Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well my mother won't speak about it anymore, so i will. As the only other perminant Rock City resident on this blog i have to say that Geoffery Ferrey is positively unrecognizable these days. And it is the happiest thing i have ever seen.
At the risk of embarrassing the old boy, I always knew that he was unhappy, but did not realize exactly how unhappy until a couple of years ago. Long story short, I am as happy as him, in a certain way, and i'm not alone.
Anyhoo, mom was on my case for not posting uhhhhhh ever, so this seemed to be the appropriate time.
I also know, despite not having talked to any of them, that each and every one of my siblings feels the same relief that i do.
Hail BP!
That is all

The Halloween Miracle

N2 has returned home! After much prompting from Lisa, I went to the house around the corner where I'd seen her in the yard. One of the owners happened to be outside and so I asked about the cat, and she said they would be happy to return her. They were very nice people. They spent $118 checking her for diabetes because they thought she was drinking a lot of water.

But I'm a little worried that N2 is getting the raw end of the deal. As soon as she got home, she and other cats were hissing at each other. My apartment has nowhere near as much space to run around as the temporary home. She also had two people to give her attention over there. I did tell them if they wanted to keep her, they could and that was okay by me, but they gave her back.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charity Begins at Work

October is a very expensive month. The IBM Employees Charity Fund is full on. We have a variety of fundraisers going on, and it is 2 bucks here 5 bucks there and before you know it, a lot of money has gone out of my wallet. On Thursday we had a pie throwing contest, well it turned out to be chocolate pudding, but you get the idea. There were 6 volunteers from the executive and management employees to have a pie thrown at them. It was so much fun, the idea was that you bought some tickets and then decided who you wanted to throw at and put your ticket in their box. The organizers then picked 10 tickets from each box, and if they pulled your ticket, you got to throw. Rob Bligh who is one of the executive, was wearing a beautiful suit, and to raise even more money, said he would not change and have the pies thrown at him just the way he was. All the other pie throwees, were wearing old clothes, or rain ponchos, and stood behind a structure, so that only their heads were shown. Not Rob, he was standing right in front, so instead of just getting a faceful of pudding he got it over his whole body. Talk about getting into the spirit of things.
Not too much else going on with me. Work is going fine, pretty busy so the days go by very quickly. We had snow this week, but not much stuck, so I am hopeful that we will have more time without snow. Only about a week and half until I go to Kelowna for a visit, can't wait.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Streets of Balmer

I didn't see much of Baltimore outside the conference and my hotel. I was a poster judge, a session convenor, and also gave a short presentation on which a number of nice people gave me positive feedback. I stayed in the hotel and worked on school stuff instead of traipsing around. It was strangely warm there -- probably about 20 degrees, with humidity (ugh). I had some wicked tamales and walked around Little Italy.

I try to be social at conference, but it wears me out a little. I met some very nice people with whom I was having a good conversation, and then I went and made a joke about buying some "souvenir Baltimore crack" (because of The Wire) and no one thought it was anywhere near as funny as I do.

11 hours to get home! I am still kind of wiped out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This is it

Well, I seem to have only one topic to post about. But today was Geoff's last day at work. He went in to talk to HR about the whole deal, handed in his computer, phone and truck, and that's it. It is impossible to believe that he is finally done. It is a good thing that he didn't retire a couple of years ago when he first planned it. It has worked out much better this way. When we were at the BP dinner on Saturday I said to the friend I was sitting by that when that well started leaking in the Gulf this summer who would have thought it would affect so many people. Of course we thought about the people who live around there, but every single person in that room in Edmonton on Saturday was affected by it as well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

happy happy happy

I am living with a very happy man.

There was an end-of-BP party in Edmonton on Saturday. I had a meeting in Calgary Sat. morning so we drove there for that, then to Edmonton for Sat. night. The event was good, only 2 short speeches and Geoff had a chance to say goodbye to people from the Edmonton office that he won't see again. Took S & G for lunch and shopping on Sunday, then home. It was sad about the BP plane crash; I am sure some of the passengers on that plane were at the dinner on Saturday, since it was for all northern Alberta.

