Saturday, 6 December 2014


Bear is officially hibernating. The temperatures have been consistently around -20C (that's -4F), so he thought the time had come.

Please do not disturb him!

(Well, at least not for a week, or two, or three. I think he secretly likes being disturbed, even if he grumbles a bit.) 

Thank you.

To all of you, he says, "Merry Christmas" (or whatever you're celebrating). And a special "Hoppy New Year" to the bunnies.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

(Rob, on behalf of Bear.)

Today's Weather Report

Cold. Snowy. What else could it be in western Canada during December?

Saturday, 29 November 2014


The predictable has happened. Though a few days later than expected. We've received 20 centimetres of snow (or about eight inches) over the last few days — more where the wind has piled it up. 

The back yard has gone from this . . .

to being clear of snow, to this . . .

But that is just one aspect of reality. J suspected the back lane would be full of the white, fluffy stiff, and that I might have trouble getting out to worship tomorrow morning. She was right.

So, as you can see, I did some shovelling.

There is noting particularly bad in this. The snow was above my boot tops, but I managed to get things cleaned with not too much trouble. Fortunately, my back-lane neighbour had been through with his 4x4 pick-up truck, so the laneway would be relatively clear for the morning. Good tracks to follow. Unless they get blown in.

The complicating factor here is the temperature. The thermometer just outside our back door says. . . .

Yes, that is -26°C (or about -15F). That's only part of the story. It's going to fall further tonight. How low you ask? To about -38C (or about -36F — if you count things that way). Which means we've been receiving a cold weather warning from Environment Canada. Another brisk, fresh, bracing evening. Truly! 

What to do? What to do?

The first thing is to build a really good fire in the fireplace. Ahhh!!

Then do some light reading (about our perceptions of aging in North American society). For example, what do you feel is good, or not so good, about a picture of a 90-year-old woman wearing a bikini? (Remember, that could be your mum or grandma!)

In the process, I'll have a couple of mugs of mead (a drink made from fermented honey — a great favourite of the Celts, as well as Bears).

Finally, I'll grab a couple of blankets and head for my den. For a long winter's nap. Yes!!

See you in the spring.

Blessings and Bear hugs until then!

Tonigh's Weather Report

COLD! Were you expecting something else?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Well, life is certainly not completely boring, at least in the land of the Bear. Even when I'm not hibernating, when I should be.

Thought One

Lately, I've been out dog-walking in the "fresh" air. No, it hasn't been with my beloved Sadie. It's been Wally.

Some of you may remember Wally from the past.

Wally is our daughter-in-law's dog. He's part Greyhound, and part something else. He is strong enough to move me around, even when I don't want to move. (I'm sure he could run down a fox or coyote quite easily if he wanted to.) But since A is on a course at the university, it's easier for me to walk him than for her to come home, walk him, and go back to the University. That plan makes no sense. At all.

But I also have another walking companion now. He's named Arth. (His full name is Arth Ritis, but we're not that formal.) Arth limits my walking ability when Wally and I go out. And at other times, too.

When I get home, however, some of Arth's sworn enemies come to help me. There's Mr. Ben Gay and, more commonly, Mr. Volt Arin. They rub me the right way. There's also Ms. Aceta Min Ophen. Ms. Ophen says, "Take a couple of these, and if you need more help, I'll be back in four to six hours and you can have some more of me." She's really very kind and helpful.

So, I can call on Mr. Gay or Mr. Arin, and Ms. Ophen, when I need their help. But, really, I'd rather just lose Arth. But he's made it very clear that he's going to be around for a while. Even when I'm trying to hibernate.


Thought Two

There is a video of a woman walking for hours through the streets of New York city, which shares pictures of her and any recorded conversation. I've seen the video. A number of people made very sexist remarks, which even your Bear found offensive. But other people people said a friendly, "Hello" or "Good Morning." Yet all of those encounters were lumped in as harassment. I really don't get that. (BTW, I've been looking for that video, but haven't found it again. Otherwise I would have shared it, right here and right now.)

