If We Were Having Coffee – Nov.23/2014 Guest Post

A Personal Rant and Missing Trees.

 

Paul Your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

On the news front, it appears to have been a rather slow week in general – a few hotspots in the world to concern locals, but no large issues. I get a lot of my news from Canada’s national newspaper – The Globe and Mail – and two of today’s articles on the first page of the e-edition are: “The cold hard facts about seven winter driving myths” and “Tedium, kids? It’s all in a day’s work.” Mind you, these are two small articles, but still they seem to point to a slow news cycle. Which, I would argue, is a good thing. Anything of interest happening in your part of the world? Local or national news that affects you?

On a personal front Friday night’s dialysis went poorly, very poorly. I upset one of the nurses; numerous attempts at inserting the dialysis needles failed; at which point the hospital RAN OUT of the type of needles I have used for 6 years. I threatened to leave; they scrambled and found two needles of which they only successfully inserted one; they tried to do the dialysis with one needle only partially working. This lead to successively poorer and poorer dialysis until after part way through, it failed completely (line pressures went out of range). They then insisted that they wanted to use a different type of needle. I’ve tried these before and because my fistula (the vein constructed just for needling inside my upper arm) is very mobile, they inevitably fail causing haematoma and a great deal of pain and swelling. I basically told them to stick it where the sun don’t shine (in a nice way) and expressed my disbelief and pissed-offedness (made up word there) that they had run out of the correct needles.

Steel dialysis needle – approx size

There was no real choice at that point but to stop the dialysis and go home. The nurses explained that this was my fault because I refused to use the steel needles (mine are angios which are flexible, once inserted, allowing the tips to move with my fistula). I told them that it was hardly my fault that they ran out of needles that I had used successfully for 6 years. Anyway, they removed me from the machine having completed only about 1.5 hours of a 4.25 hour treatment. And the part we did complete was very, very low quality, leaving me tired and sore. The way the treatment is structured, saline is used for starting and finishing – and there is a break-even point in the treatment such that it is only successful if that point is passed. We did not get past that point, meaning I actually came off worse than I went on. Not a good thing. There will be no more angios available until next week, so I couldn’t go back and re-dialyze over the weekend to make up for Friday’s fiasco. If it was life threatening, I could get treated at another local hospital but it is just painful and annoying, not life threatening. Have hospitals or medical facilities ever pissed you off? Any stories that have left you upset or angry? Or perhaps a funny or cheerful story to cheer us all up?

Well, that was quite a rant – I feel much better now, thank you. Would you like a cuppa refill and a sweet? You’ll need a piece of cake or a biscuit with your coffee in order to make it through the next topic, one of my regulars: The Squirrel Report. For some reason squirrels seem to make it into each post – not sure why.

 

So, Friday I arrive at the hospital and walk over to sit on one of the outside benches for a minute before heading into the building. On Wednesday I had noticed a construction fence had been erected along the walkway and behind the benches as far as the entrance driveway. I hadn’t thought much of it as there is always construction of some sort going on around the hospital. Friday it was dark when I arrived and I hadn’t noticed much detail. As I approached the benches, I realized that something looked different, not quite sure what yet. And then I stood facing the benches and the woods behind. The woods were GONE. There were a few trees left to shade the benches in good weather, but the forest was missing. From the building to the main street entrance, it was about 1⁄4 mile of woods and green space. That area is now completely lifeless, without a sign of a growing thing. It has been levelled, gravelled, covered with compacted sand and readied for paving. The whole front of the hospital property next to the main building has only a handful of trees left. This is the area where the squirrels had been gamboling all summer long; where they chased each other for our amusement; begged food from passers-by; where they raised their families; where they gathered their nuts and where they hid their nuts for the winter. All gone now. I hope the squirrels got out OK and that they manage to make it through the winter with the food they can find. Has your community lost any green space to development lately? How do you feel about sacrificing trees (and all their inhabitants) for pavement and buildings?

Winter has finally arrived to stay here – early this year. It has snowed and then turned to ice on the ground and stayed for a full week. Walking is a nightmare because of the ice. Next week appears to have only one relatively warm day and then more cold. Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here for tea again next week.

