Monthly Archives: March 2015

Only Child on quality versus quantity of life

Only Child  contemplates quality vs quantity of life

Only Child contemplates quality vs quantity of life

Yesterday I attended the funeral service for the mother of a friend. The mother was in her late 80s and for the past 10 years had suffered from dementia. Her quality of life was not good. My friend had to put her in a nursing home eight years ago but she spent a good part of her days with her mother.

It got me thinking of quality versus quantity of life. For those of you who have been following this blog you may remember that my parents did not live to a ripe old age. My dad died of brain cancer at 66 when I was 16 and my mom died of a sudden brain aneurysm at age 63 when I was 22. Here we have my dad suffering from some form of cancer off and on for six years before he died. He was not in a good place (and I don’t mean the hospital) in the last few months. Mom, on the other hand, had a few headaches, then the aneurysm and despite surgery, she died five days later.

Two of my maternal uncles and a first cousin once removed (I hate that ancestry categorization – sounds like they are getting kicked out of the family) lived into their 90s. When the cousin died at 90, she was blind, had dementia and a bad heart. One uncle, my godfather, died at the same age. He had dementia and heart problems. The other uncle, not a blood relative, died at age 98 and was healthy – mind and body – almost up to when he died.

My paternal grandfather died in his early 70s the same year my parents were married – so before I was born. My paternal grandma died in her mid-80s of a heart attack. She still had all her mental facilities and was able to get around okay.

That’s my history. But I’ve seen a lot of other suffering from illnesses and from my observations I truly believe that quality of life trumps quantity. If your mind is gone; if your body is filled with sickness that will kill you, is there a point in carrying on?

However, having said that I believe it is up to the individual to decide if they want to end their life sooner than later if they are terminally ill (of mind and/or body). It is not up to God’s will (and how often has that term been mis-used – from the family of terminally ill people praying for a miracle, to if the person dies well, they say, it was just God’s will.)

Excuse me. It is not God’s life but yours, mine – the person who is terminally will. If God gave us free will then we should have the right, if terminally ill, to decide if we want to die sooner than later. Quality over quantity.

And that’s where the problem arises.

Canada now has given the okay to assisted suicide, although the details have to be worked out. I have a problem with that, not because it will still be up to the dying person to decide, but because another person has to get involved. For every other medical procedure and the like I believe medical doctors have to go by the letter of the law – whatever their beliefs. But not here. I think they should be allowed to go by their conscience as long as they recommend a doctor who will assist in suicide. And not interfere with the dying person’s choice.

The other problem is often a person is too sick to decide and unfortunately hasn’t made a living will. So the family members try to impose what they want and believe to be right, not necessarily what the dying person wants. And not all family members agree.

So, it is a dilemma. Maybe we should have had it built into our being that if and when we become terminally ill, we just die right away.

Of course, some won’t make it that far because of other people’s actions, from vehicle crashes to plane crashes like the German plane crashing over France because of the co-pilot’s deliberate actions.

Perhaps the only thing to do is carpe diem – something I struggle with because of all the problems in my life – and I don’t mean just health-related.

What do you think?

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Assisted Suicide, cancer, Carpe Diem, Death and Dying, Dying with Dignity, Family, Family and Friends, Mom and Dad, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child looks for any silver lining

Only child contemplates the world we live in

Only child contemplates the world we live in

The world circa 2015 is going to worse than hell in a hand basket. Try nowhere in a rocket. Even Superman, faster than a speeding bullet, can’t save us.

Every day I wake up to more bad stuff – both in the wider world and personally.

The worst part may be that 90 to 95 per cent I didn’t cause.

Consider the following:

Worldwide: the weather – there is not a place in the world that is safe from extreme weather. Those who follow my blog posts here know who I blame for this (Hint: “dog” spelled backwards). Even waking up to the sun shining doesn’t provide much hope. Think skin cancer, windburn to evergreens, etc.

Worldwide: terrorism, financial debt, unemployment, overuse of too much technology, rudeness as the norm, etc.

Personal: problems with utility companies (don’t get me going here), computer problems, house and yard damage (much due to weather) and resulting financial problems and health problems, time management problems (some of the latter is my fault), etc.

I think you get the picture and it isn’t pretty.

The only solution seems to be to get away from it all – but where to go – a one-way ticket to outer space?

So I “hide” deeper in my writing. But excuse me – first I have to finish going through all the year-end bookkeeping for my business and do the tax stuff. No doubt to get “robbed” by the CRA – more money I don’t have much of to be forked out.

I am polishing up my tin can – a big tin can.

