Thursday 30 September 2010

The backstory and penguins

Thanks, first, to my regular readers who have put up with my irregular posting. Things have been frantic, as my story will tell. But the kitchen looks good, with a trip to Ikea to help get it organized.

Joe in his new office!
Here's the backstory: in the old days it took 10 years for us to convince my grandmother to get a hearing aid. Then, when both my parents lost a lot of their hearing, Mom learned to read lips and pretend that she could hear, resulting in awkward and LOUD conversations. Dad simply avoided the phone. It was as if losing their hearing was a sign of weakness. It was frustrating and tiring as they were in denial. They both had hearing aids, but it didn't go well. Humans have made fabulous gains in technology, and this is one. They were tough years for me!

My hubby, whose name is Joseph Brian, has a slight hearing impairment. He has a 30% hearing loss, unmitigated by hearing aids due to the nature of his issue. This results in missed words in conversations, although he hears the full sentences, and he misses some of the words.

It is difficult in public places to hold a conversation, especially with ambient noises and the ubiquitous musak music. We have learned to live with it. We make sure we sit in corners, away from
large crowds. In fun, Joe will tell me what he THOUGHT I said, and we often have a good laugh about it.
Quiet breakfast

This brings me, finally, to my story! We were obliged to drive back to Bala, Muskoka to pick up boxes the movers left in our closet. With 3 cats caged for hours, we had to leave the movers to do their work in the heavy rain as we faced the 5-hour drive to Perth.

Sure. Accidents happen. You deal with it.

But not only did they have to make two trips (the truck wasn't big enough the first time) but these things from the hall closet were left behind. (Yes, I took photos. I am snap happy, with digital excess. I am a digitalholic and I admit it!)

I was reluctant to go back, but it had to be done.
Lakeview motel - hot tubs!

Now, hubby does not like driving. I love it. We rented a cube van, paid for by the moving company, to go back and look for our missing sign and the things in the closet. (My shoes, as well as other things!) I drove the 5-hour drive there, and hubby, unfamiliar with my camera, was in charge of that.

It was a glorious drive, with vibrant fall colours, aside from hydroplaning with the heavy rains.

We stayed overnight
at the Lakeview motel!
We got there and made it back to Haliburton's Lakeview motel before we decided to stop overnight. Too bad we didn't bring our swimsuits. A hot tub would have eased sore muscles.

A cop stopped us in Huntsville. We looked dubious. When he saw us, and our ages, he apologized! We weren't hauling stolen goods!

We were stuck behind a logging truck, he couldn't quite make it up the hills at the 80 km speed limit.

This slowed us down, but, again, with real-life paintings all along the way, it was the perfect time of year to drive. I would ask him to take a photo, but with a colour deficiency, he doesn't see colours as vibrantly as others.
What a job! 
I yelled at him, "Quick! Take a picture!" at one point. He simply sat there. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. He sat in contemplation.

Scenery mitigates the slow truck in front!
As is his way, he was trying to process what he had heard.

He thought he heard me say, "Look. A huge penguin!"

From then on, all I had to say was, 'penguin' and he'd lift the camera. It was a great cue and I laughed so hard I was crying.

 We spotted the brilliant reds of the sumac, the golds and yellows and red of the maples.

The Precambrian shield, with its pink granite, bracketed the view.

Cottage country is a beautiful place to be!

The Haliburton Highlands are a glorious drive, with the hills beautiful dressed for fall viewing.

The deep green of the pines punctuate all the more the maple and poplar colours. The water reflects the colours our the scene.

The farms featured interesting critters, fattening themselves up for fall, too. Nearer to home, with flatter terrain, there were many farms. The grass is a deep green, with the cooler temperatures and heavy rains.

Why not release balloons?

This is why... The animals can eat them, and it kills them. Many like to promote a cause, but please think about the world around you.

These landed in our meadow, and got tangled in the trees. It took me forever to get them down. I was afraid our deer or turkeys would get them.

They get caught up on personal property, and they are garbage.
I would ask that you refrain from releasing balloons. It's just plain wrong to do this to the environment. These were attached to our trees and I tried to get them and deflate them, but they drifted off.
This is not right.
Do not release them. Do not release mylar balloons. Do not group them in clusters.

Time for a complete ban on mass balloon releases? - Wildlife Extra

Apr 3, 2009 – All balloons sold near to a balloon release should be weighted so that they fall to the ground near-by.

Balloons take 4 years to decompose. 
They contain chemicals that can poison.
Turtles eat them and the latex will block their digestive tract.
Ribbons become tangled around beaks and legs.

Balloon HQ Presents: Balloon Releases and the Environment


  1. Discussion with David Tucek, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Louisville, Ky. July, 1989.
  2. Standard Atmosphere Table, Mechanics of Fluids, Irving Shames, McGraw-Hill, 1962.
  3. General Meteorology, Horace Robert Byers, Sc. D., McGraw-Hill, 1959.
  4. Rubber Technology and Manufacture, C. M. Blow, Institution of the Rubber Industry, London, England, 1971.
  5. The Language of Rubber, E. L DuPont de Nemours & Co. Elastomers Chemicals Dept., Wilmington, Delaware, 1957.
  6. Pilot Experiments Concerning Balloon Ingestion by Sea Turtles; Peter Lutz; University of Miami; Miami, Florida.
  7. Physical Climatology - Second Edition; by Helmut Landsberg; Grey Publishing Co., Inc; Penn 1962 (Table 40, p. 127)

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Settling in...flora and fauna to explore

wee warbler
What a lovely place, even the OPP target range, with automatic weapons, doesn't faze us. We know who they are!

