Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Hitting Close to Home

The remote grocery shopping app for our grocery store chain has fizzled — at least for us and our store at present.

As soon as we picked up our previous order last week, we started a new one. I added some items to the cart and booked a pickup time. The first available time was a week and a half away, April 6, but I booked it anyway, or thought I had.

We continued to add items to the cart as it became likely that we would need them by the time we would be able to pick up the order. You are supposed to be able to add items until the day before pickup.

But when I thought to check on the weekend, our delivery date had disappeared, and the app would not give us the opportunity to pick another: "No time slots available."

I am disappointed and a little frustrated but not angry as I am sure everything is overloaded with a volume that no one ever expected.


Meanwhile, I have seen that miserable but cowardly, anonymous anti-boomer guy posting his vitriol on many of your comment sections. He sure has a lot of time on his paws, but I think I should feel bad that he has not gotten to me yet. It just shows how low my blog ranks on the totem pole. lol


The pandemic is getting closer to us and has reached a seniors residence in the town nearest us, causing the deaths of 9 people, one of them a worker. How awful. The anti-boomer spammer is still not really getting his wish though, as almost all of these poor folk would belong to the pre-boom generation. But he would likely be too stupid to know that.


I am very worried about our daughter who works in a senior residence. She works in such a sensitive environment but takes it upon herself to go out to shop for both herself and us. I am tempted to go shopping rather than be a burden. I imagine that I will do this at some point, but I would like to exercise as much caution as possible in these early days.

And there it is . . .  Sha has just posted that the virus has landed in the other retirement home in Perth, and now it is only a matter of time. Hopefully, she will be wrong about this and that it stays away from her place..

I have to admit to getting a emotional and losing it just a bit over this development. So upsetting.


And, of course, a selfie. I think we must be in uniform to police those who are not self-isolating. :)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday in the Rain

When I looked out the front window yesterday, the only remaining patch of snow that I could see was on our lawn. When I thought about it, it does make some sense, at least to explain why the houses across the street are snow-free. You see, they get more afternoon sun while our roof lays shade on our lawn. (The phone focussed on the screen, but you can still see the patch of snow.)

We have had a lot more snow for a lot longer than this in some years to the point where we have shovelled it back onto the road on warm April days. It hasn't been warm this spring, but rain has done a good job. The forecast is for perhaps 3 days of rain. If that does happen, I would expect that should just about melt the rest of it. (Update: a day later, Monday, it is still there but a small somewhat reduced in size.)

The reason why we have shovelled it off the lawn in the past is that one year, we actually had tulips push their way up under the snow.  We were only aware of their growth once we shovelled the top portion of snow away. So now, if need be, we try to preempt that.

It was a day at home, so we just have the one selfie to share. Having reached the end of fb's offerings, Sue switched to that snappy chatty place for a new look.

When we rest for a few minutes on the bench by the river, we look across to a mess of branches. I wonder if we'll still be sitting on the bench in splendid isolation when it turns green over yonder?

Someone posted this on their blog (Kay?). When I saw that it was 35 minutes, I was going to pass it by. But then I clicked and watched it. It is a very complete explanation of what the virus is, how it works, and what the immediate impact might be. I think it was worth 35 minutes of my time.

Apparently, on Saturday, Canada had 5 COVID-19 deaths. The USA had 515 when it should have been less than 50 if they were matching our rates. This so sad. Planning and leadership would have helped a lot.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

What Day Is it

I have been blathering at length lately, so I think I will keep this post to mostly pictures. And with 3 days of rain coming up plus settling deep into the sameness of isolation, that may continue.

Talk about the sameness of isolation, I had to think hard this morning, which is about a half hour ago, what day it is. There is no longer any routine to mark the days: no family dinners, no coffee dates, and no exercise classes.

But I figured out that it is Sunday. Just to make double sure, I have just checked with the computer calendar. Yeah, Sunday.

Our walk to the pond yesterday yielded the same pair of hooded merganser ducks. Of course, they always seem to take the farthest location from the camera. The usual mallards were absent, and there were only a few pairs of geese.

Sue has been trying to get a phone pic of robins, but they have been decidedly uncooperative. Yesterday, I managed to get one with my camera. He or she seems to have a certain attitude.

Our selfies: one at home and one at the park.

