Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Flooding in Almonte Hydro Dam 2014

I wasn't planning on doing anything for Earth Day. I try to respect the earth every day.  I'd had a client Tuesday afternoon but I had a phone call that the gig was cancelled. I had the afternoon off!

OK, I thought, my face is on, I'm dressed, let's go out for lunch. I had heard that the Barley Mow pub in Almonte had a bit of a riptide going. I couldn't believe the power of the water. It was right up over the patio the day before.

I've placed some photos from previous visits, some from exactly a year ago.
Ya think?

Washing up onto the upper deck
Power and speed of the water!

Huge wake
Barley Mow Compare the vista from walkway in July 2013
Barley Mow: April 2014

The patio is closed!

Force of the water has washed
away mortar on the patio

We had lunch here. Nice, thick walls!
These people in the condos have put sand bags out.
You can see where the water was up onto the walkway.

Condos: Gentle waters in spring 2013!
Water was nearly up to the walkway yesterday!


It's washing up onto the grass

Lots of dead logs about

April 2013

April 2014
Almonte dam in January 2013

January 2013
April 2013
July 2010
April 2013
April 2013

Flooding at Almonte Dam 2014 –videos

The water is very high in Almonte and in many rivers across the province. The sound of the water rushing is amazing.


Almonte Barley Mow flooded from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I'd heard there was major flooding in Almonte. The Barley Mow restaurant's patio was under water yesterday. Today, Apr. 22, 2014, it's gone down somewhat.


Almonte flooding 2014 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
The dam in Almonte is very much flooding over the shorelines. The speed and power of the water is amazing.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tired cats, we have!

You'd wonder who it was that cleaned the garage floor, washed the hardwood floors, cleaned up and took out compost, did some gardening, took cats for walkies!



Buster frog pond from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Buster is happy the frog pond is almost all thawed out.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Book Review: The Heart Health Bible

It was interesting being sent this book. There are two diseases that take most of us. One is cancer, the other is cardiovascular disease. The healthcare system in Canada is one in which everyone can receive good healthcare, and learn the early warning signs, having access to early diagnostic tools. It would be prudent of us to listen to the wisdom of the professionals and watch out for cardiovascular health signs.
In the ER
There are often no early warning signs that people listen to before their heart gives way. It was when my ex-husband was receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer that he experienced a sudden heart attack and passed away in February. The heart attack symptoms, I think, masked any possible warnings of a heart attack. Sudden death is a difficult thing for families to deal with.

Funnily enough, with the stress of my current husband cancer treatments, I experienced chest pains. I recognized the signs, and to be prudent, went into the ER where they gave me several tests. Heart attacks manifest them differently by both gender and by individual. I was fairly certain I was having anxiety attacks, but the chest pains made me stop and rest. They popped me into an ER room immediately, took bilateral blood pressure (a BP cuff on both arms), gave me an ECG (negative), then had me wait 4 hours to give me a blood test for enzymes that indicate a heart attack. Indeed, it was anxiety and stress. I went home.
Our blood pressure clinic!

Having facilitated some blood pressure clinics in Muskoka, it's better to  identify good heart health practices and therefore prevent heart disease. The high cost of healthcare come with a certain amount of responsibility: eat well, exercise, relax, socialize and manage your stress.

This is a well-written book, which contains all of the strategies you need to prevent a heart attack that may be caused by obesity, stress, or poor nutrition. Unfortunately, it is difficult to change our lifestyles, once we are set. Better, still, to ensure that your life balances: Mind, Body, Spirit. That Fight or Flight reaction to stress causes more disease than many realize as the body fights within itself. Look after yourself!

 The Heart Health Bible: The Five Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease – By Dr. John M. Kennedy, Cardiologist. He advises patients to “follow their H-E-A-R-T” - a five-point plan to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease:

H-E-A-R-T Plan Overview
      Heal your blood Pressure: Know your goal blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is defined as 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
a.      Studies show that if you maintain normal blood pressure you’ll lower your chance of having a stroke by 20-50%.
       Energize and Exercise for a healthy heart: Know the duration of your idea exercise routine. Healthy adults aged 18-65 yrs. Need moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 min, five days a week or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 20 minutes, three days per week. You can meet this recommendation by walking briskly for 30 min. 2X  during the week and then jogging for 20 minutes on the other two days. 
a.      Walking briskly for three to five hours a week can cut your risk of heart disease by as much as 35%.
Dr. John M. Kennedy
       Act on Fat: Know your goal Body Mass Index (BMI). For adults, an ideal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A person with a BMI over 24.9 is considered overweight.
a.      Being overweight can increase your chance of developing heart disease by 32%.
       Reduce your blood sugar: Know your goal blood sugar. Normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL. If it’s 126 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes.
a.      If you have diabetes and you maintain normal blood sugars or achieve “tight glycemic control,” you can decrease your risk for heart disease by 20% or more.
       Tackle Triglycerides: Know your goal cholesterol. Normal total cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL. LDL, or “bad” cholesterol,  should be less than 100 mg/dL or less than 70 mg/dL if you’ve already had a heart attack or vascular disease. HDL, or “good cholesterol, should be greater than 60 mg/dL. Triglycerides (a form of fat in the blood) should be less than 150 mg/DL.
a.      By lowering your cholesterol, your risk for heart disease drops within six months. By maintaining healthy levels, you can drop risk by up to 75% within two years.