I am not sure when I should give Geoff his to-do list. Maybe I'll let him take the weekend off then spring it on him.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free at last, free at last

Today was the day Apache finally made job offers. Geoff had told as many people as he could that he did not want to stay; he wanted a package. And was worried that he would get an offer anyway, which would mean making another decision. But it turned out that everyone who wanted a job got an offer and those who did not want to stay would be accommodated too.

There is going to be a goodbye to BP event in Edmonton this weekend which we are going to go to, one last hotel room on BP.

We went out to Grillers to celebrate and ran into some old friends and had a good visit with them.

I am now the main breadwinner. I feel the responsibility on my shoulders.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back from Ontario

Our trip went well. It seems to take me forever to switch from Pacific time to Eastern I kept taking melatonin, but by Thursday I woke up feeling really dizzy and odd, so thought I better stop that, but seemed to finally have switched over by then.
Anyhow, we had a good visit-everything was in full fall colour-which is beautiful.
Went to Bill and Kathy's for Thanksgiving supper-tasty. We did a learn to curl night- as in hurry hard. We both liked it-curling ice is slipperier than regular ice.
On Thursday we went to Guelph to visit Anne and enjoyed it. We went to Elora-highly recommended. Walked through the gorge, with Kafka and shopped. Got an awesome crow shirt!! Took Anne out for supper and caught up.
We saw Niagara Falls again-still looks like about the same amount of water falling down. = a whole bunch. We also went to Niagara on the Lake. Quaint-but there seems to be an extraordinary amount of old lady wear there.I like all the surrounding farms and houses though.
Richard's parents are planning on moving to a senior's housing place by their church. His mom is really excited about it, his dad less so. We said, 'oh, they've got some nice spots to have a little garden plot. He said, 'sure, it's a good size for a burial plot'
There is a friend of Diane's-special friend or just friend, no one knows. His name is Franco. He is small and Italian and we seemed to see him more than any other member of Richard's family? He was always over at his parents. We thought it odd. And got somewhat tired of this after 8 hour visits. That's right, 8 hours. Richard is much more polite than me. I just left and went upstairs. And found myself pointedly saying,'OK richard let's go to......' Franco sometimes looked up eagerly. I deliberately did not make eye contact.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Streets of Baltimore. Next week.

Judith, I do not know how you do so much work travel. I've been back a week, and thinking about packing again and getting ready to go to Baltimore wears me out. I'm not ungrateful for the opportunity to gain air miles, but I get tired so easily. Maybe I am fighting off an infection.

The cats are clinging to me like lint. They do not know there is a reason the suitcase is not going back into the basement.

I have been getting organic vegetables delivered to my house, once every two weeks. It is pretty awesome. I do like not having a choice -- just having to make do with whatever they give me. You can always roast them.

It is time to shift fall clothes onto the hangers.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Library movie tonight. Get Low. See it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our friend Angelika died last Wednesday. She had been diagnosed with cancer in the spring, not long before Jude. Now her two kids, 22 and 16, are by themselves. The funeral is on Thursday, I am doing the picture powerpoint for it, so it feels even sadder to be scanning all these pictures from her life. She is going to be missed by a lot of people.
Even so, we had a good long weekend. It was really good to have Sam and Grace home, Tim was around too. The weather could not have been better. It feels like we are having our summer now. Got most of the fall yard work done and Geoff and the kids got a lot of painting, etc., done out at the cabin. And there was still a lot of time for relaxing.
Geoff still has not heard about his job. They are busy with the turnaround so until the weekend I hadn't been seeing much of him.

Monday, October 11, 2010


We returned this afternoon. I'm very glad to be home, after 11 days away (2 in Montreal, 5 at conference, and then 4 vacationing in Chicago). The cats are clinging to me like lint onto velcro.

Yesterday we went to the Chicago Historical Museum, which was so, so good. They had lots of Chicago Exposition stuff, some histories of local families, a series of interviews with people on their various neighbourhoods. Special exhibitions included Chicago wedding dresses, Abraham Lincoln's deathbed, and an AMAZING low-rider installed in the foyer. Also, wicked gift shop.