Here in Canada, we try to encourage friendliness. Indeed, the Community Association in one part of River City was encouraging people to greet one another on the sidewalks (or wherever) when they meet. I mean, really, is it so hard to say "Hello" to people you pass on the street? I remember an old saying: "If you see someone without a smile, give him (or her) one of yours." Is that so difficult?

When saying "hello" to people is harassment, it seems to me we have crossed some invisible line of what is just plain appropriate, and what is ridiculous. Too much political correctness, maybe. It seems more and more people are offended by simple, kind and well-intended things. What have we come to? Really?

But maybe I'm just being too Canadian, eh?

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends. (Unless you're offended by that.)

Today's Weather Report

Fresh, bracing, invigorating. The low overnight will be -12°C (or about 10F) but will feel like -20C (-4F). Tomorrow's high should reach -10C (that's 14F) but it will feel like -15C (5F). No sign of snow in the forecast, though we get a few fine flakes most days. Great for hibernating, which I should be doing. But, well, um . . . whatever. It's a long story.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


It happened.

It happened last night. 

It happened when I wasn't expecting it to happen. Though I should have.

After all, it is early November. And the temperature was below freezing (O°C or 32F) overnight.

Yup, it snowed. 

 At the front

By noon, I could see that the more adventurous were out and about, despite icy streets. Or, more correctly, turning the streets to ice. (The smart ones, as you can see, are walking. Carefully.)

In the back

I don't know whether the snow will stay more than a day or so, even though the temperatures will be below freezing. The ground was comparatively warm and wet when the show fell. So, for those of you in Texas, or San Diego, I'm sorry; we don't have enough snow to send you some. At least not yet.

But of course, good friends and readers, you know what this means. Yes! IT'S HIBERNATION TIME! Meaning that I'll be gone until next spring. Unless, of course
• there is a really nice day, when it's sunny and warm, and I just have to get out and stretch, or
• I get bounced, either by Tigger, or by our grandchildren (when they come for a visit — which is at least once every week). 

Do I expect to be out from hibernation at some point? Absolutely. I'm sure that Finnegan and/or Keira will "bounce" me, sometime, if nothing else. Grandchildren are so lovely, and so much fun, and so predictable. At least ours are. (And probably yours, too!) They WILL find me. "Granddad, are you awake?" they will inquire (even though I look like I'm sound asleep). I can already hear that inside my head. Life is nothing if not "interesting," when you're a Bear. Especially a Brown Bear in Canada.

Blessings and Bear hugs, everyone!

Today's Weather Report

Overcast, and -5°C (or 23F). Cloudy overnight, down to -11C (that's 12F). Tomorrow, cloudy, again (still?), high of -8C (about 18F). No sign of snow for the rest of next week, though there is a slight possibility of snow on Tuesday, (but that's so slight, it won't likely happen). 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


We have had quite a bit of rain recently. Even a bit of snow, (but that doesn't count, because it didn't stay for at least 12 hours). 

What that means is we have had a lot of grey, cloudy days. November kinds of days. 

"GRRRrrr" is the appropriate response to all that.   

It's close to hibernating weather, but not quite. Not cold enough. So I'm dragging myself around; not quite hibernating, not quite awake.

I was over at Fishduckys blog earlier today. She was quoting Mark Twain, and a number of Twain's thoughts seemed appropriate for the day after a mid-term election.

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress But I repeat myself."

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."


"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."  

That last one is particularly true. If you have enough money to saturate an area with television advertising, you can get people to believe that lies are the truth, and that the truth is a pack of lies. You can convince people to vote against their best interests, and support the very different interests of others. (It's called "The Big Lie" process.) Reporter Andy Borowitz, in The New York Times, says, that since the Citizens United case has been upheld by the US Supreme Court, it costs about four billion dollars to buy a member of congress. Yup; four billion. All, I assume, for election expenses. (It's hard to recall that Borowitz is actually writing satire; he seems so realistic and truthful.)

