Archives for January, 2011


Puppies As Promised

Here they are. Lucy's puppies.

Two boys and one girl.

They're beautiful and healthy and happy and one of these little guys is now residing in Vancouver, a 10th birthday gift for a little girl from her adoring father.

I won't dwell on these puppies. I have other issues to discuss, more relevant to my mandate here.

I must, however, stress this. When I was 17, I was given my first dog, a two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Derriere ~ Derry for short. This was following my eight-month stay in a Toronto mental hospital called The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry.

Unspeakably fragile, I needed a focus...

I had been psychotic and for four months during that hospitalization, catatonic. I came out of it, but my doctors had little hope for me and told my mother on my discharge that I'd be a problem for her all my life, a "revolving door case." My mother soldiered on, one day-at-a-time, choosing not to believe them. She had little support or guidance, but instinctively she felt I needed a focus. I was unspeakably fragile. A little dog to care for, she hoped, might ease my recovery. She believed in me.

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Rolling With The Punches…

I must admit, I've had a rough time.

We've had a lot of unexpected financial trials and tribulations including replacing our car, a leak in our ceiling necessitating repair, and my broken tooth – which must be crowned next month. Plus, in two weeks, I'm replacing my hearing aids.

Did you know I wear hearing aids?

Well, I do. I had my hearing tested this week and guess what? There's been a significant deterioration.

So what else is new? I should have expected that. No wonder I've been screaming so much at Marty lately. That test proved why.

Anyway, I am anxious to replace my five-and-a-half year old completely obsolete Widex hearing aids with their latest model, called MIND440. Don't you love it? I've been anxiously awaiting these for more than six months. I may be crazy, but I'll be sporting my MIND440s behind my ears. What fun!

And this time, I'm going to be outfitted with an FM system, too.

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Keeping Our Eyes On The Road…

We bought a new... well "pre-owned" car this morning.

It's not blue, like the one you see here. Ours is silver.

It's a 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i with All Wheel Drive ~ in mint condition.

We had invaluable help...

We couldn't have accomplished this without the expertise and enthusiasm of one of our dearest, closest friends who loves nothing more than "looking for, looking at and test driving cars," as he said.

"The fact that I can indulge this guilty pleasure and help dear friends at the same time is a bonus."

We're the richest, luckiest people in the world with such friends. And we're very excited as this car is exactly what we wanted and needed.

Now, we're closing this chapter in our lives...

This is how we manage, Marty and I. We have short memories and we don't dwell on the negatives ~ instead, we stay in the present, focus forward on the future and on the positives of our relationship.

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Now, A Word From My Husband…

As I promised in my last post, the following was written by my husband, Marty. I felt, to be fair, he deserved to voice his side of the story.

So here it is...

Living with my wife, Sandy, is a constant adventure into the unknown. Much like the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800's, one is constantly overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the landscape and the frightening twists and turns of uncharted territory. Where does one find a modern Sacagawea to show the way?

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To Be Fair, Marty Will Have His Say…

It has occurred to me that my darling husband of more than 10-years ~ and he truly is a darling ~ has taken a bit if drubbing by me over the last few days because of our silly old car.

He had a little car accident. No one was hurt. No charges were laid. It was simply weather-related.

Well, I lost it and really gave him a hard time ~ here and elsewhere...

I wasn't thinking. It wasn't really very nice of me. It wasn't fair. I tend not to think a lot of the time. I talk first, then think later and I often regret my words.

Bet you didn't know that?

Marty has no voice on this blog ~ he's the only one...

He never comments, though if you want to know the truth, he vets everything I write...99% of the time. He's an excellent editor.

Also, he takes everything I say, especially about him, silently and soberly and with remarkable good sportiness. He's one of the kindness gentlemen I have ever known. Everyone loves Marty. All my single friends want me to either clone him or introduce them to his brother. Sadly, he is brotherless.

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More Slip-Sliding Along …

I say, it's a lesson well-learned...

You only learn from your mistakes (rarely from what you do right) and this is one mistake that was relatively minor. No one was hurt. Physically.

Bruised egos notwithstanding.

Not only do you have to be doubly careful in the kind of snow and slush we're having this January, more than we've had in quite a few winters. It's easy to forget how cars behave under these conditions. It takes practice. It's easy to forget.

There's a metaphor here for our physical, spiritual and mental well-being...

As much as I like to contemplate perfection and in many ways my husband fits the bill for me ~ we are, alas, human. Fraught with frailties and weaknesses. I think it's a healthy to work on those weaknesses, to be aware of them, to constantly try to strengthen them. That's what all my work with Dr. Bob over these past 20 or so years is all about.

Making the same mistake repeatedly, out of habit, can pose a problem.

That's where conscious change-making comes in...

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Slip-Sliding Along In The Snow…

Up here in Ontario, we're having a good old-fashioned winter, like none in recent memory.

I took this picture from the window of my office early this afternoon.

There's half a foot of fluffy snow outside and it's utterly exquisite if you know how to dress and can embrace the elements in comfort. I'm learning this year.

Snow is exquisite if you can embrace winter...

Luckily, my nephew Max gave me a quick lesson in winter dressing ~ three layers of form-fitting acrylics and a down-filled coat ~ and now I'm positively toasty whilst walking my dog Riley ~ he's outfitted in baby socks and PAWZ on all four feet. We venture out at least twice a day for a minimum of 35-55 minutes at a shot. He loves his jaunts with me.

We were in the habit of walking at least three times a day, but a few days ago, I noticed he was limping a little, so we're resting, Taking fewer long walks.

Our walks do wonders for my emotional well-being...

I'm more relaxed on my return and do my best thinking whilst on the road.

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About Those Puppies…

I should have given you a few words of explanation about these puppies in my last post.

I guess I was being a little silly...

I can be, you know.

You see ~ it's been a very long day. A film crew from the University of Windsor called Student Filmmakers as Social Advocates were here all day filming me. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one hour break for lunch.


I'm exhausted and going for a walk in a minute. Not with Riley, my male Canadian Champion Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the father of these puppies ~ not a planned pregnancy, you may recall.

I'm going for a rejuvenating walk with a friend. I feel I need it. So I posted that picture without any copy. Not smart. No one will see it.

But I'm impulsive...

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And More Reflections…

Print journalism is still alive, but it's changing.

I doubt print will ever die.

Still, its dynamics are transforming us and our world.

I think and write like a print journalist on this blog.

I don't want to lose the values that inform my writing...

Though, I'm sure I'm influenced by technology, I'm clinging to the fundamental old values I learned 40 years ago ~ like accountability.

That's why I link all the time...

Admittedly, my voice has changed. The medium has altered my more disembodied, objective third person perspective. I never wrote for a newspaper in the first person singular ~ I was not that kind of columnist, I wrote features primarily ~ though for year on radio, I always wrote much like I write here.

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