Saturday, April 30, 2011

Retro Saturday

Keeping in the spirit of the last few days (months) of 'all things British', and the fact that a lot of Canadians can trace their ancestry back to the United Kingdom, todays post is brought to you by two British artists.

The first is F.Robson. As can be seen in this brief biography, he was a working artist in the early days of the last century and is more noted for his prints than his original works which are mostly family owned and many haven't been found.

I got this print at an auction about 15 years ago. I liked it because it was a 'pen and ink' drawing. The building looks like, to me anyway, a mill of some sort. I liked it when I saw it and it hangs along with the next one I also got at auction.

It is also a 'pen and ink' drawing and titled 'King Charles Tower----Chester'. I looked it up and here is a little background to this location.

It was done by William McAllister Turner who as a painter and an etcher. This is an etching and is signed. Again I liked the subject matter and the medium used. It was difficult to find any biographical information on this artist other than he was born in 1901 and died in 1976.

There is something very simple about 'pen and ink' and 'etchings' that I like.......they are uncluttered and quietly representative of the subject matter. I could have a wall  or a long hallway full of these.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Foggy Friday

Here are a few photos in the attempt to brighten up the past few days of rain, wind and fog. The daffs have been pushed to the ground. The positive side of it is that all this rain will make for great blossoms in a month or so!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Round-Up Wednesday

Dad, taken last summer.

I've been pretty sporadic lately with blogging due to a few commitments with my father. Here's an update on the 'goings-on' in the family to accommodate his needs.

After Dad's one week stay in the hospital with pancreatitus, he was 'discharged' this past Sunday. We were all amazed at his recovery, as were the medical staff. I guess we shouldn't have been as Dad has always had good health.

So he is back home now and a little 'shaky' from the whole ordeal. All eight of his 'kids' were here. A good time to hold a meeting and decide what had to be be done and put in place to help him out for the next few weeks.

I phoned a couple of the sibs and they thought it was a good idea.......Monday at 6:30 P.M. at Dad's house. The agenda would be to work out a schedule of times for each of us (minus the two that were leaving for Alberta) to be with Dad 24/7. 

I was anticipating a lot of difficulties with this. We each have our own agenda and mind-set. How would this work out!

Well, in a nut shell, it went very smoothly and in about two hours we worked out a schedule that has Dad 'covered' around the clock. Each of us will spend one night with him ( one brother will do two nights) and the 'flexible' (retired/semi-retired) sibs, along with a few nieces and nephews, ex-brother in-law will be there throughout the day.

All of us had one thing on our minds, Dad's recovery and safety at home. I was very proud of all of us to be able to focus on what mattered the most.

Dad of course is very pleased with this and feels very comforted by the fact that he will not be alone at this time. Mind you, he is not used to all this 'fuss' and realizes he has to relinquish some independence for the time being.

We all feel he will recover from this but will be weakened, mobility-wise, to some degree. Considering his age, 94, this is to be expected. So today an Occupational Therapist from the Department of Veterans Affairs (Federal Government) is meeting with Dad and myself to see what his needs will be in the immediate future.

This department has been very helpful in the past in providing 'help' for Dad as he got older and wasn't able to do certain things grounds maintenance, house-keeping, mobility equipment etc.

So we are all relieved that Dad is back with us and are looking at this as a 'bonus' to have him still with us.

        Taken last June at his birthday party.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contemplative Monday

"If the enhancement of life is the goal of all religion, then we need to recognize that the promised rewards and the threatened punishments of religion will never accomplish that. Behavior-controlling tactics always suppress life. They are never about becoming human or whole; they are always about becoming or being religious, about gaining an advantage." ......John Shelby Spong

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday's Selection

One of the first songs I learned as a child. Here's to a hippity hoppity weekend for everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Retro Saturday

Since it's Easter weekend and my family has been totally preoccupied with our father's health, I wanted to post something that is both 'retro' and relating to Dad.

A couple of weeks ago Dad and I were going through some photo albums he has and we came across this 'picture postcard' booklet.

Dad served in WW2. He was a Staff Sergeant in the Canadian Army. He was stationed in and around London, England for about four years during the war.

He would send 'things' all the time to my mother from the UK. It is not surprising, since they were and are very devout Roman Catholics, that he sent to her these pictures of the 'main' Catholic church in the UK, Westminster Cathedral.

This is even more appropriate, when I come to think about it, as this weekend is one of Christianity's most celebrated occasions.

