My Gram

Barely one month after my Pa passed, so did my Gram today; on July 27, 2010 just after 4 in the morning after a massive stroke at lunchtime the day before. My heart creeps up into my mouth when I think of so much loss in such a short time; it is barely manageable when I allow myself to think about it. Instead of just mourning, however, I feel I need to tell my story of my wonderful Gram.

When I was born my five year old brother, Mark, fell ill with a serious case of meningitis which put my family into a state of disarray; a new born plus a gravely ill child – what a nightmare. Thankfully, my parents had my Gram & Pa who looked after me when necessary; while my parents went to and from the hospital to watch Mark’s meningitis threaten to overwhelm him. It took a while but fortunately my brother survived and lives a wonderful life today. Throughout that time, I am sure my parents would never have known what to do without my Gram and Pa to fall back on. And so my wonderful connection to my grandparents began… I spent many evenings and many days in their home throughout my life and I enjoyed it immensely.

Their home was their children’s home. My Pa built it himself and it stands on a beautiful piece of property on Continue reading

My Pa

Today, I watched as my Grandfather passed away.

My Grandfather meeting his great grandson, Zander, for the first time. Unforgettable!Monday, June 28th, 2010 at around 12pm my wife, Sara, called me at work to relay a message that the time was near for my Grandfather and that as soon as Ian (my Uncle) arrived from Nanaimo, he would be taken off oxygen. My Mother had left the message and the gist was that if I wanted to be there for his final moments I could. It took me a while to gather the courage but I headed to the hospital to be there, where I had some private moments with him as he lay unconscious with my sweet Grandmother who was always at his side.

At the hospital, time seemed to move as a ball might on an irregular, steep, yet thickly viscous surface; one moment time seemed to barely move, and at times it flew but always with a sense of foreshadowing. Nearer to his passing time seemed to disappear altogether in a peaceful way. I won’t share any further details of his passing other than it was all that any family-focused person could hope it would be, because he was surrounded and held by his loving family to the last moments. Continue reading

How to Clean Up Dangerous Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs

Compact Flourescent Lightbulb (CFL)CFLs (the “squigly” lightbulbs) are the latest rage because they save a ton of energy but did you know they have a toxic level of mercury inside them? Nothing that would kill or anything like that – of course – however, there are some important things you should know about cleaning one up should it break. For example… never use a vaccum to clean up leftovers from a breakage on a hard surface! No explanation for “why” is given but I gather the mercury particulate can get dispersed by the vacuum cleaner because the filter can’t catch it – just a guess though. Anyway, don’t do it!!!

For more info that I would rather not copy (to give the site appropriate credit) check out this excellent and incredibly helpful Going Green blog post called “Take Care with CFLs“.

Big thanks to Bill Slawski at SEO by the Sea for giving me the heads up on this.