Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Monday, 26 August 2013

Minds Work in crazy ways

So, wow, what a day!!! I finally clued in on how to get pictures on here, and....got a new puppy! Oh, you are in trouble now, pictures will be popping up steady. Not just the cute little puppy, or my very handsome Big Boy, random visions will be all over the place.
  Anyhow, onto my natter for the day. I know I have mentioned my dog before, I am sure all of you have heard he means the world to myself and my family, that said, since the day I became attached to him, I was scared to death. What frightened me? Believe it or not, it was the knowledge that chances were pretty likely, my dog would leave this world before me. Of course in a lifetime of doggies, I have certainly suffered that loss, more than once, but it seems each time, it becomes more difficult. The dogs have become a larger part of my world, with all my children becoming adults.
  Because I had such a long pause between children (a decade) I had at least one roaming about the house for 30 years, none stop. Your humans take an awful lot of time and energy. They often inform you how much they "hate" you, or even small things, how much they really, really want something that is at the top of your price range, and generally means you will have to forget that brand new pack of fruit of the loom for women you had been dreaming about at Wal-Mart.
  My years of thread bare undies have passed. My children all purchase their own desperately needed costly necessities, and for the past few years, my Honey and I have doted on the dog. Cripes, the other day we spotted a pet store (in fact, now we have two close by) in we go, he really needed some treats, oh look, they have some with stuff that is good for his joints , must get those. Walked out $60 bucks poorer, and drove right up to the new store for pets! Yes, look, they have all sorts of healthy goodies made right here in our country, best get another $40 of that, and....he needs a new heavy duty frisbee, $14!!
  Yes, he is spoiled, but...the only pressure that animal puts on us, is for attention. He jumps out of his skin at the sound of car keys rattling, or shoes taken from the closet, a jacket put on is like a ray of hope. He loves to go for walks, and rides. In fact, all he wants is to be included in every moment of our day. Of course his food bowl must be kept full, along with his share of everything we intend on putting down our throats. A trip to the fast food place, means chicken fingers for him. Hey, he doesn't care what the heck chicken fingers are made of, he loves them!!
  He has a BFF that lives up the hill from us. This friend has a huge fenced yard, and his friend is a totally different breed (of the darker persuasion), he is also, like my handsome fellow, not fixed. In another world, this friendship would never happen, two alpha males do NOT get along, but these two decided their lives would be better if they became buddies. It is laughable to watch, when we mention the BFF's name, our dog goes insane, he jumps about, barking and wagging his tail. The drive up, gets more insane the closer we get, the last corner, he is barking non-stop. His BFF meets him at the gate, we open it up, and they are gone, like bullets. We can sit inside, have 2 cups of tea. a nice long visit with our friends, and the two dogs will run themselves ragged.
  We now have time to learn our dog's personality, he has become our child, the focus of our lives. I have seen friends lose their focus, and, the loss of my last dog after 16 years, still stings. So, at times when I least expect, I get that sense of dread, what will I do when Rupert ages and I have to say good-bye? Silly, you say, he is only 4! Well, too bad, so sad, I highly doubt I will have a decade more time with my dog, and that thought just sickens me.
  I can't give him immortality, so.....maybe, if there is another, younger dog when his time comes, the pain and empty feeling will not be so incredible? Oh, it can't be just any dog, it has to be one like him. One with his quirks and genetically weird habits (like diving for rocks). Because I can't make a clone, perhaps I can manage the next best thing? Maybe I can ensure there is a little bit of him left.
  I can see many of you shaking your heads. There are a ton of unwanted dogs roaming about, why bring more into the world? Well, folks, my 16 year old dog was a rescue puppy. He was an amazing dog, smart as a whip, and he managed to meld into our lives, forgetting the abuse he suffered when he was young. I had two other "rescue" dogs that could never get over the abuse they suffered, and I accepted all the issues they lived with. This time, I am simply going to insure I have, not a replacement, as there will never be another dog quite like my Rupert, but, we will have a part of him, one more male dog to last me my lifetime.
