Friday, June 29, 2007
Over the years Mrs. Moose has put up with me for many things. I have been in the hospital for hernias, my back operation, and a heart attack. I have been unemployed twice during our time together , and finances have not always been the best. I have changed jobs a number of times, always looking for something I really enjoyed and she has put up with it. We moved across the country from family to no jobs and a whole load of household furniture.
She has borne my children and taken great care in raising them with me. She has worked outside the house since our youngest started school. Sometimes 2-3 jobs at a time. She loves our grandson with all her heart.
The most important thin you need to know about Mrs. Moose is that she completes me. She is truly the other half of my soul and I love her dearly. Without her, I would be nothing but a hollow shell.
Why am I writing this today? Because 34 years ago , at 2:00 P.M. Eastern time she became my wife. So my dear, Here's to you. The best thing in my life.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Because we have had so much rain this year, the mosquitoes are terrible so we brought him inside. Now he has not been in our house for almost 2 weeks but the first thing he did was head to the dog's dishes, to play in the water bowl. After removing him from the area 5-6 times we finally got smart and moved the dishes outside and the dogs along with them. We closed the patio door and he immediately used it to stand up and look out at the dogs. He also used his tongue to make designs on the glass. To the side of the door is a long window where Mrs. Moose keeps plants behind a curtain.He pulled the curtain aside and started to reach for the plants. "NO!No!" he was told. "YES!YES!", said his mind. After taking him away a number of times we moved him to our computer room/den , which has a door so we could close him in. We set up the toy his mother had brought with her, a music player with different buttons, slides, etc, that play different tunes when moved. This kept his attention for a while.
He then moved on to a dump truck with balls in the back. These, of course, got scattered around the room quickly and just as quickly he was after them. Of course , every time his eye noticed something new, he went after that. Poor Mrs. Moose, she was so busy taking him down from stuff or moving stuff so he couldn't reach it. He has gotten to the stage where he knows he can climb and reach things. You could watch him trying to lift his leg high enough to get up on the coffee table and get the things my wife had moved.
It was like having a never stopping machine in the house. He would move somewhere, we would move stuff so he couldn't get it. He would get something, we would take it away.You can tell by the way he stands himself up that it won't be long before he is walking.
When he got hungry , my son held him and Mrs.Moose fed him. When he has had enough, he takes it in his mouth, chews a bit and then spits it out for the dogs. He also likes to use his "sippy cup" to sprinkle water all over the place. He thinks this is great fun and laugh and laughs.
Back on the floor, he started chasing the dogs. Now neither one of these dogs has ever seen a baby before, except him. And when he was last here he didn't crawl that fast. Now they run from him and are not quite sure what to make of this little person. His dogs at home are the same way. He just loves them.
We decided to put him in his stroller and take him for a walk. On the new strollers, you can strap kids in tightly. He loves to go for walks . If he notices an object on the ground, he practically turns himself into a pretzel to look at it. He notices everything that is going on around him.
Back home, he was getting tired so we(Mrs. Moose) put him down for a nap upstairs. He fell asleep for about half an hour. The problem with this, was Mrs. Moose would have to run upstairs to check on him every five minutes. He has never been upstairs in our house before and we didn't want him scared waking up in a strange place
Just as he awoke, his dad phoned and said he would be picking him up in 20 minutes. The rest re-invigorated him. Into the room with the door and 20 more minutes of play time and his dad arrived and took him home.
He is such a smart little guy. Mimics very well and thinks it is great if he can get you to do a certain task. When you do it, he claps for you.
Owen, our dear little demon was here for 5 1/2 hours. Can hardly wait until he is back. Mrs Moose is exhausted!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
PROMISE..... .There is not one dirty word in it, and it is funny.
The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to
use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the
proxy father was to arrive,** **Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and
said, "Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon."
Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby
photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale.
"Good morning, Ma'am", he said, "I've come to..."
"Oh, no need to explain," Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, "I've
been expecting you."
"Have you really?" said the photographer. "Well, that's good.
Did you know babies are my specialty?"
"Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and
have a seat".
After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"
"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub,
one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes
the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there."
"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for
Harry and me!"
"Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time.
But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or
seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results."
