Sunday, January 28, 2024

The Weekend

 We went for a drive yesterday. It was nice to visit the river. Surprised to see an open channel!

On the way home we popped into the grocery store and picked up a couple of things, seeing as we drive right by it, y'know.

Today a pet store in a town near us was doing a fund raiser. They were offering nail clipping with funds going to the SPCA. We were surprised to see sweet little Heidi doing the clipping. She is the gal in Deep River who does our dogs teeth. We also booked another teeth cleaning for this coming Thursday.

We took a drive by a place called The Point Beach to go for a nice walk along our beloved river again. WOW, there was a LOT of open water there. As we got close to the beach proper we were in for a big surprise. People were SWIMMING! The adults were swimming while the children played in the snow.

 toweling off after their invigorating dip

Our weather is looking to be unseasonably warm for another week to ten days. We are going to lose a lot of snow. Our road is an awful muddy rutted mess after  all those snowmobiles and trucks and trailers ripped it up this weekend.

The Creek is running!
Open water!

Trucks and trailers looking left

Another gang looking right

It was still relatively frozen yesterday when I took these photos. By the time they ripped and tore up the road today it was just a mud hole. The rut at the head of my lane is nothing to laugh at.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Doing what we can

 There is still no movement on our fire claim. The insurance company DID finally phone late this afternoon, but we were doing the shopping and didn't get home until after business hours.

M. cleaned the wood furnace and pipes, then made a decision to buy NEW pipes. So, we added that to our shopping list. The furnace bits are all back together and keeping us cozy. Thank goodness we still have heat. I guess I shouldn't complain. One chimney is burned out and we can't use the wood stove upstairs. So that's it.

The weather has been pretty moderate after those few COLD days. Some areas around us got quite a bit of freezing rain, but not us. We just had a few ice pellets.

The neighbour was telling me the moose has been walking out on our road. I put a trail camera at the end of his lane shooting out to the road that comes down from the bush. There is a lot of snowmobile traffic out here these days so I expect there will be a lot of shots of them. I will go collect the card tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tuesday stuff

 Daughter T and I ran the roads this morning. We started our outing with brekkie at Tim Hortons. As we were exiting the car, my girl exclaimed "look at that burned out house"! A very large empty house kitty corner to Tims burned early this morning. A Tims employee said it was a squat. They frequently saw derelict looking individuals coming and going. The property is scheduled to be the future home of some sort of medical facility.

We did some shopping and called it a day about noonish.

My new chair arrived today. It's just lovely.

The warmer days are a relief. We are awaiting a quote on an electric furnace now. Still no relief from our fire damage. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

I'm working on it

 We are finally creeping out of the deep freeze. My goodness we've had some bitter cold nights, and days!

I woke up from a fitfull sleep with a headache. Late this afternoon Princess Pup and I harnessed up and went out for a short walk. A longer walk was anticipated, but a good stiff cold breeze made it feel much colder than -10C. We didn't go to far, but did get some fresh air into the old lungs.

My poor old cat had an awful fall last evening. There are open beams running across the livingroom, ten feet up. The cats often sit up there. I don't know what happened to the old gal but she fell to the rug below, landing on her feet. She was a bit limpy walking away from the rough landing, but it soon passed. We gave her a through examination and didn't find signs of any injury. No broken bones or dislocations. I think she just had a good bruising thump. I carried her up to my bedroom and gave her the fleecy housecoat to snuggle up in. She slept there until I went to bed when she wandered off, no limping. I noticed today that she was a bit stiff when trying to jump up on the old recliner where she has her fleece blanket. I'm keeping a close eye on her.

Tomorrow I will be on the blower to my insurance agent to see if we can get some more contacts for this chimney fire business. I'm at the point where I don't even know who to call. I swear work ethic took a crap during Covid. The stress of this mess is giving me a headache....

My amaryllis is in full bloom. There are four gigantic flowers right now with another flower bud emerging from the bulb. 

Each flower is six or seven inches across. The plant is very top heavy so I've put it into a stone flower bowl that is weighty enough to hold it's own.
The painting of the ancient totems in the background is by my good friend Marley. She's an interesting artist who captures the real CANADA in her work. I have numerous pieces she painted of Algonquin Park scenes.  She has also done some really nice pieces for the War Museum in Ottawa.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Calls everywhere

 My insurance guy, and us, have calls here there and everywhere trying to get people to come and assess our situation so we can get settled and move on. It is now a week since our fire. A guy from a big company called today to see if we are still in need. Yes!! He said he would call right after lunch to set up an appointment to come out. He never called...

It is going to be extremely cold for the next 48 hours. I hate to think what kind of a predicament we'd be in if we didn't have some heat.

M. is so anxious about it all. I wish I could send him on a warm vacation.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024


 The furnace is having a tough time keeping up in this cold. We had to shut it down today so the Other chimney could get cleaned. We finished cleaning the basement too. I have an awful load of trash to go out this week.

My insurance guy called today for a chat. I was blubbering away like a fool but he reassured me that I pay home insurance for a reason. It's their job to make me whole. If the chimney can't be repaired, they will "pay us out" which will probably cover the new furnace.

The snow mobiles are very active out our back road this evening!

It's going to warm up significantly on the weekend so I'm hoping to try my snowshoes. We used to do that a lot, but I was too nervous to continue after right knee replacement surgery six years ago. The knee has taken quite a beating in the ensuing years so I doubt a tumble in the fluffy white stuff we have now will do any harm.

Six years on I finally have another family doctor! I will meet with the whole team at the clinic in the near future.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

well that was interesting

 We had a whopping dump of snow overnight and into this morning. There was at least a foot of fresh, fluffy white stuff on the back porch this morning.