  We have brought a new puppy into our home. She is a mix, just like him, mother and father both full breeds, of a different type. She is a vision of him as a puppy (just a few differences) and it is clear, she has personality. He seems to accept this fur ball, and now he will never be alone. One day, we will allow her to have one batch of puppies, and then she will get, as they say, fixed. Out of this batch of puppies, we will chose one male, so someday, we will have 3 dogs. Hey, no problem, we managed 3 children, and it is likely I will still be able to buy enough of those nice new packs of fruit of the loom for women, as I want!
  So, has the dreadful thought of the future loss gone away? Nope, it still lingers , some times when  I wrap my arms around him. I cannot believe the love we have for this animal. I have to think that what parents have for their children, needs a place to overflow when they become empty nesters. I don't think I had this much extra love to give an animal before my children became adults. The difference between children and pets, is, normally a child will outlive a parent. Of course as a mother I worry about my kids, and of course I still love them, as a parent always will, but...if life's cycle runs true, my children will be around far longer than me. As a "glass 1/2 empty" person, this is not true of a pet. The Girl Guide Motto is ingrained in my head...Be Prepared, and I am doing my best.

Friday, 23 August 2013

I'm Baaaaack....

Boy, it's been awhile since I sat down for a bit of blogging. Not quite sure WTF is going on in my life. It has become apparent Summer is at an end...totally missed it. Less than a month before I step into a year closer to 60, and it happened so fast.
  Usually I keep track of the passage of time. It is generally marked by when my next days off are, as those are the bright lights of my life (how very sad is that?), but, perhaps it is because I have been booking off the same days as my beloved, and working almost 12 days in a row, before taking 4 or 5 off, missed a month, and blew a whole season,  now I am kicking myself.
  When you live where I do, summer is always fleeting. We do not experience the 2 most pleasant seasons at all, spring and fall, just the extreme two. For some stupid reason, the only season that lasts forever is winter. That nasty time lasts about 8 frigging months. No, not exaggerating, it goes on beyond human endurance.
  So, last week, incredible heat wave, I could barely move, or sleep. Life was just one huge ball of moisture, because of the humidity. To mow the lawn, a person would be smart to head out about 4 AM, but...then you would deal with a heavy dew...otherwise, you would have to place a beer at the end of each mowed row, just to replace fluids. Great plan, but the rows get increasingly crooked as one goes along.
  Yesterday I gaze about, the leaves are falling! Patches of yellow are seen everywhere in the bush. Then the horrid sound that brings a chill to my heart...I heard the Geese down along the river. That sound is not the same as the music their voices bring to my world in the "spring" (beginning of summer). This noise is like nails on a chalkboard. It is the ring of doom, the herald of evil. Those wonderful bodies of feather are warning me that they are getting the H-ll out of town, winter is on it's way!!
  Now, growing up, I would often travel, and when someone I met would ask where I lived, I would simply say the name of the town, and then explain it was just a short drive down the road from Alaska. Hey, it was, just 2 miles (give or take). Oh, then they would be off..."do you live in an igloo?" I would always want to slap them silly with that question, but....use the State of Alaska in an explanation and instantly Nanook of the North is all they see. Not so... my hometown did not get cold! We got enormous amounts of snow, enormous amounts of rain, and a blip of below freezing. The blip was just enough to put a good layer of "crust" on the enormous amount of snow, allowing a person to often walk up to the second story windows in their home, or climb onto their roof to sled off. Yes, we would bundle up, but mostly because the snow was wet and cold, not because the air was so frigid we couldn't breath. We could in fact build snow homes, but they would be built down into the 10 feet of snow, with steps and tunnels.
  However....although I no longer live just down the road from Alaska, I do live in the frigging Far North. I live in an area that winter is a killer. If one makes a mistake, they are screwed. No forgiveness in this part of the world. I fear frostbite walking 2 blocks, and ...it could happen if I am not prepared. Breathing becomes painful, when the thermometer hits -35 (that is celsius) blowing snow feels like needles when it hits bare skin. The body revolts, hair becomes a ball of static, skin splits, and goes numb. Ears get cold, and then when you enter a room, become so damn hot, you think flames are coming out of them! A quick trip to the store takes planing. First, against all the environmental hoohah, you must dash outside and start your vehicle. Give yourself at least 15 minutes to let it warm up beyond molasses oil consistency, and use that time to dress properly, because entering and exiting the vehicle and building take a lifetime when it is this cold (or so it seems). Oh cripes, I just don't want to do this again!! My job demands I spend far too much time going in and out doors, I just don't think I can manage yet another mind numbing 8 months of winter!