NaPoWriMo Day 18 – rubaiyat

Prompt Day 18
A ruba’i. A Persian form — multiple stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza, with a rhyme scheme of AABA.

My favourite in this style? Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, which uses this rhyme scheme. I used his first line as inspiration, having taken a walk down (video) to the frog pond with my girls.

The Cycle of Life in the Woods
Bullfrog tadpole

Whose woods these are I think I know.
For Mother Nature's sure to show
All the wonders she's created
This vernal pool won't last long, though.

Spring it seems was most belated
Anxiously we all awaited
Flora and fauna they do awake
Veritable wonders I know are slated.

Painted turtle
First to arise Wood frogs elated
Lusty things they are not sated
Singing songs of love divine
All day long they weren't deflated.

Underneath tadpoles are fine
Lots of food on which to dine
I just hope they won't be dinner
Painted turtles they won't decline.

I'm not here!
Mother Nature she'll be the winner
No one there is called a sinner
Dog eat dog is all survival
The one who wins is the best swimmer.


Frog pond fishing from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

NaPoWriMo Day 20 –whose voice?

Prompt Day 20
Today's challenge: to write a poem in the voice of a member of your family. This can be a
good way to try to distance yourself from your own experience, without reaching so far away from your own life that it’s hard to come up with specific, realistic details.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Gramma! Gramma!
I'm so excited!
We're here!
Let's go play in the meadow.
It's a puddle?
Let's put on our boots.
My boots are soaked!
Can we watch a movie?
We brought Frozen!
Let It Go! Let It Go! ♪♫
Are my boots dry yet?
Can we play in the sandbox?
Could you paint our nails?
Let's go down to the pond!
What's that over there?
What's that sound?
Why are they doing THAT?
Do we HAVE to leave?
What are you two doing?
Just twiddling our thumbs!


We had so much fun! A bullfrog tadpole. (They spend 2 years as a tadpole, unlike other frogs.)
I'd painted my toes. Caitlin her fingers. I did the girls' fingernails! Finally, lots of Wood frog eggs are in the pond. Of course, if you are handling frogs, you have to ensure your hands are clean. Their skin is susceptible to the natural oils, or other things on our hands.  I'd been playing in the pond water and don't use lotion before going down there. They breathe through their skins.


I made some videos:
  Just twiddling our thumbs.
Frog pond study: wood frog eggs in the pond
Meadow Puddle Play
The kids usually take a few goldfish home for the winter, here they are putting them back in for the season!

NaPoWriMo Day 13 – kennings

Good to have an assistant
Day 13 Prompt
 Kennings were metaphorical phrases developed in Nordic sagas. At their simplest, they generally consist of two nouns joined together, which imaginatively describe or name a third thing. This was an interesting, though difficult challenge.


Some well-known Anglo-Saxon kennings include:
Descriptions of the sea included:
bone-house (banhus ) - the human body
whale road (hronrad) 
battle-light (beadoleoma) - sword
fish home (fiscesethel)
wave-floater (wægflota) - ship
seal bath (seolbæp)

I haven't read Beowulf since I did my B.A.(ECE –1979) and took both English and children's literature. I had to start with dreaming up some kennings first. They are tough! Rather than nouns, I was dredging up nouns with verbs. I gave up. 

worm factory (robin)
twig gluer 
seed scatterer (messy birds)

In my mind, I was trying to use natural images, the birds scattering the seeds, trying to find the right one. The birds madly building nests, phoebe perching here and there. Often, I'll walk out the door and Phoebe come around the corner and nearly run into me. Soon, once she chooses a spot, I'm going to follow her progress. 
I was up on the roof, cleaning out the eaves, and phoebe would perch on a tree near me each time, as if supervising whilst my nervous hubby (who doesn't like heights) was fretting below! This is the time of year when the four Fs impale the brains of the critters: food, fornicating, flight, or fight. 

Hubby's new office, two cats in beds
No Ken Do

worm-warrior worries them out of the ground
seed-scatterers toss the bad ones aside
ground-feeders scavenge
frenzied frolickers attempt escape
perching pigeon
tree circlers go round and round
hoping for some loving
twig-gluers build
nut hoarders up and down, up and down
helper-hubby rests after chores
grooming-mousers rest in bed

phoebes babies in nest 2013

Saturday, 19 April 2014