Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Upriver and Down

By now, you have seen a few of my photos from the dam at Appleton. Well, our town also has a dam. I am not sure why, but we'll get to that in a moment.

First, here is one of Sue's 365 entries from last week. She took both photos from the trail bridge, which was once a railroad bridge. The top photo looks upriver, toward townhall, while the bottom photo looks downriver.

Those ↑ are both wide angle photos, but I took my longest telephoto lens that day, for I knew that I wanted to photograph the dam, which we can scarcely see way in the distance in her [first] photo.

This ↑ was taken with a 300mm zoom. Even then, I applied some cropping, mostly to remove the extra space top and bottom of the dam. I don't really see this dam serving a function, and I assume that it is left behind after a power station was demolished in the past. Of course, the same is true of the Appleton dam, but the removal of that hydro electric plant was much more recent.

I took another photo, this time of a bit of the building that is visible in Sue's second photo. I took it from a slightly different spot than Sue did. This structure, by the way, is or was the McArthur Woolen Mill, established in the 1870s if I recall.

The shapes and textures interested me on that day, particularly the chimney.

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Appleton Dam

You've recently seen one set of photos from the dam at Appleton. Those were focused on a fallen tree with a derelict building in the background. These are of the dam itself.

This ↓ looks a little abstract.

I took this ↓ for the juxtaposition of the sign with the ice.

While it would have been preferable to have better access tot he site than I had, I like the results of this shoot well enough.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Celtic Jam

Cape Breton is an island in the province of Nova Scotia on Canada's east coast. From its largely Scottish roots, the musical heritage of Cape Breton continues. There are hobby fiddlers in the Ottawa area who come together to enjoy that style of fiddling.

They meet on alternate Sunday afternoons for a Cape Breton Session. Last Sunday, they posted a clip of their final piece of the jam. (Although I need to speak harshly to whomever thought that holding the phone vertically was a good idea.😀

I took up the fiddle in my early old age, or late middle age really, and while I didn't get too far with it, I did attend some jam sessions (not with this group) and did manage to play along with some of the tunes. Sometimes, I found playing with the group very satisfying.

There’s something about playing in unison and that goes for singing too. That is one reason why this non-believer still enjoys good memories my distant, gospel church background. 

I really appreciate that I had the opportunity to play the fiddle, albeit in a modest way that didn't extend too long in this little life of mine. I did not exactly scale the heights of violin virtuosity, but, dang it all, I enjoyed trying. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Caturday 48: Lacey Wafts Fur

As is plain to see in the photo, Lacey is a girl of girth. That along with a bit of arthritis impedes a old puss's ability to scale lofty heights. In the photo ↓ the red arrows indicate the path that she must take to her lookout. At one time, she could omit stage 2 and just go from 1 to 3. In fact, it was almost like she could fly on by landing 1 and go directly to the top. Almost, but not quite.

Now, have another look ↑ at the box outlined in orange — the one behind the basket-shaped container way at the back of the desk. It stays there out of her way. But when I had to access it recently, somehow or other some of Lacey’s fur had made it’s way into that little, isolated box.

Yes indeed: in previous Caturday posts, I have described how she wafts fur. She never upchucks furballs because she never has to sallow her fur. It just sails hither, thither and yon, madly off in all directions and to all elevations.

The day after the discovery of fur in that box, a new brush came from an online order. The two events were not planned to be synchronous. They just happened to coincide.

I applied said brush to her royal coat and have never seen a brush gather so much fur so easily. This ↓ is what I gathered in just a few short minutes with hardly any effort at all. There is even a lifting mechanism to extract the fur from the wires for very easy cleaning. The fur reveals that the girl has dandruff, and consequently, I have a plugged nose and itchy eyes. 

In case you are interested, this nifty brush is described on Amazon Canada as Garstor Cat Dog Brush, Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush, Pet Grooming Brush, Easy to Remove Loose Undercoat, Mats and Tangled Hair, Comb for long & Short Haired Dog and Cat, Effective Deshedding Tool.

