Saturday, July 31, 2010


It took me several hours to finally remember the name of the movie I went to see last night.  I kept forgetting it.  I didn't even know what the word meant until the movie was nearly over.  

If you liked "The Matrix", you might like this one.  It has the same surreal/alternate reality theme, fast pace, loud music and a certain "je ne sais quois".  Actually I do "sais quois"...I do know what it is:  they purposely tried to keep the audience in the dark for as long as possible. 

What does it mean?
Why did that happen?
What is he talking about?
Is this in the past or the future?
What level are they in now?
Who/what is Mol?

And then the ending!!!!  

We were falling asleep and still talking about it.  We woke up and the first thing on our minds was, "he woke up on the beach, so that means....."   The best part of last night's "dinner and a movie" was the dinner. 

Could it be that we were just wrung out with too much emotional upheaval the last week?  Maybe focusing on life and death reality would have been more therapeutic than science-fiction diversion.  Where is Walt Disney when you need a feel-good, rollicking good time?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Life Well-lived.

The inevitable has happened.  Seven years after her initial diagnosis, Lesley Osmond has succumbed to breast cancer. 

On Saturday, four days before her 47th birthday, Lesley died at home, surrounded by her family.  The injustice of a daughter pre-deceasing her parents, of children left motherless, of a man loosing his best friend and life-mate, of a talent and unique power to move things forward being wiped out, is staggering.  The pain of dwelling on the horrible loss is just too great and so we focus on the joys she gave us, the good times, the happy memories and the strong foundation she left for those who will follow her.

Almost as if she knew from the very beginning of her life journey that time would be measured, Lesley lived large.  She packed it all in.  Her life was lived fully, with no regrets.  Strong in body and mind, Lesley was the backbone of everything she was involved in.  She has left an enormous gaping hole that once was filled to overflowing.

Involved in sports from elementary school onward, Lesley played hard to win and coached teams of others to do the same both in England and in Canada.  Less than one year ago, she was the first female to cross the finish line of the 50 Km. fund-raising bike ride to raise funds for the new cancer center being built in our community.  She became the face of the campaign, posted in newspapers, magazines, in bus stop kiosks and in homes throughout our community.

Trained in England, and later working in Canada as a physiotherapist, Lesley brought her compassion and no-nonsense approach as needed to those she ministered to.  Stories are legion of her healing care for others, of her going the extra mile to make sure she left no stone unturned looking for just the right therapy, tool, or special something that would facilitate healing.  Her young special needs clients loved her, and so did their beleaguered parents.

Lesley was a founding member of her Book Club, the Squash Team, the Gourmet Club, and the Gang of workmates, many of whom also came from England.  She was the vanguard.

Varied people from around the world call Lesley Friend.  Having traveled widely, and being a social magnet, she made friends everywhere.  She was a true and loyal friend to so many.  Jill will be attending the funeral all the way from Ottawa, where she now works.  She and Lesley have been friends since they were 4 years old back in Nottingham, England.  Throughout her illness, Lesley selflessly focused on the needs of others around her, never bemoaning her plight.  Always brassy and bold, she maintained an avid interest in whatever was going on, and over time softened and sweetened more and more, eagerly seeking ways to encourage and affirm her friends.

Lesley's most cherished role in life was that of Wife and Mother.  She sheltered her family from the horrors she faced as her disease progressed.  Even when it was difficult for her to do so, she worked hard to build memories for the family.  She wanted her boys to know (not too soon, but not too late) that she was going to die.  She hoped that they would be able to process and face the facts and still be able to talk with her.  She got her wish.

During her final hours, her sons were constantly by her side, cradling her head, stroking her arms, and kissing her face.  The youngest pushed her hospital bed to abut the house bed and then laid beside her until the very end.  Those were precious moments and the seeds of healing for all of us, even before the final goodbye.  

 The next time you are offered a daffodil in April, or a chance to walk/run/bike to support Cancer Research, think of Lesley and the millions like her that are waiting for a cure.  One day, the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and it will be because of the tireless efforts to make it so by many dedicated thousands, sharing and building to make the dream a reality.

Thank you, my blogging family, for sharing this milestone with me.  It is amazingly therapeutic to have a sounding board that will listen with an open heart. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Follow Again

The weeks are flying by and here it is Friday again.

We are home again and back to work. Our good friend is dying of breast cancer and we are sadly helping where we can. Taking care of the meals is one way we can serve the family and still give them space. Time is short and we are savoring every moment. I guess it is universally true that all of life stands still when there is a birth or a death. Priorities seem to shift and this one moment in time is where the focus is. It was good to have had the little holiday away with the kids. So many emotions to sort out. We are blessed to have good friends to grieve with.

Until next time, love to you all, and many blessings,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel Broadens the Mind

I'm baaaaaaack!

It was a 10 day whirlwind tour.  Highlights were:  Visits with Mum and my sister, 18 holes of golf (my first), swimming in Christina Lake, a celebratory birthday party, dinner and lunches out with friends, and lots and lots of GRANDCHILDREN--the best part.  Don't you just love em???

