Tuesday, February 21, 2017

'Take Two' for Tuesday

Liz at EA Photography/Australia posted photos of rusted machinery in a field in Queensland, Australia. The photo brought back so many memories! Thanks so much, Liz.
So many memories flooding back to me, most of them concerning my much-younger brother Rob, already talented artist and an avid photographer at the age of 14, who accompanied on that incredible journey in 1982.
My friends had told me I'd be able to stay in Australia much longer if I didn't take "that kid" with me, but I'm glad I took "that kid" because he was a ton of fun, and Queensland wouldn't have been the same without Rob's keen eye pointing out things I might have missed.
I still smile when I think of him saying, "Look at the kookaburra on top of that pole!" and his having to point my head in the right direction. He was and is a treasure in my life.
I also cherish the memory of one day on the coast of Queensland, where we found the Australian racing yacht Gretel, who had been put out to pasture, and was sailing for the first time in her new incarnation that very same day.
Image result for Gretel II
I can't go into her entire history because I don't know enough, but I do know I had been a fan for a long time. And there, on board with us as Gretel took us for a short cruise, was a member of her crew from the America's Cup Yacht Race.
I was delighted to be able to discuss the sport with a man so experienced in the history of my all-time favourite racing yacht.

Gretel II was no slouch, either! Do check her out! II

Halvorsen built Gretel vs. Weatherly 1962 America's Cup yacht races, Rhode Island:

Few things rival a sailing-yacht race for beauty combined with daring and excitement!

'Take Two for Tuesday'

Foot races for geriatrics

Last year, my gerontologist made me get a walker. Yes, gerontologist, or geriatrician, I forget which, but yes, made me. If you knew Dr. Rodriguez, you would know what I mean...shaking his finger at me (not quite under my nose, but it felt like it) and saying, with steel in his voice, "Get a walker! And use it!"

I felt like I'd ended up in the principal's office with all the other recalcitrant children.
However, there's more to the man than that.
Dr. Rodriguez chose geriatrics (or gerontology) because he believes seniors are an important part of the community, that we all contribute in different ways.
"A geriatrician looks at the whole individual," he once said in a press interview. "Mind, social and environment," he continued. "Multiple factors have to be addressed at the same time."

So...the snow is gone from our neighbourhood, except for a few dirty patches here and there, and my husband suggested that I take my walker out for a stroll, after he came back back from his scenic walk around the coulee.*
Coulee (or coulée) is applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley or drainage zone. The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from the French word couler meaning "to flow".

Where was I? Oh, yes. So I took my walker out for a stroll, but apparently I had forgotten the meaning of stroll. Observers would have thought I was in some strange kind of foot race by myself.
It's true, I really didn't stroll. I pushed that cotton-pickin' thing up avenues and across streets for what felt like miles, only managing to go around one city block before reaching home again, but feeling that I had run the hundred-yard dash.

"The hundred yard dash" is what they called it when I was a schoolgirl. It's now something to do with meters in Canada, and I get the impression that a meter is about the same length as a yard in the system I learned.

A hundred yard dash wasn't very far but I was small for my age, and running against girls 6 or 10 inches taller. Obviously, they had longer legs, but take my word for it— I won a few of those dashes, if I do say so myself. And some 20+ years later, I could outrun my 14-year-old brother, for one brief summer, before he became too athletic for the likes of me.

Now, back to the might have been good exercise if I had actually walked with it, instead of chasing it like a dog with a rabbit...but I didn't.
And then, back to Dr. Rodriguez. I'm seeing him again in a few months (appointments are few and far between, because he's much in demand, what with the aging population) and I just know he'll ask me about my walker, and why I don't have it with me. Note to self: remember to take it. Further note to self: don't lose first note to self.

Linking this post to Lady Fi's memorable meme Our World Tuesday.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My World Wednesday, on Thursday

I would be remiss if I didn't write about yesterday's sad news. We Canadians have lost a wonderful part of our country's history.
Stuart McLean, Vinyl Cafe radio personality, humorist, author, and traveling raconteur, died yesterday at the age of 68...
two years younger than I am! ...the same age as my younger brother! I mention my brother because Stuart felt as close as a sibling in the hearts of many Canadians, male and female, young and old.

My husband Richard Schear and I were privileged to see him onstage here in Medicine Hat, Alberta, a few years ago. McLean was still healthy then, full of fun and joie de vivre (a bilingual country, Canada, don't forget) and kept the crowd  laughing with his many Vinyl Cafe stories about Dave, Marley, and their son and daughter, all of whom got into one sort of mischief or the other, at one time or another.

Although McLean performed on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (now CBC), both radio and television, his passing is mourned countrywide, to people of every persuasion, and the news of his death was also carried on CTV News and on radio stations everywhere in the country.

I hope some of our American friends have been able to enjoy his stories, on radio and on television. He was a true Canadian treasure, his wry humour reminding us of events in our own lives.
One of the most wonderful things about Stuart McLean was his habit of talking to ordinary people in every city he visited, people on the street, in coffee shops and restaurants, always asking them about their own lives in a gentle way that never offended, and certainly never frightened, anyone.
There aren't enough adjectives to describe him fully, but he was warm and friendly, courteous, considerate, compassionate, amiable, empathetic, exuberant, frank, generous...the list goes on, it really does, check it out on
and you'll see I needed help finding the right words. Words were my thing when I was younger, I used to play with them and work with them, and toss them around like confetti, but they fail me now, and I have to look them up.
Somehow I doubt if words ever failed Stuart McLean, though. That great Canadian treasure always knew what to say.
Today I ordered a number of his books (I forget how many, but more than 10) from an online book store. It will take two weeks for them to get here, and it will feel like two months to me. Of course, you know what will soon as they arrive I'll remember where I put the ones I've had for years, but I believe there is no such thing as too many Stuart McLean books.