Be well and be safe wherever you are.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

New Ducks

Grrr . . . this is so maddening. As previously mentioned, we have been binge-watching MI5 on Britbox. Last night, it flipped us to other programs after season 5 concluded. There are 10 seasons, but they only have the first 5. And it ended on a cliff-hanger too. Sigh. My life is so hard. 😉

 After a rainy day on Thursday, we resumed our walkies yesterday. There was  pair of Hooded Mergansers in the pond. Once again, they were far away, and much cropping was required. I had never (to my recollection) seen these ducks before this year, and these are my first photo attempts. I lay no claim to being a wildlife shooter — none at all.

Our selfies of the day.

We are somewhat BRAzen to wear these masks.

Down by the Riverside

Remember the signs when the kids visited Sue on her birthday? Well, now we can read them.

I have 2 coffee machines here in my den; we make all of our coffee up here in the morning. One is a tassimo, the other brews bigger batches, up to 12 cups. We would prefer not to use the tassimo for the wasteful and unrecyclable plastic pod that results from every cup. We want to mostly use the big machine. But when I awake at 4 or 5 in the morning, I find that I want minimal fuss, so I pop a tassimo in. Once Sue awakes, I make a big pot primarily for her although I have a little of it.

The tassimo warned me that it required descaling. Sue knows how to do it; she knows where the disc is and the descaling solution as well as the instruction manual. I know none of these things. As a matter of fact and record, I confess that in this life, I know very little. As I watched the procedure, I came to the conclusion that if Sue were to ever leave me, I would just have to chuck the machine and buy a new one every time it required this complicated procedure. (Kidding . . . mostly.)

During the descaling process, it emitted a big steam. I missed the biggest one but caught a later and lesser one with my phone. (The big machine is in the background.)

Oh, here we go again. Lacey is up for her second handfeeding. It's crazy; she has a full dish just over in the next room but lives for me to feed her by hand in the morning (as well as at other times). I keep kibble by the computer and she sits there, by my chair, waiting for me to put several bits at a time on the floor. She had a feeding at 5 already. Now it is 6 o'clock (yes, morning) and she wants another. I don 't understand why this is so important to her.

Here she is at the ready. She paws and meows if I ignore her.

Finally, for your interest if you are so inclined, here is an article about the differences between Canada and the USA, particularly with regards to the battle with the virus. (Note: it is not a slag-America piece IMO.)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Say Cheese

That wasn't so bad.

The first two weeks of isolation, I mean.

I do expect at least four more, but perhaps I will be surprised. If not, I am sure that we can continue to manage with a little bit of help.

Yesterday, for example, Shauna asked if we needed anything from the grocery store. Although we had just obtained some groceries on the previous day (blogged here), there were a few more things that we could use. Since we don't want her to make a special trip for us, we will take advantage when she does go shopping and try to project needs a little bit.

Here she is bringing groceries (bag in the hand that you can't see in the photo) in to Sue's cleaning station in the garage. She had already brought in the big box of cat litter which is on the floor by the basket.

There was no walk yesterday. By the time, I felt like going out, it was raining. We did, however, manage some indoor exercise. It is a simple 15 minute routine called 1 Mile Happy Walk. It is gentle, which is important for me, and is supposedly equivalent to walking 1 mile. Here, I shall go find it and embed it below. This is not something that I intended to do.

After doing those 15 minutes, I do a few gentle reps with light weights — just 5lb weights.

We did get out for a walk on the previous day, Sue's birthday. We got to the park just as they were finishing sealing off the playground. Walking in the park while keeping your distance from others is fine, but equipment is potentially hazardous for now.

There have been some COVID-19 cases in nearby Ottawa and 1 case has been reported by our local health unit. This unit oversees three counties, and I don't know where exactly this case occurred.

It was reported to be a 70 year old woman. How odd that when I hear of an age like that, I think she's old, but here I am 2 years older, and I don't particularly think of myself in those terms.

I received an email from our internet provider last evening, informing me of an impending rate increase. I wrote a short, somewhat testy reply stating that this simply is not the right time for this. I understand that there is a rate increase being passed on to them, but surely an internet provider has to be one business not hit haard by the virus. It is odd because they have shown themselves to be a good company in the past.

Someone is organizing local sort of scavenger walks for kids where people hang themed pictures and whatnots in their windows. Yesterdays theme was quotes. This is an original quote from none other than Sue, herself.

I keep diverting and adding information that I hadn't intended and, therefore, boring you to tears, so I shall close now with a few recent selfies: say cheese.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Birthday That Was

So, how did the isolation birthday go, yesterday? Pretty well overall. Mind you, Sue is programmed to see the best in just about any situation.

Warning: this is to be a rather banal, straightforward chronicle of the day.

