schuller


Dwain, a name my mother had picked out long before I was born. It was on a Sunday back in 1961. That name doesn’t really describe who I am.

The following is something I have been contemplating in my mind. So, here I go.

Dwain:

You have been through some tough times and survived. You are a survivor of a bad motorbike accident which should have left you a crippled being. You’re a suicide attempt survivor.

Do you remember, you know what the inside of a Mental Health Ward looks like? How about the feeling you had on your very first admission? The feeling that left you sitting in a corner and not interacting with those who were also there. To escape this you basically spent your time in the smoking room. How about the feeling you experienced when you began to open up during the group sessions? It really wasn’t that bad after all.

Why are you starting to beat yourself up, almost cursing each time you have to move? You do understand that the hip replacement will be the start of a better you. Going outside to walk with your dog, Natalie. You will once again be able to do your own shopping. Yes Dwain, it is been a long year being locked away from others, not able to talk with neighbors or jest with the cashier tellers where you shop. You do know that they ask about you every time Stuart goes shopping for you. So, Dwain they really do think about you!

So Dwain, keep reminding yourself the quote from Rev. Robert Schuller; “Tough times don’t last, tough people do. ”! You are going to beat this if you keep yourself in a positive mental attitude!

Sincerely,

Your friend,

Dwain

The Gang is All Here

“The mob believes everything it is told, provided only that it be repeated over and over. Provided too that its passions, hatreds, fears are catered to. Nor need one try to stay within the limits of plausibility: on the contrary, the grosser, the bigger, the cruder the lie, the more readily is it believed and followed. Nor is there any need to avoid contradictions: the mob never notices; needless to pretend to correlate what is said to some with what is said to others: each person or group believes only what he is told, not what anyone else is told; needless to strive for coherence: the mob has no memory; needless to pretend to any truth: the mob is radically incapable of perceiving it: the mob can never comprehend that its own interests are what is at stake.” ― Alexandre Koyré, Réflexions sur le mensonge


If I remember correctly it was around 1974 when Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau visited where my family was living. My best friend and myself went to hear what he had to say. The Prime Minister was not afraid of what anyone thought of him. During the period of our bringing our Constitution home Prime Minister did a pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth at the signing ceremony. Anyway, we were there standing listening to the Prime Minister when someone decided to make an ass out of himself by yelling, “if I had a tomato I would throw it at you”. That brought about great laughter, but, it also encouraged others to yell out hateful expressions towards the Prime Minister. The amazing thing was this, Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t miss a beat and kept going with his speech. It wasn’t minutes when the mob realized that they couldn’t get the Prime Minister roiled up, so they quit.

In 1975 we moved back into the city of Windsor, Ontario. In the summer a preacher would come to the city and conduct tent meetings. During one these meetings a former teacher and her son were also there. It was really strange and somewhat uneasy for me. After the meeting they approached me. What happened next truly gave me a shock. The teacher’s son, by the way I did not know they were related when I was in the prior school, and the son apologized for bullying me. I will never forget that few awkward minutes, I will always remember their names and how a bully turned into a acceptable young man.

I have learned over the many years that many who act while in a mob presence would not act that way if they were alone. It is the power of “mob mentality”.

Herd mentalitymob mentality and pack mentality, also lesser known as gang mentality, describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis. When individuals are affected by mob mentality, they may make different decisions than they would have individually. – Wikipedia

I am not writing this to make a political statement. I believe in peaceful protests. However, when a protest turns into violence, property damage, and setting fires, it no longer is a protest, but, it now has become a riot.

In 1968 America was burning. Riots across the nation in cities of Detroit and in Chicago In the latter it was while the Democratic National Convention. The riots were triggered by the assignation of Martin Luther King Jr.. I was not that very old, but do have memories of looking across the Detroit River and seeing smoke rising in the air. I did not understand what was happening, but, I will never forget seeing the smoke rising all across the water front in Detroit.

