Dialogues in the Park

I don’t know if we asked the right questions, nor if we found the right solutions, but I do know that it was a beginning — perhaps.

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Last evening, in one of my town parks, a handful of citizens met to shake hands and talk with the mayor and four candidates for the upcoming municipal election. And it was good. For someone, like yours truly, who is mostly too intimidated to stand up at council meetings, it was a chance to share my voice, and to be heard. There were two “secretaries” taking notes as we sat on, and stood around, the bleachers and tossed out our ideas, our compliments, and our criticisms. It was an informal, but maybe effective way to communicate, and possibly it will help to bring about change. Change that we all say we want: transparency and a response to our particular needs as residents in this small town.

There is no way elected representatives can know what we need if we don’t interact with them and tell them directly what is important to us. And this was an opportunity to do just that.

From what I understand, this relaxing get-together will be repeated next Wednesday at the beach, although probably not for a swim. Why don’t you join in and help make a difference? This is such an easy way to make sure your perspectives/opinions will be taken into consideration when the newly elected council meets. Let’s make a concerted effort to have a truly representative local government that acts on the behalf of all of us.

Intellectual Property Rules — Just Sayin’

When I design a card for a young boy who loves trucks, I like to use the photo of a truck as the main attraction. It makes sense, right?

 

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And because I like old classics, I might lean toward modifying the photo of an old truck, like the beauty above.

Well, not so fast.

Because of intellectual property restrictions, I cannot simply take my photo of the beautiful old truck and use it on Frederic’s card. In fact, sadly, I had to disguise it so completely that it is no longer — to an adult — recognizable as a Chevy.

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Thankfully, this two-year-old boy also likes ice cream, animals, balloons and candles. I’m hoping that these overlays on his birthday card will succeed in entertaining him.

Even if he doesn’t see the truck. ūüėČ

Marie Antoinette’s Painter — √Člisabeth Vig√©e Le Brun

Although I am not a painter, I feel inspired by the life of this woman.

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Born in 1755, I would guess this prolific artist must have been quite happy and fulfilled — she painted 660 portraits and 200 landscapes in her lifetime, and died just before her 87th birthday. Perhaps it was the exposure to intrigue and nobility. Alas, I don’t have much of that in my life.

Alas, too, I missed seeing this exhibit in New York last year. I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it.

Six Years Ago Today I Retired

Now I’m free to relax as much as I like!

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And that, indeed, is the challenge — we retirees don’t relax. Instead, we follow our interests wherever they lead, and then we end up so busy that we wonder how we ever had time for a career.

But it’s all good — I have never been too keen on long boring meetings in make-work projects for the Minist√®re de l’√Čducation. These days, they are never on my agenda.

What do you do, in your retirement, to stay out of mischief?

 

Back to Healthy Habits

My sleeplessness in Terrasse was a wake-up call. ūüôā¬†But now I’m getting back on track.
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Unfortunately, all my good routines and well-developed habits, got lost when I was taken off the rails by recent stressful events. (Yes, priorities have a way of taking control.) So, for a variety of reasons, I stopped walking every morning, listening to Weston A. Price Foundation – Wise Traditions podcasts, dry brushing, making and drinking beet kvas, making and drinking bone broth and eating naturally fermented sauerkraut every morning. I also missed out on seeing what was going on in the “hood” — on a normal day. Add these changes to the additional mental load of “figuring-out and planning,” and I got what I got!

So, having just returned from a 5 km tour of my town, and re-learning what I already knew about gut microbes, I am all set to peel some beets. ūüėČ

Donna, I’m going to catch up to you again.

A Cautionary Tale of Self-Medication

These days, with the setting of the sun, I start to look forward to bed-time, ever hopeful of a good eight hours.

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Since the flood, though, this has been harder and harder to achieve. And for hours every night I solve all the world’s (or at least all my) problems. As a result, I regularly feel very tired throughout the day. In fact, I have become so tired of feeling tired, that a few days ago I decided to investigate my options. After reflection and discussion with the local pharmacist, I settled on melatonin, the natural sleep hormone. I’m sure that you’ve all heard of it. I chose a strong (too strong?) time-released option so that I wouldn’t have my normal 2:00 a.m. wake-up call.