"My, that's a lot!", gasped Mrs. Smith.
"Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to
be in and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be
disappointed with that."
"Don't I know it," said Mrs. Smith quietly.
The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a
portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a
bus," he said.
"Oh, my God!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.
"And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you
consider their mother was so difficult to work with."
"She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith.
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to
get the job done right. People were crowding around four and
five deep to get a good look"
"Four and five deep?" said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with
"Yes", the photographer replied. "And for more than three hours,
too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could
hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush
my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my
equipment, I just had to pack it all in."
Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "Do you mean they actually chewed on
your, uh...equipment? "
"It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my
tripod and we can get to work right away."
"Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's
much too big to be held in the hand very long."
Mrs. Smith fainted!!!!*
Monday, June 25, 2007
My greatest hero was my father. He was a physical education teacher and everybody at the school loved him. I think this was because he was a very fair man. If you deserved to get into trouble, he would punish you but not so severely that you didn't like him.When he punished you , you knew it was for a good reason and that you deserved it.
He was also very understanding. I remember when he had this one kid who would always skip school in the spring to go fishing down at the river. My dad would always find him at his favorite fishing hole and bring him back to school. He would talk to him about the importance of an education and they would come to a compromise solution. The kid would come to school Monday to Friday morning and if he did, he would be allowed to go fishing Friday afternoon. This solution worked terrifically for the both of them. That kid was the only one my father did this for and he told him he wished he could go too.
During the summers, we would leave Montreal and head to our cottage up in Thunder Bay. At our place there, we had no plumbing as such. We had an outdoor "biffy" and gravity fed water. We would pump water from Lake Superior to the cliff behind our house by gas pump. Up there, we had a huge cattle trough which we would fill with water.A hose would lead out and down to the house and we would have "running" water. Hot water was by boiling a kettle. We also no no electricity. Just the old coal oil lanterns and finally propane.
It was here that my dad and I were always close. He used to go up and down road in front of the cottages everyday and ask older people if they would like a fish that day. When he had enough orders for his limit(5) we would head out onto the lake in a 16 foot runabout with a five horsepower motor. My dad knew all the best fishing spots.Usually we would have our limit within 2 -3 hours. when we came to shore the first thing we would do was deliver the fish. He would do this everyday for the 6-8 weeks he had off. Then came the lamprey and the fishing died off.
Sometimes we would get caught in a storm. Not fun! We could be 6 or 7 miles from home and a sudden storm would come up. On lake Superior, they are ferocious. They have massive waves and the water is ice cold. My dad would make my brother and I get under the bow, put on our life jackets and stay put out of the rain. I was never really worried at times like this because he always got us home safely. It was a terrific time.
My dad also had a great sense of humour. He could tell funny stories like nobody else and he always could make people laugh. He told me that if you can bring a smile to somebodies face you have really done something. I know my mom always smiled at thing he did. Of course, some were inadvertent
One time he fixed an old wooden door,put on new hinges and a new handle and got it hung perfectly. He did such a good job that he called my mom to see it. When she came in, she burst out laughing. He was a little hurt by this reaction and asked her what was so funny. When she could finally speak, she told him that it was the first time she had seen a door with the knob and the hinges on the same side. Yup, he was a clown even when not trying.
Do you have a hero? Please let me know!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
JOKES FOR THE OLDER CROWD
A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office. "Is it true," she wanted to know, "that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so," the doctor told her.
There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, "I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'."
An older Jewish gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.
"Yes, Dad, what is it?"
"Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife...."
Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.
If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.
First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It's worse when you forget to pull it down.
Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf
Two old guys are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart when they collide. The first old guy says to the second guy, "Sorry about that I'm looking for my
wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."
The second old guy says, "That's OK, It's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate."
The first old guy says, "Well, maybe I can help you find her. What does she look like?"
The second old guy says: "Well, she is 27 yrs old, tall, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, big bust, and is wearing short shorts. What does your wife look like?"
To which the first old guy says, "Doesn't matter, --- let's look for yours."