In Canada back in 1990 we saw a protest that lasted seventy eight days. It occurred in  in the community of Kanesatake, near the Town of Oka, on the north shore of Montreal. The protest was broadcasted on all news channels here in Canada. The catalyst was the announcement of an expansion of a golf club and development of townhouses on disputed land in Kanesatake that was also on a Mohawk burial ground.

I feel protests like the one that happened in Washington, D.C., on January 6 was ripe for violence and all it took was for the mob to let down it’s inhabitations.

InhibitionAn inhibition is a force that prevents something from happening—and often comes from you yourself. Shy people are often said to suffer from inhibitions. Some inhibitions are good, such as the one that prevents us from choking the life out of people we dislike.

It is my guess that many who have been in a mob setting may be regretting it a day or so afterwards. It may have brought criminal charges, embarrassment to the family, and even to the company they work for. The criminal charges if the person is found guilty may imperil their job or future jobs, for that record will always be with them the rest of their life.

So dear reader, have you ever been caught up in the frenzy of a protest turned riot?

Indecision, Indecision, Indecision

Once I make up my mind, I’m full of indecision. Oscar Levant
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/indecision-quotes


Once Dwight Eisenhower makes up his mind, he’s full of indecision. Oscar Levant
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/indecision-quotes


I don’t know how many times this week that I hit the “delete” instead of the “publish”. I would start to write and then proof-read and decided that I was sounding too dire, and maybe, too dark. So, this may come across as rambling.

Indecision is something that can hold me back. Let me explain, my best friend made a suggestion that I should make a call to the Surgery Scheduling Office. I shrugged it off several times because I felt it would not accomplish much good. I theorized that they would be hostile to my question concerning a time frame of when my surgery would take place. I had to call my doctor and in passing I mentioned the idea. He thought that might be a good thing to do. I relented and called the office, and to my surprise the lady on the other end of the call was sympathetic to my situation. I felt at ease and began to ask other questions about the process of a surgery. So, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been indecisive about such a move. I hung up the phone feeling peaceful, however, the waiting list it could be at least eight months.

It is amazing that when it comes to all things government I tend to shrink away. I am not a pushover when it comes to standing up for myself. Earlier this year I wrote about my experience while in the hospital when I felt unsafe. (The Night I Felt Unsafe) I stood up for myself when I thought a nurse invaded my private space.

I am a person who dislikes confrontation. I will cross the road to avoid someone I see coming my way if I feel like there is going to be a dispute. I have been that way for most of my life. It could be situations as such takes me back to my relationship with my father.

So dear reader, this was my week for indecisions, indecisions, and indecisions!

Celebrating Black History Month

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. Our abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.


I think it is no secret by now that I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, directly across from Detroit, Michigan.

I learned in Social Studies about the Underground Railroad that went through our very area of Ontario. There is a church in Chatham, Ontario that helped the Black Americans escape the United States.

The one method that I can recall of how Black Americans were smuggled into Canada was false bottoms coffins. That thought has always stuck with me some forty years later.

I went to school with Black people and it never occurred to me that they were any different than myself. I can remember my grade eight graduation. I went to school with twins whose father was a local Pastor in Amherstburg, Ontario. I use to love attending his services for the music. My mom attended the graduation dinner and found out that her best friend in high school was the mother of the twins, the wife of the Pastor.

When I started traveling throughout the United States is when I had an eye opening experience about the racial differences. We we hold meetings in many different churches and many times it was obvious that many congregations were divided by race. It really set me back on my heels and maybe to this day has influenced my view about the race war in America.

I am not a black man, but, one of the people I would have loved to heard in person was the afore mention, Martin Luther King Jr. I still can recall the feelings and emotions that welled in me when I first heard his speech, “I Have A Dream”. To this day it draws out the same emotions. I think we could use more of him.

Now, let me address the race war in Canada. It basically is divided between white and Indigenous People. It is well known fact that many of the Indigenous People live in below poverty and many reserves still have boil water alerts, due to unclean water sources. So, dear reader Canada has it’s share of a racial divide.

Many Black Americans settled down around the Chatham, Ontario region. There is also a strong presence in Eastern Canada.

