After plunking on the computer a while, I wandered out to say hi to Linda. But she wasn’t in the living room, or the kitchen. Or the bedroom or bathroom. But I had definitely heard some sound coming from somewhere, so I was sure she hadn’t gone out. The only other place she could be was out on the balcony. But she wasn’t there either. So I gave up and called her.
Hard at work on some obscure thing. I never did find out what. Part of her new spring balcony design.
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Last night Linda and I went to the opening night of The Taming of the Shrew at the Grande, mainly to see Kevin Heslop in his first major role on the stage, which is only the third role of his acting career.
Kevin, who is London Open Mic’s interviewer and one of the city’s young poets-extraordinaire, is one of the two lead actors in this comedy by Shakespeare. The twist in this version is the reversal of gender roles, so that the men are all played by women actors and the women by men. Kevin plays Katherine, the older sister who is being married off to a very domineering young man, played by a female actor, Ashley Fage, who does it with gusto.
Well, Kevin is certainly cut out for Shakespeare, as he has been soaking up the bard for years, not just the stories in the plays, but their poetry as well, the proper rhythm. He knows how it should be read, and it showed in his performance, which seemed to me to be the most natural-sounding of all the actors, even though he was playing a woman.
The climax of the play was Kevin’s soliloquy, delivered so naturally, as if he (she) were just standing there thinking out loud, that all the people in the audience suddenly stopped their internal chatter and heard what he was saying. The guy sitting behind me stopped jiggling his leg and checking his cell phone, and the lovers in the back row no longer whispered to each other. Total silence. Kevin held the room spellbound. It was something to behold.
I expect we’ll see him in Stratford soon.
The Taming of the ShrewPresented by Funeral Pyre Theatre in association with Squirrel Suit Productions
April 26 to May 6, 2017
Director: Liam Grunté
Stage Manager Julia McCarthy
Producers Liam Grunté and Carlyn Rhamey
Starring Kevin Heslop and Ashley Fage
Also featuring Neva Gunther, Tristan Watts, Irene Paibulsirijit, Andrea Avila, Mya Matos, Gareth Ross, Holly Holden, Lyndsey Burns, Olivia Little and Kendall Robertson
“The Taming of the Shrew” is renowned as Shakespeare's most controversial play. It is a tale of mistaken identity, deception and complicated love triangles. The plot thickens as suitors of the fair Bianca convince a visiting stranger to marry her older sister Katherina in order to allow Bianca to be eligible to be wed. However, Katherina is not a willing participant in their plans.
Reversing the roles in this production brings a fresh perspective to an old yarn, allowing the audience to experience the story from alternative points of view.
FP Theatre is proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds from this production are being donated in support of the London Abused Women's Centre #ShinetheLight on Women's Abuse campaign.
Before the leaves
Just before the leaves popped out, Linda and I found this beautiful bit of nature south of Wallacetown. And right away she discovered a big patch of very-rare burgundy trilliums! She was so happy! Trilliums are one of her favourite flowers.
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إبراهيم أشعياء عوض burgundy Trilliums are a welcome change from the plain white ones!
Heather Roberts Cadsby Lovely! They are known as wakerobin and are, to put it politely, ill-scented.
Stan Burfield Ah. Thanks. I'll tell her.
Stan Burfield Here's where we were if anyone wants to check out the Trilliums or the trees or both. https://www.google.ca/.../data=!3m6!1e1!3m4...
I clamber down
to the stream, grabbing
small branches to not slide
in the mud, and am stopped, mesmerized,
by all the little slipping arcs of
light that glide along the flow;
across the wobbling
water on a bouncing
to a rock, up the bank, boots
on steps of snaking gnarly roots.
in the quiet--
(From "Too Early for Leaves")
Linda sat on a log there and I sat next to her. In time, she wandered off. I stayed, pulling out a small book of Walt Whitman’s poems. But I was ready to pocket it again, as I assumed its small white pages would contract my mind, reduce it, the last kind of experience I wanted out there. Instead, as I focussed on the words from that open, all-encompassing mind, my own mind seemed to expand into the forest around me, without looking up at it. I became part of the forest instead of an observer, with the Cardinals calling to each other and all the old leaves from last year on the ground at my feet.
A NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them. 5
And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
Linda's skills are blooming
When we had our flower shop, they consisted mostly of floral design, some interior design, and organizing.
Now, in retirement, she's added carpentry, basic cabinet making, painting, sewing, upholstery, beadwork, framing, the beginnings of photography, and of course more interior design. Why? All because she can't afford to buy the things she wants for her home. So she makes them, each and every one.