We, in Canada, are going to have a Federal (national) Election in a bit less than a year. The Conservatives are in power. To understand Canadian Conservatives you need to realize that they are just a bit more conservative than the Kock brothers "Tea Party."  (Meaning they are more like Fascists.) They take most of their strategy from the US Republican play book. They are far more conservative than most Canadians (except for Christian fundamentalists, some of whom form the party's base of support). A court has found that the Conservatives clearly engaged in electoral fraud, in order to win the last Federal Election. Many people expect the Conservatives will do the same again in this upcoming election. For the record, the Conservatives normal response is to thumb their noses at the courts. Sigh!

Oh. Wait! It looks like there is some sun breaking through the clouds. This could be a nice day, after all. 

Now, if I could just find Miss Sadie!

Blessings and Bear hugs, folks!

Today's Weather Report
Mainly sunny, with a temperature of 4C (or a balmy 40°F). Overnight, it will feel like about -9C (a fresh 16F). Remember to wear your socks and mittens to bed, and have something to cover your head. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014


This time, the news is about Miss Sadie.

For those of you who didn't know her, she was my dog until we moved to an apartment a while ago. Then I needed to re-home her. 

Here's her picture — one of her best.

Sadie's new home as on a decent-sized acreage just north of River City. Her new master was a very kindly veterinarian. Kind enough to invite me out to visit when I wanted to do so. I never did. I thought a visit would be too upsetting for Sadie and for me. 

Fast forward to this fall. To make a long story short, Sadie disappeared one day. Probably stolen. One of the vet's other Poodles had been stolen some years ago, before a new security system was in place. He's been hunting for her, with no success. The thief's plan was probably to breed her (though that won't happen because she has been spayed). Failing that, he/she will likely just sell her. Maybe Sadie has been sold already. I suspect so.

The only thing for which I hope is that she will end up with some people who love her. Really, really love her.

Blessings and Bear hugs to you, Miss Sadie, wherever you may be!

  Today's Weather Report
Cold overnight, around -1C (about30F). Up to 6C (43 F) tomorrow. A bit cloudy, but no snow forecast.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


For a country as peaceful as ours, major crime is a horror. This morning, a soldier was shot and killed while standing guard at our National War Memorial in Ottawa. The shooter then ran across the street to our Parliament Building (like the Capital Building in DC), got into the building, and was within feet of killing a lot of Members of Parliament (politicians). He was killed by Parliament security officers and Ottawa Police. 

There are so many unanswered questions. Did he act alone? Why did he do this? No answers. Police are still checking through buildings in downtown Ottawa (lots of government buildings) to make sure people are safe. Schools are locked down. NHL hockey game for tonight won't be happening. Major items on Prime Minister's agenda cancelled. (He was to be in Toronto to give Malala Yousafzai an honourary Canadian Citizenship, after she won the Nobel Peace Prize.)

I would have preferred to hibernate through all that. 

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends. 

Today's Weather Report

Sunday, 7 September 2014


The Dog is big, and black, and very present. I have basically quit trying to write. Everything just seems just too much. 

 I had deliberately cut off comments to my blog because I don’t have the energy to reply to them. I manage to accomplish the mere basics on a daily basis. 

 And, to make matters worse, I am in a lot of physical pain. (Did I mention I had fallen off a ladder and landed on my back? I can't remember.) 

However, I have been asked to reconsider the shutting off of comments. After due consideration (or as much consideration as I could manage), I'm backtracking on that one. So, yes, you may leave your comments. I appreciate receiving them, and I apologize in advance for not answering them, this time 

 This is the best I can do, folks. 

 Blessings and Bear hugs.

Today's Weather Report
Rain tonight, rain tomorrow. And cooler.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


There is a large Black Dog sitting on my desk. He is right in front of me, between me and my computer. This is making it very difficult to communicate with people by blog, by email, etc. 

