Tuesday, 21 August 2018


I'm not going to explain my unplanned absence except by saying "intense pain" and "dodging smoke."

I'm thinking about the fire reports from British Columbia (also knows as British California for its location and sometimes temperament.) At last record, there were firefighters from Australia and New Zealand helping out — those are not exactly our "next-door neighbours."

The last picture I saw was of a giant smoke cloud rising to 25,000 feet. I looked initially like someone had set off a small nuclear bomb. Certainly not a time to be travelling by aeroplane.

(I would show you a picture but I can't get it to transfer from where it is to here. 😢)

Now I'm sure you realize that is a long way from Bear's home. About 1577 kilometres (or 980 miles). But the smoke from there is getting all the way to River City! But that's just the beginning. The smoke goes all the way to Northern Ontario. (In US terms, Ontario is mostly north of New York and Michigan.) That's about 2,520 kilometres or 1,600 miles east of River City. 

And the smoke is dangerous. We received a warning:

### Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Time to take health concerns seriously. A lung specialist I heard on tv was saying people react to the smoke like it is an intruding infection — developing inflammation and other responses. This adds up over time, leading to things like lung cancer. 

So, I've been busy trying to dodge the bad air. Keeps a Bear busy! Sadly, I have not been very successful. My throat and chest feel pretty uncomfortable at 1,500 kilometres away from the fire. Not good for a former firefighter.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow. 

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends!

Tonight's Weather Report
Going down to 8C overnight, then up to 25C tomorrow. No clouds to speak of, but continuing small-particulate smoke.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Hello, friends. 

I'm briefly out of hibernation and looking around. It's actually far too cold to be awake, so I may be gone soon. 

It is the beginning of a new year and an ideal time to think about things new. Things like what in what will happen this year, or what do I want to do this year?

Bear is not in the habit of making "New Year's Resolutions" because they tend to die within about a week.

Anyhow, some "beginning at the beginning" thoughts.

1. I hope to get healthy this year.

The past year ended with Bear struggling to get better after surgery on my hip. The first challenge was to fight off the infections I picked up in the hospital. I finally did that, but the process left me behind in my overall recovery.

I'm past that block, and I'm up and walking without my cane or any other support (most of the time). But I'm still having a lot of pain in my legs, and in my hip (to a lesser degree). I'm taking more pain medication; I'm also looking forward to getting off medications entirely. That, I think, will be a long haul. Sadly.

My continuing worries have to do with the potential of getting addicted to the medication. Even worse, there is a possibility of my getting the pain hardwired into my brain so that, even when the physical problem in my legs is resolved, my  brain will still feel pain. That is a major challenge, I think, and pehaps the root of much of the addiction to opioids post-surgically. 

Another ethical puzzle on which I can work.

Other than taking more medication, I find that resting is the best way to deal with the pain. But that leads to my sleeping all hours of the day and night. For example, when I go to bed at night, I usually sleep an hour or two. Then I wake up, and I don't get back to sleep. Tonight, for example, I went to bed about 10:30, but woke up with bad leg pains about midnight. I haven't been back to sleep since. Will I get back to sleep by 3:00 a.m.? I hope so, but I don't know. But I'm still writing to you at 1:30, so that may give you an idea.

I think I'll quit here, and try to focus on getting to sleep again. I'll write more later today or tomorrow. (I'm hoping I will write a bit every day this year.) 

Blessings and Bear hugs to all!

Today's Weather Report

Most of Canada is being held in a deep freeze which is being complicated by heavy snow in some locations. 

In River City, the sky is cloudy and the temperature is -15°C, though it feels like -25C. (We've had tempeatures as low as -49C this week; people have not been out and about much in that cold!) We are supposed to have warmer weather this week; still below freezing, but much better than -49 or even -25!