Lottery tickets don’t work for me.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Civility, Computer problems, Health, Income Taxes, Only child, Problems, Sharon A. Crawford, Sign of the Times, Technology overload, Technology problems, Uncategorized, Weather, Writing

Only Child turns new leaf to kindness

Winter weather still causing problems

Winter weather still causing problems

Late last night or early this morning – depending on your time take – I had just finished reading the newspaper and was heading for bed when the power went out.

Instant panic. After the big Southern Ontario power outage of summer 2003 and the ice storm-induced outage starting Dec. 21, 2013, I do not take kindly to power outages. Especially when I have put it out there to God (or whomever you believe are the powers that be) to please keep all utilities working 24/7. And I’m not listened to.

Immediately I went into action. Phoned Toronto Hydro to report the outage but couldn’t get past the “hit No 1 to report an outage.” When I hit “1” the phone went dead on their end. I was using my trusty landline phone on the wall – no electric connections there. The next half hour was spent actually going outside and looking to see where the outage was and more phone call attempts.

Surprise. It was a small pocket on part of my street and the street my house faces. My friends next door had power and the street light on our property line was on. Back into the house with another try to get Toronto Hydro. This time it didn’t ring and nothing at their end, but all fine at my end of the phone. In my panic, I decided to try 311 – the city help line – but they were backed up with calls. So I hung up and decided to call 911 – maybe the police could report the outage to Toronto Hydro; maybe they could get through to Toronto Hydro.

Well, I got the rudest person – a civilian – in police communications. He kept rudely repeating I had to call Toronto Hydro and despite my saying I tried but couldn’t get through to them, he kept saying that 911 was for fire, police and medical emergency. On the rude scale he hit above the 10 mark. Even if not his place to help me, he could have been polite and soothing.

I finally did get through to Toronto Hydro – after getting through the main line and listening to the recorded message of current power outages being attended to (mine, not mentioned), I hit “2” instead of “1” and got a live person. What a difference from the asshole civilian at police communications. This Hydro fellow said they already had one notification from the other street here and said he would add my street to the list. I asked how long before power is restored and he said as soon as they could as they had crews at a big fire (Note: thanks to the weather – not Toronto Hydro’s fault – there are problems with the transmitters up the poles and elsewhere – come getting on fire and so the power goes out.)

I thanked the fellow and then got busy with my own emergency stuff. Moved all my “delicate” fridge food (eggs, milk and the like) except for the rest of a casserole (which shall hit the green bin) to my “second fridge” – the old milk chute from the 1950s when milk was delivered – it’s a mailbox now. Put the fridge thermometer in and a later check showed it at fridge temperature. Made several more forays into the fridge to remove fresh fruit and veggies, bread and peanut butter – stuff that could stay out of the fridge in case that was going to be part of my meals today (along with the tinned stuff I stock up on). I even managed to take a shower by candlelight. The hot water heater is gas-fueled. So is the furnace but the thermostat is hydro induced. Apparently years ago, maybe even before my time, gas furnaces started up without the hydro connection. Obviously somebody screwed up when changing that setup.

I took some valerian (natural relaxant/sleep tablet) and crawled into bed under the covers.

And if it sounds like I was composed, no. I kept getting up to check this and that. But finally fell asleep but woke up. Just after my second wake-up, and my mind was going through how I could get through my day without hydro and get my morning coffee, the power went back on. I got up and wandered through the house, enjoying the lights and being grateful.

This morning I phoned Toronto Hydro to leave a message to thank the fellow I talked to and the workers for taking the time from all these hydro fires to restore power in a small pocket where I live.

All this has made me re-think something I had tried to do a few months ago but it got lost in the swarm of bad stuff coming at me. I will now live in a more kindly manner and try to do more random acts of kindness (I have actually managed to do a few, despite all my troubles).

That doesn’t meant that those who give me a hard time get off the hook. I will just be more selective and focus on the important.

Like the rude police communications civilian. I’m contacting Toronto Police Services and complaining about his attitude. Chances are I’m not the only one he treats so callously. And as all 911 calls are recorded with the caller’s location, they shouldn’t have problems figuring out who is the guilty party here.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Civility, God, Gratitude, Life demands, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Toronto Police Services Communications, Winter Weather

Only Child’s tips when the snow melts

Going  Going but gone?

Going Going but gone?

The weather in Southern Ontario, Canada is finally warming up. Yeah!. However, we need to be aware of what that also means. Sure, the snow is melting, but we don’t want it to end up in our basement, attic or other rooms. On last evening’s late newscast on Global TV, a few tips for trying to prevent basement flooding were presented. Here they are and I’ll add a few of my own as well as my comments on the first three.