The wildlife is wonderful. No one about to scare them off.

Moth was huge!

The deer came back.
Nibbling at the food

Deliriously happy cats
The cats are in heaven. Oliver especially.
Check under the deer feeder!
check under the tree!
smashing tree

Look at the leaves!

One single sunfower

with a cold little bee

Even managed to get my chair here!

Monday 27 September 2010

Yippee!!! We have contact!

Amazing old buildings.
Perth is a lovely town, dating from 1861.

We're having heavy rain warnings, but they finished up just in time. Then, I had to climb the ladder to fill in the woodpecker hole, started last week.

Finally emptied enough boxes to go outdoors and fix things up there, as well as do shopping.

First they check for a signal
We have satellite for the TV (NOT Bell!) and wireless for the Internet (NOT Bell!) and I am glad to be back in blog world!
Down with the antenna. How old school!

Does his momma know he does this?!

Up she goes.

We love our new location. What a nice town. Anyone need an old antenna?!

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Feeling right at home!

The first day, we were greeted by loud sirens, early morning rising at 7:00, couldn't sleep anyway, it was OK. It was just like home, I couldn't resist walking down the road to see what was going on!

Many sirens, lots of traffic, with a man who 'tipped over into the ditch', as the firefighter told me!
UPDATE: the driver is a 30-year-old G1 driver, who had alcohol in his system. Grow up, people. Two passengers were in the car. They were airlifted to hospital. Yikes.

The firefighter watched the traffic, as it was down to one lane. Then, after the driver went off to hospital, they washed off the road.

Turns out we have fabulous volunteer firefighters in Lanark County, too!

The police kept speeding by. It was worrisome, but it happens about 3 times a year, I was told! A quick corner that surprises drivers. The motorcycles REALLY speed by.  
The trucks are bad, and drivers passing THEM!

Tuesday 21 September 2010

I am fried

We've been eating out forever... French Fries galore. Having a ball in Perth, though. Not that we know which end is up.

Fortunately, we have directions.
Our formal dining table in Bala

How do you move a goldfish?
Shirley Goldfish in the shower
Carefully, and avoid the bad roads. She wasn't carsick, fortunately.

We have been unpacking boxes. It is hard work and I love it.

What's with this?
The cats were royally  P.O.'d. In the cages from 6:30 until we arrived in Perth at 8:30. No accidents, bless them!

It POURED rain all day during the move

I feel so close to nature. This morning two deer appeared in our back yard. They were precious. I have a video but cannot upload it yet.

Too bad we are out of deer food...
The tree frog is still in the mail box. How CUTE!

Summer farewell

Won't be glad to see these put away for the summer.

Those of us who appreciate the quiet of a cottage country lake find is despoiled by those who drive their boats and personal water craft around and around in circles. Within 30 m (100') of shore, the speed limit is 10 km/hr. Dangerous driving, following too closely, kids under age 16 illegally drive PWCs. Powerful machines that pollute the water and air. They have driven me, and people I know, away from the lake. They drive wildlife away from the lake, as loons duck, and heron fly away.

Saying farewell to summer and the lake, the heron popped in, again for a visit. Watch for the surprise at the end. So caught up I was watching through the viewfinder, I failed to spot it!

Monday 20 September 2010

Ashtrays and Paris

Have you thought about cigarettes lately? I have not. No one in my family smokes.
I have noticed, here and there, people smoking, but it is changing. As we were preparing to move I found some ashtrays. Two were a pair of brass ashtrays made by my late father's old company. It went bankrupt when my father turned 55.
They adopted me in 1956 when they were both working there, mom quit to look after me. The company went bankrupt in 1980, with all his pension, too! They had hung onto these all these years. The company name stamped on the back. I love these old, heavy things.

 It was quite a shock for all of us.

The other ashtrays I found in the cottage. We used to have an uncle who smoked, outside, and would grind his cigarettes into the dry cottage earth. One time we found the earth smoking.

We had our post-honeymoon in Paris. We went to an outdoor cafe for breakfast.
As we sat there, a middles-aged woman, well-dressed in a spectacular suit walked in. She sat, lit her cigarette, and proceeded to read her magazine.

Paris in August
We had a lovely breakfast, and got up to catch our plane home. As we walked by her, I glanced at her magazine. It was a women's mag, featuring rather lovely men, suitably undressed and erect. I was incredibly surprised.

Speaking of shocked. I watched the last World Music Awards and saw a lot of women grinding their way though the music, wth pasties and feather boas. Am I getting old? Of course. Way too much information for me! I thought that the actors on the talk shows I watch while working out seemed to be dressing better. More business casual, and lovely dresses that suit them. That's what I loved about Paris. Everyone dressed incredibly well.