Friday, July 3, 2015

Canada Day Eh?

Some friends from the group I joined, Council of Canadians, invited me to join them at Harris Park for the Canada Day festivities. It was a cloudy and gloomy day but by about 5pm the sun started to peek out and we had NO rain for a change! We are so water-logged around here!

While looking for my friends who did I see? My brother, Gord, on his way to watch a ballgame at Labatt's Park.  I could here cheering from the ball diamond quite frequently so assumed London won the game. (They did!)

This youngster was having a blast playing under the bridge but was making me a wee bit nervous about his safety! I'm sure he came away unscathed.

The river that flows through London is called the Thames of course! It's pretty shallow most of the time but all the rain we've had has created perfect conditions for these kayakers.

People really dress up around here for Canada Day. This must be some sort of First Nations garb. He never came over to me but he had something in a bag that he was sharing with people...not sure what it was.


The lights over at Labatt Park where the baseball game was going on. There is a huge osprey nest on top of the lights on the left. We watched as the parents brought the babies food - we could see "supper" dangling from the osprey's talons. We had to wait for the ballgame to be over and the lights turned off before the fireworks could start.

Hard to tell from this angle but this fellow was dressed as a Star Wars storm trooper!

There was live music from 5pm til close to 10pm. in the bandshell which I thoroughly enjoyed.

You can't really tell from this picture but these fellows' hats had flashing lights on them...

One of my all-time favourite singers - Cheryl Lescom. She sounds a bit like Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge - throaty, deep and man can she sing the blues!

Finally it was time for the fireworks - the Canada flag was first:

It was hard to take photos of the fireworks so I gave up and just enjoyed them without a camera in between me and the great show. It was very impressive and worth the long wait.

It alway's mayhem on the streets after Canada Day is over - thousands of people walking all over the place and cars trying to navigate their way through the crowds without killing anybody! I parked quite a few blocks away hoping the avoid the traffic jams. The strategy worked and I was home by 11pm which for some strange reason seems really late!! I'm usually in bed by 10!! It's an exciting life I lead :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Health Care Part Two

It is obvious to me that healthcare (wherever you may live) is a HOT topic. I hate seeing vulnerable people (veterans, the elderly, the poor) lose services that are so important to them. If I can delve into this topic more deeply, I will. I don't mind debate, I encourage it, just don't say things that are hurtful.

I'm off to a friend's house but I will continue with this at another time.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Activism

I had a unique experience last week - I became an activist! There is a group in Canada called The Council of Canadians with chapters in many cities and provinces.  The Council of Canadians is Canada's largest citizens' organization, acting for democracy and social justice. I joined awhile ago but hadn't participated in any actions yet...until last week.

On Wednesday and Thursday nights we gathered at the house of the London's Chapter's chairperson and made a zillion posters and other props (whilst drinking wine and eating munchies:) The theme was "Death by a Thousand Cuts" as hospitals and patients all across Ontario and Canada are suffering from continual cuts in funding.  Everything from nurses being cut, home services cut, whole departments being closed, veterans' programs being shut down, maternity wards disappearing etc etc. The rally took place on Friday in front of Deb Matthews office, Minister of Health and Long Term Care. (We don't think she was at her office - at least no one saw her peeking out!)

We gathered outside her office at 10:30am and started setting up...(we filled Deb's foyer with balloons with the various cuts listed on them, hee hee hee!)

Members of other groups and unions joined in...

Here's what happens to a person when so many cuts are made to healthcare - those are "knives" sticking into the hospital bed which is occupied by a skeleton.

Health care in London is really suffering - a fellow blogger faced a 10 hour wait in Emerg last week!
Here's another angle...

Our chairperson is a talented London artist.  This is a papier-mache head she made which looks exactly like Ontario's premier - Kathleen Wynne!

The big worry is that many of our services are becoming privatized which means "user fees" instead of the service being covered by our medicare. Those are bags of money of the hospital bed below representing another $30,000,000 in cuts.

Overall about 200 people turned out for the rally...

Then we marched down to City Hall where we joined striking CUPE members who are looking (in vain) for a fair contract.

This is truly the "summer of discontent" as ALL teachers' unions in the area have been without a contract for almost a year and some are in strike position. And the possible Loblaws strike affects one of our own - Carla! 

Its clouding up AGAIN!! All weekend it rained and was cool. Just miserable. There was an international food festival going on in Victoria Park - I'm lucky I wandered through after the rally on Friday while it was still sunny and warm. I bought some "churros" glazed with chocolate and cinnamon sugar! Delish!

Is it raining a lot where you are??

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Doctor is in...

It was touch and go but I finally saw a REAL doctor on Friday!


The medical centre that I go to is a teaching centre with residents coming and going every six months. We've been going to the same centre since Kazi was 2 so for 23 years and I've never had any reason to want to see a doctor rather than a resident.

But I pushed for an appointment with the head doctor of the team because I felt I wasn't being heard. And I'm glad I did.

There were a couple of delays Friday, unfortunately, as doctors are way busier than the residents and my app't ended up being switched from 11:15am to 1:45pm. So being close to my brother's house I stopped in for a cup of tea and a sandwich. Then I was finally in my doctor's office which is always hot, stuffy and claustrophobic when she popped her head in saying she'd be there in just a minute. It was after 3pm when I finally saw her. Sheesh!

