The Challenges and Opportunities of 2022

It seems like the year has Zoomed by, and I mean that literally and figuratively.

I just Zoomed off a French language meet-up as I couldn’t understand.  But I have been able to understand the DuoLingo conversation groups I have been attending every Wed for the past year and half and I have met many interesting people from all over the world.  We have bonded and I even met one participant from Vancouver while she was on Denman Island and I was on Hornby Island last summer.  We spent a lovely afternoon getting acquainted In Real Life in French.   Unfortunately Duolingo is discontinuing these free conversation groups but one of the groups will be switching to Meetup and still continuing on Zoom.  

And while we are talking about Zooming I have been practicing my mandolin on Zoom with my friend Barb who is learning the Ukulele.  Lessons learned.  Get the music score that includes musical notation so you can play the notes at the same time. My favourite is the Campfire Songs that has the chords for guitar, ukulele, mandolin,  banjo and mandolin.  I look forward to playing with more people more next year as I build up my repertoire.  

When I first started blogging I did a post about all kinds of volunteer opportunities.  Covid19 has made this more challenging.  Nevertheless I volunteered with Habit for Humanity to help out with their on line auction.  This involved going into their deep dusty closet store room and looking at all the weird and wonderful things that people have donated and doing some research on the value of the items.  It was pretty interesting to try to find items in Ebay and determine the value.  The best hit was a silver platter that I was able to estimate a value of about $ 1000.  Looking for vintage dental equipment?  This is the place!

I have been more conscious about how we are all getting older as I see friends and friends of friends passing away as well as seeing the mortality and morbidity from Covid. I have been getting my own affairs since your life can change in a nanosecond.  I found a lawyer in Victoria that manages estates when you die.  I have set up a Power of Attorney with a lawyer here.  I found a company to manage my investments and an accountant who relieved my anxiety about loosing my Old Age Security. 

I was also concerned about what would happen to me if I ended up in the ER without being conscious.  After several inquires online I discovered a package called My Voice you can download  from the Ministry of Health.   You can designate a Responsible Person to make some decisions about your health care on your behalf.   The document requires signatures by the responsible person and two witnesses.  I called several notaries and they would not witness the document.  I then called 3 friends and we had a signing party at the Griffin Pub.   The final part of this process was a document called MOST.  Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment. It is a document that your doctor signs and keeps a copy.  In theory if you end up in the ER, they can access your medical records with your GP.  I remain skeptical about this really happening. But all you can do is put the pieces in place. I was advised that I should put all this information on my fridge door in case EMS came and apparently this is where they look for information.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

I continue to find condo living to have it challenges.  Most recently I received a 63 page document for the annual general meeting. You would think that after 40 years of condo living I would have it all figured out but alas, this is not the case.  No one can truly process 63 pages of legal-ese about what you have to do if you renovate.  I really think that a single family dwelling might be less irritating.  Some friends have opted for a rental situation and both have 4th floor units with a view.  However, there are no shortage of stories of hostile neighbours in single family neighbourhoods as I found out when parking in a no parking zone in Comox.   I did a short drive around looking for non condo options and there are some. But I finally decided all you can do is manage how you react to the nit picky strata council and neighbours.  After looking at the alternatives around town I come back to the great river walk beside the condo where I live and decide it’s too good to move.  It is different every day of the year and continues to give me solace all year round.

One of more challenging project of the year was participation in a choir.  We had performances in the spring and Dec that required a lot of work and time to master the music.  Here is a link to the performance from the spring on You Tube.   My favourite part of Christmas is the music.  I just can’t enough of it.   COVID has inspired many online events including an online choir out of the UK.  If this doesn’t bring goose bumps nothing will.  Best wishes to all my followers for a better 2023.

Here is a 2 hour podcast of Christmas music compiled perhaps in 2020 or 2012 by a departed friend DJ David Wiseman on Hornby Island.

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/

“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/

How ‘The Buzz’ Started at Her Independent Living Facility | Next Avenue

She started The Buzz to keep residents informed about COVID-19 spread at their independent living facility when management failed to do so. Read more here
— Read on www.nextavenue.org/the-buzz-covid-19/amp/

Love #grassroots

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox

Pandemic winter dread is real. Here’s how to conquer it. – Vox
— Read on www.vox.com/platform/amp/future-perfect/2020/10/14/21508422/winter-dread-covid-19-pandemic-happiness-psychology

Pioneer Annie

When I decided to stay on Hornby for the winter I had no idea what challenges were ahead of me.

