Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wet Feet

The waters have subsided in my immediate neighbourhood. The creek and river have resumed their regular paths. I wish I could say the same for the chain of lakes up the highway a bit.
Homes are flooded. Trailers in the trailer parks are floating. Roads are closed. Businesses are closed.
I saw a photo on a website of a nice boathouse in Muskoka, collapsed.
The ice is breaking up on the lakes. The MNR is hoping the winds don't pick up and drive those ice floes into cottages and boathouse and cause further damage.
It's a right old mess.

It has been a rather sad week for our family. My dear cousin Colleen passed away a few days ago. She had recently been diagnosed with cancer. I've been trying to reconnect with my paternal family after years of estrangement. It's hard to be happy when this happens.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Easter

My dear Irish Mother, she who was always one to pull off strange statements and observations, always said we could expect winter to last "until Easter". Well folks, we had our snowstorm and Easter is upon us.
So is all this:

Yes folks, it's the week of the annual flood. Some worse than others, this year is getting a lot of press.

The highway is closed just back of my house. This seems to happen every alternate year.

 That isn't my house floating in the pond, but our neighbours. I don't know how they cope with that every year. The nearby village of Killaloe is in an awful mess. The old historic mill, of frame construction, is listing badly. It could very well have toppled into the drink by now as I haven't had an update since last night. Pembroke is also rather worse for wear. We saw a big crane hoisting debris out of the river this morning. The trees and lawn furniture and all sorts of garbage and muck were all caught up on the bridge supports. Many homes and a school are in a bad way. The power and gas has been cut off to that section of town. It's the worst it's been in a few years. I can only think of one that was worse in my 30+ years in the Ottawa Valley.
I'm going to be entertaining over the next few days. I hope you and yours have an enjoyable holiday weekend.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Another Tuesday

Didn't we just have one? Oh well, they keep coming don't they?

It has been pretty warm our way. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. We were on the road all day doing some work for some folks who are laid up. We didn't know if we would get up the road to Killaloe, but the river had dropped overnight and the road was open.
We arrived home about 3PM. We were just nicely settled back in the nest when the thunder started to rumble. The rain came down shortly after and continued all night and for awhile in the morning.
Folks, the river she did rise! The highway back of me is now closed until it drops again and the bridge is inspected. I don't expect they will find any problems because they only replaced it last spring. Why they didn't raise it has me scratching my head though.
I finally dug the end of the clothesline out of the snowbank this afternoon. I'm looking forward to getting the next load of laundry hung outdoors!
Back to the doctor today. I have to do some physical therapy to strengthen the connective tissues after a year + of inactivity. Other than that it seems like I can put one foot in front of the other for awhile longer.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


We had a nightmare of a storm through Thursday night. We woke up Friday more to 8+ inches of heavy wet snow. The trees were laying on the ground. Those that couldn't bend, broke. The power went off at 12:30 PM and didn't come back on until 4:30 Saturday.  Thankfully it has gotten very warm again and everything is melting like mad.
The car got fixed yesterday, for which I'm extremely grateful. It needed ball joints, control arm, bearings, a big nasty job. It didn't help that the only power in the garage was from a smelly, loud generator that made the atmosphere horribly nasty. But, it got done and we took it for a test drive. We went up over the hill on the highway for a look at the river. It has jumped it's banks and is flooding over the road that parallels mine about a kilometer up the highway. It is entirely possible it will be OVER the highway by tomorrow, closing the road. We have to work tomorrow. Driving a big truck and trailer through there.... IF the highway is closed we will have about a 40 km detour.
On a lighter note, the birds are a joy! The phoebe woke me up this morning chattering away in the spruce tree outside my bedroom window. At lunchtime I spied a raven picking through the bird seed mess off the side of the back porch. Those things have HUGE heads when you see them so close! I also saw a pinkish bird that I haven't identified yet. Perhaps a purple finch??
One of the squirrels was entertaining us with a pole dance. It was rolling around on the top rail then slithering down a vertical rail. It rolled around on the floor doing it's crazy contortions. Not sure what that was all about.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring has sprung - a leak!

