Sunday 24 September 2017


I suppose that I should write something today since it is my 65th birthday.

I have never been very concerned about the passing of time and this birthday isn’t any different than the many that came before. I am officially a senior citizen now in the eyes of the government and any business that have special prices for senior citizens. I imagine that there will be fewer and fewer of those deals since all of us baby boomers will be taking advantage of the deals and having an effect on the bottom line.

We had the family over for a celebratory birthday meal that ended with cake, ice cream and jello. We have to have a variety because Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami (the grandkids) can be unpredictably picky eaters. Imagine not wanting cake and ice cream in favour of plain Cherry Jello!

I received gifts, but when you get up in years you have pretty much everything that you want and need, so the gifts tend to be gift cards. Always appreciated, but unnecessary. The things that I really want are much too pricy for anyone to buy for me and to tell the truth I am not sure I would want them if I did get them. The attainment of one’s goals is rarely a good thing because it leaves you goalless.

Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me and with any luck I will be around next year and for years to come.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Off To Save a Life

Today Louise and I will once again donate blood. It is the one thing that I do which insures that I will actually save someone’s life.
Image result for canadian blood services

Sure I can simply stop talking and whoever I am with will think they have been saved from a fate worse than death, but that isn’t real death. Well…probably not.

The blood donor clinic has moved from its old location to new digs right downtown. I have been assured that there will be ample free underground parking available. Normally I wouldn’t believe it, but the nurse telling me was pretty pissed off because the employees didn’t get free parking so the move to them is like taking a pay cut. Who doesn’t like to take a pay cut? My worry is that the good nurses (the ones that can find a vein) will look for work elsewhere and I will literally get stuck with a cross eyed nurse with Parkinson’s. I will let you know how things work out today.

So, since it is a relatively early appointment and I don’t like to be late for anything, we have to get up around 7:30AM. I need to wash and dress, eat and have some drink with caffeine in it and give myself time enough to shake the cobwebs from my mind. There is also an online questionnaire that needs filling out and printing so that it needn’t be filled out at the clinic. I liked filling it out at the clinic, but I suppose I shouldn’t stand in the way of progress. The Q-Pass can somehow be put on my smart phone, but my smart phone has a less than smart owner so I need to print off the pass. It all takes time.

I should have set the alarm and I did mean to. However I didn’t.

I put on a jesters hat and went to tuck the kids in for their afternoon nap. Maegan and Brendan were still in cribs and Arwen had graduated to the big girl bed. They all smiled a sleepy smile at silly daddy and their eyes closed while they entered dreamland. I should have started to clean up the house or at least get prepared for the onslaught when the kids woke up, but instead I lay down for a short rest. I could hear water dripping or was it the dog’s breathing? I tried to ignore it, but the rhythmic sound continued. Try as I might, no matter how tight I shut my eyes the sound continued. I got out of bed and when I got to the hallway there was a large mouse. I had never seen a mouse that was three feet long before and usually mice tend to run away from humans, but this one seemed angry and bent on revenge. I had killed a few mice in recent days, but they broke the unspoken agreement where they live outside and I live inside. The big mouse didn’t agree. I explained that we had to go and give blood today and that the family would be over tomorrow, so today wasn’t a good day for it to kill us since when we were found dead or missing an exterminator would be called. Thankfully, mice aren’t very smart, even very large mice.
 Image result for princess bride rodent
I have no idea what the dream means, but it did wake me up plenty early. If tonight I hear water dripping or the dog breathing I will send Louise out to check on it.

Well, I’m off to save a life.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

The Rest of Your Lives

Today is back to school day 2017.

The kids are all excited and dressed in new “back to school” duds which will hopefully tell all their friends how much cooler they are this year than they were last year. Some kids won’t have new clothing because their parents don’t understand the need or they simply don’t have money to spend on new clothes when the old clothes are perfectly serviceable. They all will have new binders, duo-tangs, pencils, pens, rulers, calculators/computers and hopefully a new attitude to learning. Exciting times!

The parents are relieved to have the kids back in school. They don’t have a need to find things to entertain them and keep them occupied for weeks on end. No more camps to send them to and no more vacation days to spend because the day home operator wants a vacation week or two. Of course the parents have to come up with the school fees and pay for all of those items I mentioned in the first paragraph. I hated the fees when my kids were going to school. No, I didn’t mind the fees, what bothered me most was getting nickel and dimed every week for something else all through the school year.

On the whole, back to school is a good thing for all involved.
Today when Buster and I were on our walk, I met a woman and her young son coming into our street. I thought that she was returning home with the little one after dropping an older child off at school. Turns out that she home schools her child and was coming back from a walk and about to hit the books. I wished her well and Buster and I went on our way.

Buster mentioned that he wasn’t sure about the effectiveness of home schooling. He had a couple of good points, wondering if the parents had to have any minimum education standard or aptitude for teaching. I know that I couldn’t teach my kids how to cut the lawn, never mind new math. We decided that the province probably has all of this under control and carried on trying to find the perfect spot to drop a load.

I wondered if some parents decide to home school because in the short term it is less expensive than going to regular school. I have no idea what the actual cost is or what hoops you have to jump thru to teach your own kids the skills they need to become productive members of society, but I am sure it isn’t easy.

I suspect that for most parents who home school want control of curriculum and perhaps to be able to direct their kids away from or towards some religious belief. I know of a mom who decided to home school to keep her kids from being picked on by the other kids at the school. It certainly solved the immediate problem, but I have often wondered what the long term effects have been. I have met the kids over the years and they seem to be as normal and well adjusted as kids that went to school. I guess by that I mean they haven’t taken a high powered rifle into a tower at some university and started killing random strangers.

They are still young...ish.

Anyways, to all of those kids and parents out there, I hope you have a good year and learn things that will stay with you for the rest of your lives.