Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sangilak 2

In addition to being in the writing circle, the obvious intent of the circle is to encourage people to read, write and broaden their scope in the world of literature. To this end then, besides adopting a lion you are encouraged to write a poem or piece of prose, inspired by your lion. ~ You may well wonder at the choice of the name Sangilak. ~

About the Lions name:

The first time I met the Lion I was struck by the White on his face and chest with the Red blaze, (Red Maple Leaf ?) reminiscent of the Canadian flag.

In selecting a name for my Lion, I decided on Sangilak which means, ‘The strongest of all’ in Inuktitut. The Inuit are an indigenous people of Canada.

This seemed most apt, for the Lion has long been known as “The King of The Jungle’ down through the ages and pages of history. ~

This is the poem I wrote about my lion, Sangilak. ~


He burst forth from the past to now
Fiercely proud, strong, erect.
His torso adorned and glowing still,
Remnants of the days of battle royal,
The figures, depicting scars from days of old.

I first saw him standing there -
Covered it seemed in a hue of snow?

On his chest emblazoned in red,
“Is that a red maple leaf I see,
Or some such facsimile ?”
I said astounded! ~ hesitantly, ~
“You are Canadian ~ aren’t you”

Eric Valentine Jan 27/08 ©


Monday, January 28, 2008


This is an exciting time for me right now. This last few days I had been trying to reach a decision on a favorite blog of mine.

I speak of “The Shameless Lions writing circle.” The group is comprised of 48 members, all of whom are writers and some quite successful, having been published. Each of these writers has an adopted lion, a symbol of the writing circle group. Recently two vacancies opened up, as a result of two writers departing for other climes ~ you can see my dilemma.

First and foremost I wasn’t sure if my level of writing was at the desired standard, thus my hesitancy in applying for a lion. There are other contingency considerations to take into account, but nothing out of reach.

Over the weekend I applied to Seamus, then I held my breath, hoping and perhaps praying a little, for the lion to reach out and bring me a satisfactory result in my quest.

He must have heard me! For now I can proudly announce that I have my lion! I named him Sangilak, but more on that later. ~
I am now a member of “The Shameless Lions writing circle.” My thanks go out to Seamus, for having the faith in me to give me this chance.

I would like to add that Seamus runs a registry of ‘Circle Friends’ and is always looking for new people to join. Come on over for a read, he has a great blog, with stories that I think are as good as they get, visit for a read you won’t be disappointed. The link is on my sidebar.

To be cont’d


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Packin Pistols!

Here in the trees hidden in the dark
I lie in wait for the dreaded foe,
I keep my eye on the garden gate
If I don’t, he may slip by real slow.

With my trusted pistols in my hand
I’m determined, a hit I will get
And although he won’t get killed
I’m darn sure he’ll be good n wet!

The plague of the feeders is whom I want,
That pesky squirrel is the one I seek
I’m fed up of his sneaky ways,
Just once, I want to hear him squeak!

If I don’t do something, he will drive me nuts!
But I can’t just let him have his way.
It’s a war I can’t win, of that there's no doubt,
But this battle belongs to me! So varmint pray!

E.Valentine Jan 23/08 ©


Friday, January 18, 2008

The Intimidator

Today I had a nice surprise email from a close friend. After reading my last blog “Joust a Minute”, my friend came up with an idea for me. I took a wild guess that my little Red Knight was hardly intimidating enough to these parking lot bullies. ~ So we give you:

“The Intimidator” which to me, meeting him in the parking lot, would be enough to scare the poop out of my scoop!

As a result of all this fine photoshop work, I tried something I have wanted to do for a long time now. ~ It worked, and the ‘New Banner’ above is the result.

The photo is one we took at Fairy lake, quite close by us.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Joust a Minute!

It’s a new hospital, so we’re a little reticent. My appointment is for 2:20 and we decide to get there early just in case, arriving at 12:50. I know this will cost a fortune in parking but this is one appointment I cannot miss.

I have COPD and I’m here for a spirometry test. ~ This test is not something that I had been looking forward to, for obvious reasons.

After locating the correct parking area, there seems to be quite a bottle neck of cars trying to get in and out. It looks like poor planning to me, with not much room to maneuver, result, chaos. ~ I make a mental note of my first strike against this place.

We locate the handicapped parking area aisle and try to turn into it. A truck exiting is blocking the way. After sitting a while waiting for this guy to go, Elizabeth turns down the visor with the handicapped sign on it to show him where we are trying to get to. The guy somehow miss-reads this and grabs his handicapped sign from his dash and starts waving it at us.

This is no less than ridiculous. ~ After a few more minutes and angry gesturing, the truck gives way, he is after all, leaving. He moves on with a glare, still waving his sign. “Joe for King!“ I yell, but he doesn’t hear me.

This really is a first for us. ~ Handicapped parking rage.