And speaking of Dad.......he continues to be 'on the mend'. Considering his age, it will take some time for him to feel like he did before this whole thing started last Monday. But as of yesterday evening, his progress is positive and we look forward to his return home.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Really Is A Good Friday

We got some good news yesterday from my father's doctor. After looking at the latest test, an ultrasound, he indicated that the pancreas was not inflamed anymore and that Dad could probably be home by Monday.

It was such good news. Dad did the best he could by trying to eat some of his first 'real' meal in four days. 

                   Marilyn with one of the great staff, and me.
It is nice to have him back. Now let's get back to where we were.

Sister Marilyn, me and brother Laurie.

Thanks Ron for being here.

Some of my family at dinner: Adam (future nephew -in-law), brother Laurie, SIL Lynda, moi, sister Mim, niece Brynn, sister Paula, brother Dennis, brother Fred, sister Marilyn, husband Ron, and niece Meghan.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Roller Coaster Ride

I got a call from my father at 2 A.M. Monday morning. He said he was in pain and not feeling well at all. I told him I'd be right there.

We live about a 15 minute drive from each other. The roads were vacant that time of night. I turned on CBC radio hoping for music to keep me relaxed.

I got to his house and unlocked the door to find him slumped in his chair and moaning in pain. I approached him and couldn't understand what he was saying. I called 911. They arrived in under 10 minutes.

He was very sick and vomiting. They took his BP and it was very low. An IV was set up and they almost literally squeezed the fluid into him. They suspected he was dehydrated and he started to  respond more appropriately.

After he was stabilized they took him to the hospital in Dartmouth and I followed the ambulance. It was around 2:45 when we got there. It too was very quiet and he got immediate attention from the staff.

I stayed with him till about 11 A.M. My brother and sister arrived earlier and told me to go home. But before I did I wanted to hear what the tests showed. The doctor told us it was pancreatitus, his pancreas was inflammed and causing severe pain.

His 'numbers' from the tests were in the critical zone and we were told to expect the worse. Everyone in the family was called and my brother and sister from Alberta we here within 18 hours.

Dad's first day was very painful for him and for us to watch. This had come 'out of the blue' and just wasn't on anyone's game plan.....particularly Dad's.

Tuesday was a good day for him. He was feeling better and the inflammation had lessened. And his sense of humour had shown signs of returning. 

Yesterday was not a good day and he felt badly all day again. But he started to take in liquids and showed some signs of getting a little stronger. But it has taken a lot out of him.

All these photos were taken last week in heavy fog at the river......they have been 'tweaked' to make Sophie visible.

This morning he has more tests which will hopefully tell us more.

This has been quite a ride for the family but we have all pulled together and shared the 'vigil' of being with him throughout.

At being almost 95 years old we were told that it was amazing that he even survived this. People much younger don't.

So that's what I've been up to and I thank my lucky stars that I have brothers and sisters here to help. I can't imagine doing this solo.

Will keep you posted over the next few days. I do feel optimistic due to his determination and otherwise general good health.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On The Rocks

I got this from a friend on the weekend. It is very telling about the direction towards which we are heading as a society.

   Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old
        The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New
        York Times.

        Dear Sir:
        I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to
        pay my plumber last month.
        By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his
        presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to
        honor it.

        I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension,
        an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.
        You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and
        also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience
        caused to your bank.

               My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me
        to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that, whereas I personally
        answer your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am
        confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity
        which your bank has become.

         From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.
        My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be
        automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and
        confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

        Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to
        open such an envelope.
        Please find attached an Application Contract which I require your chosen
        employee to complete.
        I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about
        him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

        Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be
        countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her
        financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be
        accompanied by documented proof.

        In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee a PIN number
        which he/she must quote in dealings with me.
        I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits; but, again, I have
        modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my
        account balance on your phone bank service.

        As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
        Let me level the playing field even further.
        When you call me, press buttons as follows:
        #1. To make an appointment to see me
        #2. To query a missing payment.
        #3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
        #4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping
        #5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
        #6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
        #7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is
        required. Such password will be communicated to you at a later date to that
        Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
        #8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
        #9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on
        hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
        #10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

        While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will
        play for the duration of the call.
        Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an
        establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

        May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?
        Your Humble Client
        And remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the
        first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off!

Can you just imagine if we all took this action to express our dislike of some policies to which  most of us don't even give a second thought. Things would really change in a hurry!

Related Posts with Thumbnails