Slightly Stronger Coffee After a Hard Week

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/ 

If We Were Having Coffee: GUEST POST. Squirrels and New Arrivals

If We Were Having Coffee – Sept.28/2014

Squirrels and New Arrivals

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. It has gotten quite damp here recently so Willow and I have arranged some comfy chairs and sofas under the marquee where we will be warm whilst we sip our cuppa. The addition of some heaters last week has made this little nest quite toasty. I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees (as you can see above ) to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Here in Canada the news has been relatively quiet this week. We have this foreign worker program that is coming under fire. Apparently, some service businesses have been complaining that they cannot fill jobs with Canadian citizens so they have been importing foreign workers to fill the positions as is allowed under a special government program. These workers have been working alongside Canadians and, it seems, the foreign workers are being paid less and are being favored by management for extra hours and such as they are cheaper. In one case, Canadians were laid off and then replaced with foreign workers – which is absolutely forbidden under the program. There has been a big furor about this and some government officials have  been chastised, the program is being severely limited or even removed and the companies that have allowed this are being fined. What do you think about these types of programs? Do you find that immigrant workers are being given jobs that should be filled by nationals? How is the government of your country handling the many immigrants that are fleeing oppressive regimes and/or seeking a better life in a new country?

The above picture is actually from Art, – a fellow humorous blogger – collection of photo shopped images (http://pouringmyartout.wordpress.com/). He has some hilarious images. This photo has a very Canadian winter feel for me. The fluffy attire looks similar: humans wear lined underwear, vests, heavy parkas, insulated boots, toques and sunglasses (for those readers who have not experienced a bright day on a snow covered world, it is blinding).

Although the weather here has been splendiferous this week – the warning is there about what is to come. Waiting for a ride yesterday, I was watching a half a dozen squirrels busy burying nuts in the ground, preparing for a cold winter. I happened to be speaking for a few moments with an immigrant who obviously did not have much experience with our native fauna. We were under the tree canopy as we were speaking and a busy squirrel lost his grip on a nut and as he screamed his dismay, his nut dropped through the branches and landed at the feet of my conversation partner. The poor man jumped and looked nervously upwards as he prepared to run. I quickly explained that it was just a squirrel that had dropped his nut and that that was quite common this time of year. The squirrely  swearing continued from above our heads – no doubt seriously concerned that we would steal his nut.

After our conversation finished and he left, I thought for a while about what objects falling from the sky might mean to someone who had not grown up with it. And I thought how many such tiny details would have to be internalized by the newcomer– all the time not knowing which details could get them killed and which were just funny little incidents. The absolute vulnerability that would engender gives me a feeling of admiration for those who have chosen to leave their homes and friends and family and country and moved to a brand new world. Many have done so to try and make a better life for them and their loved ones, especially children. It seems to me that many such immigrants would have enough to handle already and then are forced to face suspicion and/or rejection by the locals where they live. Situations like the special programs mentioned above put them in a very negative position without them even realizing what is happening.

Above is a photo of a very popular coffee chain store in Canada with thousands of outlets. They are one of the main companies who are accused of misusing immigrants for purposes of reducing costs and putting Canadians out of work. They are a franchise system and the parent company has come down very hard on the franchisees who were abusing the program. The company has a sterling reputation here in Canada and I am sure they were not aware of what was going on – but still it happened.

http://www.theprovince.com/health/cms/binary/7314801.jpg?size=620x400s Tim Horton workers participating in a drive to raise money for a kidney patient

If you get a chance, have a look at the story attached to the URL from the picture above – it is heart rending and is just one of the many ways that immigrants here have a rough road, regardless of our determination to treat them fairly. ( http://www.theprovince.com/health/Hortons+barista+might+just+kidney+transplant+thanks+staff+customers/7316841/story.htmland )  Do you have any thoughts on this? Or do you have a story about immigrants in your home country?

Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the marquee in the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to hear  what you would  tell me. Please feel free to stay  as long  as  you like .  If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

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