I can throw him off the desk, and I have, several times. But he's back up before I can type a complete sentence. I need a more permanent solution to this problem. He used to just lie in doorways, so I would trip over him (or not). Now he is much more aggressive, and much more annoying. 

I used to have a beautiful big, black Dog, who would lie on the couch while I was working. She's gone, and this new "thing" is here. I am more than "not amused."

We'll meet again, I trust. 

Blessings and Bear hugs, as always!

 Today's Weather Report
I don't think it matters. But, for the record, rain tonight, rain tomorrow. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014


Things have changed here, a bit. My beloved J has been in hospital for major surgery. Now she is recovering at home, and doing quite well, considering. (No, it wasn't anything related to cancer, if you're concerned!)

That has made life busier for your Bear. I've been cooking, waitering, cleaning, washing, and all that stuff. None of this is new; these are things I do much of the time. Except that there is only one of us doing these things now. (Though J sometimes goes down the stairs by herself to cook her breakfast. That's not really advisable under the circumstances; I would hate for her to fall on the stairs.)

So, if you don't see me for a while, you'll know that I've got other things I'm doing. 

One other thing is that I'm leading worship for our congregation tomorrow. That plan was made a long time ago, and the dates of the surgery and service didn't match quite as well as I would have liked. So, tomorrow I'll have our noon meal organized before I head off to church. 

Another thing: it's J's birthday today. She's . . . maturing wonderfully. The whole family will be here for a brief party. After which she will rest. Some more.

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends!

Today's Weather Report
It's partly cloudy, with a temperature of 15°C (or 59F). Today's high will be 17C (63F); tonight's low will be 9C (48F). This has just happened; what a change! I think we might be heading into autumn.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


When it comes to the weather, things are pretty ordinary in the land of the Bears. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter. Occasionally, when there is a chance of a severe thunderstorm or blizzard, we get a watch notice or warning from Environment Canada (the weather guys and gals).

Today, something different. A "Heat Warning." I don't think I have ever seen that before. 

The combined heat and humidity are going to reach 40C (that's 104F; it is also unusual — which, I guess, is why there is a warning). I suppose for some of you, 40C or 104F is not uncommon, so there is no surprise when your air temperature reaches that. But it's quite surprising for us. And very "uncool," in both senses of that word.

They didn't needed to tell the Bears it was going to be hot. J and I went shopping. The store was air conditioned. When we came out, the air immediately caught her breath. Nothing serious, but noteworthy. Harder breathing in the hot, humid weather.

We got home, got inside, turned on the air conditioning, and decided to lay low for the rest of the day. Which seems reasonable, as it is way too hot for doing much of anything. Though it might be great if you're drying hay or holding a pool party. (We have neither hay nor pool.) Even the birds and the neighbourhood cats are staying in the shade. Yes, it's that hot. 

Whatever your temperature. I hope you can stay relatively comfortable in your weather. 

And if we can't be cool, we can at least think cool.

That is the Hubbard Glacier, which we saw on our cruise to Alaska. Even it is receding quickly in the changing climate. Sigh. 

Anyhow, blessings and Bear hugs (if hugs won't make you too hot)!

Today's Weather Report
Nice, bright, sunny day. Currently 27°C (or 81F) going to 30C (86F). I've already told you the rest. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Once again, Bears get a bad rap. Really, we won't kill you unless you antagonize us. Like endanger our babies, or do something equally ridiculous.

(From BadIdeas T-shits)

Blessings and Bear hugs, eh, from your friendly Bear?

Today's Weather Report
It is supposed to go up to 29C tomorrow (which is 84F). But it will feel like 33C (or 91F). Way too hot for a Bear in a fur coat. I'll hide somewhere that has air conditioning. That should work. Yeah.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


The Three "Musketeers"

You may have wondered what became of our baby Robins. Well, they have been back. Usually one at a time. But last evening, all three came together. They were all grouped around the bird bath. Which I suppose is a reasonable place for them to be. Their "watering hole."

But they are not babies any more.

