The Best Kind of Sleep

“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” – Wilson Mizener

luxury-floating-bed-sets-from-Egoparis-2We read all these articles about the best kind of sleep for optimum health.

They say you need to sleep right through the night.

They tell you that it is normal to wake up in the middle of the night; in fact, chances are this is when you were conceived.

They tell you your bedroom should be completely dark.

Sleep on down pillows.

Sleep on memory-foam pillows.

Don’t watch a scary movie before bed.

Don’t drink coffee after 2PM.

They tell you to unplug your devices by 8pm.

And don’t eat after 6pm.

Don’t exercise at night.

Drink a glass of water before bed.

Don’t drink a glass of water before bed. You’ll wake up in the middle of the night to relieve your bladder.

Do have a glass of wine.

Don’t have a glass of wine.

Drink herbal tea – chamomile.

Drink warm milk with honey.

Do sleep naked. Don’t sleep naked.

So much advice!

But I think Mizener got it right.

The best kind of sleep is five more minutes.


What’s your advice for the best sleep?

Friday Pick 161

I’ve known Tracy at 3 Sisters Landscaping for quite some time now, having first encountered her in the blogosphere on her other blog. I’m sure some of you also know her from there (we’re a title circle here) but just in case you haven’t heard of 3 Sisters Landscaping, here’s your opportunity to glimpse into the mind of Tracy and her thought process while she finishes her novel.

In Tracy’s own words:

This blog is my musing place — part of my creative process in crafting the novel I’m currently working on.  I invite you to join the process. I value your comments. Please ask questions, and help me explore poetry, painting, gardening, and the process of writing a novel. Let’s have fun together!

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Tracy shares a fascinating poetry writing collaboration story about Rhododendrons …

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Tracy Diana sent you…

June is Rhododendron Time by 3 Sisters Landscapes


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

He Deserves Better Than This

Dad and Mom at Dad's retirement from Kraft Foods party

Dad and Mom at Dad’s retirement from Kraft Foods party

My dad worked hard all his life and has been quietly suffering these last two years.

He has several degenerative discs that are being squeezed out of his back and no amount or type of medication has relieved his pain.

Most recently, the only time he doesn’t feel pain is when he’s laying down.

Doctors say that once his discs have been squeezed out, he’ll be pain-free – his back will be stiff – but he’ll be pain-free.

In the meantime, his leg muscles are atrophying. He only has about ten percent muscle left in his right leg; and even before he got laid up, he was using a walker.

As a young father, dad worked long days, six days per week making margarine at Kraft Foods. Back then employers weren’t as aware about proper lifting and safety at the workplace. It wasn’t unusual for dad to lift and carry 100 lb. bags of salt up a step-ladder to pour the contents into a vat. He often had back pain and tension headaches in those days.

Years of heavy lifting and hard work resulted in his troubles today.

“No one needs to be in pain these days, there must be something that can be done. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life on the couch,” he recently told me on the phone.

Not too long ago, we learned that there might be something else we can do. The hospital could administer several painful cortisone shots into his spine with the hope that he could be pain-free for up to six months.

But there is a waiting list. It could take six months or more before he would get in.

I was irate to say the least.

When I was a child, I was petrified of doctors. The only person I trusted to tend to my ouchies was dad. He called himself ‘Dr. Heinz’ – Heinz is his given name – just like the ketchup, he used to say.

Once I cut my right hand between my ring and middle finger on a rock while playing in a lake. I feared the worst. I was sure I would need stitches. It was a bloody mess and I could see bone. But Dr. Heinz gently cleaned and bandaged the wound, then bound the two fingers together with gauze and medical tape.

And it worked – the wound healed!

Some forty-plus years later, every time I look at that tiny scar I think of dad. He always took such good care to doctor me up.

Every day that dad can’t walk because of pain, his muscles deteriorate even more. I can’t doctor him up, but enough is enough – I had to do something!

So I made a few phone calls to the hospital in Ontario. They have the referral from his family doctor. They know his medical history, but I wanted to tell them about the man who is my dad, who worked hard all his life, who deserves better than this; who deserves to live his last years with some enjoyment and quality of life.

And it worked. Or it is just a happy coincidence – I don’t really care which – but he’s scheduled to get his shots on Friday!

I couldn’t be happier if I tried.

So fingers crossed, and prayers for pain relief sent, I hope for the best. Good luck dad!


The sad truth is that Canada’s Health Care System doesn’t work anymore. Thousands wait for operations and procedures; many are the elderly; the very folks who worked their butts off to give us a better life. Canada was once recognized as one of the top countries in the world as far as healthcare and general well-being are concerned. Not so anymore. Something needs to be done.  By the year 2041, seniors are expected to represent 25% of the population in Canada, let’s put something sustainable in place before then.


