Monday 22 July 2024

Crumbly Acres

😷Crumbly COVID update: JB spent Sunday morning resting in bed after breakfast. He has a hand towel in which to sneeze. The headache improved. I checked on him every once-in-a-while. I went out back to read in the fresh air. 

I did manage some sleep overnight Saturday, and when I woke I didn't need the puffer. This is good. But that changed. 

😅Laugh, we must. At lunch I tried to find the can opener in order to open this can.  It's a pull tab. We are not running on all cylinders.

I was peckish, and could taste the Paxlovid. I took a bite of cracker and choked 10 minutes on a crumb. Jeez!  It so hurts to cough. 

😴 Poor JB must have had 3 or 4 long naps. I lost count. If you are tired, you sleep! I think we are on the upturn, but we shall see.

🐦 Now, what you've all been here for, critters!

 The water fountain isn't working properly. I've had to unplug it. I cannot fix it anytime soon, since I have to lift off the heavy pieces. There is mosquito larvae in it, as a result, but I can't fix it. We live in a wetland, and there is standing water there. 

I think this is an Eastern Kingbird.

bird from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Cinnamon watched as I inspected the fountain. Nutmeg (AKA killer) was a bit grumpy. 

One of the plants in my planter died. It just rotted. There is one sprig left. There are viruses everywhere!!! Thankfully, there are back ups, petunias and potato ivy. I think that is a built-in redundancy? I like petunias! 

We had a touch of rain overnight, not enough to do any good. I ought to water my pumpkins, I'll see how I feel. They have taken over the front garden.  Isn't that a hoot? The critters eat my pumpkins, otherwise. This might be the new location for veggies. 

I'd taken these photos day before, but went to look at the pumpkins again. Look at them! The leaves are enormous. I'm pretty sure these are pumpkins. Yes, I'm that kind of gardener. I love the blossoms. So do the deer! I'll bet Fred would love them. 

My cherry tomatoes are wonderful.

The Tiger Lilies, and the Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower) are doing well.

Honestly, Nutmeg!

Our phoebes fledged. Sadly, one flew into the garage, and the parent followed it. That was fun. They flew out eventually. The parent was so concerned. I tried to catch them with the butterfly net on the end of a long bamboo stake. I wore out the fledgling, captured it and tossed it up into the pine tree. The other parent met it, greatly concerned. We closed the garage door, and opened the side door. The door closing scared the other adult, and off it went. Whew.

phoebe fledged from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thank you, again, for all your well wishes. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Joe Brian is still fighting this virus. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll leave you with a photo from Lindell Beach, B.C. My three children are all together having an amazing visit. Caitlin has been kind enough to take photos for me. 

Sunday 21 July 2024

COVID continues...

 Skip this, if you prefer. It is a warning. Most of you have been very kind in your comments, and providing some advice. We're not done with COVID in 2024. Our Premier has stopped funding waster water testing. It's not good for politics, nor re-election. Younger people can kick it much more easily. We are in pain, and suffering, we old farts.

A new week begins. Joe Brian was supposed to have a full week: Monday, foot care from the nurse in town, Tuesday appointment with our GP to asses his Lyme Disease progress, Wednesday PSA test to prep for his Lupron injection next week. All have to be cancelled on Monday. 


I had trouble sleeping. I didn't actually get to sleep until 2:30 a.m. Friday night. I think it is all the drugs. The coughing is awful. My intercostal muscles are very painful. Advil for that. 

During the day JB took Reactine, but it didn't do anything much. As I said, we haven't had colds since 2020. The Reactine expired in Dec. 2023. Dunno.

My buddy doesn't last long on my lap. One cough and he is gone. I don't blame him! The cough drops seem to help soothe my throat but not much.


It was a terrible night Saturday night, too. I coughed my guts up until I cried just before 8 p.m. It was a bit cloudy, the phlegm, which is worrisome. I used the turbo puffer again (Symbicort) after I was nearly retching. It was Joe's from his 9-month bout with a horrid cold he contracted on his 70th birthday, November, 2019. He hasn't needed it. Somebody wisely counselled me that we not share those germs on nasal medications. 

I think I drank 3 or 4 L of water during the day. The diarrhea really doesn't help, a side effect of the Paxlovid. I'm wearing a pad for protection. I sure wish our old house bathroom could handle a bidet!

We thought we might both go to the ER Sunday morning after the day we had Saturday. Thing is, I am not sure what else they can give us. JB is taking Otrivin at hight to keep his nasal passages clear at night. It helps, Sorta. 

I sweated through two nightgowns Saturday night, and had to put a towel on the soaked sheets. That'll be a job today. Even the mattress cover. Oops. Not to be. JB has to go back to bed and I still haven't replaced the guest room sheets I washed after the kids were here.