My son drove me over the doctor's office and when I asked him if he would like to watch, his response was immediate. "Oh , yes". How many times does a son get to see his old man cry in pain. To be able to watch him squirm in pain, the ultimate dream of every son, especially if his dad has told him" this won't hurt" when he took him to a doctor. Revenge for the kids.
We were out in a room that had the special instruments needed to extract the staples, The main tool looks like a a small pair of wire snippers. Since I couldn't see anything Craig told me how they worked. The doctor would hook the staple in he middle and crimp it. This would force the hooked under parts straight up and down, so the staple would look like a W. He would then just pull it out. Little tug and done. No pain, no blood! Simple. He did this 27 times and we were done.
Thank goodness they are out. I can now move without the prickly feeling of the staples in my back ad sleeping at night is much easier. I don't feel like I am going to snag myself on the sheets. I also don't have that feeling of nettles running up and down my spine when I sit.
So now it is just a matter of time to let the fusion take hold and I can get rid of this damn corset. Can't be soon enough!
Friday, June 22, 2007
BEWARE: THE YOUNG ARE OUT TO GET US
Thursday, June 21, 2007
A couple dozen (some new) Ponderisms
Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE
2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
3. OK.... so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known
as the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?
5. There are three religious truths:
a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or Hooters.
6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?
*! ~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
9 Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?
10. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
12. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
13. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
14. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ... they're cramming for their final exam.
16. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? toothpicks?
17. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office?
What are we supposed to do, write to them?
Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
18. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
22. If a cow laughed, would she spew milk out of her nose?
23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
24. At income tax time, did you ever notice: When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Since he starting crawling he , naturally, has been curious about everything he can possibly get to.This , as far as we are concerned is a good thing. As for his parents, BABY PROOF!
My daughter was over the other day and was telling us that earlier she had to change a wash in her house. She left Owen in the basement while she ran upstairs to do this one minute job. As she came back down into the basement, there he was on the first landing , 6 steps up, sitting quite proud of himself. When he saw her , he just smiled and clapped with the " look what I can do" enthusiasm of a little devil.
While he was here, he was sitting and crawling around on the floor. When something caught his eye, he immediately went after it. Natural curiosity. However, when he was told no, what did he do? Exactly the same thing his mother used to do. He looked my wife straight in the eye, all innocent, and the whole time, his little hand was reaching for the one thing he had been told no for. When we laughed and said he was just like his mom, she said,"no I was a good kid". And she was, for the most part. But she would look you straight in the eye and her little hand would be reaching out to touch what she had just been told no for.
He has also learned to pull himself up to a standing position using furniture and tables. He can then reach what he wants. We have a little stool in the room and he knows he can move it to where he wants to go and then get up.
We are going to have to baby proof our house also.I don't mind that. Better safe than sorry. What I really am looking forward to is the little munchkin giving his mother as good as she gave us. (PUT IN EVIL LAUGH SOUND HERE)
Monday, June 18, 2007
On Wednesday night, I did not get a lot of sleep because this older gentleman kept complaining that he was cold and would constantly ring for the nurse. Of course, every time she came in, enough noise was made to wake both myself and the third guy in the room.This older fellow, Harold, would be constantly ask for a warm blanket because he was cold. It seemed to me to be about 90 in the room and I remember thinking, "how could he be cold?"
All night long he would complain , so I didn't get a lot of sleep.
The next day, we started talking and he told me about himself. He was in for a broken hip, thigh and knee ,all on the left leg.No wonder he was in pain. He had been there for over 3 weeks. As the day went on this older lady came to visit him and we talked for a few minutes. She told me that Harold would most likely have o go to an assisted living facility where he could get help during the day or evenings if he needed it. She also informed me that she was Harold's daughter, not his wife. She was 68 years old and Harold was 98. I could hardly believe it. Here was a very nice fellow who had been living on his own for a number of years,who was 98 years old. He was as sharp as a tack. He could remember things from before I was born. To put it simply, he was amazing. When my family came in, they saw his daughter and they too, thought it was his wife. He certainly did not look to be as old as he was. I am still in awe of the clarity of his mind. And when you think about how many old people die from broken hips, I could understand why he was in so much pain.