It will come in handy, especially right now, for she is beginning to drop clumps of fur in addition to the habitual wafting. Somehow, her body is preparing for spring. It must be from the increasing light, for the weather remains wintery. In point of fact, the mercury read -28C/-18F this morning at 6AM. The indoor temperature was 15C/59F, but the furnace was kicking in, and it has warmed up pretty well since then.


I should add this about the brush. With the old one in need of replacing, Sue had put it on our wish list. Some days later, Alexa notified us that it was $10 off the original price. Would we like to buy it? Yes Alexa, we would. And so it was done, just by speaking to Alexa. Amazing really.

Friday, February 24, 2023

We Stayed Home

Shauna offered to drive us to JJ's the out-of-town hockey game. I demurred. It was probably a good decision, for this ↓ is what she later messaged (in blue).

Well we just had the worst game of the season. 5-1 loss. 

JJ got an assist on an unallowed [sic] goal. He actually had a good game. All his passes were on point.

The other team had so many penalties and some of them for bodychecking. It was quite something.

At this point I made a comment that this roughness is the kind of thing that leads many boys to quit hockey at around this age. It's too bad. This is supposed to be a non-contact league.

Anyway. Not a great game. Our boys were just not On. And their coach was chirping at Pierre in the lobby. Draaaaaamma.

This time, my comment was that "Some boys never grow up." I don't like chirping, even in the big leagues, but for a coach to carry on like this over a minor league boys game is really too much. These boys are not playing elite level, and this guy is no hotshot coach.

I expect there will soon be a home game, and if all goes well I shall take my camera, for there won't be too many more opportunities remaining this year.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Ice Beyond the Dam

Not long ago, I came across one of my old photos of ice on trees by the dam at Appleton. Appleton is a hamlet a few miles downriver from us on a bend in the river. At the bend there is a dam, I think because there was once an adjacent power station. I wasn't happy with the former photo, so I decided to return this year. I ported my longest zoom lens because the icy trees lay across the river.

Well, despite the well-below-freezing temperatures, there was not as much ice as I had seen previously, but there was some. There was still a problem, however, for there was deep snow leading to the one spot where I could access the riverbank for a good view of the scene.

I was forced to stand by the side of the road and point my long lens through a smallish gap in the bushes.

My idea was to make that fallen tree before the wall the focal point and to take a series of three photos, each one zooming in on the tree a little more.

Under the circumstances, I think I did as well as I could. While I would have preferred an even closer photo of the ice on the tree, I couldn't have zoomed in much more, even with my longest 400mm lens.

I am not sure if the remaining wall was once part of the power plant. There seem to be too many windows for that sort of building, but you never know.

While there, I did take a few other photos, but I don't think that they really fit in with this series, so I will likely share them in a later post.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

On Second Look

I posted a bleak winter sunset a few days ago along with a blue hour photo.

In going through photos after the shoot, I initially rejected this one.

When I had another look, I cropped it, lifted the shadows a bit, took away some of the heavy blue in the foreground, et voila, we suddenly have a photo worth sharing. 

I had to hold the camera up over a snowbank to get the shot, but it worked out well enough in the end. Sometimes when you shoot in RAW mode (ie not fully developed), you just need to nudge the photo a little to bring out its potential. What I didn't have to nudge in this case was the sunset colour/ That was always there.

Considering the trying circumstances at the time, I find myself liking this result well enough.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

This Was Not Planned

I got caught up on blogs before I went to bed Sunday night. By 8 o’clock Monday morning, there were 18 new posts waiting for me in Feedly. This means that almost everybody whom I follow posted late Sunday or early morning. 

What can I say?

I posted too. 😎

Speaking of posts, it was Family Day yesterday in Ontario. It is an official provincial holiday with schools and most businesses closed. Jonathan had anther outing planned and couldn't make it to family dinner. But Danica brought her boyfriend. Look at how he and I were dressed.