  1. Clear snow piled up around windows and around the house.
  2. Clear eaves troughs. Could be tricky if you already (like me) have ice jams that are now melting and the water is trying to get out through the downspout. What happened on one side of my house is the big chunks of ice (after expanding one portion of the downspout and lowered its position because of the weight) broke and fell out of the downspout. My handyman had put up roof ice pellets which worked at first, then we got some more snow that turned to ice and… he is looking into deicing cables but we are hoping all the other measures will work and the cables can wait to be bought and put up until fall for next winter (which I don’t even want to think about).
  3. Street flooding. This is the one that gets me about whose responsibility it is. I do it anyway but it really is city employees and any outsourced contractors who should be doing this job. Shovel snow (and ice and the salt) off the cache basins. Clear a pathway by the curb at the end of your property so when snow melts the water can flow into the cache basins.
  4. Clean any snow around the ground opening to your downspouts.
  5. It doesn’t hurt to shovel the rest of your driveway or patio if you haven’t already.
  6. Make sure that your children, pets and you, too, stay away from so-called frozen lakes and the like. They may look frozen but when the weather warms like this, the ice layer can be thin and crack under any weight.
  7. Wear boots because of all the puddling.
  8. If driving, be kind to pedestrians and drive slowly through puddles. Most of us don’t like being splashed.
  9. And enjoy the sunny warmer weather while it lasts. It is still only March and skeptic that I am I’m not convinced that winter is over, although I would like to be proved wrong here.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Extreme Weather, Floods, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Winter Weather

Only Child lives in survival mode

Winter - will it ever end?

Winter – will it ever end?

I am tired beyond the proverbial eyeballs with living in survival mode. This has been going on for several months and it is eating into my writing time and well, any time to enjoy life. Not to mention the financial problems it is causing.

Last week’s post covered all these issues. The insurance one has been resolved and the ice jam in the eavestrough and one downspout area as well – for now. Didn’t need insulation. The cause? The awful winter (and whatever/whoever causes that). Lots of people are getting ice jams on the side of the roof where the sun shines – apparently caused when it’s cold and the sun shines there from the west (afternoon sun) as my handyman Mike found out from asking around. One of the roofers he spoke to had it happen at his house and he had his attic insulated to the max.

Not everyone is getting the added “blessing” of icicles forming on the outside of the downspout when it is cold and water dripping from the downspout joins when the temperature (plus sun shining) goes up a bit in the day. So, the water drips on the patio and when it freezes overnight – well you can imagine. That is also the corner where I have my rain barrel for summer use. Late fall I had shut off the downspout going to it and that part seemed to be working. So I’ve been busy trying to stop the ice and drips to no avail. Enter my handyman who had to remove the lower downspouts and one of the connections to the rain barrel and put in a very long extended “downspout” (sidespout?) out to the lawn where water can drip out. He also blow-torched the downspouts that remained, put roof melt pellets on the eavestroughs and cleared out the dangling icicles and the ice on the patio (salt in the area plus hacking the ice with my garden shovel).

Mike said he found no obstacles (leaves and branches) blocking the eavestroughs or downspouts. I told him the guy that cleans does a thorough job – three times because of the trees on the other side where there is no ice problem.

“You do what needs doing and then you get screwed,” was how I put it to Mike.

And all this begot unexpected financial hardship. Luckily my ex-husband sent me an e-transfer for part of the work. My April and May financial situation is very bad – property taxes just started up and then there are income taxes and a huge water bill in April. I will also need to get a new rain barrel (plus get a few other outside repairs not connected to the eavestroughs ice jam) done in the spring.

Gee, maybe it is good that spring will again be late and gradual this year – it will take April and May for it to become real spring weather, according to the weather network. Although I am fed up with all the excess snow shovelling and dealing with the city to get their d*** snow plough contractors to stop dumping the snow at the end of my driveway. Not to mention keeping downstairs taps dripping and insulating drains with newspapers to try to prevent frozen broken pipes when the temperature dips way way down.

I wonder how much damage to property and gardens God will have happen during March, April and May? We have snow falling down now and the weather forecast includes ice pellets and maybe some freezing rain in parts of Southern Ontario.

Remember I don’t believe in Mother Nature – no such person.

On a lighter note. Did anyone see (on the weather network, of course, my Bible) the video clip about Oklahoma US Senator James Inhofe who brought a huge snowball into the senate as a symbol that he doesn’t believe in global warming? Amen to him even though he got blasted for doing so. Watch it at http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/us-senator-fails-basic-science-tries-to-use-snowball-to-disprove-climate-change/46281/

And read some follow-up at http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/climate-skeptic-senator-burned-after-snowball-stunt/

With the past two winters in Canada and the US I also don’t believe in global warming. Climate change definitely. I just don’t believe in the cause given for it.

That’s my take anyway.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Leave a comment

Filed under Extreme Weather, finances, God, Life demands, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Snow Removal, Weather, Winter Weather