I was having lunch with another blogger a few weeks ago telling her my Hornby story. She said “ you should write a book, you have such an interesting story and you tell it so well. I wish I had such an interesting life” and I said to her.. “ I wish I had you stable life. I don’t want all this moving around”.   She told me about a  mommy blogger who wrote a book.   I am not aspiring to write a book so in the meantime I will update my retirement blog. Mommy bloggers are a bird of another feather.

It’s been a rough winter with about five 24 hour power failures since November due to wind storms and f trees falling on power lines. BC Hydro has been pretty diligent in sending over crews on the first ferry in the morning and fixing things by the evening.   I had two nights in the dark, one with a friend who kept me company and one on the sofa in front of the wood stove. Fortunately by the time the first power failure had occurred I had mastered the wood stove and was able to keep a fire going and make cowboy coffee in the morning. That is thanks to Hornby friends who gave me several demos on how to build a fire and instructions on cowboy coffee… “boil water on the wood stove and add some coffee”. It was pretty good. Morning without coffee is not a pleasant experience. Shortly after my landlady left for Mexico for 2 months, the basement flooded, and despite the attempts of her son to adjust the sump pump ( what ever that is) it remained flooded for most of the next two months.   My landlady had promised someone would come by to put some Plexiglas over the sky lights but that did not happen until she came back 2 months later when she had someone install the Plexiglass, fix the sump pumb, reinstall the propane tank I had incorrectly connected and fix the leak in the dryer hose. Turns out the propane stove was not working and still isn’t fixed as of Feb 28 and one of my space heaters was loaned to a neighbour while I was away.  And over all this time the Satellite TV was down because the wind storms changed the positioning of the satellite.  I had already developed a bad cold and decided to rent a condo of a friend in Courteny while he was travelling around the world. Then I discovered I had pneumonia but the clinic on Hornby had given me antibiotics so all I had to do was lie low in Courtenay and fight the side effects of the antibiotics. While I was lying low on a massage table in Courtney my massage therapist had a similar story about her new house outside of Qualicum Beach.   The week before when the snow had hit she could not get her 100 ft driveway plowed. Her neighbour came to her aid. And she was without power for 5 days!!! This was her first year on Vancouver Island and she said she has had a pretty steep learning curve.

Two of my Toronto families on Hornby were hit but the snowmageddon without snow tires or four wheel drive and also had to rely on the kindness of friends. It’s been a rough winter all the way around on Vancouver Island. Next year I think it will be Mexico for me. 

I had another pioneer experience while teaching my 7 year old student online in Shanghai. The lesson was on Wild Horses in the US and I followed that up with a lesson about Annie Oakley. I felt the material was quite foreign to her but it made me think about my pioneer experience on Hornby Island. I was pretty naïve about what to expect but my friends have come to my aid as needed. I will go back next week and hope the snow and the power failures are over for this year. This wasn’t my retirement plan but my friends keep telling me they are enjoying hearing about my adventures even if I am not enjoying experiencing them.  Apparently while I was away there was a septic tank blockage due to toilet paper and now I have to my bag toilet paper and take it to the dump. I guess this is material for my next comedy routine.

My new favourite place is the The Second Page used book store in Courtenay. This is a rare Main Coon Cat who seems interested in Quincy Jones.  He reminds me of a Cheshire Cat from Alice and Wonderland. 

My other Courtenay Favourites

Acreview Dental- thorough, courteous

FYIdoctors -opticians- thorough, courteous

Walmart Medical Clinic- max about 30 mn wait and very knowledgeable doctors

The new hospital-

The Atlas Café

Mudshark Café

Union Street Grill

Fabricland.

And the Trumpeter Swans of Courtenay

Making progress on the global crisis of obesity and weight management | The BMJ

This is the most comprehensive review I have read on the topic of obesity.  It’s a 30 min read.   It appears to me that we have become victims of our own economic development and an uncontrolled food industry. The study did not include longitudinal studies on physical activity.    One wonders if rationing as in during the war might be an option?  😀
https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2538

 

Key messages from the paper:

  • The balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure determines body weight and body fat changes
  • Different foods influence total energy consumption by modifying appetite, or by affecting energy expenditure, eg through diet induced thermogenesis
  • Overweight people generally consume more food energy (calories) than thinner people to maintain their higher body weight.
    •Any diet plan that an individual is able to adhere to will cause weight loss, but different dietary patterns may influence adherence to different degrees in different subgroups
  • Weight loss maintenance is a greater challenge than weight loss for many people because it requires adapting to permanently eating less energy despite living with in the same physical, social, cultural, and educational environments in which they developed obesity

This Harvard study reveals how you can be happier and more successful

“It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health.”
— Read on www.cnbc.com/2018/03/20/this-harvard-study-reveals-how-you-can-be-happier-and-more-successful.html