They are twice to three times this size. Almost "all growed up." So the news continues to be good.

Now, if I can remember to take my camera with me every time I go out, I may get a newer picture.

The other main visitor is a baby Magpie. I am usually able to encourage it and its parents to move on after a short visit. Only today I discovered there are three of those babies, too. And they are getting very large! Sigh!

More from Alaska

As mentioned a while ago, we were on a cruise to Alaska in June. We saw all kinds of wonderful sites and sights. 

Including Bears!

Right in town!

This one was a bit wary of his surroundings

This one was perfectly at home.

Only in Alaska, you say? Dreadful pity.

Blessings and Bear hugs, from them, and me!

Today's Weather Report

Today's high is supposed to 25°C (77F), but it will feel more like 30C (86F). Rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Right now, it's about 22C (72F)

The problem is that the sky was overcast when I first got up, and there has been only a little clearing of clouds. Who knows; we may have rain in time for lunch.

Saturday, 5 July 2014


Although I haven't mentioned them before, we have had a family renting part of our place for the last couple of months. 

Last night, they decided to take off, without even saying "by your leave," or anything else. I just walked into the garage, and three baby Robins jumped out of their nest, and more or less floated to the ground, landing awkwardly.

I was able to get up close and personal with two of them; I also got some pictures.

Giving me a beady-eyed look

More of the same

Mom kept an eye on everything.

The babies eventually disappeared into the undergrowth in our yard, and I couldn't find them. But Mom and Dad knew where they were, and kept talking to them. Kinda like Buttons' cows, who hide their calves in the bush. 

In the process, two Black-Billed Magpies showed up to see if there might be something to eat. (Yes, they eat baby birds, or feed them to their babies.) I tossed a stone up on to our roof, which they took as a sign they were not welcome. They left. Quickly. 

The only major threat now is the cluster of cats which live across the street, and sometimes come into our yard. I have discouraged them by throwing noisy things in their direction. They tend not to stick around too much, either. 

The Robin family had a nice little flat (or apartment) in the vines that cover much of our garage. No hot or cold running water, but they were OK with that. See their place? 

Oh, you don't.

How about now?

Still no luck?

OK. One more try.

There you have it.

I knew they were there because Momma Robin flew out of the vines, from almost right above the side door to the garage, every time I went in there. But I pretended not to know what was happening. 

Finally I figured I would actually get up on a ladder and check them out today. But they decided to run out on me last
evening. What can you say?

I can say, "Blessings and Bear hugs, everyone!"

Today's Weather Report
The high this afternoon is supposed to reach 27C, (that's about 81F). But it's going to feel like 32C (or 90F). And there have been thundershowers, but not much rain. Yup; hot and muggy. But what are summers for? 

Happy haying if your fields are dry enough! (I need to cut my very modest hay crop, or grass crop, this week, too.) 

Friday, 4 July 2014


Happy Fourth of July, folks.

From Wikipedia

Blessings and Canadian Bear hugs, friends!

Today's Weather Report
It's 29C (84F) but feels like 36C (97F). Some southern American weather in Canada for Independence Day? Hmmmm. Texas, perhaps. Or Arizona?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


On our recent sortie to Alaska, J and I picked up a few mementos of our adventure. We each got a mug with a Moose. (The Moose is the state animal of Alaska, I've been told. I would have thought a Bear would be good, but California already has the Bear.)

For the record, the cup is 14 millimetres (51/4 inches) tall and nine millimetres (3 inches) wide. A good "Moose-sized" cup of tea to start the day. May the calmness prevail!

I asked the sales assistant why there were no antlers on the Moose. She said that, during production, they tried painting antlers on the cup. But the antlers were so heavy, the cup kept tipping over. So that idea was scrapped.

Meanwhile, a new challenge. My tea pot now makes only 11/2 cups of tea at a time. Dilemma: do I get a bigger tea pot, or make tea more often? Any thoughts?

And. . . .