Boy oh boy, did I sleep! A full eight hours or more of dream-filled sleep. Imagine that.

But boy, oh boy, did I pay for it! The next morning, I felt head-achey, and nauseous. This feeling continued well into the middle of the next afternoon. Yeuch! I would have been much better off sleeping only 4 or 5 hours and suffering from being tired than suffering from that lousy wooziness. It was not fun. So no more melatonin for me.

I’ve learned the hard way that, maybe in the evening, I should¬†concentrate on drinking more camomile tea, drinking no wine and drinking-in less Netflix screen time. Will that work?

Do you have any suggestions to offer me?

 

This Old House Has Seen Better Days

And so has mine.IMGP6218 (1)

Do you remember, Doh, when we wandered through this beauty more than 14 years ago?¬†By now, I’m sure she is gone.

In any case, regardless of my nostalgic attraction to this kind of architecture, I’m very happy my home is not this bad. Not by a long stretch.

However, since the Flood of ’17,¬†I do have issues with my foundation, and yes, indeed, I have concerns about it. I also have options. Hmmmm . . . ¬†many $$$$’s worth of options. What to do? Ignore? Repair? Replace? We’ll see.

More importantly, how will I pay for . . . whatever I choose? Will I receive any financial assistance for the work? This too, remains to be seen.

Perhaps one day, in the not-too-distant future, I will have many more interesting photos to show you. ūüôā

We’ll see.

 

 

Flooded Foundations Need Fixing

Yes, cement block foundations like mine suffer from floods, so¬†like many other home-owners, I too am looking at a¬†“repair or replace” solution.

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Luckily, though, my home is not leaning like this church.

I wonder if it’s still standing. It’s time to go back for a visit.

 

 

Wall? What Wall?

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Marathon Number Five

twenty-eight degrees outside;

much warmer inside this suit,

and behind this mask on her face;

shortness of breath;

sopping-wet tentest insulation board

up and out the window;

dripping-wet electronics

up the stairs and out;

weakness in her legs and arms and back and neck and fingers;

physical and mental exhaustion;

hitting the wall and continuing;

determination in her every step;

a smile on her face;

twenty-six miles is nothing compared to this!

 

 

 

How They Spoiled Us!

Mother’s Day came and went with little fanfare this year. And that’s okay–it was a busy day in the flood zone.

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But it started out beautifully with our mayor delivering breakfast along with a rose, generously donated by our local pharmacy. Oh, how lovely! Thank you!

What Continues to Stick in My Craw

To stick in one’s craw: to be difficult to swallow;¬†to cause lasting annoyance, irritation or hard feelings.

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It was early days, relatively speaking, in the drama of the flood of my home. We¬†had just bought, and successfully managed to hook up, ¬†a 7 horsepower gas pump which, along with three electric sump pumps, might help keep the water in the basement at a safe level–i.e. below the power panel. Neighbours, and friends, and family, and gawkers alike were gathering on the street to watch the threatening rise of the water. After all, at these levels, it was indeed, a novelty to us all. And we all became gawkers! And many of us became very frightened.

A man of my acquaintance approached and asked if he could give me his opinion. I told him that yes, I was worried and would be happy to hear anything that might help the situation. Little did I know that what he planned to say would be so unwelcome.

His advice was to abandon ship and¬†give up the battle. I should¬†switch off my circuit breaker, stop pumping out water and let my basement fill up. He said it was useless and even foolish to believe that there was hope that the pumping would make a difference. He also implied that I was selfish to continue pumping when I should, instead, help the neighbour who was still managing to keep the water out of her house. That¬†was where I should really put my remaining energy–into helping my neighbour and¬†her army of helpers keep water out of her house. She had so much more to lose.

Was I too fragile for such wise advice? Was I too sensitive and self-absorbed to receive the truth? Maybe.

Well, thankfully, I rejected his advice. I didn’t give in and I didn’t give up. Instead, I continued to fight. And the three feet of water in my home is now gone.

Now I plan to selfishly get on with the clean-up of my home. And no, I will not be helping my neighbour clean up her sandbags.

