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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In Recovery

I have been away for a while in the big city which explains my long lapse in posting any material.

I am trying to get my normal life back, so I am still in recovery on serveral fronts.

Yesterday, I sent my pet swine off to the auction to undoubtedly be bought and slaughtered. It is hard to have to sacrifice you "children" like that. Reality struck me in the face for it is increasingly hard to get anyone to tend to them when I want to go away for any length of time plus they cost me more money to feed than I spend on feeding myself. This is the reality of raising farm animals. I have never been comfortable with it. It was always a kind of trauma when I raised calves and then sent them to market. Of course, getting a good price for them back then eased the pain. I will get next to nothing for my swine as pork prices continue to be so low commercial producers lose money on every pig they send to market. It seems farmers are expected to subsidize food prices for the rest of us.

I also am trying to come to terms with a friend and tenant who feels I should have no social life and should be her nurse and companion, now that she is alone ,after her husband died a while back. She not only criticizes me for leaving her alone so long but does little things to obstruct my leaving. You would think she is a "woman scorned" and yet there is no scorning going on here.

On top of this she is spending money like a sailor on leave since she got a supplement for being a widow while at the same time claims she cannot afford the full rent. So now I a subsidizing her.

There will be a recogning when I recover. All is not well on the home front for sure. Enough said, this is not the kind of thing to be aired in this forum.

I am recovering from having a lovely week shared with my friend Miss L. I appreciate her more every time we spend time together. While we did not do a great deal other than watch the Olympics (more later), enjoy each other company and celebrate my birthday with my sister and brother-in-law (a rare event) over a mean in a Greek restaurant. I enjoyed it and appreciated the treat, But due to the nature of my world view, while I was enjoying it I was thinking we are eating so well while others are hungry and the money could be spent for a greater cause than my pleasure. But it was not my money to spend so I enjoyed the meal and said nothing. (until now of couse).

I am recovering from the Olympics. Well done athletes all. I have some issues with subisdizing such top performing athletes, which countries seem to feel they must do for reasons of national pride. Canada targeted the Winter Olympics, it being at home in Canada, with lots of money and research into high performance. Being the egalitarian I am I think the money should be spend on the broad base of athletes at the local level who are true amateurs and not millionaire athletes. Some top athletes at the games make millions in endorsements and in some countries if they bring home the gold medal they get an income for life. Of course, the professional hockey players are multi-millionaire athletes to a man. Ironically, they may be more amateur than others as they risk injury and loss of income to play, do not spend a year or more in preparation and pay a lot of their own way. They are clearly playing for the love of the sport, the challenge and to make Canada proud. They certainly did this. Both the men and women won the gold in hockey. Canada expects this every time out and when it does not happen there is a national groan and self examination about the state of "our game" until the next international contest. They did us proud, although the men's team flirted with disaster and raised the national stress level. It the end the men's team had to win in overtime after the US team tied the score in the final seconds of regular play. It was the young Sidney Crosby, the next truly, "Great One". who got the winning goal. If the team had lost, the conversation around the water cooler would have been how he had a lackluster Olympics. He set us straight with the iconic gold medal.

I was a little embarrassed as you might read into my previous post that Canada aimed to "Own the Podium". Such an audacious claim and an attitude that winning was everything struck me as a little out of national character. In the end, we may have borrowed the podium from the Americans and laid claim to the gold platform, for the time being. We did win 14 gold medals , more than any other host country ever. Considering going into the Olympics we had never won a gold medal at any time when we hosted the Olympic, this was an accomplishment. We had few athletes who achieved the bronze medal but many who ranked fourth, fifth, sixths; very close. If more of them had reached the podium and if a few athletes who were expected to medal and not done so. had come up to expectations, Canada could have even shone brighter in our own eyes. Most Canada do not grieve not getting more medals as long as we got the gold in ice hockey. Need I remind anyone that Canada is a large georgraphic place with a reatively small population
(one tenth the size of the US).

I learned of the Canadian men's hockey achievement while driving home. We stopped for a coffee and asked the waitress ,in a near empty donut shop (I assume all were home watching the game). She said she did not follow hockey (must have been a foreigner). She finally said she heard a customer say Canada and the US tied. I know that was not a final outcome as it was the last game and a winner was needed. We started up the highway bypass around North Bay and there are a group of boys standing on the corner waving large Canadian flags. We had to stop almost in front of them for a light so my friend Leo rolled down his window as the the car that pulled up beside us, did and we heard that Canada had won. Almost at the same instant all the cars and trucks on the highway started to honk their horns. It is a strange national obsession indeed. I gather in cities across Canada people flooded the downtowns for a spontaneous party. Even I felt a little relief and satisfaction. At least we would not have to suffer all the second guessers if Canada had lost. Silver would be a failure!

I regret not being with Miss L to watch the last game. I know she would be alone sitting on the edge of her seat and cheering and groaning where warranted for I had watch some previous games with her and it turns out she is a fanatical fan. Any time I said something about an opposition player like "He made a great play." I was accused of disloyalty and risked a punch in the arm. She demanded a "high five" whenever their was reason to be satisfied. It was exciting and exhausting to watch her.

I also enjoyed my grandson's blogging about his experience in Vancouver taking in some of the activities. He was not there for all of it but spend some time in the interior of British Columbia enjoying some first class snowboarding at a winter resort there. I am waiting for him to write about it and possibly post some pictures on his blog. He has not posted for a while so maybe he is suffering from blogging fatigue, which seems to afflict us all from time to time.