Monday, February 13, 2017

My world Tuesday, on Monday

My world today has consisted largely of three things: keeping Lindy happy until her daddy came home because she missed him so much, watching the CBC News, and an hour-long phone call with my best friend, Judith, who has moved back to Canada with her husband, Michael, after they spent more than a few years in in a narrowboat on a canal in England.
So, with her daddy safely home in the early afternoon, Lindy finally ate her breakfast, went out to explore the back yard for a while, and is now happily asleep.
Judith and Mikey are in the throes of a huge snowstorm in Nova Scotia but, once the heat was restored to their big old house, and with Michael beginning to recover from a fall down the back steps and some broken ribs, they are otherwise happy. Who wouldn't be, in a 100-year-old character home on a hill overlooking the ocean? And who wouldn't be happy, sore ribs aside, with this amazing antique kitchen sink in their new (but very old) house?
HOWSOMEVER, as much as I love Lindy, as well as Judith and Michael, neither of the above proved to be the biggie in my world today.
Today, many of you might know, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, (yes, son of another Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau), met with the USA's new president, Donald Trump, for the first time.
And the meeting went well.
Justin was calm, cool, collected, and very handsome. Much more so than his late father, if truth be told, but Donald Trump mentioned the late Pierre Trudeau more than once, saying he liked him and they had been friends.
Whew again. No World War III in my world today.
One never knows, when people of power come together, what will happen. Yes, their speeches might have been carefully scripted, but Justin's smiles were as sincere as his hope that our two nations might continue to get along together. And President Trump's speech writers did a good job, too.
A success for my world Tuesday this Monday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lindy's mom is a little bit off

Hello troops—it's me, the unfittie, feeling unfitter than usual: aching and paining and grumpy and sore.
I hate when that happens, and hoping this is the last day of it.
So...having no words of wisdom and feeling completely unable to rescue last autumn's travel photos from something called "the cloud" I will simply have to resort to my favourite kind of blog guessed it, photos of our darlin' dog Lindy.
These photos are from 2010, when Lindy was a beautiful red-gold colour, and our granddaughter was very young.

Posting to Lady Fi's wonderful "Our World Tuesday"!

Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies, Alberta, Canada

Monday, January 30, 2017

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

Across my country, from east to west and from north to south, Canadian flags flew at half mast today in honour of the six men needlessly murdered in Quebec City. They were gathered with others in their mosque when a young man, another Canadian, shot several of them, killing six of them, and wounding others, at random, during their time of prayer.

There is no logic in this. There is no understandable reason for this.

I can only send out as much love, of which I have much to offer, and understanding, of which I have much as I can, to the families and friends of the victims.

I am sharing this with Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The smile that won our hearts

This is the photo we fell in love with, when we first checked out the web page for SOS Senior Dog Rescue here in Medicine Hat.
She looked perfect!
Immediately, my husband and I found out where she was being fostered, so we piled into the car, along with with his daughter and our little granddaughter.
We had the address and we hightailed it out there in case someone else got there first.
They had her all tidied up and looking good when we arrived. "Oo," one of us said. "Awwww," said another, and "ohhh!"
"There's the dog for us," we all agreed.
I went into the enclosure to meet her first, elected because I have a long history of dog ownership. She was very nice to me.
Our granddaughter and her mom joined us, and our prospective dog was very nice to them, as well.
Then my husband came in. Well, darned if that dog didn't stand up on her hind legs, put her paws on his chest, and gaze into his eyes.
He was a goner. "We'll take her," we said.
But first, my husband and I had to be interviewed, our house had to be checked, and many answers were demanded of us, including "Where will the dog sleep?" We looked at one another blankly because we hadn't thought that far.
"Will she sleep on the bed with you?"
 Apparently it is a good idea, in some circles, to invite a large dog onto the bed.
We definitely earned demerit points for that one.
"Oh, no," we replied, "but she can sleep beside the bed."
(As it turned out, she wasn't interested in sleeping on a bed with either or both of us. But I digress.)
We all but had to be fingerprinted before we were declared fit for dog ownership, and maybe, for all I know, they had checked us out at the local RCMP detachment.
Finally, we passed the ownership test. But there was a catch...they had named her Lily, and we said we'd have to change that because our next door neighbours had a dog named Lily. We settled on Lindy (named for our then-favourite baseball player in Toronto) and finally brought her home.
What happened next is another story, and will have to wait until my next Our World post because Lindy is wurffling at's time for us to go into the living room. I'm to watch TV while she sleeps on my feet.
Sharing with Lady Fi's wonderful meme "Our World Tuesday."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Once upon a snowy time

When Lindy first came to live with us, we discovered how much she loved going for walks in the snow.

Oops, the snow is too deep. With a little bit of help from her daddy, she dug herself out of this hole in the snow, none the worse for wear.

"Hmm, I really should go home, maybe they'll feed me."

Lindy and I are sharing these photos with Lady Fi's wonderful meme
Our World Tuesday.