If you have lost a loved one you may want to give this a read. Gary writes beautifully of his own personal experience of grief and what he has learned.

A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent.

One of my first records I purchased was ‘All the worlds a stage’ by the rock legends, Rush. Shakespeare wrote that ‘All the worlds a stage’. Don’t worry I’m not going all thespian on you. But I must admit I fancy my chances these days of doing a mighty fine Richard III stage performance. Why is the Stagecoach Bus always two hours late when I try to catch it. Just watched wrestling on the TV which is staged. So many stages.

Then you get stages in grief. A couple of years ago someone asked me what stage I was at in my bereavement process. I just looked on blankly. All I could think of was two stages. Your life before the death and the life after the death. So I answered – in the second stage and I always will be. I guess that’s not the answer they were looking…

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Pakistan doctors beaten by police as they despair of ‘untreatable’ pandemic

While we whine and complain about all the inconveniences caused by social distancing doctors and health care providers around the world are dying because of a lack of personal protective equipment, which is direly needed to avoid the spread from medical professionals to the general public. Yes, we have our problems here as well with procuring PPE and I do not negate that at all, but reading articles such as this makes me realize anew how very fortunate we really are.


09/April/2020, 02:01PM,Asia,Times Of Lion

Doctors in Pakistan have warned of “deplorable” conditions on the frontlines of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, describing the pandemic as untreatable in one region and accusing police of brutally suppressing protests over working conditions.

One doctor who took part in a sit-in on Monday to protest against a lack of personal protective equipment said he had been “beaten and humiliated” by police.

“In the beginning, I thought, ‘How could police use violence against the frontline fighters of Covid-19 when some days ago the same officers had saluted us for leading during the pandemic?’” said Amanullah, speaking from the police station where he was being held in Quetta, in the Balochistan region.

“But we were wrong. Sticks and butts of AK-47 rifles rained down on us. We were dragged through the street and thrown into trucks.” He and about 60 other doctors were held in police detention…

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A poem to honor those who have died from the Corona virus and a prayer for strength

To rise again tomorrow

I blocked my ears, so as not to hear the bells toll on and on

And covered my eyes so as not to see

The long, long procession

of army jeeps and freezer trucks

Carrying precious cargo

No graveside prayers, no “dust to dust”

As contagion cancelled all tradition

No floral bouquets, no wreaths of green

Or hymns sang loud and clearly

No eulogy, no words at all

Save those whispered in anguished voice imprisoned

By grieving souls in isolation

So, bless these bodies, God, we pray

And bring us consolation

For loved ones gone

For those left behind

Who grieve without help or closure

It’s been one hundred years or more

Since our world’s seen such calamity

Or felt so deeply forsaken

We need you now, more than ever, Lord

Please hasten to our aid

Please dry these bitter tears

And If I may prevail, dear God,

Protect us from all fears

Renew our weakened faith,

And lend to us your powerful strength

To rise again tomorrow

Procrastinate no more

I am really good at procrastinating. It’s probably one of my biggest faults. In my own defense though I think it’s pretty common as we all deal with the fallout of this pandemic. Getting motivated to do even the simplest tasks seems next to impossible when you’re running on empty. Not long ago I read a news story of the shortage of masks and other protective equipment in hospitals seemingly everywhere. I have been sewing different items from dolls to bridesmaids dresses for years, though I haven’t done much in recent years. At any rate, I thought I would try my hand at making some DIY masks. My goal was to make a bunch to send to hospitals for our health care workers. Now, I am not an expert seamstress or sewer, but I felt it was a simple enough project that I could produce some reasonably workable items. I read up on it, downloaded a couple of patterns and was gung-ho to get right on it. After making a couple of proto-types for practice and feeling a bit more confident my sewing machine broke down on me. It was frustrating and also very depressing because I really wanted to do something to help. I am not mechanically inclined. My husband had a go at repairing it and I was delighted when it seemed he had fixed the problem – the mechanism that holds the bobbin had come apart. But it was not fixed, the area he had to work in was not conducive to bis large fingers. It fell apart again! However, a day or two later my daughter looked at it and following the diagram managed to put it back together. After trying it out on some scrap fabric I was delighted to have it back up and running. And then my procrastination demon kicked in, as well as that hateful inner voice that likes to undermine my confidence, (which is a large part of the reason why I procrastinate at times).