They say one picture is worth a thousand words, so here is book worth of memories to share with you.  I know these people are strangers to you, but they are great shots for the most part and I am showing considerable restraint in not posting all 250 I brought home with me!

See my teeth?

Willy the Wonderful stands guard over the ham radio antenna.

Alberta flora and fauna.

The birythday girl.

Ed the cake man.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday is a good day!

Today I fly to Alberta from BC.  For those of you in the US, those are the 2 most westerly provinces in Canada.  I live in the middle of the country, in Ontario, but all my family is out west.  This trip gave me 5 days with my Mum and my sister, and today I begin 5 days with my grandbabies.  Posts this week are few and far between as FAMILY COMES FIRST.  I will catch up with you all next week.  Until then, have a great weekend and happy blogging.  Rosemary

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hurricanes and Other Things Nautical

How Steadfast came to be languishing inside a climate-controlled, hurricane-proof warehouse in Stuart, Florida this summer is a long and complicated story--an epic even:

The 2 week time investment of the trip up and down the Eastern Seaboard via the Intercoastal Waterway.

The wear and tear on the boat, and more importantly the Captain.

The cost of fuel, marina fees, restaurants and incidentals involved in Retail Therapy for the crew.

Insurance for a boat in the "eye of the storm" area during hurricane season.

The Family Five Year Plan.

These are all issues that decided our non-boating status this summer.  

My memories of back-deck cocktails each evening on a mooring in Wier Cove last August are soothing my feelings of abandonment.  We relished those moments of peaceful relaxation after full and busy days ashore.  Regularly, Mr. Maine Native would do a lazy crawl, swimming the perimeter of the whole cove for his after dinner exercise cool down.  The pair of bald eagles did their last fly past just before dusk.  Sleep came easily in the cool after sundown, wavelets gently rocking us into dreamland, to waken at the sound of the local lobster boats heading out to work and the seagulls heralding the dawn.

November the 15th is the official ending date for hurricane season and can you guess where I will be then?  You got it!  I'll be knocking on the front door of River Forest Marina at 9 am. asking to have my boat back.  That's when I get to take all my blogging friends on a free ride, swimming the crystal waters of the Bahama flats, fishing for Wahoo, Dorado and Spiny Lobsters, and cocktails on the back deck.  Did I mention I make wicked crab cakes???

Until then, it's Friday Follow Fun again.  Please your ever-welcome comments to let me know you stopped by, and save the date to set out to sea come November.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Couch Surfing

 My bicycle forgets I am alive, since he hasn't seen me in over a whole year.  I am not in shape enough physically or mentally to challenge myself with exertion of any kind.  Panting for breath, breaking out in a drenching sweat, risking life and limb searching for endorphins is just not me.    Let's face it:  menopause gives me all that and more--I am no athlete and I have given up trying to convince anybody any different. 

These days, it's all I can do to avoid the world of sports.  It's everywhere.  No matter where I turn, there are the soccer fans in their Orange jerseys, flying their Orange flags and bursting into cheers when they meet each other. 

The World Cup. 

How long does it go on? 
I did send congratulations west when my granddaughter scored her first goal in the pee wee version of the game.  I did wave when fans flew past me in their speeding vehicle covered in flags of several persuasions.   I tried to keep out of the line of fire when BBQ'ers fielded a ball in my direction. 

Yes, I think that about covers it.

Well, it's the first week of July and that means:

 The Tour de France. 

Running from Saturday July 3rd to Sunday July 25th 2010, the 97th Tour de France is made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,642 kilometres.  The second stage was the bloodiest so far, with more injuries and drop outs than usual so early on.  Breakfast doesn't start here until the recap of last night's events has been digested.   Continual updates are reported over the in-house intercom throughout the day.  Supper is taken on trays in front of the TV. My life has become one long avoidance technique, attempting to escape the inevitable fanaticism of the sporting wannabees I live with.   It's going to be a LONG HAUL.

I am keeping busy watering my new grass and gardens, attempting to get ahead of the 100+ degree temperatures outside which are determined to kill off all vegetation in my yard.  I've also got a good book on the go and a quilt that needs finishing.  Life goes on.  When all else fails, I excel in couch surfing.  I am an all time pro at rest and relaxation.  If any of you need tips on the finer points of the easy life, just call on me.  Until the world of sports takes a vacation (read: there's something worth watching on TV), you will find me hiding away, keeping cool, resting on the couch.

Until next time, I remain yours ever truly,
The Couch Surfer

Friday, July 2, 2010

Delightful, Dizzy Daisies

Kids are out of school.
Carnival is in town.
Daisies are in bloom.

It's Summer!

Daisies have perennially personified summer for me.  Every summer vacation, driving along the highways and byways, I would long to pull over and pick huge bouquets of these ubiquitous flowers.  On the occasions that I have managed a few sprigs, they have died, or smelled up the house quickly.  Remember hanging daisy chains around your neck, or wearing them in your hair like a crown? 

My garden now boasts several varieties of daisies:  Shasta Daisy, Purple Cone Flower, Brown-Eye Susans.  I only have these to show you today however. 

Welcome to my Summertime Friday Followers.  Enjoy the season, and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.