So you see, in many ways I am trying to catch my breathe and get into my normal routine (without the trip to the shed to feed the pigs. {sigh})

I am waiting , with anticipation , the arrival of the new cardigan sweater for Heidi. I teased a fellow blogger about her knitting a sweater to keep my Great Dane, Heidi warm. To my surprise she rose to the challenge and has finished it. It is in the mail. You can see it here.

I don't even know this woman although my first impressions are that she is a lovely person and it would be fun to know her. She certainly is a master knitter. Thanks Gram. More acolades later when the sweater arrives and Heidi models it. There will be pictures for sure. And my friend, Peggy, you get the last laugh after years of me teasing you about dressing up your animals for every occasion and how animal require their own dignity as animals. Heidi and I will be looking for an Easter Parade to show off her new sweater.

One last bit of gossip. The die is cast, the tickets are being ordered. Miss L and I are going for a vacation in May to Belgium. It has been delayed once and I think some of my friends thought it might not happen. It will and I am looking forward to it. There is much to see and experience in that small country. From historic sites to chocolate I shall enjoy it all. I might even try some of their beer!

Cheers, Oh Canada. Way to go, eh!


At 11:37 a.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I think the money has to be spent, but I sure hope for a trickle down effect by seeing more youth getting off their butts and becoming interested in various sports.

At 12:09 p.m., OpenID goodnightgram said...

Thanks for the newsy update. First, thanks to Canada for hosting the world. What an ending, though, eh? The final hockey game was a nail-biter with that US goal scored at 24 seconds left in regular play. Second, Belgium! Safe and happy travels. I would have to sample the chocolate and beer, too. Third, wait til you see the customs tag I filled out when I mailed Heidi's sweater! (Now you know I'm not in Canada) In the box for the value, I put none. Shhhhh, do't tell Heidi. You and I know different, but really, Gram knit a dog sweater and threw it over the border. ;-)

At 12:13 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Ah, the birthday boy returns.
Sorry about the pig--which one (by name?). And sorry for your continuing problems with said boarder.

As for the Games, they were great. Made me want to visit Vancouver--we'll see.

And the Belgian trip is on! Hurray--oh, do try to the beers. And the fries. And the mussels. Yum all round. Maybe a pastry or two thrown in.

Much World War II history occurred in Belgium and thereabouts. I fancy you might check it out.

So happy for you, Philip.

At 3:08 p.m., Blogger amelia said...

Who will take care of your animals when you are gone? It doesn't sound as if June will be wanting to do it anymore!!! It's too bad that these things happen but if you sold your place you wouldn't have to put up with this and she could move to a seniors residence!!!
It's wonderful that you're going to have a vacation. I'm sure it's much needed. That's why we don't go anywhere because of our animals, it's such a pain getting a sitter and it adds a fortune to the cost of vacationing.
If you need a spot for Heidi, the lady who comes to us would probably take her into her home. If you are interested just let me know.

At 3:38 p.m., Blogger smoke-free said...

Goodness me...such a lot of words!
I didn't manage to catch any of the Olympics but I'm so glad you enjoyed them!
I'm glad you had a good trip and a good birthday.
I can't wait to see Grams coat for Heidi! She will ook just fab!
Nice to have you back.
Daffy (who is smoke-free!)

At 7:26 p.m., Blogger Loretta said...

I had wondered what you were up to, glad it was a fun trip. A trip to Belgium sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself.

At 8:03 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

I am so excited for your upcoming trip! Sorry about the turmoil of your renter.. been there done that. I am sooooooooo happy Heidi is getting a sweater! Will have to find her a easter bonnet to go with it. LOL

At 10:34 p.m., Blogger Rachel said...

I'm glad you had an enjoyable time away and a nice birthday!

Sorry about the poor pig. That would be hard to raise them and then have to sell them. But such is life.

I looked at Heidi's sweater and it's so pretty!! I sure hope it fits her. She will look grand in that!! I love the colors and the cute buttons!!

A trip to Belgium! How exciting!! I'm glad you are going to make that trip. It will be fun!!

At 3:22 p.m., Blogger Tom said...

A most interesting post from you Philip... I hope all goes well for you at home... and I hope Heidi's new coat fits her well.... she will look a posh pooch when out and about.
Thanks for commenting on my grandsons pictures.... and NO.. I have no plans for a 'tat'... but it did make both me and Jane laugh.

All the very best my very own 'Gold Medal' friend

At 6:32 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Sounds like you have an exciting adventure coming your way. We will miss you and look forward to lots of informative blog entries when you get back.

At 2:03 a.m., Blogger Gattina said...

When I read you are recovering, I thought you had been very sick !! lol !
Now I am very curious to see Heidi in her new sweater, that must be fun !

At 2:07 a.m., Blogger Gattina said...

Of course there is a lot to see ! In Brussels and in Bruges, only to mention these two. Waterloo is 15 km from Brussels and is like a suburb.

At 12:15 p.m., Blogger possum said...

So glad to know what you are recovering from!!!! OK, bad English, I know.
I do not own any livestock for that very same reason. We had chickens when I was a child and I, of course, made 'pets' of them all. I could not eat any of them. It took years before I could eat chicken. I am much happier as a vegetarian.
You need to pick up a mini laptop to take on your trip so you can take "us" along with you!!!!!
"This is Philip, blogging live from Brussels...."
OH well, it was just a thought! Glad you are back.


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