This morning she's rebuilding a kitchen cabinet that she had made earlier, so it will hold the blender and toaster, to get them off the counter.
Ps. The knobs on the little wicker shelves she's holding in the photo are made with multiple buttons.
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Julie Ali I love that little green table on the side with the cups on them. I have bought some oops paint from the Home Depot but hubby has hidden them. I think he wants me to leave our garage sale furniture alone. I will paint one chair yellow like a small buttercup in a field. The other one will be fashionably gray. One must not go against Pinterest fads.
Like · Reply · 10 January at 19:17
Stan Burfield Ha ha. Linda's big on repainting furniture. Everything you see here has been, except the curtains, which she purchased for their colour. Even the iron table has been painted. And the wicker drawers.
Like · Reply · 10 January at 19:25
Julie Ali Stan Burfield I love that green.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 January at 20:10
Stan Burfield I'll post a photo of the completed change, along with some more of the rest of the kitchen as soon as I get the chance.
Like · Reply · 10 January at 19:26
Julie Ali Maybe she should post on Pinterest. I love going there.
Like · Reply · 10 January at 20:11
Stan Burfield Others have suggested that. But it would be me doing the posting. Linda's such a totally visual person that she hates anything to do with computers.
Like · Reply · 11 January at 18:29
Julie Ali Stan Burfield It is a lot of fun on Pinterest. I never post anything as I don't know how. But I love pinning.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 January at 18:33
Here's how my day began...
I stumbled out of a terrible night of sleep and no sleep and leaned back against the counter waiting for my parts to swim together while the coffee heated. I hardly noticed Linda come in; her face swirled in front of mine, fingers pinched a tight cheek, mouth kissed my unmoving lips, and then she pulled back and I finally looked up into her eyes that filled mine and beheld that beautiful smile like the sun rising.
A softening. And the day began.
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Magnus Grendel Samson Coleman Treasure, the one you love, that's for certain...
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 January at 14:59
Julie Ali Without the glue of love how can all our pieces be put together? If you have this glue any sort of horror can be overcome. Without it you are lost. I like the sentence where you were waiting for your parts to swim together. Usually it takes the whole day for me to become whole in terms of thinking. Right now I am off to shovel snow which might help. Have a good day.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 10 January at 15:59
Stan Burfield ha ha. That's a good therapy. Take breaks.
Like · Reply · 10 January at 16:01
Cambridge N Calvin Keenan ❤️
Like · Reply · 11 January at 23:10
New Year's Day, 2017.
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Linda Eva Williams What a beautiful booth! Did all go well?
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:26
Stan Burfield Well, she sold enough to pay her expenses, but didn't make any profit to pay for her year's work. So she's got a lot left to take to a local craft show next Christmas. Fingers crossed.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:43 · Edited
Linda Eva Williams Best of luck to you, Linda.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:44
Stan Burfield I'll tell her. (Takes one to know one!)
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 December at 23:45
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Meredith Moeckel Such beautiful things & I really wish that I would've been there! Please send my best to Linda. ;)
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 10:26
Tina Pickard Lovely
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 12:24
Yvonne Maggs Lovely
Like · Reply · 3 December at 17:31
Karen Lowes So inviting -looking!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 19:25
I'm so lucky.
I was beginning to sink into the dark waters of depression. I know that place from once before. But this time, before I was irretrievably lost, I managed to get home where my loving wife smiled deeply at me warts and all, and then felt more of the same warmth emanating from my sister on the phone. When I hung up an hour later I found myself just breaking surface and gulping air and right then my good friend Carl called and dragged me out on shore. On which I'm strutting around now like a cockadoodldoo.
Linda and I are putting on an old copy of Amadeus to celebrate.
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Stan Burfield https://youtu.be/xYHJRhRym1U
Amadeus - Salieri describes Mozart's music
Stan Burfield Mozart Serenade No 10 In B Flat Major K 361 III Adagio
Stan Burfield The entire piece: https://youtu.be/5q2-VHiUDZs
Amadeus (Movie/Soundtrack) - Mozart: Serenade #10 In B Flat,…
Meredith Moeckel I'm sure grateful that your depression lifted sweetheart! Poor Warren is trying to grab some sleep or I'd gladly blast out some Mozart! I'll check back later when it's convenient! Please DON'T GET DEPRESSED! €♡€ :)
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 December at 07:03
Stan Burfield Hi Meredith, Thanks for your support. I'm working on it. My prescription is to soak up lots of love from my family and from friends like you, and to listen to lots of Mozart. Seems to be working so far.
