PhotoHunter… Free Week

Hmmm… Whatever we want…

My thoughts went immediately to the Benevolent Postcard Society. I jumped at the chance to join this little venture when I first heard about it.

“A postcard exchange and art project in one, the aim of the Benevolent Postcard Society is to bring a smile to its members through the random exchange of postcards from September 2009 to September 2010. At the beginning of each month, members send a cheerful, amusing, inspiring, pretty or quirky postcard to each other — either handmade or readymade. At the end of the year, all the postcards exchanged will be collected and published as a book, the final result of a year’s sharing of good karma through random acts of kindness.”

You send a card, you get a card. Unfortunately, joining is not possible at this point. We are hoping we can do it again next year. So much fun!

September was the first mailing and I have to admit I was a bit conservative and sent out a postcard that I had bought back in 1973 and never mailed.

Omonia Square, Athens

Omonia Square, Athens 1960s

In return, I got…

Hello

Hello

This month, I sent out…

"June Bride"

"June Bride"

This was a detail from one of my found object sculptures, called “June Bride”. I had digitally “played” with the image, by manually rendering it within my program (basically, rubbing the surface as you would a chalk drawing) and then playing with the colour. I love this piece.

I was late in getting it off, as I was in quarantine and had to wait until I could get someone to come over and bring me ink cartridges for my printer and take the postcard to mail for me. I was really worried as to whether or not my printer was actually going to produce a photo. My sister bought it three years ago and when I first tried to print photos, I couldn’t get it to print anything but horrible pixillated images. No matter what I did, it simply would not print a photo.

So I just used it for printing letters.

With trepidation I tried it and while some of the images didn’t seem to print out in the same colour values or density of colour, it was working. I printed out a number of favourite images as postcards but this was the one I settled on. Unfortunately, so far, I am unable to find an adequately thick postcard stock that is the right size and I settled for the freebie 5×7 photo sheets that come with Canon photo papers. They look great, but I don’t know if the card will survive the mailing.

I haven’t heard from the recipient, yet and am still waiting for my card. But since mine had to go to the UK (and was almost a week late in being sent off) and mine could have come from anywhere in the world, it could take some time.

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Sighhhh….

On Thursday, I got a call from some vehicle finance company asking for my mother. Figuring it was just one of those cold-callers for the new scam of selling useless finance and insurance for cars to people gullible enough to want something for nothing (which this is the opposite of… nothing for a lot) , I said “No thanks!” and hung up.

They called immediately back and said that, in fact, someone had put us down as a reference to finance their car loan. This “someone” is the same “someone” for whom we have (well, my mother, anyway) been getting calls from a bank (major Canadian financial institution) because they have skipped out on repaying a loan and the bank wants to know where they are.

As this “person” is the wife of my brother who is part of the reason why my mother is in the financial situation that she is in, and neither one has never taken ANY responsibility for their own part in their own life-situation; and since moving from their last address not bothered either to call my mother but once and not given us a forwarding address, I haven’t been able to give them information they don’t already know. Nor, I might point out, has either one of them bothered to ASK before putting my mother down as a reference.

AND, as my 85 year-old mother little needs being harassed by a bank that she may or may not have actually given her consent to be a reference for and certainly is not in the state of compis mentis to GIVE informed opinion on the relative financial and personal responsibility of my brother and/or his wife, I have, on behalf of my mother asked them to stop calling. They assure me they will…. and then we get another call. Next time I will tell them that they can talk to my lawyer….

So, I “cheerfully” said… “Noooo… That won’t happen…” when they woman at the other end of the line suggested my mother might give a reference.

I then emailed my sister to bitch about this.

In the midst of this email bitchfest, the phone rings.

It’s my brother.

I’m thinking. “Oh, this going to be good… He’s either calling to tell me they might be calling about a reference or he’s heard that I wouldn’t give one”.

“I need to give you a heads-up….”

“S is in the hospital…”. (“S” being his wife)

Apparently, she had her gallbladder removed almost two weeks ago and seemed to be on the mend when she started having abdominal pains, was vomiting blood, and otherwise obviously becoming less and less well. “They are running tests…” Don’t know what the problem is…” It’s serious…”

Great. Now, I feel guilty… My sister feels guilty (no love lost on either side of this triangle of siblings and sister-in-law). We just lost my lovely sister-in-law, Alice, two weeks ago to cancer. This is obviously a very serious situation.

Of course, I have no real reason to feel badly about scuttling the car loan. My brother and his wife may feel hard done by and may well write me off over this but my mother’s best interests are now my best interests. My brother doesn’t call, has not one shred of understanding that his mother has dementia and that stress from what he and my niece (my other sister’s daughter) put her through financially could well have contributed to her mental state and/or could well have killed her had I not been there to help “fix” things.

“S” gets crabby with my mother (on the rare occasion in the last two years we have seen them) for asking the same questions, is appalled by our living conditions which are messy but nothing to be “appalled ” over) but not appalled enough to ask if she can help me) and takes every opportunity to make snide comments clearly intended to point out her seeming superiority to everyone else in the family. Oddly enough, no one else in the family has lost their house because the wife has refused to make any payments towards the mortgage, or is constantly in a state of debt while taking jobs for three months and getting fired or quitting in a snit because “someone doesn’t like them”.

Somehow, the rest of us, as financially strapped as we are, manage to keep full-time jobs and don’t think that the world owes them a living.

Nor, have any of us “borrowed” money from an ageing parent even as someone is begging them  not to and that, unless they stop, that parent will be out on the street with nothing to show for a career and a home and dedication to a family… and whinged “But I’ll be out on the street” without a concern about the parent.

So, why should I feel guilty?

I don’t.  I fell badly that “S” is in hospital (we went to visit her, that evening) and hope that it all works out for her. But as far as being “felling guilty” goes. I have nothing to feel guilty about.

They are in their 40s. It is time to start acting like they are in their 40s.

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