How crazy is that?

Monday, February 20, 2023

Milton over Psalms

For so He gives His beloved sleep Psalm 127:2 NKJV 

It was one of those infrequent events. 

I awoke after 7 on Saturday morning and realized that I had slept for 8 hours, and I had only been up once in the night too. What a great feeling!

I am not sure when I last got 8 hours although I seem to come close once or twice a year. In general, however, I am forced to count 6 or 6.5 hours as good. I don't love it when life conspires to limit me to 5 hours or less. Unfortunately, life does this to me too friggin often.

But was I on the verge of a life change? Would this be a beginning of something new: of me getting more of that beloved sleep that the Psalmist mentions?

Sadly not, it seems: not on Saturday night, and not last night, Sunday. On both nights I was up by 5 with only a little help from Lacey. Sigh.

In my case, Milton's experience is truer than the Psalmist's.

What hath night to do with sleep?
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Addendum: It’s a little after 8AM. Sue is still sleeping. She goes to bed at 9PM or shortly thereafter. It’s like rubbing salt in a wound, I tell ya. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Brief Health Update

I haven’t recently said much about life post surgery after the second untethering (second removal of the catheter for those who are just stumbling in out of the cold, as it were). Said untethering occurred a week and a half ago already, and all was well for a week, so there was nothing to report as life pretty well returned to a semblance of normal.

After that week, however, my urine was a pretty bright red one night before bedtime. I wondered if it was the cranberry juice coming out, but I have never seen that sort of reaction to food colouring. Obviously, it was blood that I was seeing.

Subsequent results were similar into the next morning until I painlessly passed a fair-sized clot, and all was well again.

But then it all happened again later that day: another clot and more blood in the urine.

I have monitored it pretty closely since then, and all has seemed normal for three days now. I trust that means that the setback is history and that I can soon resume regular living. 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

A Very Cold Photoshoot

Sue required a blue hour photo for her 365 prompt. With the sun due to set at 5:35, we decided that we would also get there in time for a possible sunset photo. As we got out of the car, I thought this stand of trees was worth pointing my camera at to catch the western side being lit by the low sun. The sun is still weak these days, so the contrast isn't remarkable, but it was worth a try at 5:13, 22 minutes before sunset..

I could see that it was not going to be a good night for a sunset, but I was there, so I made the best of it. I looked for any sort of foreground element and pointed the camera toward the lowering sun and squeezed the aperture to get a bit of a sunburst effect.

I waited until most of the sun had lowered beyond the distant trees and took the above photo at 6:29, 6 minutes before the sun truly dipped below the rim of the Earth at our latitude. The foreground elements, above, are part of the boat launch. There remains a bit of open water out past the frozen shelf near the riverbank, but you can hardly detect it in this ↑ photo.

My hands were almost numb at this point, so I retreated to the car, keeping the motor running and holding my hands near the heater.

Twenty-five minutes later, which was 11 minutes after sunset, blue hour had set in although there was still a tinge of colour. My hands had thawed, so I hopped out of the car and grabbed this ↓ photo, but this time I just upped the ISO and didn't bother with the tripod. Sunset colour remained for about 10 more minutes after I took the photo, but we were done. 


I just remembered that Sue has some pics of me during this process. Rather than back up and try to insert them sequentially in the above narrative, I'll append them here.

She took this first snap of me looking around for place to set up my tripod at 5:16. You can see the tripod still unopened by my side.

I didn't find what I wanted there, so I began to set up nearby two minutes later. Look at the difference in colour by pointing to and away from the sunlight. Darn, it was cold.

I still wasn't happy with the composition, so I did move to a higher point, somewhere behind me in the ↑ photo. But here the pictures end. Enjoy the weekend, and keep warm.

Friday, February 17, 2023

One Meeting On, One Meeting Cancelled

We have a newish photo group in town, begun by the lady in black (middle right).

