Monday, 29 May 2023

Fred is a selfie star!

Here is Fred. He has stopped gnawing on the deck, and has made a tunnel under the shed. When Caitlin was here she heard him gnawing and stomped on the deck. I told Josephine, in a text, that he seems to have listened to her! 😏 

I am inclined to leave him all alone, now. This is a good place for him. I don't think we're getting any wood in, as we've enough with our downed trees, thousands of dollars later. Who needs to buy wood? I will stack my pile after the birdies fledge under the deck. 

In the shed, he began a hole, which he made into a tunnel. He cannot hurt anything. The shed itself has a cement floor, and this is just in the side of the building.

Here he is. I think he is a he, not a Frederika, but we always call our groundhogs Fred! 

Anyway, I've been watching him, and he's been all over the yard, especially at the back of the yard. I set the trailcam on the deck, just for fun. First he was lying down on the job. Then he has itchies!

Fred grooming from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

You can see his strong claws. They can climb trees, I've read. He dug a hole under the deck, which our cottontail rabbit used in the depths of winter.

Fred's Selfie from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I saw him do this a couple of days ago, He did it on camera for me! You can see how bad the bugs are.

Fred's 8th inning stretch from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I hope that made you giggle! 

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Happy anniversary!

I was given a lovely Mother's Day present from Caitlin. A beautiful spot of spring, colourful wooden tulips from the Dutch shop in Ottawa. 

We don't really celebrate extended family anniversaries per se, but the flowers fit perfectly in one of the vases from Caitlin and JL's wedding! I'd saved two of them.

JB and I drove past the hall on our marathon trip to Ottawa for his cancer treatment. It brought up a fun memory.

May 28, 2005, 18 years ago!

The wedding took place in Nepean, and we all drove to the reception hall in Fallowfield. We lost the bride and groom for a half hour. The bridesmaid were coming to me to ask where the couple was. They couldn't have eloped, they'd been married! It turns out, the priest whose church was attached to the hall, took them out for a beer! 

Jesse, JB, myself, Caitlin, JL, son Terry, my late mother, my brother

My brother picked up my mother in Bala, and drove her to Ottawa. She died the year after, and wasn't well at the time, but she was thrilled to have made it to the wedding. 

Isabelle (13) did this painting for her mother for Mother's Day! She was secretly working on it in the basement here. Caitlin took a photo as Izzy has to smuggle it out of our house and into their car for the surprise at home.

Josephine (15) was supposed to have her braces off last Wednesday. She managed to qualify for the semi-final for javelin in high school championships, and they had to postpone the removal of braces. They gave her an appointment in June, then phoned back and had a cancellation Thursday morning. Finally, after two years, TA DA! 

I leave you with the robins under the deck, who are getting bigger, and will soon fledge. They don't quite fit and are growing like mad.

When the babies leave the nest, they still get fed. On July 19, 2021, I was working in the yard and I could hear a juvenile robin begging for food. If you watch to the end, you'll see its parent shove food in its mouth. It was a serviceberry, and it spit it out. No veggies and fruit for the teenager! baby robin  

Saturday, 27 May 2023

Saturday's Critters

 The cats have been having some fun indoors. With the nice weather they can go out in the Muskoka Room. Nutmeg, the smaller cat, was in the smaller upper deck. Cinnamon gave up and slept in the middle deck. 


They miss watching bird TV, i.e., the bird feeders, but Bear has been on the move. 

Phoebe has 3 eggs in the blue bird nest box.

Spider set off the motion detector! Turn the sound down...

Spider man from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

🐣 Under the Deck

 The 🐣ROBINS are doing well.


Robin nest from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

May 23 in the 🐣PHOEBE nest. Cowbird hatched: 

Cowbird in phoebe nest from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The cowbird lays in other bird nests. It is against the Federal Migratory Birds Act to interfere in this situation. It is a treaty between the US and Canada in 1916. This gave us the Migratory Birds Act Convention. 

