Memes for A Monday

A veritable hodgepodge of giggles to begin our Monday.

Given the news these day you have to wonder don’t you?


Looks like voter suppression has been around for a while.


For your Monday morning contemplation.


Give kneesies a new depth of meaning … and agility.


Ask your waiter about our special.


They never think of this as they munch their kale chia spread on beetlenut bread, do they?


The dream of a few people I know with a General Arts degree.


I’d kill – or at the least commit a petty crime – for a taste of bacon about now.


I knew there had to be a downside to the electric car that does everything for you.


I’ve been singing this one since I bought the new iPad Air 5!


I thought I’d end the next few Memes for a Monday with a thought from Vince the Sign Guy.


The word for October 3rd is:
Hair \hâr\: [noun]
1.1 Any of the cylindrical, keratinized, often pigmented filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal.
1.2 A growth of such filaments, as that forming the coat of an animal or covering the scalp of a human.
1.3 A filamentous projection or bristle similar to a hair, such as a seta of an arthropod or an epidermal process of a plant.
From Middle English hēr, heer, hær, from Old English her, hǣr , from Proto-Germanic *hēran.

Preparing for the Journey

In my earlier post I mentioned that I did not want to turn the blog into a journal of my current health problem however I’ve decided at the end of each week to write a brief something about how things are going. I can understand that for some people this may not be something they wish to read and I ask that faithful reader to feel free to skip the post. The heading will be The Journey Continues.

As with any journey there must be preparation and on this one it seems to have taken forever. Not only the appointments, the scans, the blood tests, the consultations, and the valuable education sessions but the preparation of this old body for the rigours of the trip. That required some extractions, mask making, and an insertion.

Extractions? Yes, as the radiation was going to be in my mouth and throat area I had to have four teeth extracted. Why? Because they included bridges that were base metal as well as one old metal filling. That metal would arc the same as a piece of tin foil in a microwave when the radiation began. I enjoy fireworks but don’t wish to be one. Though three were surgically extracted there was no pain afterwards. Hurray! I did pick up a little “natural cure” tip when the blood clots necessary for healing were not forming. My dentist suggested moistening a black tea bag (Orange pekoe/Earl Gray) and applying it to the area and chomping down on it for about 30-45 minutes. It works and as a sidebar gives you a real caffeine buzz.

Mask making? Well Halloween is only 31 days away. Seriously again because of the area being treated the wonderful gang at PEI Cancer Treatment Centre Radiation Department created an open weave mask that has been model tightly over my face. It is held in place by a mouthpiece clamped between my teeth and a backboard attachment. The mask is marked with the reference points that will be used to aim the radiation beam. I tried it out and am comfortable with it – thank god I don’t have claustrophobia. The radiation only takes about 15 minutes.

Insertions? Well again because of the location and the problem I have with swallowing. Eating will become more of a problem as treatment continues. I don’t want to lose more weight so a feeding tube has been inserted. I will spare my faithful reader the details but it allows for the injection of a formulae to keep this ancient working. There is a slight problem – the single use feeding syringe is not readily available and frankly costs an arm and a leg. I think we have found a solution to both problems but we shall see. Meanwhile I’d kill for a plate of fish and chips from the Water-Prince restaurant across the road.

Now less my faithful reader find this all a trifle unsettling I want to share a little gift I was sent by the 11 year old granddaughter of very dear friends. It is so that no matter what the weather I will have sunshine in my life.

The word for October 1st:
Sunshine \sŭn′shīn″\: [noun]
1.1 The light or the direct rays from the sun.
1.2 The warmth given by the sun’s rays.
1.3 A location or surface on which the sun’s rays fall.
1.4 Anything which has a warming and cheering influence like that of the rays of the sun; warmth; illumination; brightness.
Mid-13c., from sun (n.) + shine (n.). Old English had sunnanscima “sunshine;” while sunscin meant “a mirror, speculum.”

Mercoledi Musicale

As my faithful reader knows Atlantic Canada was hit by Hurricane Fiona, one of the worst storms in Canadian history over the weekend. The storm took an unusual turn and rather than going out to sea came inland with the eye centres over Prince Edward Island. It was one of the most frightening nights I can remember with winds up to 150 km/h (95 km/h) and our building shaking and rattling. Our damage was minimal but the landscape of much of our Island and the lives of many Islanders has been changed.

Dunes have been swept out to sea, rock cliffs have crumbled, boats and buildings have been swept away, fall crops have been destroyed and farm land eroded, a good half (if not more) of the mature trees have been felled, taking homes and utility poles with them. Fortunately and perhaps miraculously there was no loss of life.

Both social and news media have been filled with pictures of the devastation and I won’t be adding to them as the mere volume is mind-numbing and heart-breaking. However this comparison image will show you a satellite photo pre-Fiona (left August 2022) and the same view (right September 25 2022) after it has passed through.


