Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sun Dance

This morning we went to the beach before breakfast......
a sure sign that spring is not too far behind.

The sun was 'playing' on the water, jumping all over the place.

Then, as I was standing there taking these pictures 
I began to see a pattern of sorts emerging,

 resembling a choreographed dance piece.

It was quite magical, the sun's rays dancing
and bouncing on the water's surface.

And then catching a wave and riding it into shore.

It was a continuous chorus line starting way out on the horizon

and moving towards  shore in rhythm with the current.

I was transfixed as I  watched this through my camera's lens.

And, if it had been summer I would have joined in!

But remembering it was February here along the North Atlantic coast,

I restrained myself and stayed put.

I will have to wait for a few months 
before I act on that urge to join in this dance.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Down By The Riverside

It was so good to get out of town yesterday and hit the road to the Valley.

We went to the canal in the Gaspereaux Valley just outside Ron's hometown of Wolfville.

Sophie was in heaven! But a little hesitant about going for a swim.....'s February in Nova Scotia don't forget.

Oh, and Ron was so in his element!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Who Is This Person?

Last Friday I went to see my dad. I took Sophie along as well, as 
dad gets a kick out of her and her antics.

Camp Hill Veteran's Hospital in the summer.

Lately it has been 'hit or miss' seeing him, as he has a busy
schedule now at his new place of residence, 
Camp Hill Veterans Hospital in Halifax.

Dad before leaving for the UK during WW2, 1943.

 More often than not when I arrive he is off to either
bocce ball, a crib tournament or as it was on Friday
a song-writing seminar.

I always encourage him to attend whatever is going on.
I don't want him to miss out on these activities.
The funny thing is he doesn't need much 
encouragement. He always attends
 whatever is going on.

Sometimes I stay and watch him interact with the others.

On this particular day the song-writing teacher,
 a music/occupational therapist, invited both
Sophie and I to come along and join in.

Since Sophie LOVES being around 'new' people as much
as she can possibly be, and I like to get involved
in new ventures/adventures, we agreed

And off we went, with dad leading the way, to the
multi-purpose room.

On the way to the multi-purpose room.

When we arrived there were about a half dozen men
in their wheel chairs situated around a large long table.
Also the 'therapist' and his assistant (I believe she was
a student volunteer from Dalhousie University) 
were getting set up with a 'flip chart' and
a guitar.

Sophie and I sat just away from the table a bit.
She is far too curious with new people
and feels she must smell and lick them,
which would be a tad distracting I thought.

So the session began just as Sophie settled quite nicely 
lying down on the floor next to dad's wheel chair.

Sophie listening contently to the music....after she insisted to meet everyone there! Then she settled.

They reviewed the past two sessions and sang what they
had written to the accompaniment of the guitar.

I was spellbound and happily impressed with what and how the therapist
managed to get everyone involved and to contribute with whatever
they had to offer or suggest.

It is important to keep in mind here that all the 'participants' 
are over 90 years of age and have various degrees
of ability both physically and mentally.

I was humbled at how each and every one contributed to the 
best of their ability. They were given an assignment the week
before to compose a few more verses to complete their song.

I was wondering what dad was carrying when we left his room.
He had made up a few verses of his own which he had written
down on a pad of paper.

As I was watching dad I could see that he was eager to get a chance
to present his 'work' to the group. And when that opportunity came,
he didn't hesitate in the least and presented it.

I thought, 'who is this person'? 

You know that feeling when you look at a photo of your parent(s) 
 when they were younger and way before you were ever even 
considered to be part of the 'picture' and just wondered
who is/was that person you are looking at?

Well, that is how I felt on this Friday afternoon in a sunlit room
with people I had just met.
I was beginning to see him and think of him 
as somebody I hadn't met until this afternoon.
This was all new to me....seeing someone I had 'known' all my life
being someone I hadn't seen before.

And I liked what I saw.