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 December at 09:49
Meredith Moeckel I'm sure glad hear this sweetheart! And if ever you might need a bit extra, please call me anytime of the day or night and I'm here for you! ♡Meredith
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 December at 06:33
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Karen Lowes Way to go...life is good!
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 3 December at 19:32
Erin Kelly http://www.wendellworld.com/photos/LifeWOMozart.jpeg
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 3 December at 23:52
Stan Burfield Ha ha. Good one!
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 23:55
Stan Burfield Just overlay a Mozart serenade on that picture and it looks totally different.
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 December at 23:56
Seeing Linda off
Seeing Linda off to the train to visit her sister in Burlington. I'm a bit anxious. Woke in the middle of the night to a dream of fire. It was just a dream.
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Cindy Cameron Napper Great photo of the 2 of you Linda your hair looks great short
I think Linda is finally approaching finished on the balcony. She made the bench from an old bed frame that someone threw out. The mirror was her bedroom mirror. She built the railing from Home Depot wood. The couch cover is an original old vintage chenille bed spread. The plants are Mandevilla.
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Cambridge N Calvin Keenan I love Linda's Magical touch 💜
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 14:47
Linda Eva Williams How incredibly cozy and inviting-looking.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 15:15
Meredith Moeckel Really beautiful! She could make a lot of money just suggesting/consulting to others. And won't the Mandevilles turn into a vine? Please tell Linda BRAVO from me! You're a lucky guy! :)
Like · Reply · 5 September at 15:48
Stan Burfield I will. And I think a vine growing all over everything with those beautiful flowers is what she has in mind.
Like · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 16:05
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Sue McMaster Beautiful!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 16:03
Tina Pickard Lovely..
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 16:24
Sharon Berg That is truly lovely... and inviting. She has enriched your surroundings!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 17:51
Karen Troxler I 💘 that she built these things herself! Talented lady!
Like · Reply · 1 · 5 September at 22:04
Stan Burfield She struggles at it. She's not a natural carpenter by any means, but she's getting the hang of it slowly.
Like · Reply · 2 · 5 September at 22:15
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Peggy Roffey Really lovely!
Like · Reply · 6 September at 12:40
Linda relaxing after having completed a very strenuous task, something to do with her toes.
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Debbie-David Currie Oh how I would love to be doing that right now! You deserve it Linda!
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 August at 16:39
Cambridge N Calvin Keenan Loving your honey haven Linda , have. A great evening 🌹
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 August at 18:47
Meredith Moeckel Good for Linda! And this is a different view from the usual pics you post from your serenely decorated balcony! :)
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 30 August at 20:43
Yesterday I had a mini-stroke.
It was a warning. And now Linda and I have both had powerful shots across the bow, both in the last few days.
Just before my stroke, I was afraid Linda might have the worst cancer going, pancreatic. Luckily it turned out to be something else, we’re not sure what yet, but if it had been pancreatic cancer she wouldn’t have had more than a year to live.
In my case, I certainly didn’t think I was close to being stroke material. For a long time, my diet and exercise habits have been better than average. But I’ve ignored the big third factor, stress, at my peril. Actually, instead of reducing it in my retirement, I’ve dramatically increased my stress load by becoming a social organizer, not an easy job for a shy person. During the open mic’s first couple of years, my stress was often so high I worried about having a heart attack. But I got through that. And finally, during the last season, the fourth, I felt like I was coasting: I was much less shy, thanks to forcing myself out into the social world all that time, and I seemed to be less anxious in general. However, it looks like that kind of long-term stress builds itself into the body; it’s very telling that it was during this last week of worry about Linda that I had this mini-stroke.
Anyway, we’ve both survived, and now we’re seriously working on our lives, hoping to reverse these problems before it’s too late. And that is possible. People who survive their first heart attack or mini-strokes often live long healthy lives simply because they start off in a fresh new direction after hitting rock bottom.
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We being ourselves.
Old age has its benefits. For instance, it makes it a lot easier to answer the question "Who am I?".
When they're old, people have a lot more data to look at than they did when they were young. They have a lifetime's worth of very personal reactions to situations, reactions that other people might not have made, or made differently. And no longer are they struggling to be somebody other than whom they really are, some more perfect someone that they think society wants them to be. Time for that has run out. The deadlines have been reached. The tests have been marked and returned. Old people can finally stop, look at the collected evidence, and say, "Ah."