In 1984 Leon Dubinsky wrote a number for a musical about Cape Breton Island* in Nova Scotia. He composed it as an anthem to resilience of Cape Bretoners at a time when the area was going through an economic crisis. According to Dubinsky, the song is about “the cycles of immigration, the economic insecurity of living in Cape Breton, the power of the ocean, the meaning of children, and the strength of home given to us by our families, our friends and our music.” It soon became a canticle for our Atlantic Provinces and the people who call Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and PEI home.

This version was recorded by Anne Murray when my beloved Rita MacNeil, the Rankin Family and other guests joined her for a CBC special in 1991.

In the first verse Anne Murray sings “We look to our sons and daughters” which, given what I have seen this past four days, I would change to “We look to our friends and neighbours”. It’s going to be a long, heart-breaking recovery but we will “Rise Again”.

*Cape Breton were also badly hit by the storm as were areas of Newfoundland, and though not considered Atlantic Canada Les îles de la Madeleine. No province was left unscathed though some were more fortunate than others.

The word for September 28th is:
Hurricane \ ˈhər-ə-ˌkān\: [noun]
A tropical storm or cyclone with winds of 119 km or 74 miles per hour or greater that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes. It is normally applied to storms occurring in the western Atlantic though it is used for storms in the northeastern Pacific as well.
1550s, a partially deformed adoption of Spanish huracan (Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés, “Historia General y Natural de las Indias,” 1547-9), furacan (in the works of Pedro Mártir De Anghiera, chaplain to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and historian of Spanish explorations), from an Arawakan (West Indies) word.

Odds and Sods Around Our House

Back in the Dark Ages when Laurent and I were, for lack of a better word, courting we would occasionally bring home surprise gifts for each other. (Don’t give me that eye roll, you may well have done the same sort of thing.) At the time I was working at Ottawa Airport and there was a little gift shop that often had bibilots that seemed appropriate (i.e. cute) at the time.

So one evening after an afternoon shift I presented himself with two brass – no not monkeys! – mice. What they were meant to signify at the time or for that matter what purpose they served I’m not sure.

Though I would dare say that visitors never noticed them they have accompanied us in our travels and always had their place on shelves or in cabinets in our various homes.


I have always liked this inquisitive little creature. She, and I’m sure it’s a she, has gazed at family photos, festive candles, creche scenes and other nick-knacks for the past 43 years.


The word for September 27th is:
Bibilots /bē′bə-lō″/: [noun]
1.1 A small decorative object; a trinket.
1.2 A miniature book, especially one that is finely crafted.
1.3 A small object of curiosity, beauty, or rarity; especially, an object of this kind which can be kept in a cabinet or on a shelf.
French, from Old French beubelet, from a reduplication of bel, beautiful, from Latin bellus, handsome.

A Journey Begins

Cancer is a big word. Only six letters but six letters that can stop your heart and send fear through your body. Six letters that encompass, depending on the website you read, 100-200 types of a disease. It can take its name from where it is in the body, the type of cell it forms in, the nature of its structure, and so many other variables. A friend once said to me: it can be small “c” cancer or it can be “capital” CANCER and every thing in between. Another friend said that all most of us hear in a diagnosis is CANCER.

Almost three months ago I heard the word after a long overdue check up with a ear-nose-throat specialist and what I heard was CANCER! Further exploration – biopsy, CATSCANs, consultations – revealed it is a squamous cell carcinoma at the base of my tongue. It is Stage 3 but fortunately has not spread. It is a fair size tumour and is covering part of my oesophagus which makes it difficult to swallow and has led to significant weight loss. At this point it is CANcer and has required, because of its location, much preparation work for what will be an aggressive regime of radiation and chemotherapy beginning this week. The sad thing is that ten months ago if I had seen a doctor when I began to be bothered by the “obstruction” in my throat it could have been Cancer.

And that is why I am writing this post. Not to air my personal health problems or regrets but to say to people: please don’t ignore warnings you body is giving you that there is something wrong. That spot on your arm, the constant lower back pain, the blood in your stool, sudden weight loss or fatigue, or that bothersome obstruction in your throat. Don’t make excuses for no seeing to it. It may be nothing, which will be a relief, but again it may be something that changes your whole life and starts you on a journey that you and your loved ones don’t need or deserve to take.

Over the next seven or eight weeks there may be gaps in postings depending on my energy and emotional levels.  I don’t intend to turn the blog into a diary of the journey Laurent, and I are on – and believe me he is the other half of the equation thank God.  However, there it is faithful reader that “however”, if an event catches my fancy, I may well write about it.  The one event that will be posted is the day when I ring the bell at the Cancer Treatment Centre.  That bell signifies the final treatment and an all clear.  It is my mission to ring that bell loud and clear for everyone to hear.

I think there have been enough words for today.

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