Notice how heads and bodies get smaller to the back. Bob and I (particularly Bob) are the biggest folk present, but we look a little shrimpish here. You may also recognize the lovely Susanne (middle left).

We gabbed for about an hour and a half, but when we broke up around 8:30, we discovered that the latest round of weather had arrived. It was that miserable freezing rain, but it was still in the early stages, so fluid and wipers took care of the windshield rather than having to scrape the ice. Thank heaven for small mercies.

This morning, I looked out the window and managed to catch our snow guy. He had done our drive and others and was about to leave the neighbourhood.

Our neighbour was also out with his blower.

Sue has cancelled coffee with her friends this morning. We could still travel today if were necessary, but it isn't, so home we shall stay — for the morning at least.

In this matter, we are taking instructions from Lacey.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Dipping into the Past

Sometimes, I peruse older photos and then decide to re-edit them. Actually, perhaps 'former' would be a better word than 'older' in the first case, below, because there two JJ photos are recent, from his birthday. I decided to convert them to mono, and I probably made other changes too, such as cropping differently.

Then, I found myself looking through a folder from 2019 when a friend and I were taking photos for the town's 200th anniversary. These three were taken at a monster bingo event. It's quite likely that I posted versions of the first two back then, but these are new edits.

Anticipating Eagerly

Apprehensive Over the Next Call

Resignation over Bad Luck

I enjoy taking candid photos, but I don't get to do it often as I don't have a lot of nerve to be a street photographer, and I haven't attended concerts in awhile.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


Apart from Sudoku and various YT videos, I didn't have a lot to do other than the usual blogging and Flickring (posting photos) whilst I was tethered for a week. However, one sunny and crisp afternoon, I did spot some interesting fence shadows being cast upon the snow in the backyard.

To make it more cryptic and hopefully, more interesting, I added a bit of shading. I tinted the snow between the slats greenish, and the two orange streaks are bits of light sneaking through the boards.

It was something to do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Trying the Expert Level

I think that I had started the transition before my surgery, but I had little else that I wanted to do once I was in my catheter-limited state of being.

I am referring to how I play Sudoku.

In the past, I have occasionally posted that I play Sudoku on the iPad just about every morning. I have described how I usually play a game designated as HARD while allowing myself to make notations. I have followed this by a round designated as MEDIUM level. To make this easier level more challenging I have played it without resorting to notations. My goal would be to complete the more difficult level within 20 minutes and the easier game within 10 minutes.

Occasionally, I would give the EXPERT level a whirl, but I would end up deciding that those games took too much time and that I also failed too often. I mean the more difficult EXPERT level games could consume the best part of an hour.

Recently, with a little more time on my hands, I tried one more time to apply my dubious talents to the Expert level.

Strangely enough, I have been doing much better at this level than before. I can complete most games within 30 minutes or not much longer. And although I do make some blunders or reach some impasses, I am solving many of the puzzles without error. Although 30 minutes seems like a lot, it is pretty close to the time that I had been spending on the hard game plus the medium one.

At the beginning of each round, the game tells me how people fare in a game of the difficulty that they are giving me on that day. Most of the time on EXPERT setting, they tell me that only 40-45% of the players who try games of this particular level difficultly, succeed. Occasionally, a given game reaches the 50% success rate. I think the highest percentage I have seen at the expert level is 55%.

The lowest percentage that I have come across, until yesterday, was a meager 35% rate of success. Somehow, I did solve that puzzle without error, but it took me a whole lot of head-scratching and close examination, and even then it took me a whole hour to finally solve it. Then just yesterday, it gave me a game that it said had only a 32% success rate, and I am here to tell you that I didn’t get very far.

Even though I have recently been more successful than previously, I confess that I am very slow. After the game, a player will be given some information. What they tell you varies from game to game, but when they tell me my speed compared to others, it is something like, "You are faster than 20% of the payers." That sounds better than being slower than 80%, but it means the same thing.

