About theunretired

Retired from 35 years in health care in 2017. Visual Artist Teacher of English as a second langugage

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Aunt, Uncle, cousin’s children 1980’s

It’s been a challenging two years for everyone. One of my Covid projects was to get a new laptop so I don’t freeze on Zoom. Sounds so appealingly simple doesn’t it?? Anyone who has been down this path knows that is not true. Especially if you do all the techy stuff yourself. I went through 3 computers until I found the right one. If only I had known what I wanted and if only laptops were in stock in Courtenay. That seems like my theme for the year. As part of my transfer of files were my millions of photos, so what could be more timely than a trip down memory lane of Christmas past. I said to myself that no one is interested in my family photo album.. except maybe my family and friends. But I have enough family to make this a worthwhile project.

My photo records go back to 1973 in London England where I had my first English Christmas. This Christmas dinner included I don’t remember what and three roommates, two from South Africa and one from England. Christmas in England was surprisingly low key compared to Canada. It was one of the first moments that I felt like I was living in a foreign country.

I come from a family with lots of relatives and have spent several memorable Christmas’s over the years with aunts, uncles and cousins over the years. Sadly some of my family members have passed away as has my Golden Retriever who lives on in my email address.

One of my more memorable Christmas was in 2009 with my brother in Saint John NB. You can start to see a theme here and it might be NUTCRACKERS. The costumes were provided by my brother’s friend who had come back from Asia with a lot of trinkets to resell. So my brother opened his house for a pop up store and we all got in the spirit. This was of course followed by lobster.

The dress up theme was continued at my Ottawa Christmas in 2011-2012. We had a Christmas craft moment and made Fascinators for everyone. You can see them modeled by the ladies of Ottawa Public Health and members and friends of my best friend’s family.

My Christmas travels have taken me to New York, Mexico, Phoenix, Costa Rica and Hornby Island.

This Covid version of Night Before Christmas is pretty creative. I don’t know who the author is as it came to me in an email. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I hope that we can all get together for future Christmases.

Twas the night before Christmas, but Covid was here,
So we all had to stay extra cautious this year.
Our masks were all hung by the chimney with care
In case Santa forgot his and needed a spare.


With Covid, we couldn’t leave cookies or cake
So we left Santa hand sanitizer to take.
The children were sleeping, the brave little tots
The ones over 5 had just had their first shots,


And mom in her kerchief and me in my cap
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap.
But we tossed and we turned all night in our beds
As visions of variants danced in our heads.


Gamma and Delta and now Omicron
These Covid mutations that go on and on
I thought to myself, “If this doesn’t get better,
I’ll soon be familiar with every Greek letter”.


Then just as I started to drift off and doze
A clatter of noise from the front lawn arose.
I leapt from my bed and ran straight down the stair
I opened the door, and an old gent stood there.


His N 95 made him look pretty weird
But I knew who he was by his red suit and beard.
I kept six feet away but blurted out quick
” What are you doing here, jolly Saint Nick?”


Then I said, “Where’s your presents, your reindeer and sleigh ?
Don’t you know that tomorrow will be Christmas Day? “.
And Santa stood there looking sad in the snow
As he started to tell me a long tale of woe.


He said he’d been stuck at the North Pole alone
All  his white collar elves had been working from home,
And most of the others said “Santa, don’t hire us!
We can live off the CERB now, thanks to the virus”.


Those left in the toyshop had little to do.
With supply chain disruptions, they could make nothing new.
And as for the reindeer, they’d all gone away.
None of them left to pull on his sleigh.


He said Dasher and Dancer were in quarantine,
Prancer and Vixen refused the vaccine,
Comet and Cupid were in ICU,
So were Donner and Blitzen, they may not pull through.


And Rudolph’s career can’t be resurrected.
With his shiny red nose, they all think he’s infected.
Even with his old sleigh, Santa couldn’t go far.
Every border to cross needs a new PCR.


Santa sighed as he told me how nice it would be
If children could once again sit on his knee.
He couldn’t care less if they’re naughty or nice
But they’d have to show proof that they’d had their shot twice.


But then the old twinkle returned to his eyes.
And he said that he’d brought me a Christmas surprise.
When I unwrapped the box and opened it wide,
Starlight and rainbows streamed out from inside.


Some letters whirled round and flew up to the sky
And they spelled out a word that was 40 feet high.
There first was an H, then an O, then a P,
Then I saw it spelled HOPE when it added the E.


“Christmas magic” said Santa, as he smiled through his beard.
Then suddenly… all of the reindeer appeared.
He jumped into his sleigh, and he waved me good-bye,
Then he soared o’er the rooftops and into the sky.


I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
“Get your vaccines my friends, Merry Christmas, good-night.”
Then I went back to bed and a sweet Christmas dream
Of a world when we’d finished with Covid 19.

A Homebody Saturday

Love these colour full tote bags. Santa. R U listening?

agilejack

Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson was canceled for today. So I planned to spend a nice and rainy Saturday at home.

After breakfast we took a nice long 5 mile walk. I knew the rain would start in the afternoon so a second walk was unlikely. We walked at a good clip!

The boys were happy to start the day with a nice long walk. The got to pose on a stump. They thought it was somewhat lame.

We really lucked out on the rain. We didn’t get more than a sprinkle at any time during our walk. But it rained most of the afternoon and evening.

When we got home I cleaned up the kitchen and made a big pot of split pea soup. It turned out really good and made a nice early dinner.

After I had the soup on the stove I hit the sewing room to…

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5 ways vaccine misinformation spreads in the wellness world – The Washington Post

The content shared in some online wellness spaces has powerful emotional and psychological foundations that can cause even science-minded people to question the public health consensus on the ability of vaccines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/10/22/wellness-vaccine-misinformation-social-media/

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History Is Running Now – Scientific American

Wondering what’s going on with you? With your friends? These researchers found older adults are reporting the highest levels of positive experiences in their daily lives, often through providing support to others.
— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/interactive/the-biggest-psychological-experiment-in-history-is-running-now/

Why We Should Talk to Strangers More – The Atlantic

So many of us have been raised to see strangers as dangerous and scary. What would happen if we instead saw them as potential sources of comfort and belonging?
— Read on www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/08/why-we-should-talk-strangers-more/619642/

This could explain some of the appeal of smaller places like Hornby Island.

“Vitamin D – Hope Or Hype?” German Professor Says Widespread Deficiency Being Grossly Ignored

“Vitamin D – Hope Or Hype?” German Professor Says Widespread Deficiency Being Grossly Ignored
— Read on notrickszone.com/2021/08/04/vitamin-d-hope-or-hype-german-professor-says-widespread-deficiency-being-grossly-ignored/