Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DEPRESSION HURTS (2) I don't want…

I don't want to deal with people today. Not on the phone. Not on the street. Not in any store.

I don't want to talk to anybody today. Talking takes more energy than what I have.

I don't want to go outside. It's a bright, sunny day with a clear blue sky. Even wearing sun glasses, I will end up with a headache if I go out.

I don't want to go for a walk. I don't want a headache. Besides, my legs, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and neck hurt already. They'll hurt more if I go for a walk.

I don't want to be out of bed. I'm tired. I want to sleep. Besides, if I sleep today, I'll be awake tonight. No people to deal with at night. No phones to answer. I can read and write as much, or as little, as I want, and nobody will disturb me.

I don't want to feel like this. I don't want to have to keep reaching UP in order to try to touch bottom.

What's that Sadie? You're putting your nose under my hand, and lifting it up. You're licking my palm. You want to go for a walk.

All right.

Give me a moment to find your lead, and some sun glasses. Yes. We'll go for a walk by the river. I will limp a bit, but I think I can manage that. I hope I can manage it. We'll see if the Beavers have chopped down any more trees.

Then we'll come home and I'll cook supper. Since J cooked last night, tonight must be my night.

I just wish this depression didn't hurt so much.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have been invited to a human thing called a "Ball." It has something to do with dancing, and visiting, and general human foolishness, frivolity,  and mirth.

I am to be accompanied to this event by Ms. Sigourney Weaver. (She agreed that, having dealt with Aliens, accompanying a Bear to a Ball would be "no big thing.") I, of course will be wearing my fur coat and fur pants — naturally,

For more information about the event, click on the "Ball" link (in the first sentence). I'm instructed to tell you that everyone is invited to this gala. Just let the hostess know you're coming to this cyber-event.

See you there!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


. . . that Bear is alive.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and feeling in the last few days. And reflecting upon what I'm thinking and feeling, too. 

That is much better than writing about depression (thought I have been doing that). And it takes a different kind of brain energy than figuring out how to use a camera (though I have been doing that, too). Perhaps I should have been out riding a motorcycle — Harley-Davidson Softail (I don't own one of those, and can't afford one, but still . . .). Dark blue, like an evening sky; yellow flames that look more like lightening that fire light.

Bear is feeling a bit subversive these days, too. Playfully subversive, but subversive nonetheless. Perhaps even more than "a bit." And, yes; I've even been writing about that, too — though there's noting ready to share with you, yet.

So there you have it. Something of a Bear Briefing. As opposed to a legal briefing, which many regard as an oxymoron. That is to say, if it's legal, it's not brief; if it's brief, it's not legal. (Could also be applied to clothing, perhaps.)

Bear hugs to all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PHOTO OF THE DAY/Photo du Jour

Les mots/Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a picture of a book full of words worth?

Especially  it's a book full of words about how to use a camera to take pictures?

Life is so complicated. Sigh!

Monday, September 20, 2010

PHOTO DU JOUR/Picture of the Day

Family/La famille

It seems like our home is getting more like the Bonkers' house, inhabited by Exmoorjane and all.

So today's picture is of me, instead of by me. It's by our son, T. This wasn't the plan for this series, but sometimes you've just "gotta go with the flow."

This was taken at the family birthday party last night, which was held to celebrate my birthday (last Friday) and that of our thirtysomething daughter, M  (this coming Saturday).

The two youngsters featured are our grandchildren, the son and daughter of T and his wife, A.

And the birthday cake? Made by T for the occasion. A Bear cake for an ol' Bear. What more could I want?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

PHOTO OF THE DAY/Photo du Jour

Behold! My new toy. (A birthday present.)

Well, more of a tool than a toy, perhaps. This is a digital Canon EOS Rebel T1i (for those who like technical data.) It replaces some very old Minolta film cameras. It is also an upgrade from my Beloved's Canon EOS Rebel G (newer, but still old) film camera.

The price of the new unit was a bit stiff: over $800 Canadian (€600).  But J and I have been saving money for a while to help with the transition into "retirement." (Most of you realize that Bear is not a "retiring" creature; the word "retirement" is a bit of an anomaly in this circumstance, except for the fact that I have turned 65.) Who knows; photography may become my fourth career (after pastor, journalist, and ethicist.) Well, perhaps not.

I'm not exactly a stranger to photography. I've had pictures published in some Canadian magazines. But I haven't done any "serious" photography for a long time, so there'll be some re-learning involved — especially with a new camera. (True, we have a pocket-sized Canon camera for "quick pics," — like these of the cameras — but I'm increasingly unhappy with the quality of those pictures.)

Why a Canon? First, I think Canon makes good cameras. (So does my brother-in law, a professional photographer.) Second, the lenses on J's camera are completely interchangeable with mine. So why buy a different kind of camera, and then buy a whole new series of lenses? Doesn't make sense.

So, to help me get back into more serious photography, I've set up this new series on my blog: "Photo of the Day/Photo du Jour." Not that I'll publish a picture every day — even though that's the goal. (I know myself well enough to understand that a daily photo just isn't going to happen, unless I get "ultra-serious" — and that would ruin all the fun.)

So please, adventure along with me; add your thoughts, too. I'd love to hear from you.