I salute Black People around the world, but, I have high honor for those within the fifty states of America. I admire their tenacity, their will power to keep believing in their dream of equality, and their desire to be considered a full fledge citizen, even though the constitution has never been amended about their citizenship.

So, this writer, this person, raises a glass to all Black Citizens here in Canada and the United States. Maybe, with Kamala Harris being elected vice president will turn the tide around for the Black Americans.

One Year Later…How’s It Going With You?

“When I look outside, I feel nothing,
When I look inside, I feel Nothing!
Lockdown of Emotions!
Completely Blank, its Black everywhere…
Suffocating, claustrophobic, saturation point is crossed!
Yet..

My Happiness is due…
I Will Live for that!

SustainCovidTimes”

 Somya Kedia


A year ago I wrote about the feelings of being in lockdown in a post, Obsession and Covid-19 and looking back I really don’t see much difference.

Oh, I forgot the vaccines. But really, has there been that much change. I am still in my house, still have to wear a mask and still the number of people I can meet with at and in one place is limited.

I started this post yesterday and for some reason did not get back to write the rest.

Letter to The Reader:

I have some thoughts about the younger generation, no, not what is wrong or right, just thoughts from my own life.

I was thinking of my younger life and here are some thoughts I would like to pass on.

  • Before you settle down take time to see your own country. I have found that many never get beyond the area the were raised. I found that my country is more diverse than I ever imagined. Also, I found that people no matter where you go love to connect and share their thoughts. You really can learn a lot about life if you just listen to others.
  • Cherish every moment, life is not a given and can throw you a curve ball. I do not regret my decision to pick up and travel for I have great memories, not many pictures, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
  • Be open for everyone. My pastor once said, “strangers are friends you haven’t met yet”, it is so true!
  • Learn from everyone, there are many lessons we can learn that will avoid us from learning it the hard way. Many things I have learned, I have learned them the hard way, the long way, and as the saying goes, “too old smart…”.

I have been more reflective over this past year. Maybe, it is that I am reaching the age of being called a senior. Or maybe, I have spent too much time thinking.

So dear reader, I hope you may find something worth keeping from my post. There are so many great people here in this WordPress community!

So, how has it been going for you in the last year?

A Poet and Poem That Moved My Heart

On January 20th a young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman took the microphone at the podium during the President’s Inauguration and read a poem of her creation. I thought I would place it here.

When I heard this young woman one other poet entered my mind, the poet, the late, Maya Angelou. I truly hope that we will hear more from poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. Her voice seems to be needed at a time like this in the world.

Attitude or Attitude?

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Brian Tracy


noun

  1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.

2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.


Growing up in Windsor, Ontario taught me quite a lot about attitude. Attitude good, or attitude bad.

The attitude good is hard to see, but, I feel you can have attitude that is good, you are sure of yourself. This good attitude leaves people feeling good, feeling like, “he really does listen to what I am saying”.

The attitude bad would be the one that leaves you saying, “what a snob”. There is also the attitude where the person is walking around with a “chip” on his shoulder just begging for someone to try and knock it off.

A family member had just bought a car and was preparing to cross the border into Detroit, MI. They had on a long dark blue over coat. I mentioned that there will be problems with the crossing guards if they wore that coat. Sure enough, they did have trouble. Pulled into secondary exam area they were told to go inside. Once inside they were taken into a private room and was stripped search. Border guards can detect those with rotten attitudes.

The preacher I travelled with was invited to hold a crusade in New York City. I was newly married and opted out of going. He took a different organist. Now this organist had an attitude problem. He thought he was better than everyone else. They arrived in New York City and the Pastor explained to them not to go outside on their own because it would not be safe. For some reason the organist didn’t listen and stepped outside. Once outside a group took him and beat him. They robbed him of jewelry and left him with a broken jaw.

I have never really had a problem with most people. I learned from being in Detroit and also Toronto to mind my business. Not to look down on others, just keep moving in the direction you are going. I have found people are decent when they are interacting with someone who does not have a bad attitude. I have found that to be true throughout Canada and the United States.

So, dear reader, it boils down to this, “attitude, attitude, attitude”!