  I think humans are (hey, not just me, it is scientifically proven) genetically programed for specific locations. I was born and raised on the North Coast. I grew up with rain, sunshine, and snow. My skin needs above normal precipitation (now I have tons of wrinkles because I live here)! My comfort level requires a minimum of 5 feet of heavy wet snow, to insulate my surroundings in the midst of winter. I need 4 distinct seasons, none extreme. I need to be able to moan about the incredible amount of snow shoveling required (which if you chose, you can hire a loader to do). I need to be able to watch winter end, slowly, with the shrinking snowbanks outside my window, and the noise of the waterfalls growing with the spring melt. I need to hear the roar of snow slides down the mountain, as spring burrows under the snow pack. I need to watch the green start slowly on the trees, or, watch the leaves flutter yellow to the ground, until the branches are bare. Spring is a time of rebirth, fall is a time to prepare, to live in harmony, these seasons are necessary.
  I have spent a decade without the joy of rebirth, or the opportunity to prepare. In my world, the leaves do not even get a chance to flutter yellow to the ground. One day they are nice and green, and the next, they are covered in snow, still attached to the blasted tree! There is no warning to take a couple of days to clear summer off your yard, it is summer on Monday, on Tuesday, you dig out the long johns! Sorry folks, but this is unnatural! My DNA cannot support this! You can go on about Global warming all you want, I have read diaries written a 100 years ago by folks who pioneered in this area, same sh*t, summer one day, winter the next!! They only way a person can survive these parts is to be genetically programmed, and...I'm not!!
  My fingers are already crossed, I am trying to gear myself up, the sun is shining outside, the heat is warming through the panes of glass, but the Geese have honked, and I suppose I had best get outside and get ready for the 8 months of the second season ahead!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Sorry 911 not available in your area!

Imagine this....Your child falls down the basement stairs, you find them, laying in a pool of blood, unconscious, and barely breathing. What is the first thing you do? Of course, you grab the phone and call 911, the lifeline to all Canadians. You know that as soon as you speak to a person, the wheels will be set in motion, and help will arrive momentarily. The moments, however, always feel like hours. Well.....those moments, HAVE become hours in small communities across the province of British Columbia!
  The quick response time, when you can stand back, and watch a professional medical person assist your loved one, has disappeared for many people. They are left to attempt to save their own, with hours of waiting until someone shows up at the door. Unacceptable? Definitely!! However, our provincial government has simply sat back, and allowed this to happen, all over British Columbia.There are a number of places in northern British Columbia, that if you happen to travel their highways, have a nasty accident, good luck!!There will be no paramedic there to put you on a spine board, you will be better off, letting Joe Blow haul your sorry bleeding broken a$$ into the back of their lifted chromed pickup, and drive you off to the nearest hospital. Folks in the Cariboo have bled to death waiting for an ambulance to get to them. Really, people!! So, if you don't think this sh*t affects you, obviously you do not travel!!
  Response times in semi-isolated communities are often longer than the "City Mice" have to wait. Your medical assistance is likely offered by a housewife who carries a pager while she goes about her everyday life. When that goes off (and trust me, when someone in Kamloops dispatches an ambulance to a spot on highway 37, a whole whack of stuff has happened, taking far longer than they do to dispatch a car to Lion's Gate bridge),  this housewife then must don her uniform, that is required by BCAS, they must look professional, right? You certainly don't want to be saved by someone wearing their jogging pants, now, do you? Then they must get in their own personal vehicle, follow street legal speeds, and make their way to the ambulance station. Hopefully it is summer, and not winter, because those old motors don't want to start cold! Their partner has been going through the same scenario. Then they begin to travel out to your accident scene, which may be 100 miles away from their town. Hummm....certainly not the shining picture BCAS paints, is it? That accident scene on Lion's Gate bridge has already had a Police vehicle, a fire truck, the jaws of life, and a helicopter whisking the victims off to the hospital, which is 5 minutes away, surgical team waiting to fix everyone up.  You, however, lay there, beside the logging truck (thank goodness log truck drivers have radios, because, surprise...no cell service!) it's dusty, you're suffering, and it is a very long time before you even hear the sirens off in the distance. The poor driver is doing all he can to help, but, he can't move you, just in case your back is broken, so, he suffers as well. There is no one else on the road, you feel lost, and scared.