During the next day and a half, we spent a lot of time talking and I realized a lot of his pain and complaining was simply because he was lonely and wanted some attention. I can't say that I blame him. Only his daughter came to visit until the day I was leaving. The staff was short with him and sometimes treated him with very little compassion. I know it is there job to make sure he gets moving, but there are better methods than some of them used.
When you think about all he has seen or done in his 98 years, it boggles the mind. Not only has he seen the turn of a century, a new millennium , but he has almost lived for a century. He has witnessed the development of planes and seen men walk on the moon. He has gone from crystal radio sets to television and the Internet.
So Harold, Here's to you. I hope you make your century
Sunday, June 17, 2007
On the Friday I was released, my oldest daughter, who works for the provincial Government, took the day off work so that she could help my wife get me out of the hospital and home safely. I know my wife is more than capable of doing this job by herself, but Erin wanted to be here for me. I also think it made her feel better that she was able to see for herself that I was alright. When we arrived home she helped me into the house while my wife put the car in the garage. She carried in my bag and made sure I was as comfortable as possible.
My son Jim was home from work and immediately came up to greet me. He didn't stick around long but just knowing he cared was enough. He has since done a ton of things to help out around the house , to make sure I have whatever I need.He has also done so much to help his mother and make it easier for her. If I do something I am not supposed to,I hear about it very quickly.
My daughter Kristin comes over with my grandson to prepare my lunch and help clean up the house. She knows that Owen brings me such joy. She always phones first to see if there is anything I need or want.
Craig, my youngest has been great. He works from midnight to 8 A.M. When I get up, the first thing he asks is what I want for breakfast and do I want a shower.Maybe he is trying I tell me something with that one. LOL. He helps me get in the tub and washes my hair and my back for me. He doesn't mind doing this at all.
Because my wife still works, she is away most of the day but when she gets home, she makes sure I am comfortable and have whatever I need. Even though she has arthritis in the hips, she is still up and down for me
This is my great support network at home. All my kids have lives of there own but they make time for me. And for this , I am very very grateful. They feed me, help me dress, sometimes just talk, but they always show they care.
Because I am surrounded by all this love, I am the richest man in the world.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Before I went into surgery, I told the surgical team that my wife wanted them to add 2 inches. Great roars of laughter! No! No! to my height you clowns. I remember them starting the anesthetic and then waking up in the post-op ward.
As it turned out, the surgeon only had to fuse the Sacrum to the L5 vertebra. He did have to do a lot of cleaning out of scar tissue from injuries I had gotten over the years. In fact he said for someone who had never had back surgery, I had a LOT of scar tissue. He figured he got all of it anyway.
The pain that was and is there now is from the surgery. The pain that I was experiencing before the surgery, as near as I can tell , is gone. Each day I have less and less. Still hurts to cough.
Wednesday June 6, was the day of surgery. Thursday, bright and early, they have you out of bed and walking. This is a little scary at first. For about 3 steps when you realize you can stand upright and move no problem for the first time in a year. By the afternoon, I could go around the ward twice.To get out of bed is an art form. You must raise you knees up and then roll to the side like a log. As your legs go off the bed you must push up into a sitting position all without bending or twisting your back. To get back in, you reverse the process. The worst part is trying to get straight in bed, You must slide across the bed on your back. This is painful as you are sliding on our new scar.
This is also one of the best days as they take out the catheter. What an instrument of torture that is. And when you first pee with it out, be prepared. Burn
Most hospitals all seem to be the same. They want you mobile, peeing and passing gas as soon as possible. And the food is not something I would feed to my dogs. Disgusting!Some of it was so dry that even with a mouthful of water , I was unable to swallow what passed for meat.
Thursday was a busy day. Occupational Therapy- learning how to put putting on corset, going up stairs, getting in and out of vehicle, dressing, showering, using the toilet. X-ray-making sure everything is still where it is supposed to be. Walking- you cannot sit for more than 30 minutes without going for a walk.
The drainage tube came out and they took me off the morphine on Thursday. On to the Tylenol 4 or Percocet as needed.
