Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Odds & ends

  • Blog housekeeping:  I've updated my Book List of recommended/relevant reads (at the top of the home page, just under the nameplate/header). I hadn't done that since I created it, more than a year ago. (oops!) 
  • I started drafting this post last week, before my recent (*cough*/eyeroll) "incident." Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post, or reached out in concern elsewhere. <3 
    • Still feeling tired today, and the left side of my face is still a bit swollen/puffy, especially under my left eye, although it's better than it was yesterday.  It's also yellowing under my left eye. Guess I'm going to have a shiner there...?! 
    • My family doctor's office called this morning. I won't be able to see him until NEXT Tuesday. Sigh. 
    • I removed the dressing/bandages and washed my hair this morning, for the first time since Friday (rinsing out the dried-up blood, but being very careful around the wound area/scab). Ahhhh...!! 
  • My weekend was already eventful to begin with, because of what happened to me on Friday (see above). Then Saturday afternoon, a huge, destructive storm rolled across a wide swath of the province. 
    • They're calling it a "derecho," similar to the one that walloped Iowa in August 2020, and "one of the most destructive and widespread ‘derecho’ squall lines in Ontario’s modern history" They're investigating whether there were also tornados. 
    • Today, three days later, the death count stands at 10. More than 150,000 homes are still without power, and some schools are closed. In Ottawa, more than 187 hydro poles were down, which "not only exceeds the number the city traditionally puts down in a year but also tops the number felled during the 1998 ice storm and 2018 tornado." (Source
    • I have several weather apps on my phone, and there had been warnings on Friday and earlier that morning of a dangerous storm moving into the area. Then just before 1 p.m., we got alerts on our cellphones through the emergency warning system, similar to the ones we get for Amber Alerts -- very loud, you can't miss them! 
    • It was getting increasingly dark outside -- and then the wind picked up. It was coming from the west, and we face north, so we were partially sheltered, but we had an amazing view from our windows (although I was prepared to dive in the closet if it looked like things were turning even more nasty...!). This being a long weekend (generally regarded as the kickoff to summer), a lot of people had just set out their patio furniture, and we saw what was probably a big patio umbrella go flying by from one end of our view to the other at top speed. Wind gusts in some areas measured 120-130 kilometres per hour. (That's 75-80 miles per hour.)
    • Our power flickered briefly but did not go out -- thank goodness! Others not too far away from us were not so lucky. I have friends in the Ottawa area who went more than 24 hours without power -- and last I heard (last night), some of them still didn't have their power back. 
  • I recently told my mother that I won't be able to come home for the family reunion in Minnesota in late July, because I'll be having my eye surgery a few days earlier on July 25th (plus I'm still waiting for my gallbladder removal surgery to be scheduled). I was bracing myself for an argument ("can't you reschedule?") -- but surprisingly, she didn't say a word.  ;)  
  • Speaking of aging parents: the Globe & Mail had an article this weekend ("The great junk transfer is coming") about dealing with our parents' "stuff" (including a companion article with tips!). As the child of two aging parents in an overstuffed house, I can relate...!  
    • Of course, articles like this always make me think about my own things -- and make me VERY glad that we've had at least one preliminary round of downsizing and getting rid of stuff before we moved into our condo six years ago!
    • As a childless person, of course, I won't have any kids to deal with whatever mess I leave behind me. (And once you're gone, of course -- kids or no kids -- it's all completely out of your hands.) 
    • It's bad enough leaving your kids to deal with it all, I suppose -- but in our case, it will probably be our nephews (who will also be dealing with their parents' & in-laws' estates).  And so I feel kind of obligated to try to leave things in at least some sort of order...  
  • I was drafting a post (for the future) that mentions a long-ago visit to friends in Saskatchewan, where we lived for six years in the 1960s, when I was kid. That got me reminiscing, and then Googling a few people, including my best friend from those days. Up popped an obituary for her mother, who just passed away in March at age 91. What a blast from the past! -- as well as a few surprises. I had no idea this woman & her husband had lost a child -- an infant son, likely early on in their marriage (named in the "predeceased by..." section). (They had four other children.)  I wonder whether my friend always knew this, or found out about it later in life? 
    • I also Googled a couple of my old teachers. I found a 2018 obituary for my Grade 1 teacher's husband, which made me sad. I didn't know him, but I remember devoting a Friday afternoon art class to making flowers out of kleenex to decorate their wedding car (does anyone still decorate wedding cars??)(let alone with kleenex flowers??  lol). I also found a 2020 obituary for my Grade 2 teacher's husband, which mentioned he was predeceased by his wife. :(  He was 77, so she couldn't have been any older than that. :(  
  • I noticed a while back that an older woman (in her mid-70s, a lovely artist) that I "know" from one of my (non-ALI) online groups, who had "friended" me on social media, had been silent/absent online for quite some time. She'd been dealing with/recovering from some health issues but was doing well -- and then, she came down with covid. :(  This was fall 2020, pre-vaccines. Since then, all her accounts have been silent, aside from occasional enquiries from friends asking how she was doing. Last week, we learned that she's been dealing with long covid and has significant cognitive impairment. She is well cared for, but she is not the same person she once was. Damn covid!! :(  
  • The Walrus (a Canadian magazine) recently profiled Sarah Polley and her new book, "Run Toward the Danger," (which I LOVED, and reviewed here).  I was particularly struck by this passage, midway through the article: 
THERE’S A THING THAT HAPPENS, Polley has found, with people who haven’t experienced much trauma. They have this idea that anyone who has been through the wringer is damaged, that they can’t move forward, that brokenness becomes part of them. “I think I’m finally articulating to myself that, unless you’ve experienced and had to process trauma, I don’t know if you’re whole,” she says. “I don’t think people should look for trauma! But, if it happens, I don’t think it’s a harbinger of permanent damage. I think that, if a person has processed it in any meaningful way, it might make them more fully human, more capable, and on their way to becoming more whole.”
  • I caught up on a couple of recent episodes of New Legacy Radio, with some fascinating in-depth discussions I'm still thinking about:  
    • Donna Ward, Australian author of "She I Dare Not Name" (reviewed here), talked about how single/childless women are included and supported (or not) in public policy and in  crisis situations (such as covid and other health emergencies). (Who gets priority? Is it "women AND children first," or "women WITH children"?? -- think about it!) 
    • Rhodes Perry, author of "Belonging at Work" and "Imagine Belonging," talked about what it means to "belong," and how to build more inclusive workplaces. 
  • Sarah Roberts of The Empty Cradle delivered an impressive, groundbreaking Zoom presentation for the Diversity Council of Australia before a registered audience of 600 (!) people from across the Australian corporate sector, state and federal governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) sector.  (And following Sarah's presentation, she and fellow Australians Judy Graham of WomenHood Counselling, Michael Hughes of The Full Stop Podcast and Clan of Brothers, and Liz Campbell of Redefining My Plan A, answered questions in a panel discussion.) The material Sarah presented will be familiar to many of us -- but of course, we were not her intended audience. I can only imagine the impact she made on 600 people who, for the most part, have likely never given us and our concerns much (if any) thought, let alone considered us worthy of inclusion as a diversity group on par with others long established. (Have a look at some of the comments/reviews on the DCA event page!) May there be many more presentations like this one!! (around the world and not just in Australia!) Please watch, and (if you're feeling brave), share!   

1 comment:

  1. I've left your post in an open tab for ages, because I want to go read all the things you shared (the junk one especially, but the others too), and haven't got around to it.

    But in the meantime, glad you're okay after the storm, and yes, damn covid!