About the name of the series. Canada is officially a bilingual country; we use both English and French. That's because we were a French colony before we because an English colony in 1763. Still, today, about 20 per cent of our population has/have French as a first language. So to use both official languages is a bit patriotic on my part, and a bit romantique. Mais, c'est moi — et c'est ça. (But that's me — and that's it.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I have been afflicted with depression, chronic depression, since I was in my late teens.

(That's almost 50 years ago.)

Sometimes it's hardly present at all. I can do quite well, day to day. I can work creatively at a job. I can even blog.

Sometimes, though, it's very, very, very bad. Suicidally bad. I've never tried to kill myself. But I can understand how people could try, and succeed.

Often it's bad enough that it hurts, physically. My whole body hurts.

I've been physically and emotionally immobilized.

And I'm sure it has hurt my family.

Of course, I'm not alone in depression. One of the better known depressives was Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain during World War Two. He reportedly referred to it as a "black dog" (though at least one of his biographers claims Churchill never used the term). The matter never came to light, of course, when he was Conservative leader and PM. To have admitted something like that would have been political suicide, so strong were (and are) the biases against people with mental disabilities. But I have read there were many, many times when Churchill's condition was so bad — when he was so fearful and vulnerable — that he needed protection from the public eye. Family, friends, and colleagues provided that protection.

I haven't needed that kind of protection. Fortunately.

I have had medications which have helped; the quality of those medications has improved over the years. And I have had people to whom I could talk — like the family, friends, and colleagues who helped Churchill. But I have been terribly fearful and vulnerable.

But, even with help, there have been lots of times when life was very difficult.

This is harder to write than I had expected. So I'm going to quit, for now, right here.

But there is more; so very much more. And I will share, when I'm able to do that.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The first frost of this season arrived, overnight, as predicted. Down to -1°C (that's 30F), but with the wind chill, -7C (or 19F).  While it was cool outside, the basement was toasty warm. The gas stove, set on thermostat, turned itself on (and off) at the right times. Thankfully.

I did manage to get the last of the tomatoes and carrots harvested yesterday, ahead of the frost.

This year's crop of carrots is reasonable.

The tomatoes, however, are mostly small and green,

the result of a wet, cold summer. Some of these are actually small varieties; most are not, sadly.

The good news is the carrots are good eating, and I have a Canadian recipe for Green Tomato Chutney. The chutney is made primarily with green tomatoes, a couple of apples, and some odds and ends, including raisins and a tiny bit of ginger.

Now, please, could someone tell me with what one would eat with such a chutney? Thank you.

P.S.: Now, another frost warning for tonight.

This is the time of year when Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie, goes a bit "nuts," chasing after leaves as they skitter along the ground. If I suddenly disappear from the blogging world, it's likely because of a dislocated shoulder or elbow, or perhaps stress fractures of the wrist or hand, achieved while accompanying Her Ladyship. Please Bear with me in my absence, should that occur.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Frost Warning for:
City of Saskatoon

A ridge of high pressure building over Central Saskatchewan will bring clearing skies and light winds to the northern and southern grainbelt overnight. As a result temperatures are expected to fall to below zero by Friday morning bringing widespread frost to the area.

— 30 —

Yup; it really is that time of year. Gotta finish the harvest, promptly.

Pictures, tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010


We haven't had our first frost of the season, though other places have. We should receive ours before the weekend. Time to finish harvesting the produce from the micro-garden on our micro-holding. And look at the trees.

"Green leaves of summer turn red in the fall

"To brown and to yellow they fade.

"And then they have to die

 trapped within
The circle time parade of changes."

~ Phil Ochs, "Changes"

Friday, September 10, 2010


It's one of those days, again. It's been raining all night. The street gutters are full of water, because the storm drains are getting plugged with fallen leaves. In one spot, the road is completely covered. Sidewalks are littered with the bodies of dead and dying earthworms, flushed from their tiny underground caverns by the deluge. It's barely breakfast time, and we're supposed to get rain all day.

Given all the rainy days we've had this year, it's been a bit hard to keep our spirits up.

What to do with all these grey, wet days, that are still happening with unseemly frequency?

Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie, knows exactly what's appropriate.

Right, then. Any questions?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


After some very "vigorous" discussion, accompanied by wailing, growling, and gnashing of teeth, The Editorial Committee has agreed that Bear is sufficiently "rehabilitated" as to resume blogging.

Bear, to ease his way back into this without causing too much stress (for himself or others), is to publish the odd, light-heated post, to begin with. However, considering that most of Bear's posts are odd (at least a bit), the Committee is not sure where this will lead.

Thank you for your patience and concern in this matter.

~ The Editorial Committee.

P.S.: It's raining again/still today, and Bear is about as gloomy as Eeyore. The Committee has suggested this may not be the best day for Bear to return to blogging.

Monday, September 6, 2010


. . . always get my down. So sang the Carpenters. Distinctly, we remember. Nevermore.

Today is Monday, and it is a holiday (Labour Day). Rain stated in the night, and will continue until late tonight or tomorrow morning.  What a waste of a holiday!

This post appeared by special permission of The Editorial Committee. Bear's privileges are being curtailed again, though his tail is getting a bit sore from so much sitting on it. Please continue to Bear with him, and us.

~ Editorial Committee