So, now you know. That is what sticks in my craw. That is what I cannot forget. That is what keeps me, in part, from really moving on. But, of course, I will. And soon.

Yes, I will forgive. But, sadly, it is unlikely that I will easily forget. But I will try.

La Vie En Rose

After more than ten days of not giving up and not giving in, . . .

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. . . and choosing to go without certain creatures comforts, and putting so much energy into pumping out water, we can now sleep much easier: there is heat coming from the furnace and hot water coming from the tank! Yeah!

Now I plan to have a hot bath!

We Have Been Blessed

Recently we’ve struggled through¬†difficult times here in our community, ¬†. . .

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. . .  but Boy, Oh Boy! Do we feel lucky!

We live in a partly flooded town where people work wonderfully together to¬†help each other — above and beyond what we could ever have anticipated.

We’ve had unbelievable support from our elected representatives! Such an efficiently organized system, and one that we-in-need welcome with open arms.

Volunteers prepare and serve us breakfast, lunch and dinner in the community centre and/or¬†deliver these tasty, welcome meals directly to our flooded streets where other volunteers taxi them to our doors by whatever watercraft is available. Engineers and counsellors and other experts in their field regularly check on us to be sure we’re okay. Loving neighbours have baked bread, or¬†cooked bacon, or¬†donated dozens of eggs. We get our exercise slugging around heavy, water-soaked sandbags for each other. Firemen and soldiers and local businesses have brought us muffins, and pallets of sandbags, and plastic sheeting, and hoses and . . .¬†coffee. Others have generously “gassed-up”¬†our demanding water pumps in the middle of the night so we could sleep rather than¬†go out in our waders in the dark every three hours. Others give us generous hugs and listen patiently to our stories.

I don’t wish this experience on anyone, but boy, has it shone its light on the beautiful people around us! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

P.S. I’ve finally managed to change the settings so you can easily share your comments here without the hassle of signing up. We look forward to hearing¬†your personal stories. Please test it out so I know that it works.

A Furious Tango

 
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The Known and the Unknown

Locked in embrace, they dance furiously to a tempo controlled by the music;

Panic percolates just below the surface;

Hope tries to squeeze her way in;

Tears well up and eventually flow;

The tango continues.

Our Lovely and Lively Resort

It’s amazing how a landscape can change its appearance in such a short span of¬†time.

Our small community has recently had a facelift–now¬†we sport¬†an exceptional collection of noisy equipment; relatively quieter¬†watercraft; and impressive, multi-wheeled vehicles.

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Lakefront Property
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An Army Jeep . . . 

. . . that can haul 1 1/4 tons of sand bags and ford 3 feet of water!

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A Bigger Army Vehicle  . . .

. . . that impresses by its sheer size.

And to help me shore up¬†my basement pool, I have this personal little 7 HP companion, which I’ve now learned how to keep primed.

So, I’m all set–for now.

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Primed Swimming Area

Yes,¬†we’re still managing–with a lot of much-appreciated help from our friends–old and new!¬†Thank you, dear volunteers for all you do.

But, even though I try to make light of it all, I’m still worried. This is not a fun experience.

Afraid, and Frayed at the Edges

We are not experts at water management but still, as the levels rise¬†higher and higher from the Baie de Vaudreuil, we’re all¬†pitching in and trying¬†to keep¬†the water out of our homes.IMG_0319 (1)

Alas, it’s not working perfectly; and we’re struggling; and we’re trying our best not to come¬†apart at the seams.

But, we’re doing okay.

 

Water, Water, Everywhere…

… and we’re almost on the brink.

IMG_0224 (1) We are lucky, though, to live on an avenue where we all pull together and help each other cope: we slug around sand bags and drain hoses; we deliver sandwiches and coffee; we offer our driveways and extra sump-pumps; we share tears and hugs of support. And we manage.

Here I am carrying bags for a family who has to evacuate because of flooding. With waders, walking down the middle of the street is¬†doable, and actually, a lot of fun. I am quite happy, though, to have Gabi’s walking stick–just in case. Thanks, Gabi.

They’re telling us we should expect yet another six inches! Hmmm. ???

Oh well. Mother Nature is in charge, … and regardless, … our avenue will be ready! We’ll just keep on keeping on!