I cleared the side porch and a path to the bird feeders on the back porch by hand. It wasn't hard going. M. got the big red tractor out and got going on the yard. He was about two hours hard slog with that. Thank goodness it wasn't cold. This evening the wind has really picked up and it is snowing lightly. I don't expect we will get any more than a light, undetectable, dusting this round.

About 3 PM I was starting to feel a little stir crazy. We are so stressed with this fire business! I just wanted to get out to my happy place. I harnessed up the Princess Pup and set off up the road. The plow had been by about 9AM so there was once again a fair bit of new snow on the road, but nothing serious. A number of snowmobiles had been up and down to make sort of trails on the road. There had been LOTS of dog walkers out too. I didn't seen the folks, but their tracks were all over the place.  For the longest time we had the only dog "on the block", but all of the neighbours down this end of our road are puppy parents now. The folks up the other end frequently walk their poochies down here too. 

When we first started walking there were patches of blue sky

Then this rapidly blew in. It didn't dump on us thank goodness

Nice bright sky over the house at the beginning of our walk

I tore down the Christmas tree and packed up the last of the Christmas tat too. Enough of that.

Friday, January 12, 2024

We are exhausted

 We had a chimney fire last night. It started at 2AM and roared like mad for over two hours. Three fire trucks and five or six firefighters were here.

Thankfully the house is still standing and we are still in.

It was a scary experience.

We can use the wood furnace - for now - but we have to change our heat source.

This house has a double chimney. The woodstove in the livingroom is on the left, the wood and oil furnace is on the right. (They don't operate at the same time. There is a shut off when one or the other is working).

The chimney for the wood stove is "toast"....apt description isn't it? Our oil furnace is done too. We were going to replace it this year anyway. So, a contractor is coming out the first of the week to expedite our propane gas furnace.

We're just done messing around with wood heat. Enough is enough.

All of the wet, smoky insulation from the attic was scattered around the upstairs bathroom where the hatch is located. My insurer was going to send a service around to do the cleanup, but M and I had it all bagged up and out the door before the call could be made. There is a big puddle of sooty smelly water on the cement floor in the basement from them shooting a hose down the chimney. M. has a good stack of rags sopping that up. So us, the dog and the two cats and our important papers and valuables spent most of the night in the car. We had the car in the garage, but M. put it out. Didn't want to be running it indoors. 

We have long been aware of the need to have our cat cases and our "go bags" and our important things close at hand in case of emergency. We were out the door with it all in minutes. The one thing we didn't think about was water. I was SO thirsty! When they told me it was safe to go into the basement I galloped in and grabbed a handful of bottles.

Miss Kitty was seriously traumatized by it all. When all was said and done and we were cleared to come back into the house M. locked her in his bedroom while she recuperated. The little devil got right into his bed and PEED. So I was stripping his bed asap. My cat was just plain curious. When the fire chief was in the livingroom talking to us she was rubbing his legs and meowing at him. I like to think she was thanking him for saving our home.

Oh, and ice. Yes, we had an issue with ice all right. One of the fire fighters went down on his back and had a good slide down the slope of the lane! The fellows on the roof were hooting and hollering and cheering. I take it episodes like that are not new to them! They were such good natured fellows and we are so thankful they came quickly and got it all under control.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

The calm before the storm


The latest weather forecast has a lively storm front barreling right at us with a significant snowfall. This one will be kind of different due to the colder temperatures and high winds. Old Man Winter is going to be pretty snarky!

Dear Daughter T and I went shopping today. We did some groceries, did some banking and hit the post office. We had a nice snack and some coffee then wandered into the craft store for - GASP - more yarn! I don't need yarn, but as luck would have it, I don't have any middling pink or grass green. I have a project in the wings that need those colors. 

It is SO icy everywhere. My cousins fiancee fell going to work today and broke her arm/wrist really badly. Poor thing, I feel so bad for her. She looks to be wearing a big plaster mitten. I scooped the hot ashes out of the wood burner and tossed them on the ice by the front door. Ashes are a great solvent for ice and they don't harm anything like salt does.

I'm still having issues commenting on some of the blogs. My tablet is especially being balky. I can read on it but not post or comment. It tells me my password is invalid...well I'm in here aren't I??????

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


 We went for a good tromp through the back forty today.  The dog loves to romp through the bush. There is so much to smell. We have to break her of eating the chocolate covered raisins, if you catch my drift.

My trail cameras haven't been catching anything more than squirrels and blue jays. I left one camera on the same tree, but turned it around to shoot into the forest, rather than focused on the tree that the wood peckers had been attacking. We removed the camera that was on the path at the top of the hill. A good hike right to the back of the property got us some exercise I'll tell you! There is an "intersection" at the corner where my three neighbours come together.  I put the camera on a tree by there. Big critters tend to follow paths so we should, hopefully, see some movement. The other path heads down to the mill pond at the sawmill back of me. The main path follows the property line at the back of the holdings on either side of me and the big acreage that belongs to the sawmill. These are all old logging roads that we have walked many many times.

The weather has cooled off some with much colder days and nights ahead. We might get a bit of snow later in the week. It's clear and sunny today though. This nice break in the weather has been good for the soul.

We have been thinking ahead to summer plans. I have a family wedding in August, then M. cousin is getting married in September. Our travels will have to be early-ish. We are torn between heading back to north western Ontario, (close to the US border) again, or to the east coast. We really loved our time around International Falls, Fort Frances, Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Neither of us have been down east in many years and it is calling out to us. The plans will evolve as life figures it out.

Monday, January 1, 2024

2024 has arrived!

 Happy New Year one and all.

We were late rising. It was brisk and cold and SUNNY!!

Mid afternoon we headed to a nearby provincial park for a vigorous hike. It was wonderful though really cold along the beach.