The last time I had this test, was about 20 months ago, my numbers were bad. ~ My lung capacity then, (Fev1) was 26%. A normal persons is 100%.

Since then, I know I have gone downhill, despite all the hard work and rehab.

With COPD, the immune system is greatly compromised, through sickness and infections. I keep a strict record of everything and last winter I spent 4 months contracting cold after cold from November through February. As a result of that, I know that my lung capacity deteriorated a lot during this time.

Part or most of the reason for this was my weekly rehab at the other hospital. Going to the hospital, seemed to mean getting more exposed to germs in the air, and the resulting consequences. It’s a double edged sword. The year before, I never got sick. This year so far, cold free.
I cannot take anymore chances though, for this is my life that‘s at stake.

The rehab was a godsend no doubt, but certainly not in the winter.

So, here I am taking the spirometry test once again. The technician is wonderful, as they all are. ~ After the test I learn, the new benchmark of my lung capacity, is now 21%. ~ I am not surprised. ~ With so much to live for, I will not give up.

My request of, “Could I have a copy of the results please?, Brought the pleasant response, “but of course.” They are so accommodating. I have decided that I like this new hospital.
One thing though.~ Next time, here at the parking lot, I will bring my lance!

Maybe take out a mortgage for parking?


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kettles Ahoy

What the hell was that? I sat bolt upright in bed. I had been rudely awakened with a loud bang, but now all was silent.

Climbing out of bed to check, I pressed my ear to the wall. Listening, I strained but heard nothing. Grumbling, I went down the short hall and checked the door peephole. Again nothing. I could swear I had heard faint voices, it was 3am.

Getting up later, ~ it was still on my mind as I put the kettle on for a cup of tea.

While I waited for it to boil, I switched on the computer, trying to wake up. It had been a few bad nights now with little sleep and I was a bit grumpy. Merry ho ho ho, right! ~

Something wasn’t right. Walking to the kitchen I checked the kettle, nothing. Oh no not again, I groaned. It just didn’t seem to want to start boiling. It got just short of boiling point and conked out, ~ switching it on, I tried again. I remembered the episodes of previous kettles before we settled on this one. ~ Well we wrestled with that thing all day, then finally gave up.

I hate it when you have to boil water in a pan. When I checked the warranty I discovered we were still in under the wire. That at least was a good thing. So next day after another erratic night, we cleaned it up, descaled the kettle with the proverbial vinegar, all ready to go. A thought then crossed my mind, ~ well maybe we should try a boil just to be sure before we contact them. ~

Well I’ll be! Yep she started working again alright. That prompted the remark from me that the kettle had been talking to the toaster and the fridge! Remember those?

~ Weird! Maybe those were the voices I heard?

It’s getting pretty bad when you start to believe that inanimate objects actually talk to each other, but then of course, there’s always a good argument for computers?

So there we were just sailing right along, this Englishman, with the kettle and his cup of tea! I might have known though, the euphoria lasted all of three days! The kettle died much the same way as before, the sleepless nights continued, but this time the voices were silent.

We’ve tried most all the stores for a replacement, and we have gone through much the same as the last episode, which has put me into something of a ‘small appliance rage’, trying to get a reliable instrument of torture.

An Englishman without his morning cuppa can be ugly! But tell that to the kettle, all it does is laugh and go zonk!

We do a fair amount of shopping at “The great Canadian Superstore” Loblaws for short, the store famous for its “Presidents Choice” products. So while touring this huge grocery store, which now seems to sell everything, from the food off the shelf right down to the seats you sit in to eat. The wife, checking out their small appliance section comes across this promising looking kettle. ~

It now resides in our kitchen, works fantastic and is most definitely forbidden to talk to the other appliances!


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Beginning

I am sorry it took so long. No we didn’t abscond with all the Christmas loot, we just got sidetracked a little along the way.

Hope everyone had a great time over the Christmas & New Year festivities, ours was a little quiet but still enjoyable.

In looking back over 2007, I have to conclude that from the blogging standpoint, I had a very successful year. Considering when I wrote my first blog Jan 15th, and even then I didn’t have a clue what to write, it turned out ok and I found it so exhilarating. I owe most of the success of my blog to all of you, the readers of what I put out there.

Without an audience a show cannot go on. Writing blogs is not that far different from any other form of entertainment. You make people happy or laugh, even shed a tear or two, but they will come back for that second look.
That second look is what all of you gave me and have kept on giving me throughout the year, even when at times, the shelves were empty, I thank you so much for that and for your patience.

For 2008 I would hope to continue with the kind of writing that has kept you coming back in the first place. There are some personal changes in our real life future shortly, but I am sure we can accommodate that without too many problems. In the meantime I wish you all well, I wish you good health & good fortune.

May God smile on you and the World and make it a less troubled place. ~ Thank you all and God Bless. ~