I really miss my Dad

DSC_0004I’m 56 years of age. Soon my Dads passing will be coming up on his first anniversary. I never really understood if I was close to my dad or how deep my love for him was. My dad wasn’t really all that emotional. I’m not sure I ever recall the words I love you son but I knew he did.  I can tell you he was proud of his family. I find myself staring out the window thinking how cool it would be if he just came up the driveway and told me to fire up the kettle. I miss my Dad. I think I’m getting old enough now where I realize that this is all a part of life. I knew there would be a day when he left us. He had been struggling with some sickness and I tried to cheer him up a few times when it looked like he wanted to throw in the towel. I’d give him mild grieve when I’d drill him as to what doctors would tell him. He’d just tell me he wasn’t sure and carry on with another topic. My dad loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting. He like a good game golf and making wine. He provided for us, I never went hungry and always had pretty much anything I needed (Mom had a lot to do with that as well). He grumbled a bit and maybe didn’t always get the generation below him like I would suspect is the same for a lot of parents. My dad was a charmer, something which I like to think he passed down to me and me to my son. My dad could often be seen teasing a small child at a family gathering while all the other adult were off doing other things. I wish I could just tell my dad one more time that I loved him….even if that made him feel uncomfortable. I miss you Dad and I hope I can make you so proud of me. I’ll make sure I do.

your son


Bryan!! Did you pee in the shower?


Marijo is taking a shower and I heard her yelling out at me? I’m trying to train  (educate is a better choice of words) MJ to not talk to me through a door while having a shower. Now males learn at a very early age never to respond to the first request. Remember when Mom yelled at you to clean up your room or come to help her with a task or maybe even a call for dinner. You learn as a male that if it’s urgent you will not have to wait long for the second call and if it’s not heck you get to keep on doing what you were doing such as watching the game on tv. Well wham I get the second call and this time I hear it very clearly “Bryan did you pee in the shower?”. A lot of thoughts roll through my head at this point. Did I? Am I in trouble? If I did how in the heck does she know? Do amputee’s pee in showers? I hopped into the wheel chair and roll up to the scene of the alleged crime. All I could think to say is nope. She looked me in the eye, pointed down and said what’s this? Now I’m feeling like our chocolate lab “Summer” as I clearly remember saying these things to her when she was in trouble. Just like our dog I can’t look her in the eye and find myself slinking down in the chair and turning my head sideways. Pretty sure I heard “did you do this”. I couldn’t think straight , I was panicking. So I looked and then laughed as I knew I was off the hook. A knocked over shampoo bottle above produced a puddle of urine looking colored fluid thus forming a puddle on floor just inside the entrance to the shower.

But hold on now I ask myself quickly going on the offensive. Why did she even ask me? She must feel that I pee in the shower. Hmmm, I saw a news report on this just last week. It’s not all bad. They say you can save the water that the toilet would have used from a flush. They also say urine will exfoliate the dead skin off the bottom of your feet. I’m thinking that one really does me no good. but “if” I had it would have been good for her feet…..right? So here’s something else to add “read here”

So am I guilty? All I can say is what goes on in my shower stays there. And let me be the first to ask…..do you pee in your shower? 🙂


Editor note, I haven’t blogged in almost a year and have now had the urge to start up again. I like to write about true feelings whether serious or on the humorous side of life like this post. Enjoy and I hope to be writing soon again. Culinary exams (yes I’m still in school) are on tues and I’m already nervous. Cutting a chicken, preparing a Chicken Chasseur dish from it with broccoli then on to making pasta and creating Fettuccine Alfredo.   See you soon!!