In a sense, I am both a good and bad candidate for Sudoku. I do have a very logical and convergent-thinking sort of brain, but I also have a brain that tends to wander and not be very precise. So, my wandering mind can easily click a 2 instead of a 3. Yesterday, I actually made a mistake on the very first move of the game. I had meant to put a notation into a square, but I had the Enter mode, rather than the Notation mode, activated. Sigh. While I am able to take the move back, the game still records an error. I wish we could be forgiven for an error by telling the app that it was a careless error rather than a logical one, but alas, an error is an error is an error  

In case you are interested, I play on my tablet, using the app by Easybrain, but I am sure there are others.. I did eventually spend a few $ to purchase the app because I was playing it a lot and was getting tired of the popup ads.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Tall and Tallest Teens

We are not short in this family, but we are not gigantic either. I am the tallest at almost 6'1+" although I expect that I have shrunk some. Sue, Sha and Danica are in the 5'7' to 5'9" range. I can't tell you about JJ yet because, although he already has a man voice, he hasn't yet had his growth spurt. I expect that it will come this year, but who knows. Everything points to something close to 6', however.

Now, let me show you my grands with our nephew (centre). L is Danica's age, actually a few months younger. He is in grade 10, or as the Americans say, a sophomore. (We possibly don't use that term because high school once extended to 5 years in this province.) Recall that Danica is ~5'8" or so.

Here's another comparison that is fun because of the way JJ is looking up to L. L's sister is also going to be tall as well, but she is younger than JJ.

L and his dad both dwarf ↓ Sue and me (remember that I am 6'+). I am not sure where Sue's nephew (left) got his height because his mother (Sue's sister) was shorter than Sue, and his father was about my height but probably a inch or so less.

This ↓ is what I am getting to, however. When L (left) met up with Olivier Rioux (right), he seemed like a shrimp. Olivier is a teenager from Montreal, and is, apparently, the tallest teenager in the world. While L is pursuing baseball, Olivier is training to be a basketball player. There is more about Olivier here in this article.

L (left 6'7". Olivier (right 7'6")

Olivier is two years older than L, so L still has time. #kidding

Sunday, February 12, 2023

An Oddly-Timed Visit

One recent February evening saw me in my comfy womfy chair. I was using my tablet, possibly playing Sudoku, when a cute little fly flitted and fluttered in front of the screen. As I said, it was cute and little and nothing like a house fly. I haven't seen it since, not even seconds later. Where did it come from and where did it go?

This occurred in the middle of a long, frigid Canadian winter, a time during which insects are not exactly known to thrive.

I am reminded of a similar experience some years ago when a mosquito decided that a cold night in December was as good a time as any to make a house call. I was in the same chair but was much less amused that time.

I have to wonder how many critters live here with us, for the next morning, a little insect (probably a spider but I was too bleary-eyed to look closely) scurried by Lacey as I was feeding her kibble by the foot of my computer chair. Lacey regarded the creature dismissively and resumed her early morning, pre-breakfast snack.

For my part, if they are not mosquitoes or over-sized spiders, I am willing to share my space.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Caturday 47: Lacey Likes Lickin

There was a time when we had to put plastic over our windows in winter because they were poor and leaky. But a few years ago, we upgraded them, and that winter-condensation things became a thing no more.

Much to Lacey's delight, however, we do get a bit of that on extremely cold days — those days when the temperature drops well below freezing, like maybe -30C/-22F. It becomes a treat for her to lick that moisture, for variety is the spice of life.

Here she is on her podium at my den window.

That is all. As you were. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Fingers Crossed

It's over! The dang catheter is out as of yesterday morning. We did it off the books, so to speak, because the system was being anything but helpful.

I will refrain from a blow-by-blow report, but I am here to tell that when the doctor says that someone will make a house call on such and such a day, that it simply will not happen. It didn't happen on the first removal, and didn't happen on the second one. 