Linda and I have both lived fairly rough lives, but we've been very lucky in that we've been able to be ourselves all the way along. Neither of us ever developed any ability to pretend to be other people. For some, it's just the opposite. The pressures of life are such that they never get a break from pretending.
So, in the end, Linda and I only had to collect our memories to see who we are. And resign ourselves to them. We didn't have to first strip off artificial personas we had built up over our lifetimes.
I think it's very difficult to work your way out of a trap like that. You have two different tasks to accomplish, not just one, and both are extremely difficult. First, you have to convince yourself you're not the person you've spent a lot of time and effort convincing yourself you are. And, second, you have to try to be your true self when you have no idea what that is.
Well, here's a (probably dumb) idea that has a slight chance of working. Instead of concentrating on trying to be oneself, maybe a person could do it the other way around. They could try to stop being anything they've copied from others, then see what's left.
If anybody gets inspired to try this, I'd be very curious to hear how it goes.
We just got back from the doctors, with the results from her ultrasound and blood tests. And NOTHING!!!
Most importantly, she has no pancreas problems, the worst possibility of all being pancreatic cancer, and death within a year. Not even pancreatitis. And no liver problems. And no kidney problems, which the symptoms all seemed to point to, assuming the pancreas weren't at fault. There were NO blood or ultrasound findings for any of these!
And yet she still has terrible, continual pain and burning, and has had for a long time now. So it has to be something. But whatever it is, it's not as serious as we were imagining. From here it's a process of elimination. The first possibility to eliminate is "nerve pain", from a damaged or squeezed nerve from the spine. Apparently, that could cause the same symptoms.
But in any case, now Linda can finally relax and stop worrying about her life. Walking downtown from the doctor's to indulge in her first normal meal since she's been on her extremely restrictive diet, she suddenly threw her arms up in the air and said, with a big smile, "I feel like a totally new woman!!", and, as it sank in, "Now you and I might have another twenty years together!"
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I vaguely recall having said something nice to Linda, in a fun tone of voice. The next time we passed in the hall, she suddenly swung around me and looked up with those big eyes and bigger smile and sang this:
"I JUST want to
Astonished that she was actually singing the refrain from some song, which she never does, I asked where she got it.
"Nowhere. I just made it up."
"Wow," I said. "That was nice."
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Paul Branton so you ain't the only poet
Like · Reply · 6 hrs
Stan Burfield seems so!
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
Linda and I biked down to Springbank Park's Rose Garden. I enjoyed her enjoying what makes her happy.
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Wendy Clark Perron · Friends with Paula Dawn Lietz
Linda is on a super-strict no-fat, no-oil diet until she gets the problem with her pancreas diagnosed. So we found some vegan no-oil recipes. She made these scrumptious cookies.
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 1995 11:09:21 -0400
Orange Oatmeal Cookies
2 whole egg whites
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
1-1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp orange zest ( grated rind)
1 tsp orange extract
cooking oil spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 egg whites , 1 peeled banana, OJ in
blender and blend 60 seconds until incorporated. Pur into large mixing
bowl, add honey. Put in the oatmeal and flour and mix well. Then add soda,
cinnamon, mix with wooden spoon. Then add raisins and zest.
Place by tablespoonfulls on greased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minute or until lightly brown.
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Meredith Moeckel What a beautiful setting to eat all the yummy cookies.
Like · Reply · 17 July at 21:11
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 July at 21:11
Stan Burfield What you see there is all Linda's creative puttering.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 July at 21:17
Meredith Moeckel Yes I do recognize it! :)
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 17 July at 22:51
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Carol Reid Best to Linda and thanks for the great recipe. Going to make them tomorrow.
Like · Reply · 17 July at 22:23
Stan Burfield Enjoy. Linda says there'll be more recipes to come.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 July at 22:32
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Cambridge N Calvin Keenan That's awesome Stan , swanky and savvy sharing on that parlour patio , Linda's creativity Is most inviting , I see the stars in your eyes as you look at her 💜 and its so refreshing to witness that 👍
Unlike · Reply · 2 · 17 July at 23:30
Stan Burfield Ha ha. I'm a lucky guy.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 July at 23:34
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Meredith Moeckel Don't know why this popped up on my FB news feed again, but honestly it's a great happy GOOD picture of you! Maybe Linda's cookies have a secret ingredient? Just kidding my handsome friend!
Stan Burfield's Blog
Organizer of London Open Mic Poetry. former support worker for people with autism and developmental disabilities. former farm boy, former adventurer, former florist.