We also walked along the beaches of Lake Michigan, went on a fun boat tour of city architecture, and ate hot dogs. We would both go again.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Polish are coming!

There was some kind of big Polish sports event yesterday. There were yobs (or Polish version of yobs) on the El, hollering "POLSKA! POLSKA!"

We spent an enjoyable afternoon puttering around Ukrainian Village / Wicker Park. We each bought some footwear. I went to Quimby's Comics (a store I have long wanted to go to), and we drank $4 mojitos. Judith went back to hotel for a nap, and then I walked around more, window shopped, drank some microbrew, read comics. And then we went out to Morton's to eat steak. That felt very stereotypically Chicago. We people-watched to see how many "middle Americans" we could see there. Answer: many.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

It's not the easy being green

We spent a lot of time walking yesterday, and by the time we made it back to the hotel were both pretty tired. We took the train out to the museum, so got to see a little more of the city. The Jim Henson exhibit was so great, it had some of his doodling, and old commercials from the early sixties that he did. Kermit was originally made out one of his Mom's old coats. There was a short documentary all about his life, with some interviews by Mike Douglas and Johnny Carson. The rest of the museum was pretty cool too, they had a great exhibit of the 1st moon landing, one about the 2nd world war. I was amazed to learn that there were bombs put by the Germans just of the eastern Seaboard. I did not realize the war got so close to the US. The weather has been amazing, I am sure it got to about 23 or 24 yesterday, and today supposed to be around 25. We are taking an architectural boat tour along the river, I can't wait. The buildings here are so amazing. I also find it much cleaner than New York.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

My Kind of town....Chicago is

Made it to the hotel yesterday, I am not too sure what I was thinking when I booked my flight it left at 7:30 in the morning. That meant at the airport by 5:30, groan. But I got through security (the US Border guy was very nice) and was sitting drinking a latte by 5:45. I slept a lot of the trip, and found the shuttle to the hotel without too much trouble, after we landed. After checking into the hotel I took a walk over to Nordstorms (I love that store) and had a bite of lunch. There is the coolest Lego store with gigantic lego made things (darth vader, an octopus, lifesize people on benchs), in the mall, and it made me think of Christmases and all my nieces and nephews. After doing some shopping (window only no purchases made). I came back to the hotel and had a nap. I love vacations. Allison and I will meet today at the hotel, her conference went until 9:30 last night so she decided to stay at the Hostel and winds up today at 4:30. I am off to do some walking and looking around.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Personality disorder vs Normal weirdness

I get to continue on discussing mental health!
So personality disorders are also categorized within the DSM IV-the diagnostic bible of psychiatry. Illnesses such as schizophrenia, bi polar, anxiety and depression are Axis 1. Personality disorders are Axis 2.
They are categorized into 3 clusters:
Cluster A[mad] are schizoid, schizotypal, paranoid. People with this cluster are odd or eccentric.
Cluster B [bad] are borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, histrionic. People with this cluster have emotional instability, difficulty with interpersonal relationships.
Cluster C [sad] are obsessive/compulsive, dependent, and avoidant. People with this are pretty much what the disorder says.
we all have certain characteristics of each of these disorders at difference times in our lives.
What makes the difference between a personality disorder and just the usual weirdness that we all have, is the extent of the 'weirdness' and if it makes functioning difficult and if the default way of reacting to different situations tends to be always the same-people only have one or limited ways of acting and they use this way in every situation.

For instance, my general way of coping would be basically healthy, but at times-when stressed I might need a great deal of reassurance. Taken to the extreme, I could be classified as dependent, but given that I don't reach the extreme and generally function pretty well, I'm just normal.