Related article: We’re all going to be seniors one day

Hearing The Heart Behind The Words

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. – Abe Lincoln

love-helping-people--large-msg-133072151221It astonishes me how many times I take things personally. The energy it requires to take offense can border on ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong.

There are times when standing up against something offensive is warranted.

But we, as a society, have taken this too far for the most part.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working with vulnerable populations. Within this sector, well-meaning folks have declared certain terms offensive.

For example:

Many a supporter has said to me, “I’m concerned about homeless people and I want to help.”

Some might respond with, “…that offends me, I’d prefer if you said people who are experiencing homelessness.”

Instead of hearing the heart of the one who wants to help, they hear the words that offend them.

Ironically, those whom I have met living on the streets, refer to themselves as homeless people.

Yes, it’s important to not intentionally and maliciously offend, but it’s equally important to not be easily offended.

And so, I want to be someone who hears the heart behind the words.

Don’t you?


Friday Pick 160

The Howling Mad Cat (HMC) blog started with a grey tiger-looking cat who sadly passed away a few years back. Since then, two clever and playful cats have taken his place to entertain us readers with stories and photos of their everyday activities…

In The Howling Mad Cat’s own words:

I’m howling mad. Favorite activities include sleeping in the sun, running around the house howling, and baiting the dog. My memorialist’s name is Ellie. She adores me. I’m a 21-year-old grey tiger male cat, born in March 1992. Note: Sadly, after a long, 21 1/2 year life, HMC died October 24, 2013.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post HMC talks about thinking…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell HMC Diana sent you…

The Thinker by The Mad Hooligan Chronicles


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

My Street – A Wild Kingdom Kill Zone


Wild Kingdom photo

When I was a kid I used to watch Wild Kingdom every week in spite of the fact that I was mortified every time a predator caught and killed its prey.

As a child, I would yell out, “Why doesn’t the camera man do something??”

My parents would explain that nature was like that.

The lion ate the gazelle.

And when the lion died, his decaying body fed the vultures.

And what was left provided nutrients to the soil and the rich plant life that resulted, fed the gazelle.

“But it’s horrible,” I cried. “Why does it have to be like that?”


Many years have passed since I’ve watched Wild Kingdom…well on TV anyway.

It seems my street has become a Wild Kingdom kill zone.

Almost every morning when I open the drapes, magpies are brutally attacking squirrels. Coming at them from the air. Chasing them under cars, across the street and into trees.

But nothing could prepare me for what I would witness on Sunday

It was a lazy morning. I slept in until nine and spent the morning puttering around, cleaning this and that while listening to my favourite CDs.

It was a perfect day for that. It was raining outside with occasional lightning and thunder.

It was noon before I finally showered and got dressed. By this time, the sun made an appearance and the sky began to clear.

A perfect afternoon for a walk toward the Bow River, I thought.

I stepped out into the sunlight and walked the pathway to my street. Birds were happily chirping, as they seem to do after it rains.

Three pigeons congregated on the street to my right and I could hear a car approaching on my left.

I waited and stepped off the curb to cross the street as the car passed.

Halfway to the other side, I heard it.

A thud, a squirting, squashing sound.

A very disturbing sound.

Two pigeons took flight.

Feathers seemed to explode into the air.

One pigeon remained on the road.

Twisted. Broken. Dead. Killed by the passing car.

The driver didn’t seem to notice.

I stood in the middle of the road – traumatized – sick to my stomach and somewhat in shock while the magpies screamed their screeching delight, waiting for me to leave so they could feast.

I guess I still have a hard time with this aspect of nature.


On a lighter note, I walked to the river and captured these less disturbing photos to share with you. 


 Do you live in an urban setting? If so, do you also witness Wild Kingdom behavior on your street? And when you do, are you as squeamish about it as I am?

We Can’t Do It All… What!

Art_Nature (2)

“Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.” – George Bernard Shaw


It’s time for spring cleaning. It’s time to de-clutter.

And I’m not talking about my domicile.

There’s been some changes of late.

Things I’m excited about.

And other things that weigh on my heart – that with a little fixing – I may yet, be excited about.

And it strikes me that when I have a lot going on, whether it’s good or bad, the first things that get thrown by the wayside are the things that give me energy and life; the things that spiritually feed and sustain me.

So I’ve come back to the (above) five priorities I set for myself back in January 2014. Although the definitions under each have changed a little since then, these priorities are still a grounding force for me.

Common sense tells me I can’t keep doing everything I did before I started my wonderful new job and thus it’s time for spring cleaning so that I can focus on the things that are important to me.


What are your priorities? How do you create space to stay focused on them?