Thursday, March 31, 2011


"Widow (n) - An Indo-European word linked to the Sanskrit vidh, meaning to be empty, to lack."

Vidh A Book of Mourning by Phyllis Nakonechny is the best book I have read in years. I highly recommend it for anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with grief and loss. I just felt in awe after reading this book. Phyllis wrote a series of small 'essays' after her husband died of cancer but you don't have to have lost a spouse or partner for this book to resonate with you. Over and over throughout the book I had a "Yes that's it" moment of something I had experienced when dealing with my own grief after losing Mom and Dad. This following excerpt was one of those "Yes, that`s it!" moments....

    I sit under a great pine. It is cool here. The light of the July sun filters through the spaces between trees, yet its heat cannot reach my heart.

    Perhaps the beauty of words.

    I turn to the book of poetry I have brought with me. Since your death I have not been able to read. I have been unable to focus. Still, I refuse to accept this loss and carry a book with me always.

   I flip from page to page.

   The words stay flat, inert and empty.

I really don't feel I can do this book justice with this blog. If you read only one book this year let it be this one. It left me so grateful she had written it and so grateful I had read it.

A quick search on the 'net brought up these other reviews for this small yet hugely powerful book.

"This paean of love and loss speaks to the depths of human dignity and the eternity of love and loving. Exquisitely written by Nakonechny, Vidh - A Book of Mourning is at once a celebration of the human condition and a reminder of the importance to the human spirit of memory as a way of triumphing over the deepest losses." Jurors, First Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards***

"I wanted to tell you how much I have loved your book and how utterly wonderful your writing is. I wept all the way through, sometimes for sorrow, sometimes for joy and often just moved that someone can write what I feel. I have lost no great loved one, but I had an accident eight years ago in which I lost a lot - two years in hospitals, paraplegia and half a leg, and my accustomed life. The loss of walking on the earth is the greatest loss I can imagine. The grieving never seems to end, because I'm reminded of it every time a friend comes by or I see people walking past my window. That's all, just thank you and I will never let that little book go."Joy McCall***

"I sat alone on Thursday night and read your exquisitely evocative book. It is a book for all who love or have loved someone. When I put the book down, I was enriched. The insights I now embrace have revealed a kind of dawn for me. I am indebted to you and I am honoured to be so. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough and yet it is all I can say."Wendy Swann***

Thank you for writing Vidh…. I have not seen such powerful grief expressed on paper… I have said many times that our society does not allow people to grieve and we are so uncomfortable with those who have suffered a great loss. How wrong! How Sad! I know I will be giving many copies to friends in the years to come .Joanne Balint***

Phyllis Nakonechny Reads from Vidh: a book of mourning

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I'm a sucker for sky pictures. Probably because I live in Saskatchewan where we are all sky. Flickr is a great site for pictures. You can really spend alot of time there. Later this week I think I'll try editing some photos as suggested in Optional.
If I ever use this site or one like it for my personal photos I would definitely make them private. There's too much of me on the 'interweb' already.

Photo by shawnsolo.
skyway 5

Monday, March 28, 2011

Recent work on my house..

My youngest son has started a new contracting business. (He wanted to work for himself). He does amazing work. Luckily for me, he honed his talents on my house. I have some beautiful custom rooms in my little home and I thought I'd share some of them with you.
We converted one of the bedrooms into a laundry room. This is the only room in the house that I've remained ambiguous about the paint colour. I don't HATE it like everyone else around here does but I haven't embraced it either. I think it's a good laundry room/spare room colour. I love the custom framework around the window and how he hid the dryer vents over the washer and dryer.

This next room is MY room. I'm surrounded by books and things I love, I have my TV, DVD player, CD player, laptop and a comfortable chair. I LOVE the colours in this room. He built the shelving.

Next up, my kitchen. It was horrible. I'm too embarassed to put up a before picture. But now, it is incredible. We kept the cupboard frames, Allan built the doors and drawers, moved the sink, added a dishwasher, installed the countertop and backsplash, added undercupboard and over cupboard lighting, a valance, soft close doors and drawers, pull out pantry shelves (built the pantry as well). And I LOVE the colours.

AND, last but not least I have a new bathroom. I LOVE this bathroom. I love the colours, the custom trims, the flooring, the lighting, the bathtub....everything. It was finished while I was away on a trip with my sister. The boys took the pictures and when I got back they had the big reveal. I've since added accessories and towels.

Now, I just have to pay for all this..and then retire. ha!

My oldest son, Bryan, a wonderful graphic artist is creating a website for Allan's business. He's come up with his logo and business card.

Anyway, I feel blessed. And wanted to share. :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I didn't find Prezi as difficult as the press reviews I had been hearing and reading here in the library. I've never made a presentation before so I had nothing to compare it to (possibly why I didn't find it too onerous). I fiddled with font size, direction etc and thought it had potential as an office tool. (not for me, I'll never do a presentation ever ever ever).

So, here it is....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still cheat...well, you know the drill

I have used Wikipedia in the past. It's a quick way to look something up as long as you're aware of it's limitations. I thought the Wiki page could be a useful tool for group work in the library. I found the edit function interesting showing all the changes made to comments. I'm not sure how I'd feel if someone edited my written word though. (it's probably a character flaw). I had seen the term 'child boards' on a forum I belong to and had no clue what that meant. Now, it makes sense....
I've learned a fair bit of new stuff this week. I think I'll give my brain a rest now.

Still cheating

I found Podcasting to be a little overwhelming. Not the concept or adding the RSS feed but there is just SO MUCH INFORMATION out there. Too much. Even trying to narrow things down to topics I might be interested still produced pages and pages of podcasts to choose from. It might be something I would peruse at my leisure at home but to do it at work? Much too time-consuming. As for producing my own podcast?....never, nope, nyet, not a chance. (I'm always so positive aren't I? ;-)

Cheating just a bit.

Yes, I cheated and skipped a thing. I looked at Prezi and decided it was going to take me awhile to do it and I needed to be rested. By Thursday I'm usually starting to lag abit so I think I'll wait until next week to learn Prezi. Also I'm used to Youtube although I've never embedded anything before. I found 2 videos I wanted to share so here goes....

This is such a lovely video in the midst of so much pain and loss. Both dogs were rescued and are being cared for. Dogs are such amazing loyal creatures.

My Favourite Knowledge Device

As for the question Feeling brave?? Nope, nada, not a chance, nyet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Catching up

My vacation was lovely, thank you very much. I noticed (from the warmth of my living room with my tea in hand, still in my jammies) that I missed alot of very cold and ugly weather. More luck than brains but I'll take it.
But, now I'm back with a backlog from h**l and checking out the Things I missed. I did very well on the spreadsheet. I have such an aversion to spreadsheets. Despite Laurie Bird's hand-holding and assignments even a toddler could do I have not been able to learn spreadsheets. It's a mental block thing and I have a few of them. I've given myself permission to have them.  But really...will I need it in retirement? I think not. However this spreadsheet was so simple even "I" could do it. So my name has been added to the list and I have checked off my completed things. I also mastered Google Docs. Well, mastered might be exaggerating just a tad but I did finish the assignment. I thought Google Docs was quite user friendly. I can see it being used as an office tool. (If I remember months from now that it exists). I thought I had mastered blogging but I spent a disturbing amount of time just now trying to remember how to create a new post. So maybe mastered isn't the most accurate descriptor. Onward to Thing next. (forgot the number). Oh my gosh, I just discovered that if you start typing thing in the labels it shows you the previous things you've typed in. So now I know. It's Thing 8 next up.