Our intrepid hiking friend, DJan, of Bellingham, Washington, often takes pictures of Mount Baker when she goes out with the Senior Trailblazers. We have seen many, many views of the south side of that mountain. 

My brother-in-law and his wife live just a stone's throw north of the Canada-US border in Abbotsford, BC. So they're about 55 kilometres (roughly 35 miles) north of the same mountain. Here, then, is a picture of the north side of magnificent Mount Baker.  

So, now you've seen both sides — very balanced reporting on the story.

Blessings and Bear hugs, everyone! 

(P.S.: You didn't really believe that bit about the antlers painted on the cup, did you?)

Today's Weather Report
Wednesday's high is predicted to be 25°C (or 77F). With a chance of a thundershower. Or a chance that I'll water my garden. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Calm is one of the last words that I would use to describe life today. There is just so much "go-go-go," it seems as if we can never catch up. We feel frazzled and constantly behind. 

In response, Bear wishes to set a goal of calmness for all, and a method to achieve that calmness. This is one of Bear's remedies for the craziness of the world. Doesn't solve all the problems, but it is a good start.

This also leads into my next note, which I trust will come to you within this week.  

Blessings and Bear hugs, everyone!

Today's Weather Report
Rain, all day, today and tomorrow. It hasn't happened yet, but I can feel it coming. 
Either that, or I will have to go out and water my garden tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

THE NEED FOR CHANGE (A Paws in Bear's "Depression Break")

Those of you who can remember back to April will recall a book I stated reading called, The Great Turning, by David C. Korten. (Korten is a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and has taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, among other things. "Liberal" he is not.) 

Just so you understand, despite being on my "Depression Break" (where everything seems black, or some shade of gray), I keep popping my head up once in a while to let you know that I haven't entirely gone to H**l in a hand basked (or without said basket).

The problem is that my desire to remain sane is regularly overwhelmed by my desire to understand the world in which I live. Indeed, some bright soul (I cannot remember who — perhaps it was Jetty) said that, if you're living in today's world, you will be a little crazy, just because of the way the world is. I agree.

That "desire to understand the world" brings me back to Korten's book. I've slogged through the book to the beginning of Chapter 14, entitled "Prisons of the Mind." It's not really very difficult to read; it's just very discouraging

To begin at the beginning of Chapter 14:

Those who control the stories that define the culture of a society control its politics and its economy. This truth is critical to explaining how a cabal of right-wing extremists was able to render the democratic safeguards of the U.S. political system ineffective and gain control of the governing institutions of the nation.[1]

Or in other words, the U.S has a government "of the people, by the rich, for the rich." (Apologies to President Lincoln for the distortion of his Gettysburg message.) But as Korten has explained in the intervening chapters, that is the way the U.S. was set up in its Constitution. The big Constitutional battle was between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson believed America should be a democracy of "land-owning family farmers and independent artisans."[2] Hamilton said such a system was simply mob rule, and "felt that to become a strong nation America must concentrate power in a class of wealthy aristocrats able to organize and lead the nation into imperial greatness."[3] In other words, a plutocracy, not a democracy. (The quotation Korten uses from Hamilton is frankly both disparaging and frightening — I'll maybe share it another time.)

Some battle, indeed!

So, America should be an empire run by the wealthy, according to Hamilton. Which is exactly what it has become, all other notions notwithstanding. And please note the use of the words "imperial greatness." The U.S. is, indeed, an empire, basically running most of the world, in one way or another — directly or (more often) indirectly.

So now you know why ordinary working people are making less and less all the time (when you factor in inflation). And why the "middle class" is falling apart. In the post-WW2 era, up to the 1960s and 70s, it was possible for one person (usually male) to make enough money to support a family (food, clothes, decent housing). But in the 1980s that trend reversed, and has been reversing ever since.[4] 

Blessings and Bear hugs, anyhow!

1 David C Korten, The Great Turning, pp. 237. That begins with President Reagan, and increases during the governments of President Bush, the Elder, and following.
2 Ibid, p. 184
3 Ibid.
Ibid, p. 213-214, 226.