When Shauna dropped off her gifts to Sue on the previous day, she left a Happy Birthday sign. Where should I put it for morning? At first, I decided just to hold it and wake her with the Happy Birthday song, but come morning, I hung it on the shower curtain where she would see it almost first thing. I knew she could and would move it to her preferred location later.

Having given one gift early — the mini tripod — I had decided to space out gifts in dribs and drabs. After coffee, I gave her the card which I showed on yesterday's post. Later in the morning came her Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds body lotion. I posed her holding the box by the window where the sign had now been hung.

Next, for me, came shopping time, which I also posted about yesterday. By the time I got home,  Sue had set up a table in the garage where she could wipe down items before bringing them into the house.

The fruits and veggies get additional treatment in a vinegar bath in the sink. This isn't new. She has been doing this since the previous outbreak.

After lunch I gave her my final gift: a new glitzy sort of iWatch band.

That was followed by my visit to pick up the stir fry and carrot cake slices that I had pre-ordered. Upon entering the store, I put on the gloves they had by the door, but it wasn't really necessary as I didn't touch anything at all. They had it packaged, and I just waved my card at the machine to pay for the purchase.

There followed the biggest and most heartwarming surprise of the day. Danica texted for Sue to come to the door. From a distance, she, JJ, and their step sisters sang Happy Birthday while holding signs. It was very touching. Apparently the kids were sad at not being with grandma on her birthday, so this was good for all concerned.

Danica even made a cake, all by herself with her step mother offering hands-free instruction. It was very tasty. (I only found out about this on the previous day and hadn't needed to have pre-ordered the carrot cake.)

Sue was still a bit teary after the unexpected visit

Then Shauna facetimed in to witness Sue opening her (and the kids') gifts, which included a gift certificate for a manicure and a new jacket. Since we were facetiming this part, I don't have photos.

There was also a facetime chat with Danica and the others a little later. Sue lit candles and cut the cake, and they sang happy birthday again. I videod the 4-minute chat with my phone. I would love to edit this and post a few clips, but downloading such a long video from the Apple Cloud takes too long. So here is a link for family, should they wish to view it. It is good for a month when Apple shall delete it. (I may try again to download it later tonight.)

Time for dinner: heat up the teriyaki, and butter the cheesy buns.

And the cake, Danica's cake.

Oh, there was the usual walk and the standard selfies during the day, which I may post tomorrow, but I think we've covered the birthday well enough. We made the best of an isolation birthday, and I think it turned out to be a pretty good one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My First Grocery Pickup

I drove to the grocery store because my phone-in order was ready after they sent an email that the order was ready. When I got into the parking lot, I called to let them know that I was there. They came to the car within 10-15 minutes and loaded the groceries.

We have started the next order because it takes a long time now, a week and a half at this point. Wow!

I put a couple of items on the app just to book that time, and I can update the list up until the last day.

Here's what I saw while I was waiting. I was impressed, and if I had to actually shop inside, I would be pretty confident. However, I would still prefer to remain isolated for the next two weeks anyway.

Here is what I observed.

There were about 6 people waiting to get into the store as the store will only accept 90 shoppers at a time. There were orange lines painted 2 metres apart to help people keep their distance.

There was a store employee standing farther back to instruct anyone about the line and to keep distance should someone not know what to do.

The first person in line, nearest the door, was able to disinfect themselves and their cart and put on gloves.

As one person would leave the store, the first person in line would enter. It was very orderly and looked to be as safe as they could make it.

I should have taken a picture of the above, but I was a little anxious about how this first pickup would go and was watching for the delivery person and didn't really think to get out the phone.

Here's what goes on inside from what I have heard and read but haven't witnessed.

They disinfect the store at night and, I am sure, regularly. The line to the cashier is also well marked for physical distancing, No one puts their items on the belt until the other person is through the process. The cashier then wipes the surface before the next customers proceeds. Grocery stores are installing plexiglass barriers between the customers and cashiers, but I don't know whether this has come to our store yet.

A Birthday

Today is the Celtic New Year. More importantly, it is Sue's birthday.

Last year, she was greatly surprised by an iWatch.

This year, it will be just the two of us in our isolation. There will be gifts but nothing spectacular.

My Card to Her: Outside followed by Inside

Meanwhile, we continue with the daily basics: selfie, walk and exercise (on odd days so far).

Due to blah weather, I haven't taken my camera along on our two most recent walks. But I did get one of Lacey in the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Flower Child

The Health System Adapts

I had an appointment with a specialist yesterday, reporting on my CT scan of several weeks ago. But instead of going in as previously scheduled, the office told me that the doctor would call me at home between 10 and 12. Sure enough, the phone rang at 11:30.