Friday Morning: 7:00 A.M. Surgeon comes in and says (music to my ears)-" you can go home as soon as occupational therapy passes you, Home on Friday afternoon
Now it is just a matter of healing and building my strength back up. Was it worth it. YOU BET! My knuckles no longer drag on the ground. Anybody with any questions, please feel free to ask
And again to Lin, Bruno, Scott, Babzy ,Catmoves- Thanks again for your good wishes
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
For over a year now, I have been off work on disability. I have what they call spinal stenosis. This occurs when you rupture a disk between your vertebrae. Then one bone rubs on top of another bone and also irritates the nerves. On the disk above, I also have a cyst growing in the spinal canal and pushing in the spinal cord. This causes pain to start at your hip and shoot down to the bottom of your foot. In the last year, I have had trouble standing for more than five minutes. Makes it impossible to hike or fish.
So tomorrow I get fixed. Two titanium rods joining three vertebra, then a bone graft over top. Eight to twelve weeks of recovery after that. During this time I will have to wear a special corset(n0, there won't be pictures) and use a walker to get around while the graft takes. No up and down stairs, no mowing the grass, no gardening, no hiking fishing or golfing. But most of all, no PAIN.
So, take care all, see you in about a week.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
However,if you are one of the peasants, hold tight to your purse strings The Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John and there is no Robin Hood in sight.
Friday, June 1, 2007
All his life he has been surrounded by people who cuddle him and kiss him. This is not unusual as most babies experience the same thing. And, most of the time, until they are a little older, it means absolutely nothing to them except to make them feel good.
My daughter belongs to a baby group where mothers of new-borns get together. This is not the same as mothers of old-borns getting together.
At the meeting yesterday Owen was sitting in the floor with the only little girl in the group. He reached out and took her hand and gave it a kiss. The mother of the little girl either didn't see it or didn't understand it. She asked my daughter what was going on. My daughter told her and then to prove it, Owen did the exact same thing. Took the little girls hand and gave it a kiss. That's my little moose. Maybe babies do understand more than we think.
He is at the age where he is trying different things just to see the reaction he gets. He was at our house on Thursday night and while Mrs Moose was holding him he started. She would pretend to blow him a kiss and he would look at her and blink very slowly. After about the third time, he would start to coyly bow his head and then blink slowly. When he figured that he had done it enough he stopped doing it.
He has also started to blow. He sits, purses his lips and blows, making a motor boat sound. He does this for five minutes or so and then looks at you with the biggest smile and the "Aren't I smart look".
It is just amazing how kids develop and I am enjoying it for all it is worth.
When you are attuned to the silence you can hear the birds chirping and cawing and twittering to each other. You can also watch eagles and hawks soar and screech their hunting cries. You can listen to the trees blow and scrape against each other in the wind. The babbling of small brooks and streams making their way to larger rivers can be also heard. As you listen carefully, you can hear the sounds of rock splintering off mountains and crashing to their deaths as dust at the base of cliffs. You can become one with nature in such a place
When ones hikes here, you let the park rangers know where you are going and how long you should be. This county belongs to nature. It is the home of elk, deer, Big Horn sheep, and mountain goats. It is also home to cougars, wolverine, black bears and Grizzlies. When we hike, we carry dried food(n0 smell), lots of water, a compass and water-proof matches. We use hiking poles to make the climbing easier, for we are no longer young moose. We also carry a machete and bear spray. I hope I never have to use them.
The pictures at the left are of the lake at the base of Angel Glacier. The glacier itself is shaped like an angel and is on Mt. Edith Cavell. This is only a short hike of about 45 minutes from the parking lot to the lake. It is actually a very easy hike and only 9 miles south of Jasper town site.
The lake itself is glacial water and extremely cold. It melts off the glacier, down under the moraine and into the lake. The icebergs, like the ones in the back of the top picture, can be 50-100 ft long and 30 ft. high. The ones in the foreground are about 15-20 ft long and 5-8 ft high. They come in a myriad of shapes and like snowflakes ,no two are alike. And what you can see is only 1/10Th of what is actually there. The rest is underwater.The water is a gorgeous aquamarine colour and very very clear.
These pictures were taken on a beautiful, mid-July day. The temperature was a warm 23Celsius(73F) and a great day for shorts and T-shirt.
If you like to hike and camp, come to the Rockies of Alberta. Come to Alphonsedamoose country!