Today's Weather Report
Rain this morning. Rain this afternoon. Rain this evening, including thundershowers. "Gloomy day, isn't it?" said Eeyore. 
But at least it's not snowing.

Our back yard, earlier this year; May, perhaps.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Some things need no explanation to the well-informed.

I think that covers the matter. 

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends!

Monday, 19 May 2014


If rainy days and Mondays always get me down, how do I feel on a Monday when it has rained all day?

You get the picture.

Thanks to all of you who posted kind and supportive notes to my last blog entry.  I was surprised by the fact that so many of you have experienced depression, either yourself, or in your family. The Black Dog loves to visit as many as he can.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Today's Weather Report
Rain, rain, rain. Temperature of 9C (48F). "Gloomy day, isn't it?" said Eeyore. 

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Those of you who read my scribbling regularly know that I have, for decades, suffered from chronic depression. 

Well, the infamous "Black Dog" has been back for a few weeks. It seems that every time I move, I trip over that @$%£&**@ dog. Which seems to excite him. But for me, it is great deal less than thrilling. It's actually miserable.

Tonight, I decided to light a fire in the fire pit outside. I just got it started, going nicely, when the rain began to pour. Sitting around a campfire in the rain is not a fun experience. So I gave up. I came inside. And I have written this. Yeah, life is pretty gggrrrr right now. 

The problem is that I've been doing the "right things." I'm getting enough sleep. I'm taking my medications as I should. I'm eating well. I'm physically active — particularly, I've been raking a the old leaves off the lawns around our house. I just finished that today.

Despite the "right things," I'm not doing well. I "shouldn't" be feeling this way. But I am. Life with depression. 

I'll be back. Sometime. Not sure if that is a threat or a promise. In the meantime, I may not have enough energy to visit you — thought you may have noticed that absence already. 

 Blessings and Bear hugs. 

Today's Weather Report
Frankly, I really don't care. For the record, it is cool and rainy/wet. 

Friday, 25 April 2014


In the Book

As many of you know, Bear is primarily a reader of non-fiction. For him to venture into a novel would be a novel experience, indeed.

One does not normally use "exciting" to describe a work of non-fiction, but there are exceptions to every tradition. And this is one of them.

The book I'm reading is called The Great Turning; its sub-title is "From Empire to Earth Community." 

David C. Korten is no socialist. Born in 1937, he grew up in a white, middle-class and very conservative part of the state of Washington. He has a Ph.D. from the Stanford Business School and has taught at Harvard University's Business School.[1] That's a pretty good track record as a conservative economist.

But then, the shift.
"To this day, I retain my conservative suspicion of big government. I am now, however, equally suspicious of big business and big finance. . . . Although I love my country, . . . I have seen first-hand the devastating negative impact that the economic and military policies of the US government have had on democracy, economic justice, and environmental stability."[2] But as Korten notes, by time his children had graduated from high school, they had lived (with their parents) in Nicaragua, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as in the US. Indeed, he has some very negative comments for what he calls the "conservative agenda" of contemporary US politics.

I'm only getting into the book, but the first 20 pages are fascinating. I'll have more in due course. 

In other news:

• We hosted a birthday party for our daughter-in-law on Tuesday,
• I spent much of Wednesday at the university doing ethics work,
• the Russians have not invaded Ukraine, yet,
• the Sheltie "Superdogs" are still with us, and will be for another week,  

• I'm going to be leading worship in our congregation a couple of times, in the May and June (old habits die hard, and people seem to know that for some reason), and, 
it snowed last night. When the Superdogs and I went out this morning, there was snow on the ground and it was still coming down. On April 25th. (And I was just getting started on our spring work, after a day of sun and a couple of days' rain.) GGggRRrr!

Blessings and Bear hugs, everyone!

[1] www.
[2] David C. Korten, The Great Turning, pp. 8-9.