Since it was just a report, there was no need to travel in — a half hour trip — and the results were communicated and understood, and a further procedure was even ordered as a result of our conversation.

It made me wonder why more medical visits couldn't take place by phone or video chats. I wonder if the day will come? I wonder how many times a doctor actually has to physically examine a patient. Not always, for sure.

Onto the Daily Selfie(s)

I wrote yesterday that it was snowing out, so our selfie was taken in the backyard with the forlorn and neglected bbq off to the side.

Later, in a moment of madness, I posted my own selfie to the family using the silly fb app. I felt so pretty. In fact two tunes are struggling to take over my head space — I Feel Pretty and San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). Sorry for the grumpy look, but the camera clicked before I was set.

A Bit of Canadian COVID-19 News

Very straight talk from Canada's Minister of Health. I am quite pleased at the performances of our leaders, even the one's for whom I would not vote. I don't see petty politics' cards being played much but serious grappling with the problem.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu is sending a warning to Canadians ignoring social distancing measures, saying it jeopardizes civil liberties and puts lives at risk. She anticipates these measures will last months, stressing 'now is not the time to take your foot off the social distancing measures.'

Most Canadians seem to be approving what their political leaders are doing, but did you see that a Texas politician claimed that grandparents would be willing to die for the economy for the sake of their grandchildren? I would die for my grandchildren but not for the economy.

A Tough Family COVID Decision

Our daughter made the very difficult decision to have the kids stay with their dad for the time being rather than continue to time share as it were. Shauna, who works in a retirement residence, is the most exposed of us all and feels the kids would be somewhat more isolated by remaining with their dad who mostly works from home. It wasn't a happy decision, but I think it was the right one.

Although the weather was not spectacular, we did go for a short walk (they're always short, so I should stop saying that). I didn't bother to take my camera, which is just as well because the pond was almost deserted.

Social Distancing Explained Again

Finally, something that even the most daft might understand.

What's On TV

We watch Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (movie) on Acorn. Although made by the streaming service, the film did have limited and selected playing time in USA theatres. While I liked the tv series, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, well enough, I am very meh about the movie.


Otherwise, we have been binging on the old MI5 (aka Spooks) series on Britbox. We watched the series once before, but a long time ago, so it is pretty well brand now for us. Apparently, it is also on Netflix.

Image result for mi5 tv series

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Fowl Sunday Walk

The good news is that I slept well last night. The bad news is that it is snowing out. And it's a driving snow which looks totally unpleasant. Some snowfalls are pretty, but this one isn't — particularly at this late date.

The snow cover had reduced considerably, only remaining where it had been piled up during the winter or where it is very shady. It seems to me that it has mostly gone due to rain rather than warmth. Often by this time of year, we will experience one ar two really warm days but not this year. But it has been warm enough for me to leave the car outside at night. This morning, it will get a dusting or more.

Yesterday was lovely, however: sunny, calm, and hovering around freezing.

We walked to the pond which was teeming with life. I can't recall seeing it so crowded. Not only that but numerous skeins flew overhead, honking madly all the while. Some vees were in good shape but others looked very poorly organized.

At times there was quite a bit of flapping about, but it wasn't easy to predict where and to point the camera in the right direction.

This fellow was in a feisty mood indeed.

There were a number of ducks, almost all the ubiquitous mallards, but there was a different one, which you can see under the flapping goose. There is white on its head, bill and near the rear.

Here is another photo. He or she (they?) is swimming with the mallards. I wondered if it was a mutant mallard, but someone identified it as probably an American Widgeon. Whatever its species, it seemed like it was the only one of its kind, which makes me feel a little badly. I wonder how it got mixed in with the mallards, all on its own like this.

While I concentrated on the waterfowl, Sue took some pictures of me. Here I am fiddling with the camera, likely looking at the screen to see what I had just captured. You see the yellowish patch on my hands by the lens? That's my finger tip sticking out through the glove. The glove was made that way. I can uncover my finger tip to work the controls.

And here I am hobbling along, cane on one side, camera on the other. We were about to sit on that bench in the background for awhile, facing the river with our backs to the pond.

You can see the pond behind us in this selfie.

Here is another selfie in which you can see me holding the tripod/stick. While I held the stick, Sue triggered the camera from her watch. The camera then counts down, 3-2-1 and gives us (Sue) the opportunity to get herself reset for the shot.

The tripod/stick is a gift for her birthday, which is coming up on Wednesday. I gave it to her early when we got ourselves into this daily selfie routine. If she is a good girl, just maybe there will be another little gift for her to open on the day.