Diabetic Lemon Filling- Pie or Tarts

This filling has become one of my favorites. I am not diabetic, but I love the taste. Amazingly it does not shrink away from the sides of the crust. Give it a try the next time you make a lemon pie or some tarts.

1 1/2 cups of Splenda No Calorie Sweetner , Granulated

1/4 cup corn starch

1 3/4 cups water

4 egg yolks slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon

2021 – My Thoughts About It

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. Neil Gaiman


I am not going to write much about this past year, but, I can truly say that this has been a year of growth.

Over the days when I couldn’t write I found myself thinking about this blog. About how to give it some more zip, how to re-tool it. I found myself thinking about being more disciplined with writing.

Maybe, I could give each day a theme, maybe like, “Manic Monday” or “Terrible Tuesday”. I am still letting this one brew in my mind. I truly admire those bloggers who have that type of discipline, that when you follow long enough, you begin to know what to expect on certain days.

I honestly do not have many goals in mind for everything hinges on the hip surgery. I keep hoping the phone will ring saying that I am schedule for such and such day.

I do want to keep writing about my series and maybe adding some more. I have enjoyed doing some research about the different subjects. I am handicapped when it comes to papers that write in a clinical style. So, I look for sites that write about the issues that I can understand. I have one post on the subject of abuse that I am hesitant in pushing the publish button.

The one goal overall is that I make new blogger friends in this big world of WordPress. I enjoy the interaction via the comment section. I sometimes think if there was a way to build in a chat client within WordPress. Then I think, that may be the wrong thing to add because there are still bugs in WordPress itself.

So dear reader these are some thoughts about 2021, hoping it will be such much brighter than 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021!

Family?

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

Source: Shutterfly

What Is Family?

Merriam Webster Dictionary –

1b also; any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family

What Does Family Mean to You

One Answer Given From: Be Strong Families:

“I feel family goes beyond bloodlines, last names or obligations. To me, the word ‘family’ includes all the people in our lives who commit to love and support us unconditionally. It is not a passive birthright but a choice, a discipline of kindness that helps us thrive both as individuals and as a society.” – Fernando Barcelona, President / Creative Director, Barcelona and Friends


I am writing this post on Boxing Day 2020.

Some Background: I first came to the western province of Canada around 1981 because the Pastor I was working for was asked to Shepherd a congregation in Regina, SK. I stayed for a couple of years, becoming married in April 1983. Later on in the late part of 1985 we moved back to my home area to help my home church. Things started to fall apart with my wife taking the baby and herself back to the west. It wasn’t long that the divorce became final. I found myself once again moving back to the west hoping I could bring the family back together. My efforts were not successful.

In the late eighties I moved out of the capital city of Regina and moved to the city where I now have been living here going on twenty-five plus years. After moving here I became acquainted with the person I now call my best friend. One day I had a knock on the door of the apartment I was living in. The apartment was the only thing I could afford because of the limit on my support. My friend asked if I would be interested in buying a trailer on a rent to own basis. I went with him to meet the guy who owned the trailer to take a walk through. I like it the place even though it needed some critical upgrades.

Our friendship grew and we began to share some things that we both liked. We had our differences, but, no relationship is completely void of differences. Some time later I was introduced to his mother. We hit it off almost from the beginning. Then one Christmas I had her and my best friend over for a New Year’s Eve dinner. I bought some simple Christmas presents for her. This friendship also grew to where she would tell people, even her own family, that I was her son from another mother. Up to the last time we saw each other I called her mom.

By the way, my best friend is seventy-six years old. The friendship grew and I thought of him as an older brother, one thing I never had.

Christmas Day 2020 we shared a simple Christmas meal together. It was very peaceful. As we were eating I began to think about this friendship. It really feels like family.

I have lots of family in the east, but only one who I keep in touch with. My family here in the west consists of my daughter and three grandchildren. The is the extent of blood relatives.

Today families have a different face than what would be considered family back in the fifties unto the early part of the twenty-first century. There is what is called a “blended” family. Such as the Mayor of New York Bill DeBlasio.