Today's Weather Report
It's 0°C (32°F) with snow this morning, but feels like -5C (23F). The anticipated high is 6C (or 43F), but it will feel like only 3C (that's 37F). It will be cloudy all day. With fog overnight, and temperature of 2C (36F).

Thursday, 17 April 2014


1. I was leaving our church building after Morning Worship on Sunday when I was assaulted . . . by snow. Snow, I tell you! S-N-O-W, for Heaven's sakes!

Not only that, it has snowed each and every day this week, and it did last Friday and Saturday as well.

I must confess this is a bit past the time of year when people would feel this to be an enjoyable experience.
(Can you hear the collective "GGGGGGRRRRRRRR!"?)

"Oh, it will be gone soon," commented one local wag. Whereupon the individual was nearly hung from the closest lamp post. Or would have been, had not a certain Bear intervened on that individual's behalf.

2.  The two "Superdogs" are still on duty. Meaning Bear gets dog therapy: set amounts at particular times, and impromptu  treatments throughout the day and night. 

Bear wishes to report he is feeling much better. Shadow (above) and Salsa (below) are none the worse for wear. Apparently. 

The one downside is that they're normally so close that I have to each very carefully that I do not run over them with my desk chair, or trip over them when I get out of bed. 

3. I know that quite a few of your are bibliophiles (lovers of books), and writers of books, too. Well, Bear has joined your ranks as a writer. 

Two thing conspired to make this happen.

a. A certain doctor of my acquaintance has been bugging, encouraging, nagging, and persuading me that I should write a book. Perhaps a book for children. Perhaps something about Bears. I know she means well, and she has my best interests at heart. But to shift from journalism to authorship? Hmmmm. Anyhow, she thinks I would benefit from a book. Frankly, royalties aren't that great, but, well, um, I have given up, acquiesced, thrown in the towel of resistance. I've written three whole pages. 

b. Then, lo and behold, a certain Bear appeared in my household. I have no idea where it came from, or how it got here. If I were more suspicious, I might say this seems all too Paddington-esque. (You do know Paddington Bear, don't you?)

Ecce Ursus: Behold, the Bear.

At which point your intrepid reporter grabbed his deer-stalker hat and camera (much better than a magnifying glass), and started his investigation. 

• Brown Bear (undersized, perhaps malnourished)
• Not talking (this is going to be difficult)
• Grey slouch hat and blue bags, all marked "Canada Post." The normal gear of a letter carrier. That's clear enough.

Despite his silence, I was, however, able to learn that his name is Ballentyne. Not sure if that is his (yes, he's a he) first name or last name. A matter of mental telepathy. Or at least I would have you believe that. 

As my grandson would say, "To be continued."

4. It has been a bit snowy over the last week. It's well past the middle of April, and most of us have had quite enough of this. But, well, it's snowing as I write. And this is a winter country. And climate change is happening, at least in part because of all the gunk being tossed into the air. 

Garbage in, garbage out (as the computer programmers would say).

5. This is the "Easter Weekend" or Triduum.  Today was Manudy  Thursday; tomorrow, Good Friday (how one considers a nasty public execution a good thing is, well, hmmmmm); Sunday, the Christian Festival of Easter, or Resurrection. Lots and lots of activity in churches, including ones like ours. After a lifetime of planning such things, I'm glad I'm not responsible for all that activity this year. 

6. Some time ago I might have mentioned I was getting more serious about writing poety. Well, I have two contributions in various stages of preparation. I hope at least one will be up on my poetry blog by the end of this month. 

7. You may have noticed that Bear has been making changes to his blog. A few more will be coming. Nothing drastic. 

8. Did I mention we have had a lot of snow in the last week?

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends!

Tonight's Weather Report

Overcast with light snow, temperature of 1C (34F) with the wind chill down to -6C (21F) Outlook for tomorrow, rain in the morning, afternoon and evening, with a possibility of isolated showers and/or snow on Saturday and Sunday. (There are words for such situations, but this is a family-rated blog, so I won't include them.)