The difference between someone who has schizoid personality disorder and someone who doesn't, but doesn't like being around people is degree. Someone with schizoid personality probably is noticeably 'stranger'. Like, when Richard and I met this guy, we both thought, 'hmmm, there's something odd', but not to the extent that we thought-'oh , he's listening to things that aren't there' more like, 'He sure doesn't say much and what he does say just gets right to the point. no hello, how are you? Just, hi, it's _____, I have your rent'. And 'he doesn't feel the need to say hello when walking by. And he doesn't have very much expression on his face. He doesn't seem interested at all in other people'
It is not shyness or someone not feeling like talking. More like the really weird kid at school that didn't seem to act like anyone else. not just the kid who sometimes acted weird, but we could all identify with.
Really, there are lots of different and unique people out there and most do not fall into personality disorder range. Some might, but if they are functioning fine, generally happy, and live their life-it doesn't matter and would never get classified because they would never see a psychiatrist for their problems.
It is when people become unhappy or their disorder starts to interfere with others (ie antisocial) that it becomes a disorder.
Sometimes I think within psychiatry, 'normal' becomes so important that we stop appreciating uniqueness-but then for in patient psychiatry-someone ends up there because functioning is impaired. Versus the regular happily strange assortment of human beings that we all are-mostly bumbling along life-generally content and happy, screwing up occasionally, but not terribly so.
Does this make sense?
Any more questions?

That'll be 5 cents please

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Personality disorder vs Psychosis

Theresa was wondering about difference between schizoid personality disorder and an illness like schizophrenia. I started by writing this out in comments, but then thought is was too much to cover-so here's the differences and it is a good question:
It could be seen as a matter of degrees. When something is a a lifelong pattern-ie person has always been a bit odd-like since early childhood/early adolescence-it is more likely personality disorder. When it is onset later in life-person has been OK, then develops symptoms either slowly or all of the sudden, then is more likely mental illness. Though people who have schizoid personality are more likely to develop schizophrenia. Depends to the degree-schizophrenia at one end, personality disorder in the middle, other end 'normal'. Also people with schizophrenia have more obvious 'detachment' from reality-delusions and hallucinations. That being said those with personality disorders (or even those without-but sleep deprived, on drugs, physical illness)can have brief periods of thought disorder-being hallucinations and delusions, but not as fixed and for short periods of time.
These are all continuums really. I have had weird feelings-like I think, 'Oh is that person talking about me? [paranoia]Did I see something out of the corner of my eye? [visual hallucination]' They could almost be classified as 'breaks' from reality, but they only happen when sleep deprived, under lots of stress, and they are something we all experience. True psychosis-like in the case of schizophrenia/psychotic mania/delusional disorder-is prolonged, and accompanied by other symptoms-difficulty in processing information, feeling like the TV is talking to you etc etc.
We all have symptoms of personality disorders at various times in our life-that is normal-There is Cluster A-which is basically eccentric, Cluster B-which includes anti-social, borderline Cluster C-which is sort of neurotic/OCD/dependent. Not feeling like being around people-taken to an extreme along with other symptoms could mean you have schizoid or schizotypal personality. Sometimes not feeling like being around people, but forcing yourself to do it and enjoying it most of the time probably just means you're an introvert.
Shall I go on?
I could endlessly you know....

Sunday, October 03, 2010

This Blog

This blog always cracks me up. No one posts for days and days, and then there is a flurry all at once. Great minds think alike I guess.

Every now and then it sinks in that I'm in my last year here. Mostly it's just normal school busy, but then I think about all the things I don't know yet, and worry that I'll be done too soon. Then I look at all the reading I have to do and decide the soon I'm out of here the happier I'll be.

Classes are all quite interesting. The one with the most general interest would have to be "Opening the Hurt Locker: Religious and Spiritual Pedegogies of Pain". It's a course on how we look at and deal with pain, culturally and within various religious traditions (mostly looking at Christian, Jewish and Buddhist). Part of the idea is that pain can teach us something, or that at the least there is a positive aspect to pain, which we miss when we medicate it all away. One of the students is a medical doctor, so that makes for some interesting discussions. We have to do a presentation on a "practicable pedegogy of pain"; I've asked if I can do country music, or more specifically, John Wort Hannam. We'll see if I'm allowed!

On November 15 there is a religious trialog between a Rabbi, one of the profs from the school and a Muslim theologian, discussing the character of Job through the lens of the Cohen Brothers movie " A Serious Man". Should be pretty interesting if anyone is planning on being in Vancouver in November!