Birds protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act

 I'll let nature take its course. The phoebes finally hatched. There were 4 phoebe eggs.

phoebe nest from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

🦆Wood ducks

It is my first year to not have any ducks nesting on the frogpond. The water went down enough that I could peek in. I was surprised. I'd had the trailcam focussed on it for a month. It just doesn't pick up the birds. Reaching in, I felt a smushed something. Then, a cold egg. There were about 9 of them. I'll need to grab my ladder and clean it all out. So sad. The one on the left, (box #3) has been empty. This is a spring photo, the plants have been growing, trees leafing out.
boxes #2 and #3

May 26, cold eggs at the pond, with one smushed. I don't know what happened.

wood duck box #2 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Flickers: They like the arbor, the dead elm a few metres away holds their nest. She likes to peek out at me!

Flicker from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eileen for hosting. Saturday's Critters # 493

Friday, 26 May 2023

The process of cancer treatment – PART CVIII

We had to go into the city for JB's quarterly treatment. The other 3 treatments are done here in Perth, a happy effect of COVID protocols. 

It poured all morning, then the clouds moved away. Happily.

 We left the house at 12:45
, arriving at the kid's house in an hour. I'd bought a tap, which had the handle on the wrong side. JL took it home to undo the nut for me. They'd left it for us, and the deed was done! It added to the trip, but was worth it. Both of us got out of the car and stretched a bit. 

From there we motored on to the Ottawa General Hospital. Man, I've not forgotten city driving, I did fairly well. I learned to drive in downtown Toronto, where I lived. You have to be so assertive in the city.  (I did vent about a driver doing exactly 6 km and hour UNDER the speed limit.) People were frantically passing them. 

I dropped JB off at the hospital at 2:15, he grabbed his mask, and needle. I returned to the park where I waited. There are several people who do this, I've noticed. Why go in the hospital, when I can sit in the fresh air? 

The first thing I tried was a selfie, to let Caitlin know we'd arrived. You can see the puddles that remained. It was cold and windy, but lovely in the car in the sun. I began fooling around with the phone. I accidentally began sending an SOS. Whoopsie!

There were dog walkers to watch. That was fun.

I tried a panoramic image, which failed. I did manage a video of the doggies. You can see my thumb. It is a learning curve. Old dog new tricks! 🦮


dog walkers from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I amused myself listening to the radio. Then decided to play with my phone some more. I managed to capture an eagle and a plane. The blue skies were wonderful. Archive photo for fun! I should have brought the zoom lens. I've often found birds here.

Time passed. By 3:30 p.m. I was getting worried. They've been faster (and slower) in the past, these appointments.

Eventually he returned. They didn't realize that he'd brought his needle for the injection, as has been the case, and after reports being taken by the intern, they found a nurse to jab him. The doctor said that he could continue to have his needles with our GP in Perth, and then do a Zoom interview once a year. He has, they estimated, another 5 years when the Lupron will continue to work. 

I set Gillian GPS for our stop, the restaurant, and then for home.

We stopped at Swan on the Rideau for an early dinner, 4:00. Only 6 men at the bar. We were tired and hungry. We couldn't sit in our usual sun room off the bar, as they were expecting poets at 6 p.m. We were anxious to eat and get home. 

The woman who sat us ignored us for 5 minutes. I could see her chatting to the new staff as the shift was changing. She happily served the men at the bar, but she didn't even come over for our drink order. JB checked his watch, and said to give her 5 minutes. She came in the nick of time. I would have been happy to toodle on to Smiths Falls for fast food.

We ordered hamburgers, a safe bet. JB said no cheese for him. I asserted no dairy. She returned, and had forgotten our order. She was reminded and, she said, no cheese. Our water and wine arrived, placed on the table a new server. Our order came, delivered by said server. His hamburger had brie on the hamburger. She took it back. He ate his salad, I dug in. It came back shortly.