Poor Joe Brian. His nose is like a faucet! And the sneezles... They might shatter the sound barrier. He was using paper towels, but blowing his nose did not help. I gave him a hand towel to use as a mop, we're low on tissues. He put it on his pillow. It's broken sleep, which doesn't help. There is brain fog, too. 

This morning I didn't wake up unable to cough up the phlegm. It is looser. I am hoping I've managed to sweat it out. 

I found some Pharmasave Daytime Cold Relief in the cupboard (expired in Apr., 2022), for daytime for him. We'll see how that works out. He's just taken Advil for the headache, and it has Acetaminophen. Whatthehell, this is a time for drugs. He isn't taking his weekly Calcium booster, to ameliorate his cancer drug (Lupron) side effects. Prostate cancer often, when it metastasizes, leads to bone cancer. That's what my last client died from. In fact several of my clients have had this. 

I've a good haul of books. Thing is my eye floaters are awful. I tried reading on the back deck, but that didn't work out. They seem worse since COVID. What's with that?! 

We're still trying to laugh. We watched some Landscape Artist of the Year, as well as Gut Job (a Canadian show where they gut a whole house due to one thing or another). Being couch potatoes is the only remedy. At least it is summer and I can open all the windows.

The news is fun, too. 😰 It puts things in perspective, as I am dealing with First World Problems. But then you have to turn it off. 

We've some quick dinners. I can place an online order, I guess, for essentials. One of us can drive in. JB thought we might be headed for this, he stocked up Monday on said dinners. Caitlin offered to send us some frozen meals, but we don't have any food delivery here being in rural Ontario. They've landed in British Columbia to visit with her brothers at Jesse's cottage. That will be fun for them to have the 4 grandkids together. 

We've no nearby neighbours, so I need not put a sign on the door!  

Anyway, if you made it to the end, you've done well. I need to record and process this to see how we are faring. Did I mention brain fog?!  Thanks for your moral support. I am pretty discouraged. 

Saturday 20 July 2024

We are still alive!

Thank you all, again, for well wishes and suggestions. Yesterday I read two books, Donna Leon. Basically in my bed. When I wasn't reading, I could gaze out the window at the birds at the fountain through the Muskoka Room. I could barely function. I even had a nap, but its put my sleep cycles topsy turvy.

My physician was away from Thursday to Tuesday. That is unusual, he is usually quite quick at taking care of us. The receptionist suggested I go to the ER. I wasn't in favour of that. For others, and for my sake. I was so tired. 

Joe went into Carleton Place. I have more meds. I haven't had a cold in 4 years. When I do get a cold, it usually ends up with me getting bronchitis and or laryngitis. JB went into town and the pharmacist prescribed me a new Ventolin puffer. He couldn't give me a super duper Symbicort puffer, not his Scope of Practice. Happily, Joe Brian had two from his terrible cough he had for months. I used his.

He had careful guidelines, to have Joe Brian watch my rate of breathing, etc. I spoke to him on the phone but didn't have much of a voice. JB went in to see him. He is quite worried about me. 

JB has been amazing. And worried, too. He put water into the fountain, watered my potted plant, did litter, and dishes. He made me a bacon sandwich for lunch. He began sneezing and having a runny nose. I suggested he take a rapid COVID test. Guess what?

I took the day off blogging. This I had prepared but couldn't finish up, feeling wretched. Coughing until I feel I might throw up. The Paxlovid has terrible side effect, but I think it is making a difference.  

 Back to when I was mobile (just a few days ago) the further afield trailcams were pretty boring. Just some chubby old lady with spare batteries and a camera bag! I haven't been able to walk that far since.

The frog pond has been trimmed up by McGregor Muskrat. I haven't seen them on the cameras any more. I stood there, covered in bug spray. I thought I could see something nibbling at the native phragmites, as they shivered in the assault. I think they are still here.

This is the frog pond from the other side on June 11th. I love the vibrant greens.

Muskrat has stopped building on the top of the dock. I thought they'd gone. Nope. Still signs in the weeds, showing its trail.

The larger plant with the flower is frog-bit. Latin for frog bite. I don't know what the teeny plants are, or if they are teensy frog-bit.  

Sitting atop the deck, I noticed our doe, she was nibbling on my Hydrangea. Little twerp. She prefers the blossoms, peeled off the front where she can reach. Little twerp! I saw her bound across the yard.

 My kids are on their way to Vancouver. My three children, and 4 grandkids, will be together at Jesse's cottage in B.C. It is epic. I weep thinking about it. It hurts my heart, being estranged from my youngest son. 