From the windows in the room you can see the Halifax Public Gardens.
It was decided that this would be a good topic for a song. During
the past few weeks the group was composing verses and had
picked the music to accompany their work.

The Public Gardens can be seen from this vantage point.

They chose 'Moonlight and Roses' (click to learn of the composer).

The group titled their work 'Sunlight and Roses' and this is what they have done so far:

Sunlight and roses
As you enter the garden gate.
To seek peace and solace
While walking the path with my date.

(chorus)Halifax Public Gardens
Made for all to enjoy
a place full of memories
For many a girl and boy.

Arm and arm we gaze at the flowers
And come to the bandstand so grand,
Peaceful and quiet
Strolling hand in hand.


Feeding the ducks and the pigeons
As we sit on the bench with friends,
Restful and hoping that we'll return again.

I thought this time in my father's life would be very different
from what I am actually seeing. I couldn't be more happy for him.
As I am 'meeting' somebody who is unencumbered from life's trials
and hardships, I am seeing someone who is embracing all life has to offer
at this moment.

You may be wondering where all the photos are! Well, due to 'privacy' issues
 publishing photos of the other patients is not permitted.
I used photos from previous posts.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes from Pema Chodron:


 "The three difficulties (or the three difficult practices) are:

1. to recognize your neurosis as neurosis,

2. then not to do the habitual thing, but to do something different

to interrupt the neurotic habit, and

3. to make this practice a way of life.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eclectic Tastes

Speaking of the weather......who better to tell us his feelings for winter
than Vivaldi (click) with this 'Winter Allegro'.

He also happens to be Ron's favourite classical composer
to whom I dedicate this piece.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Post

I had a good visit with my father yesterday afternoon. I plan to do a post about it next week.

This past week I also spoke with my niece Elaine who is doing her best to get her head 
around a recent diagnosis of breast cancer. Her treatment will be starting soon.

There are times when we just can't ignore what is in front of us
and just have to reflect on what we are seeing and proceed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weather Or Not

The month of February in Nova Scotia is usually the 'longest' month of the year!

These clouds and sky reflect this time of year so accurately I feel.

The clouds remind us that we are still in mid winter and can expect cold and lots more of it.

The sky gives us hope that summer is somewhere down the road just waiting for us.

Since everyone else is talking about the weather lately, what is your favourite time of year and why?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Not So Mad Dash To The Beach...... catch the sunset last evening.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Out To Lunch

Most days for the past few months we find ourselves in Halifax 
after an hour long hike in the park.

We have usually worked up an appetite and proceed to one of
a handful of our favourite restaurants.

One of those is 'Heartwood'. It is vegetarian/vegan. 
We are usually happy with what they have to offer.

And today was no exception. We both ordered the 
'Wild Card Special Burger'. They have a 'Wild Card' something 
or other every day,and you don't know what you'll get until it
 arrives and today it was a burger which was new to us.

The burger was made of tempeh (click) which is made from soy. 

We had a choice of a salad, potatoes, or steamed greens. We chose the steamed greens.

The greens are always so good and today they included kale, cabbage, broccoli and sprouts.

It had a light pesto dressing and was delicious. As was the burger.

We got there well after lunch time (1:30) we thought and expected to get a table. 
Not today. The place was full. So we sat at the window/bar-type seats.

For dessert we shared almond chocolate cheesecake (soy). Delicious!
And very filling!! We ate that so quickly I didn't think to get a photo.

By the time we finished that, I looked around and saw that the crowd had gone.

The place was very spring-like with tulips at every table.

Heartwood has been here for about 10 or so years and has recently been sold and is under
new management. The new owners have made a lot of interior changes and 'spiced up'
the menu......with wonderful results, we think.

This is an exclusively vegetarian restaurant, the only one now in Halifax. Other places
offer vegetarian dishes along with their regular menu items.

After a vegan meal we find we don't feel as full as when we have a meal with meat.
We feel more comfortable usually and not at all sluggish.

What is your favourite type of restaurant meal?

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