I may find myself in trouble with this next few statements. I find I believe that a family is more than the red liquid that runs through our veins. We have heterosexual, gay, blended, and mixed. All those are families which love, support, comfort, share, and nurture each other.

This Christmas forced everyone to change how people celebrated these holidays. Restrictions that were put in place to try and stop the surge of covid-19 was different from the east all the way to the west.

So dear reader I spent Christmas with a family member, a member whose blood line was far removed from me. I hope you will see that the meaning of family is how you define it!

Hard Candy Christmas

This picture brings back great memories when I was a kid. Most rural stores, like general stores, all carried these, hard candies. The cost was usually a penny.

Back in the eighties Dolly Parton along with Burt Reynolds were in a musical movie, “Best Little Whorehouse In Texas”. (It is risque in parts) The movie is centered around a brothel in a rural area of Texas. The madam, “Mona” was played by Dolly. There was a sheriff, played by Burt. The two were having an affair on the side keeping it from the eyes of the people. Things start taking a turn when a “televangelist” gets word about the house and begins to telecast about it. Well the pressure becomes severe and the sheriff orders it to close.

Their is a closing song where Mona and her girls are daydreaming what they may want to do after leaving the “Chicken House”.

Here is the refrain of the song sung by Dolly Parton, “Hard Candy Christmas”:

Fine and dandy
Lord, it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down

I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord, it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down

Source: Musixmatch

I realize that many this year are looking at the holidays as a Hard Candy Christmas. For many life has been turned upside down. Restrictions are king in most parts of North America, Britain, and the rest of the World.

I heard stories from grandparents and other seniors about the hard times during the wars and the great depression. For Christmas gifts children would probably receive home knitted socks, a piece of hard candy, and if available, an orange.

I am writing this post to offer my message of hope for everyone this holiday season. Hope has finally arrived in small vials containing Covid-19 vaccine. It is the hope that we are in the dark tunnel, but, we have be offered a flashlight to shine ahead to see the end of the tunnel.

For those who have suffered a lost, I send you my condolences. If you are separated from family the hope is by next year you will be able to celebrate the holidays together.

No matter how you celebrate the Holy Days it is my wishes that they be peaceful and full of hope in the New Year!

The Toughest Holiday Yet!

My mother passed away in February 2000. That year was tough for me. I remember when my birthday came along and without thinking I went to my mailbox. You see, my mother had always sent a card for me, this time was different, no card. It finally hit me, oh yeah she’s gone. I sat in my chair, and I am not ashamed to admit, I cried, for what seemed, hours.

Next came along Christmas. It has always been rough because I lived two provinces away from my mother. Going home was not an option, so, the next best thing was a phone call. Usually it is difficult to get through because of the load of calls that are happening that day. Christmas 2000 was another very rough day for I could no longer pick up the phone and wish her a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

For millions this year around the world will be very difficult for many. At each table there will be an empty plate, that familiar voice will be missing, Covid-19 has robbed that from those this year. Missing will be, a father, a mother, a son, a brother, a sister and many more.

My heart goes out especially to all those children whose mother or father has been taken from them. Many too young to have an embedded memory to hold onto of their missing parent. Others who are old enough to remember them, but, not old enough to provide for themselves.

In many countries this year, Christmas 2020, has been cancelled. Restrictions have been put in place, the number of who can gather in one household. Canadian provinces are also feeling the pain of Christmas cancelled. Many will have to be alone for travel is not an option for them.

So dear reader, for this holiday season, know this, you are not alone in this stressful holiday season. Many others will be facing similar situations around the world this year. If you know someone who will be hurting, maybe spending this Christmas day alone, pick up the phone and let them know you are thinking of them.

Let me wish everyone a peaceful holiday!

A Re-blog: We Do Matter — One Step Forward

My sister sent me a link to a website today (www.wedomatter.org) and they are looking for stories from people who have experience in the mental health system- either as a patient, worker or even family or friend of a patient. If you happen to want to find out more please go to the website and […]

We Do Matter — One Step Forward