  Well, guess what folks, now the BCAS has taken even that less than perfect service away. You and the log truck driver may as well discuss how he can lift you into the passenger seat of his truck, because...the housewife has been screwed for the last time by BCAS, she has given her last 360 days of the year covering in her town. She has hollered for help, she has begged for assistance, she warned them the time was approaching when there would be no locals to carry the pager. They simply plugged their ears and shut their eyes. Why would they do that? Well, I am going to offer you my take..THEY DON"T CARE!!! In my mind, it is worse than not caring, I believe they would prefer to concentrate all their time, money, and staff in the lower mainland, or perhaps the Okanagen, lots of paramedics would love that plum job. People just don't want to live in small towns. Hey, headquarters are in Vancouver, the college is in Vancouver, the Union is in Vancouver, the big wigs are in Vancouver, the media is in Vancouver, the money is in Vancouver!!If a paramedic wants to become Full-time, guess where he/she has to spend time? Yep, Vancouver!!!Think of the money they will save....Oh, then they can use those helicopters, to land all over the highway, and up at Whistler (because, it is such a long journey from the tourist mecca to a hospital), right?
  Why didn't you hear about this? Well, here is a tiny tidbit, I know this tidbit, because...my honey was involved with BCAS for many years...they (Paramedics) can't tell you diddly! Their Union, and their management have duct taped their mouths. The only folks who are allowed to speak to the public are..Union, and Management!! Do you think either is going to tell the the honest to God truth? Cripes, no, otherwise they will lose their positions. Is the Union going to stand up for the housewife? Not on your life!! Their focus is strictly on the Full-Timers, Part-timers are crap to them, they don't care about Part-time issues, they want to ensure the Full-Timers get what they need, and that is a big enough battle, without worrying about a couple of backwood folks.
  Staffing in these small town has always been an issue, but, just like the shortage of Doctors, why on earth can't the government (because this is ALL government)make it mandatory for folks who are starting off, to spend 3 months in these small communities? What skin off the back of the BCAS would that be? Those housewives could cover days off for the Full-Time Newbies. They would learn how to deal with issues without a full service hospital 12 blocks away. They could experience bare bone paramedics, and think for themselves. Why do they all have to go to Vancouver?
  Those of us living in the boondocks get screwed by the health system daily. We pay exactly what Joe Blow does living next to St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver for our MSP. We pay the same premiums as Suzy Chapstick who takes a bus with her senior discount pass to have her radiation treatment. We pay the same premium as Sally , who has a choice of walk-ins to hit, in the middle of the afternoon.
  We now have places that will wait 2 hours on a good day, in the middle of summer, likely 3.5 hours in the middle of winter just to have an ambulance show up at their front door, then they will pray to survive at least 4 hours to be dropped off at a hospital. Then if it is really bad, and they can't help them at the small hospital, perhaps they will be lucky, and be driven to a plane (which of course has had to make it's way from.....Vancouver) and flown off to the city, and one last drive to the hospital. All of this...is NOT free, it comes with a price, that must be paid out of pocket. Sure wish we could use Suzy's discount!!!
  So, maybe all the small towns, who are being screwed by the British Columbia Ambulance Service (in truth the Lower Mainland Ambulance Service) can band together. Maybe the voices of the little people who have just as much right to emergency services, as the high- rise livers, could speak at once, and maybe they can put their feet down. Maybe they can ask the question why they don't matter?
  The sad truth is, it is going to take a life, in fact, because lives have already been lost in some communities, the government obviously has not, and I suppose, will not care. Those who live in small town are simply expendable. What a disgrace to our province, and beyond that, to our country. It is apparent, some Canadians are less than others. Is this not discrimination? Hummmm.....Maybe there is a legal leg to stand on here folks, we are a Nation, and we have National Health care, now....let's make sure our government makes it available to each and every one of us, we pay the same rates, we get the same service!!!