Do you remember learning "April showers bring May flowers" when you were a child?
We've had an awful lot of rain the past 24 hours. The ground at back of the house is still covered with several feet of ice. The rain coming off the house is leaking in the opening in the foundation where the oil line comes through, leaving a wee puddle in front of the furnace. We have this problem almost every spring. In fact, we've tried everything under the sun to plug up that opening, to no avail. Oh well, the puddle is manageable. The rain is REALLY taking the snow down too!
Several of my friends and family have posted photos of snowdrops and crocus popping up in their yards. I have lots of bulbs planted here and there around my place, but they are still buried under a lot of snow. But the good news is, there is bare ground showing along the horse fence. There is LOTS of mud where the plow had cleared the snow over the winter. The first robins appeared yesterday and seem to be finding lots of food. I've been entertained by a crow in my compost heap. He/she seems to sort things into piles before eating something. It flings teabags around like frisby!

I saw the pain specialist and started the steroid treatments on my wonky knee yesterday. She made a few suggestions which I intent to follow up on. I really don't want to have joint replacement surgery until there are no other options. It was nice to have freezing in my leg for a few hours and therefore, pain free. Once it wore off the ache was unbelieveable. I felt like I'd been stabbed in the leg with a rusty ice pick. I had a rough night. The discomfort has worn off quite a bit, so hopefully I can get a short walk in this afternoon.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Goodbye March you ugly messy nasty thing you.
Are you getting snow? It looks like snow as it falls here but there is no accumulation and it sounds like rain on the roof. I am so longing for nice weather....

I was off to my spinning class last evening. I am SO frustrated by the whole process. My excellent, patient teacher, Wayne, makes it look so easy. I can get the wheel going at a nice even pace, but do you think I can get that fleece to spin without breaking? Wayne suggested we spend the time until our next lesson just working the treadle and forget about trying to spin. He wants us to get a good even tempo going with the wheel, find a seat that is comfortable, simple stuff. He generously gave Holly (the other student) and I each a lovely big bale of stuff to spin. I had admired this purple stuff on several occasions when I'd gone to his place to purchase yarn, and now he has gifted it to me!
My wheel is very old but it is in wonderful condition and works like a charm. It's the operator that needs work.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Road Runner

My dear daughter was pounding the ground again today. This event was Around The Bay run in Hamilton, Ontario. That girl loves to run!

The weather is slowly improving our way. Yesterday was just spectacular. The sky was a wonderful sapphire blue as the sun shone brightly over the land. We were driving out in the countryside and noticed the south facing slopes are all looking bare. The snow banks are all pretty depressing in the yard here though.  Last this afternoon we've had a mix of rain and sleet and that sort of yucky mix. It is supposed to be warming up overnight so that's promising. We're out on the road doing some hard work tomorrow and we don't want it to be nasty.

I just got word that another of my cousins has passed away. I feel so bad, it almost seems as soon as I find one, another passes on. 

My fibromyalgia has been kicking up a bit too much this past week. I have several medical appointments this week so I hope there is some progress on my treatment plan. Two of my closest friends have had knee replacements in the past week (well one is happening tomorrow). Another friend is going for hers the first week of April. The wait list seems to be really moving along.

Daughter and I went to a Paint Party in aid of the local HandiBus last week. It was a great evening. I've done a few Paint Party events before this, but it was all new to daughter. I think she was really impressed that she had some art talent in herself. It would be great if she would get more interested in it and learn to express herself through art.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Working on my income tax return. The printer/scanner won't print, probably dried up ink seeing as I haven't used it since last year at tax time. I'm going to forget about paying $50 for a new ink cartridge and just spend $10 or less to copy at Staples.

It is a beautiful day. Sunny and warm, I love it! Going to run to town for a couple of things and a run through Staples. Any excuse to get outdoors.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Family Ties

It is a grand weekend! The sun has continued to shine and the temperatures are tolerable. One of the porches is completely bare. I occasionally stand out there and imagine the projects I want to do and how lovely it is going to look.

Searching for my cousins birth family is going well. I mentioned previously that we had determined that one of my grandmothers sisters was the mother of K's father.  Diligent digging through various sources has found the gal I suspected working exactly where my father used to tell us she worked. Then in 1940, not long after the birth of the child, she is a domestic in the home of a lawyer.  I've been trying to learn more about this lawyer but not having a whole lot of luck. It appears that he left Toronto and moved to California a couple of years later. That matches my great aunts movements as well. She came back to Peterborough for awhile. She then returned to Toronto around the time of my sisters birth in 1954.  Did I also mention that this woman is my Godmother?
My cousin match is in Toronto for a week trying to find more proof and visiting relatives.