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A decision

Yes! We have made a decision about something. Unusual behaviour.
The decision is about the cabin at the lake. We have been tossing around different ideas: should we build something new? Like what? How would we pay for it? Would we be out there any more than we are now? Geoff has been out there a lot lately sprucing things up so we can get a good report from the yearly inspection. I helped a bit last weekend, and we each came to a conclusion at the same time. We are going to spend some money and time just fixing things up. There is not anything too difficult to fix. We will get running water, put in a shower, change the kitchen around, put in new flooring and a new deck. Maybe some new furniture. We don't need another big place to take care of.

Went to Miranda's wedding yesterday. (Friends from church, Miranda is their youngest kid.) It was good, very lighthearted, not a lot of ceremony and tradition. The ceremony was at 6 p.m. then there was a gathering out at Dovercourt Hall at 7, with some speeches and dancing, then a supper at 10, then more dancing. Ferrey kids, did you know that Becky got married in September? She eloped, not even her parents knew they were planning to do it.

The weather here is beautiful too, but for every couple of warm days there is a day of rain. The poor farmers are having a hard time getting any crops off, as soon as things start to dry they get rained on again.

Geoff has had his interview with the new company. He was told the decisions would be known by mid-October. Meanwhile they are doing a turnaround so he had to go out today and will be busy busy for the next couple of weeks.

Fall is here

The leaves are going
I wonder when
It will be snowing?
I heard that Environment Canada says it will be a La Nina year= snow and cold.
I registered for my 1st class-Nursing Leadership. I hope I like it.
weather has been spectacular!
Blue skies, up to 25 degrees. It makes me feel happy to be alive!
I have been parking in the approved parking lot-4 blocks away and enjoying my little walk in the am and after work. This after getting angry notes when I parked on street near hospital. Parking fines are going up too, so thought it might be a good time to change my parking habits.
we go to Ontario this week Friday for a week. I hope the colours are in full force. Anne, we want to come to Guelph for a visit during the week-which day is good?
Our tenant downstairs gave us short notice, 2 days and then moved out. Place was Disgusting. How does someone live somewhere for 1 1/2 years and not clean toilet bowl? Richard was awesome and did that job-2 bottles of CLR, 1 bottle vinegar, and 1 bottle toilet cleaner later. truly.
I don't know if he had a mental illness per say but I think he may have had schizoid type personality. Not that I'm diagnosing, just wondering.
I am going to plant croci bulbs in grass, then go to rental and do some work there with Richard.

It has been a good week

I have had a week full of visiting and catching up with people so it has been great. Last Saturday I went to the market with Vicky, I had not seen her for awhile, so we shopped and then caught up with each other over a latte. Saturday night Grace invited me over to her new place for supper. She made stir fry and eclair's for dessert. I brought over a bottle of Geoff's wine so it was a real "Ferrey" meal. I got to meet Wren, one of her roommates, and Leanna joined us for supper. Corrinna the fourth roommate was off on some kind of a camping trip for one of her classes, so did not meet her. I love the house, it is in a great location and it looks so nice, all reno'ed up. Sunday night it was supper with Grace again, only at my house this time, it was the start of the Amazing Race. I made a new recipe, and it turned out pretty good, steak with a mushroom sauce. It does not feel right to watch the race without Grace, so I was very glad she made it. Tuesday night I had a friend over, Polly, her sister lives in Costa Rica with her family. So Polly brought over pictures from one of her trips to CR, and we compared stories of our visits. Wednesday night it was Sam's turn to visit. He is a very busy guy so I was glad he had time to come over. Listening to all he has going on makes me feel like a slug, maybe I am just lazy (like Theresa). Made another new recipe, this time pork with mushrooms. It turned out very good as well. Finally on Friday night, I had Karen over (a friend from when I worked on the government upgrade) we had a good visit, and then off to the Jubilee to see Mamma Mia. It was such a feel good musical, and I loved the way they integrated the songs. I really laughed.

After all that busyness yesterday was a pajama day. I stayed in them all day, read and watched true crime stories on TV and napped. Today is the first S&B of the season, I am the guest, so I don't even need to fuss. The coming week will be just as good as last week, I think, out for supper with some friends on Monday night, Chicago on Wednesday, and seeing the Muppets on Friday. Only down side is that Grace can't come for Amazing Race.

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