Vernonville, Ontario

Well if you have never been to Vernonville, Ontario it’s about time you came and visited. Where is it you ask? First of all Vernonville is now where Marijo and I call home (at least for a bit of time). We had an opportunity to sell our home and knowing we were still going to be searching for the perfect disability home we decided to move out of Belleville. Vernonville is very close to where Marijo works and now she can be more at peace with the drive into work. Vernonville is very close to Wicklow and Grafton and Centerton…all major populations areas…..right? I was doing a little research on Vernonville and found out one of their local milestones was back on May 23rd, 2008 when they received their first and only stop sign. Rumour has it there is a petition going through council to get a speed limit sign erected so cars will slow down just near the hamlets corner store. I found out the store is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 5pm. Summer (my dog) keeps staring at me oddly as if to say “what in the hell have you done”. It’s pretty quiet here in Vernonville so don’t be afraid to visit….please!

Morning humor times 2

Jo (Marijo my wife) and I often on the weekend will go for a bike ride following the river trail by our home. We took Summer our dog who I have on her leash as I pedal. It works much better for me to take her as I’m lower to the ground. We arrived down to the harbor and see two little red head twins around 4 years old fishing with what I guessed was there grandfather. They didn’t appear all that interested in fishing and upon seeing Summer were asking us if they could pet our dog. The one young lady seemed to really be staring me up and down. Kids often are just so honest and will ask you what happened. Usually when they see a couple of legs missing and an arm they hone right in on it. Well this little redhead circled me a few times being very quiet and finally says to me, “hey your not wearing a helmet”.

As we started to turn back to go home we came to one incline section that gives me trouble so I yell to Jo to just get a head of me a bit as when Summer sees that she will pull at her leash trying to keep up and my intend was to get some dog power assistance to get up this grade. It’s all working great, Summer is just starting to tug at her leash as we get to the start of the incline and I notice an old man with his dog sitting on the side of the hill. Summer gets me 3/4 of the way up the incline and the man screams at me “you lazy bugger, start pedaling, help that poor dog” .

For the second time in less then 5 minutes I laugh and smiled.

Perception is in the eyes of the beholder.

It’s funny how life works…..

culinary-openerMy wife will tell you that everything happens for a reason and I know many who share this thought with her. Me, I’m not so sure as I simply see how life plays out not feeling the need to understand why it unfolds as it does. I started school at Loyalist college on Sept 3rd taking Accounting. The first week was orientation and I can’t say I was thrilled with it but understood it’s need for first year students. I missed my actual first real day of class as I had committed to share my story with first year Queens students taking Occupational Therapy. A very cool experience as I was expecting 20 or so and actually spoke before a full house of 90 or so. I wish them all well in their schooling. So off I go on Tuesday and Wednesday taking classes and several things happened. I felt terribly overwhelmed not realizing that the full time course I had entered was going to be a 40 hr + adventure per week. I wasn’t really getting it, I didn’t know anyone and boy everyone seemed so young. The disability card reared it’s head and dammit I was nervous. Well I panicked! I simply couldn’t do it and made a very quick decision to pack it in. I returned my books and started the process of getting my tuition money returned.  I honestly felt guilty, felt like a failure kicking myself that I had given up way to quickly. I also admired all the students I was leaving behind knowing they didn’t likely have the option I did.  One thing I did do changed everything around again. I booked an appointment with Chef John from the Culinary course (I had actually done this before I decided to drop accounting) to see if my disability would prevent me from taking Culinary. Culinary was my first choice but I had been sad when the system said it was filled up. We met today and he brought me a loaf of bread just baked…well that won me over better then “you had me at hello”. He told me all about culinary and told me he would work with me to catch me up. As a result next week I’m going to switch to the Culinary course but at pace that I can handle. He was amazing and so was all the staff at the school who help me through this little life panic. So off I go on a different adventure. They are getting me an assistant who will be my hands and feet when I need them. It was cute when Chef indicated I would need books , uniform and steel toed black shoes. I told him the shoes might not be necessary….not like I could really hurt my feet…he smiled, he will get used to my humor. So it is funny how life works, just don’t ask me why as I won’t be able to explain it ……..but others might.

odds and sods

Swam first two unaided laps at our community pool. I kept going sideways but I did it.

I’m going to Ottawa next week to participate in the Army run. Marie Andree will accompany me around the 5km course. Marie Andree was my physio therapist from my stat at the Ottawa rehab center from last December and she is the best! My training is done and I hope to break last years time.