First thing she wanted to know was why wasn't there any imaging (MRI) done? Because your resident didn't think it was necessary!!! (She was NOT pleased!) So, long story short, I'm being sent for an MRI!! Hurrah! And she thought I should go back on the two medications I had weaned myself off of last year. Being a realist and having the support of you wonderful people, I agreed. And I have a physio referral I can use at my discretion.

Now, that's what a doctor's visit should be like - she listened, used all the tools at her disposal and I feel like we can figure out a solution together. She has given me hope.
If only.....

Have you had problems with a doctor before?? I know Sonya Ann has!!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ups and Downs

Kazi just showed me a snapchat of people still celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. Wasn't that a couple of days ago? It was a video of a stadium filled with thousands and thousands of people - still partying on...gotta love Chicago!!

I went on a 2 hour walk the other day in my favourite place - Killaly Meadows. It's a 2 minute drive from my house - I'd ride my bike there if it didn't kill my butt! There are a couple of main trails and lots of side trails some alongside the river and some meandering through meadows and forest.


I hadn't been there for a couple of weeks due to resting my knee that I hurt falling on a rock and lots of new things were blooming....

and in some areas the sun broke through the trees with major intensity.....

 such a simple flower, so beautiful...

...close up even clover is rather pretty...

I'm not really sure what these red blossoms are...

the river was very tranquil...



another gorgeous bloom...

I've been busy listening to Eckhart Tolle's audio tapes called "The Flowering of Human Consciousness" and am now listening to his book "The Power of Now." Waiting in the wings is his book called "A New Earth: Awakening to your Life's Purpose" which was an Oprah Book Club recommendation. I've heard that she has read "The Power of Now" 8 times. I can understand why she would read it over and over - there is such depth of spiritual knowledge and much to learn from his wisdom. AND I love his voice :) Soothing, calm, sensible and humorous with a hint of a German accent.

As my post title suggests my path is not smooth but filled with ups and downs. That's ok.  Tomorrow I see my another doctor with hopes of being sent for an MRI. And next Tuesday I see my counsellor. Kazi is getting ready to go to a music festival next week so I shopped with her today. We went to a dozen stores and I had the urge to buy NOTHING! I have so lost my shopping mojo and I don't mind that one bit. In fact I'd like to declutter the house and get rid of lots more STUFF!  There's no need for it. I'm sure I only use about 1% of 1% of what I own on a daily basis. If that. I'll add that to my list of "things to do"!

Hope your week is going well. Rumour has it that Maureen, from Australia, may start blogging again!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Checking in...

Hello my dears...my lovelies as Lena used to say...(has anyone heard from Lena lately? I really miss her though I know she has her hands full right now...)

I write you from my position of laying on the floor. I've been having a lot of flareups over the past week and only get relief for my lower back if I lay on the floor with my legs on a chair....

So. Much. Fun.

One week from today I have another doctor's app't with the Big Cheese. So far I've only been seeing a resident and she doesn't seem to be listening to me the way I'd like her to so I'm going over her head. I'm going to ask once again for an MRI. The resident said I didn't have enough of the "red markers" that would indicate an MRI is needed and her advice to me wouldn't be any different no matter the outcome of the MRI. Hmmmm...so if I had a bulging disc or a compressed sciatic nerve she'd still send me to Hot Yoga? I just think I need a second opinion. And my counsellor, who works in the same clinic, is going to speak to the doctor the day before I see her to let her know how the pain is affecting my mood; ie depression and anxiety.

I apologize for not having something exciting to talk about - when you're in pain most of the time it sort of limits one's adventures. I've been sticking pretty close to home - going out for short walks, doing as much as I can around the house, doing errands and so on.

Oh I did go to an event last Saturday - "The Gathering on the Green" and rode my bike there and back which resulted in a major flareup on Sunday and which has yet to calm down. Grrrrrrr...

Here's a few pics from that event:
 My brother's booth - he makes and sells birdhouses. He's under the blue awning wearing a straw hat.
 There he is again...
Lots and lots of plants for sale...

 A dunk tank...
 Music...

Tai chi...

A free and guarded space for all of the bicycles that people rode to this eco-friendly event...
 Some members of London's Symphony Orchestra added music...
 and people sat and had a lovely tea party while listening to the orchestra...

 All around the green were booths filled with jewelry, crafts, homemade jams etc etc...

Oh to be young again...

My friend Julie participated by helping kids make beaded bracelets in the Museum London booth...
I participated by eating a hot dog!!  I don't usually eat processed meat but it smelled so good! One won't kill me :)

Kitty Cuteness: Kazi has become Luna's human and I have become Lily's.  Here's Lily hiding in the myrtle just waiting for the right moment to pounce on Luna.

This is Lily's favourite spot in the house - she can keep her eye on most goings on from this vantage point on the stairs. She'll also reach out with her paw and bop me on the head as I walk by.


Whatcha cooking Gramma?

Hey...is that a bug?

Finally, they both love my bedroom windows as they look out onto the crabapple tree where there is usually a squirrel, or in this case a robin, making a racket!