We have a gaggle of M's family coming for a bang up turkey dinner today. We were sorting out the deep freeze and found a rather big turkey. Good excuse to get the fam together isn't it!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Great Escape

I am so thankful that we managed to miss most of that big storm this week. We got about 5 cm, about an inch, which blew around like mad creating some spectacular drifts in places.
It's a glorious sunny day, still a bit breezy, but warming up. For this I am grateful!
I've been a little under the weather with a bit of a respiratory bug, but much improved today. After spending most of the last few days laying in bed, my poor body is so stiff and sore. I'm trying to walk and stand today.
I missed yarn along again this week, but that doesn't mean I haven't been knitting. This Pi Shawl is on my big circular needle right now. I'm going to run out of space before it is done. Another participant in my knit along was telling me she is using FOUR 30 inch circulars right now. I think I'm going to have to go on the hunt for another one later today.
I've lost the label already, but the yarn is 75% alpaca and 25% acrylic. It's lovely squishy stuff!

I'm very busy with genealogical projects these days. I'm working with two adoptees who are eager to find their families. One, of course, is my 80 year old aunt. We are close, but I am worried close is as far as we are going to get.  The other person appeared as a close match on my Ancestry DNA page over the weekend. His father is the adoptee. The non-identifying information they were given is VERY familiar to me, and the DNA segments substantiate the match. The gentleman is the grandson of one of my grandmothers siblings. The tricky part is going to be proving WHICH sibling is the parent. Three of the siblings in question were in the right place at the right time and working at the place in question.  I'm working closely with the fellow to optimize the resources. Either way, he is my only living cousin on that family line.....and I'm thrilled to have him in our fold.

Animals, don't we love them

Miss Kitty LOVES a basket of dirty laundry to recline in. When it is in front of Cat TV it is the most comfortable place a cat can be.

It's hard to see the wing marks in this photo, but Mr. Owl swooped down and scooped up one of the many squirrels that hang around here.

My grandpup Steel was here for a visit on the weekend. He was glued to the Pet TV screen as well. Poor boy spend some time looking for his cousin Nemo when they first arrived. He wandered around the house sniffing and whining. Yeah, we felt a little sad too Steel.....

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Old Man Winter, why?

We are experiencing the coldest temperatures of this winter this weekend. The forecast is for -32 tonight but I'm sure it will be colder than that out here in the sticks. The pipes for the kitchen sink run close to a basement window on an outside wall, so we are going to prop the cabinet door open tonight. Hopefully it won't freeze. We had one of the outdoor taps freeze last winter in the same location. (I'm just thankful that all the plumbing in this place is quite accessable.)

Daughter and I did a bit of shopping today then she and her pup came out for a weekend visit. Her pup is moping around whining. We think he is looking for our dear departed Nemo. Right now he is stretched right out in front of the wood burner so he's not too distressed!

I scooped the ashes into a bucket and scattered them around the front of the house this afternoon. It's like a rather bumpy skating rink out there. Ashes are great on ice. Some don't like them because they get tracked into the house, but I'd rather mop up a bit of ashy footprints than spend weeks in a cast.

I FINALLY got some progresses with my knee issues. My useless (up to now) GP has referred me to a pain clinic. She said they will refer me on to a rheumatologist or orthopedist. The only thing she wanted to do was throw Tylenol 3 at me which is NOT something I want to get hooked on.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A new month, A new beginning

Can you believe that spring is only three weeks off! Our weather has been rather crazy the past week. It have been very warm, very rainy. The next three nights are going to dip into the -20 range with a good dump of snow forecast for tonight. Crazy eh? That's March for you! Someone on Facebook said March and November are bipolar months. Couldn't have said it better.

Can you see the squirrel on the chair? Miss Kitty can. She watches it for hours.

Foxy slippers from my friend in England to match the mittens I knit.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Don't hold your breath

It feels like spring has sprung in Ontario! But - as my title says - don't hold your breath. This time of year the weather can turn on a dime. It sure is nice to be seeing sunshine however.
Yesterday we piddled away and got all fifty centimeters of snow and ice shoved off the side deck. Fortunately we don't have any railings on that deck right now so that made the project quite easy. A bit of snow would get shoved off and then we would let the sun go to work for a bit, shove some more, sun it, etc. I'm looking forward to dragging my lawnchair out there and catching some rays.

My daughter is moving AGAIN! (Second time in two months). She is fed up with her son and his girlfriend and tried to kick them out. Grandson announced that as long as HE is on the lease she can't evict him. And he can have whoever he pleases in his room. So daughter decided she is going to move! She is taking the goods and furniture and goods that she wants to keep and leaving them with the crap that we all seem to accumulate. She will be in the same building but in her own private space. Daughter is a neat freak, so I would imagine the new place is going to look quite a bit different than that space they are in now.