Thanks to Dorothy for sharing her Culinary experience and providing me with insight.

Sailing sadly is over for 9 months.

Marijo is now very concerned that future Chef Bryan will add inches to her waistline….lol

50 Years ago……

50 years ago possibly to the day I entered into the Canadian school system on a small military base in North Bay, Ontario. I can’t say that I remember much about that day except it was filled with emotion. My mom took me to school and I remember crying and pulling a fit when she had the nerve to leave me there by myself. The teacher sat me down at a table with a coloring book and gave me my instructions. Stay inside the lines she said and use lots of colors. To show her my dissatisfaction with the task that she assigned me I grabbed a purple crayon and violently drew many circles through the page. She immediately knew I was not artistic but I’m guessing autistic wasn’t far off in her thinking. I never really did all that well in all my school years getting just good enough grades to keep everyone happy. I only finished grade 12 and always felt a small regret that I had not gone further.

So 50 years later I returned to school and for now have entered into a two year accounting/business program at Loyalist college here in town. I had some disability concerns today as I’m not quite sure how to carry things. I may have to bring my power wheel chair to school. I had some pretty heavy books to purchase and carry back to my car. A very nice books clerk jumped me ahead of 50 or so students to the front of the line. I couldn’t look back at them feeling very sheepish…thank you Flesh eating at times you come in handy. It felt odd to sit amongst 20 year old’s and once or twice I questioned why I was there. A teacher came in and gave us a homework assignment, said we needed to research the answer and turn it in by next Tuesday. I swear I looked at this sheet 10 times now and I don’t see a question or a subject…must be in code! We played icebreaker games to get to know each other better. Marijo has warned me to behave around the young pretty ladies. I guess that means I can’t bring up my idea of introducing school uniforms…I simply love plaid. So time to turn on my brain and travel down a new road. I’ll keep you posted as to how it’s going.

Odds & Sods

Finished 9th in sailing Golf Fleet recently in Halifax. Very cool to race on the ocean.

Will head to Ottawa in a few weeks to do my second 5km Military run.

My youngest granddaughter Caryssa just turned 1 (I’m a proud grandfather)

Giving a speech to Queens University, Kingston, Ont , first year Occupational students Monday, Sept 10th.

School cost ($100 register, $3,824.50 tuition, $150 parking pass, $500 books) Understanding supportive wife ….priceless

So I’m going for an oil change……..

Today starts off like any normal day in my household. There is beautiful rain falling and it just seems so peaceful. I had been neglecting our car, not even a year old yet by not doing my oil changes when I should have. Well like any good disabled person I often will do a quick bathroom requirement to ensure I won’t need to go once I get to where I am going especially after having shared that first cup of coffee with my dear wife. Ok for the embarrassing part, I had on a pair of my sexy underwear (not really) and a pair of gym shorts. I always have to grab this type of clothing with one hand and pull them up separately while trying to maintain my balance. Today I was smart and just got them together and off I rushed out for my appointment. Everything’s going good I get there just a few short minutes away. I park in the disabled parking spot and commence to crutch in on one leg. I went through the power doors and just rounded the partition into the customer waiting area on my way to the front desk. Then it all went terribly wrong! I felt something on my leg and was totally mortified to see this sexy pair of underwear down resting on my foot as I’m swinging through on these crutches. I’m not very religious but the words that immediately came to the fore front of my brain was “Sweet Jesus son of God please don’t let anyone see this”. I looked up saw an older lady waiting for her car and I tried to figure out my next words to her…..excuse my Ma’am I’ve dropped my underwear through my gym shorts could you help me pull them up. I’m dying inside now….sweat is actually starting to bead up on my forehead. I think of Michael Jackson and start to do the moon dance not an easy feat missing a leg. The underwear gets caught under my foot making the walking slippery. Now the good news I do manage to get back out to the car. I throw the underwear under the front seat hoping the oil tech dude doesn’t put the seat back and notice it…..hope I’ve put a smile on your face.