Service was less than stellar. We won't go back. It's not as if they didn't expect people. There were reservations at 5 of the tables, for large groups. There were 4 servers behind the bar area.

This is the bridge which took us towards home. By now it was 4:51. I was having stomach cramps. Not good. They lasted 24 hours.

The marina:

I'd had a glass of wine with dinner. JB was able to drive us home from here, a good halfway point. Long, straight roads, where speedy people can pass. Driving through North Gower, you could see sprouts growing in the fields.

Our world is changing for the better. JB noticed a board at the hospital explaining pronoun protocols. I checked the hospital website, and staff wear badges that state theirs. You need not guess, and you can have your pronouns respected. It's a good read: A few words make a big difference: A guide to personal pronouns

I had some great conversations with our gr. 8 and 10 granddaughters on the weekend. People are more likely to be accepted for who they are. Some students are identifying as they/them, with the self-esteem to correct staff.  'Gay' is no longer a slur at their school, as it was when my kids were in school, when I was a teacher. That takes self-advocacy, and I am really impressed with their generation. Yes, there are pockets of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, but there have been improvements.

Happy doggie in Smiths Falls:

We arrived home at 6:45, and rested. I was watching the temperature, and it kept falling. By 5˚ C. I brought in my baskets. They are doing really well, all things considered. I popped them out in the morning warmth.

We were so happy to be home. The next meeting will be online. The next injection in 3 months in Perth.

Thursday morning I was awake at 6:15, for no reason at all. JB slept in until 8:30, but went back for a nap at 10:30. It really is draining, these marathons. 

I was glad I'd brought the planters in! 

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Crumbly Acres

There were frost warnings, again. I covered the ivy, but left the rest of the plants, like the eaten pansies! Last night I brought the baskets in and covered the larger planters. They predicted a low of 6 C., I watched as the outdoor temperature kept getting lower and lower. Yep, out in housecoat and jammies to cover them up!

We went to the city for a marathon appointment, again. More on that tomorrow.

 The new aspen saplings (decimated by the LDD spongy moth caterpillars in June, 2021), have done well, and recovered with new leaves. They are twice as tall. The previous owners kept this as meadow, and kept mowing it. I stopped, loving the quaking aspen leaves.

On the deck, a couple of fireflies doing what fireflies do in spring. I keep forgetting to check for them at night. Ain't old age grand?!

These aren't our nighttime fireflies. 

Fred has been a challenge. I put Emily up on a stand. That worked well. 

He is staying away from the deck, lately. This was a few days ago.

He hasn't been under the deck, grinding his teeth on the wood. I did discover he'd dug a den under the woodshed behind the wood, under the slats. The pile of dirt was a giveaway.

JB came home from shopping on Tuesday and saw a dead groundhog on the highway. He asked me to come help get the carcass off the highway. By the time we did so, it was gone. Our County crews are pretty good at this. We were worried it was Fred. It was bittersweet. I saw Fred that afternoon, and was quite relieved. 

April 15th I took this photo of the empty lot across the street. It must have been this one that was hit crossing the highway. 

I was looking to have a new cover made for my bench swing. The old one has a hole, and it leaks when it rains. I've been rethinking it, and maybe I just need a box in which to store the pillows out of the rain. I tried to waterproof it, but the material is flimsy. I was going to ask our local seamstress to make us a waterproof one, but she was terribly busy with weddings!
May, 2021

I was searching online and found some plastic/vinyl ones. The comments were tragic, with shoddy designs. Not only that, but they are sold out everywhere!
Someone wrote:
"This box is super flimsy… we will probably be replacing ours this summer and we’ve only used it one summer. "

The deer remain only on the trailcams out by the frogpond.

doe may 17 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Phoebe has two eggs left of 4, and one has hatched.

phoebe nest shed from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Bear was back, and still itchy. We haven't seen him, except on the trailcam. He's a good bear.

Bear 5 pm may 21 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.