We had some guests a few days ago. A couple and their sweet little bulldog named Alfie. I love it when doggies come to visit. I get my puppy fix and lots of cuddles. We aren't ready to get another dog yet but it's nice to have the dog time. The cats aren't so sure. One runs for the hills, not to be seen until well after doggie leaves the scene. The other hangs out on the beam that runs across my livingroom, watching the carrying on.

I started another painting today. Water. Crashing. Foaming. Blue-white-grey-green. Crazy ocean water, has been on my mind.  After I wash my brushes and sit down to relax, I always feel so calm. Painting is a big catharsis for my anxiety.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day or Looking WAY BACK

Like Christmas and Easter, many of our celebratory traditions predate Christianity.

Did you know that Valentines Day is part of that bigger picture? The whole idea of expressing our love for our partners in a significant way goes back to the time of our migratory hunter gatherer ancestors.  The presenting of gifts of food and treats is part of their deal too.
Like the other "wild things" on the land, ancient homo sapiens had times when they were most fertile. It is believed that February was the best time to conceive.  Man would present gifts of food and honey, which was a precious commodity. A man with honey was much in demand! When his choice was made, the mating rituals would be conducted and if all went well, a pregnancy would result. If the union was amicable and fruitful, the couple would become monogamous, well, mostly monogamous.
Why February? At this time of year, the hunter gatherers would be breaking their winter camps and starting to roam once again.  It was important that the women were fit to participate. With the majority of the babies being born late fall and early winter, they had time to recover and give those infants a good start.
So Happy Valentines Day to all those young lovers.

Monday, February 13, 2017


We had a huge dump of snow yesterday. It snowed off and on since Friday in fact, but really started to come down in earnest yesterday into the night.
Do you see that fence way back there? Since building that fence, there has never been a winter where it was totally buried. Given that it is only the 13th of February, I think there is a good chance it may disappear this year! There are snowbanks in the photo, but they are a good forty feet between the tractor and fence.

This photo was taken about 3PM yesterday. It was really coming down at that time!

I've come to the conclusion that the piles of wood inside are holding up the rickety wood shed roofs. They are just wings off the proper shed roof with a 2x6 being held up with some cedar poles which are NOT fixed into the ground.\

Snowbanks out at the head of the lane are higher than I am tall. I walked out to get my mail a short while ago. The mailbox was full of snow!

Cat TV is always fun. I throw a handful of seed in front of the window when I fill the feeder. I swear that red squirrel puts on a show just for the benefit of Miss Kitty. My two cats NEVER go outdoors by the way.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Today is Friday

Oh I have such a lot of chit chat  today!

First off though, I want to post this photo for Joanne. is almost the mate to your sweater isn't it?
I made it with a turtle neck, and good generous sleeves. I am going to rip back the waist and knit it longer. This sweater was just a project I wanted to do to use up some yarn, but now it's going to someone to wear while skating to keep her behind warm. I'm making it generous enough to wear another top under. It's  a perfect layering sweater!

There are terrible situations on the ground in other parts of the world. I am always so frustrated that a person like myself, with no political leanings, no disposable financial resources and no way to physically go help.....well I thought there was no way I could help. 
Then I saw a photo in the newspaper today. It was one of those Getty stock images that can often be construed as exploitative. None the less, it really made me think. Look at this child flopping about in these big shoes.  (This is not the same photo I saw in the newspaper. I do not know the original source of this one, it came off Pinterest....but the subject is the same)

Why can't we collect shoes as a group and send them to these places where the little ones are in such dire need? If one approaches a NGO, they always say, send us money and we'll take care of things. I don't like that method, and I'll tell you why. There is always some executive at the top of the pile who needs a cut to make things more. There may be several executive levels all getting a cut. That is why I do not give money to these groups.  
I want to find a way for us to collect childrens shoes and boots and send them DIRECTLY to places where there are children in need. I don't care what conflict is causing the issue, I don't care what side of the the conflict or disaster. All I care about is the children who are in need.
I know the Canadian military took supplies to refugee camps a few years ago. Wouldn't it be nice if they could find space on one of those aircraft for a few boxes of shoes and boots? Please, lets brainstorm........  Now, I need to know.......who do we send these things to? I need your help and finding some names and places.

I was going to mention my great leaps and bounds in some genealogical research today as well, but I think that one will wait for it's own post.