Thursday 18 July 2024


 Joe Brian is feeling better each day with his Lyme Disease. The old lady with COVID was worse Tuesday: chills, headache, cough, wheezing, diarrhea. My personal nurse brought me Advil, water, cough drops, and chicken noodle soup for afternoon lunch, after my nap. I managed to sleep three hours through, from 2:30 - 5:30 this morning. That was a relief. I know many of you can identify with this.

My SIL has what sounds like a cold, but it is COVID. Caitlin has it, as well, but not as bad as I do. They are young! 

I asked the Doctor's office about Paxlovid, but they said I didn't qualify. That's not true. In fact, you can just go to the pharmacist in Ontario.

I used Joe Brian's puffer since it has settled in my lungs. I've had all my shots and boosters. Thank goodness, or it'd be much worse. My throat is so sore. Advil has helped with the headaches.

I phoned to get some Paxlovid, our pharmacists can prescribe it. Our local pharmacy is out. Or what they have is stale. JB looked up close-by pharmacies and Shoppers Drug Mart was open until midnight. I phoned and spoke to the pharmacist. She asked about the other meds I'm taking and I told her.

A pharmacy 40-minutes drive away has it. Imagine trying to spell my name for someone over the phone when my voice is hoarse, and I'm coughing. She called back at 10:30 for my address. 

The old man with cancer and Lyme disease is driving in this morning to get my Paxlovid. I bet President Joe Biden didn't have to jump through hoops to get his! The NY Times reports he's begun taking it.

OK, enough complaints. Thanks for your sympathetic messages. They are most appreciated. 

Wednesday 17 July 2024

That was a shock!

Just when you think things will settle down... I have COVID. The dude with Lyme Disease had to go shopping. In the pouring rain. Massive headache, drippy nose, cough, dizzy, thought I'd throw up. We only have a few rapid tests left, but this turned positive in about a minute. Joe Brian's test was negative.

I tried to make the guest room bed up, but had to lie down twice in the middle of it. I gave up. I sort of dozed all afternoon and evening. I couldn't eat. Tylenol helped with the headaches. 

I feel a lot better today, but I'm not going dancing anytime soon. 

I watched the massive storm roll in to Toronto, my home town. When up to 100mm rain hits a city, with all that cement and paved roads, the water has no where to go. Poor Union Station was flooded. The tunnel from Billy Bishop air port, on a Toronto island, flooded and had to close. They went back to using a ferry. 

Southern Ontario has been hit by a major storm. 


Lots of lightning, mostly to the south of us. All we had was 12mm rain. 

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Fred, Cinnamon, Eastern Comma

Things are fairly quiet here. Even sitting on the back deck in the shade is too hot. I tried reading, but I've got some floaters in both eyes, nearly centre. I was tracking the radar to see if I should water or not. It was building up, and it looked encouraging. It was moving north east. Sadly, all we had was a mm. 

 I put this little video together. This is the Eastern Comma caterpillar having brunch on the back deck. Let me know what you think! (Sound on!)

Eastern comma from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

We have the usual, Fred!  

Cinnamon was observing Fred. Cinnamon is such a gentle cat! Not that killer instinct like Nutmeg. This is why we let him out. He keeps track of Fred. 

Monday 15 July 2024

Dehydrated water, bugs and blooms

 It was an amazing weekend. Great to see the kids. JL went to Las Vegas for a few days for business and pleasure earlier in the week. It was 47 ℃ and the dry heat was horrible. 

JL flew, with 2 buddies, and real pilots on a Sky Combat Ace Extreme flying event. The three men flew with three pilots in a two-person plane. It was epic. He showed us the footage. He came home Friday, then they came for a sleepover Saturday night. 

He brought home a 'Close Eyes' for Caitlin.

Things are quieter here at the house. I'm watching the catterpigglies, as my mom used to call them. I have figured this one out. Yellow wooly bear moth! There is power in sticking together, I suppose.

Then there is this little fly!

oxomerus geminatus the Eastern Calligrapher, 

 a common species of syrphid fly 

The sphinx moths have been out in the dark. I showed them to Jo before bed.

It may or may not be these who appear on the camera. I may never know. Maybe I'll try when the bugs lessen.

On the weekend, Caitlin and I sat out front and watched the hummingbird going to this flower. I told her that the bees were chasing the hummer away!
Giant Knapweed and a honey bee!

Lobelia siphilitica, the great blue lobelia, or blue cardinal flower. I bought a plant at a pop-up plant sale up highway #511, and it has spread to give me 9 plants.

That time of year: water lilies! Can you see froggie?! It must be Jeremiah.

Garbage is out. So are the deerflies. Another day begins.