So, here we are a week later and I finally muster up the courage to try again. While the first couple of masks did not turn out perfectly, they are not too bad. I am taking a small break before I tackle them again. I think I have it down pat now and after sewing two different types have decided on the best of the two (in my opinion anyway). I am so grateful that my inner critic has finally been silenced and the procrastination demon sent packing. Wish me luck as I continue my mission. Below is a photograph of the finished product.

First attempt at DIY mask

Where or where is the sunny weather? Spring, I yearn for you

It’s been a bit of a hard day. It’s the 7th of April. Shouldn’t the snow be melted and gone? Or at least well on its way to the never never land of past winters? I am impatiently waiting to see green shoots, to hear birdsong. Fortunately I do hear a few chickadees now and then, those cheerful little birds that never abandon us, no matter how bitter the winter winds may blow. Well, my spirit sank today as I watched a few flurries turn into big, fat flakes of snow falling from a gray and overcast sky. Yuck! Winter is fine but enough is enough already. I am longing for green shoots and new life.

There is new life promising to flower within the coming weeks, however. Last year my daughter gifted me with a hydrangea plant for Mother’s Day. It was so beautiful.

May 2019

I loved it so much I couldn’t bear to throw it out even after its blossoms turned brown and dried out. I nursed it through the fall and through the long winter days. It has rewarded me with new shoots.

April 2020

And so, while winter drags its feet in a long farewell I am reminded that life will be renewed again. Flowers will bloom again. Birds will sing their welcome to spring. I am reminded that even though that season tarries eventually she will make an appearance when she is good and ready. I must just have patience.

The warning on the label

Pandora’s box lay in splinters

Upon the blood-soaked sand

It’s indiscriminate fatal poison

Leaking drop by drop into the ground

And though the waves lapped over it

Then carried it out to sea

It never would be diluted

As ocean currents carried it

To lands both near and far

Pandora’s crumpled form

Lay inert upon the shore,

her head between her hands

She wails and shrieks

She keens and begs

To go back, just once, in time

To recall the curiosity

That led to all the gloom

That feeds on fear and upon itself

And leads to great downfalls

As nation after nation

In arrogance denied its power

Embittered as she realized

The folly of her game

Pandora weeps in sadness

T’is but the birthing of her sorrow

For humanity and life at large

Forever would be changed

By this, her unwise decision

So, let us all take heed

Of the warning on the label

And leave alone Pandora’s box

Lest we live again the fable.

Sing of spring: More birds

All of the photos featured in this post were taken by my firend, nature enthusiast, Kathy Marche. She takes phenomenal photographs around the Stephenville/Port au Port areas in Newfoundland, Canada. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

“Whatcha looking ay, Willis”
Nuthatches seem to be natural acrobats
This one seems to have earned its stripes (sorry for the bad pun)
Birds are great at hiding in plain sight
An American Bald Eagle on the hunt
Black-capped Chickadee, one of my personal favourites, though very common and found pretty much everywhere, their friendly curiosity and cheerful song is always a delight
an exceptional shot of a Boreal Chickadee
Kathy caught this Canada Jay as it was jumping from branch to branch
Another shot the pretty little Canada Jay a.k.a. Gray Jay
Downy Woodpecker – they sure can make a racket but nice to see
Finches are common as well, but also lovely to hear
Perched and perfectly positioned to have a look around
Naturally, gulls are a common sight around Newfoundland waters. This one is a great black-backed gull
Hairy Woodpecker (female)
Hairy Woodpecker (male)
nice close up of a Hairy Woodpecker
Herring Gull
Herring Gull – though some people consider gulls a nuisance I always enjoyed seeing them circling overhead and squawking to one another
Iceland Gull
Mourning Dove
Pine Grosbeak (male)
Pine Grosbeak (female)
Purple Finch (doesn’t it look like it had its feathers styled punk? haha)
“Here get my good side”
Red and White-winged Crossbills
Red breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch – so pretty
An immature Red Crossbill preening his feathers
White-winged Crossbill
Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting
And back to the Chickadees – just because I love them so 🙂
Since we began with a Nuthatch I guess it makes sense to “end” with one. And now this “tale” is done.

My sincere thanks and deepest gratitude, Kathy, for allowing me to feature some of your stunning photographs on my blog. I hope my readers enjoy them.