To repeat: we took matters in our own hands and had it removed, privately, yesterday. My officially scheduled appointment is for tomorrow. But "No no," it could not take place at home. I would have to drive into the city, for you see, if one is not bed-ridden and if one lives within 30 minutes of an official home care provider (I use the word, home, loosely), one must go there for they will not come to you. It doesn't matter if you are a senior wearing a catheter, you will get there dammitall.  (As for the 30 minute drive time, well, they put it into Google and out pops the answer. Apparently, with clear roads and a good tail wind, I could have made it in about 23 minutes if I had taken the highway. Baloney, says I, for I don't take the highway.)

Anyway, I was home, catheter-free, by noon yesterday. As I scurried into the house to relieve ye olde bladder after the half-hour drive, Sue was figuring out how to get the yellow recycling box down from the snowbank.

Some juvenile delinquent had tossed it up there whilst we were out attending to my woes. We have an extendable pole thingy to wash the upstairs windows, so Sue used that to pull the box down.

We decompressed here for awhile and then headed out for breakfast at lunchtime. Some of you may know that as brunch, but I, personally, had breakfast at lunchtime. lol

The Chef's Breakfast Bowl was yummy but huge.  Being smarter than I look, I didn't finish it, despite its yummyness.

Before the food came we enjoyed coffee. If I look chuffed to be out amongst the living, it is because I darn well was.

Yes, it sure did feel good to be out and acting more or less human after one heckuva week. I hadn't been in pain, and we eventually managed to cope with the catheter, but the difficulty of getting the attention and the help that we needed made it a very anxious and unsettling week.

Now, I have made it through the night without my bladder shutting down like it did after the removal of the first catheter, and I am encouraged to hope that the catheter incident is truly over. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Jonathan's Hockey Portraits

While I remain in catheter Neverneverland, I thought I would post Jonathan's formal hockey portraits, in which he displays a bit of tude. I like all three but perhaps the changing room one with the sweater and equipment best. Good job by the photographer.

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Jonathan's Birthday

Let us step away from my post-surgery woes to commemorate Jonathan's birthday party.

Under the circumstances I didn't know if I was going to get around to cobbling together a birthday card, but in the end, I managed. The outside of the card is top left, and the inside is on the right. His one birthday gift, from all of us, is on the bottom.

With only one gift to open, Mom extended the event with a series of clues. He opened that huge box (above) to find a only tiny slip of paper (top left, below). That sent him on a chase of clues until another wrapped box eventually revealed an X-box (top right). Of course, he spent the rest of the night engrossed (bottom).

A few other snapshots.

Sue took these ↓ photos while we were waiting to serve ourselves dinner. I bent down to JJ's height because I speculate that we will be much closer in height at the end of this year. At least, my big growth spurt occurred in my fifteenth year, after my 14th birthday. We shall see.

Sue is the main family photographer. When I saw her taking a picture of Danica and her boyfriend, I decided to take advantage.

Just for the record, Sha and Sue were also present.

It was good to get out, but after visiting ER in the middle of the previous night, I was pretty well at my wits' end by the time Sue was helping me to get ready for bed by changing over to the big, night catheter. Thankfully, I had a very much needed, long-for-me sleep.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

The Catheter Saga Continues

6:30 AM Saturday: we got back from the hospital at 5 o’clock.

I am currently the proud possessor of a brand new catheter.

The initial one was removed yesterday afternoon. There is a long fiasco surrounding that, which I had thought that  I would be writing about today. I probably will still describe the ordeal in due course, for it was what my daughter categorized as a shitshow. But for now it is about the night.

Once the first catheter had been removed, I was peeing like crazy — long and frequently. It was quite wonderful. It’s the little things, eh?

But then I couldn’t urinate at 11:30 last night after two hours of sleep. I slept some more and tried again at 1:30 with the same result, or lack of result, I should say. When 3:30 also yielded nothing, I was becoming rather concerned. I walked around the house, hoping to move things along — to no avail.

I woke Sue up at 4:00 and told her to get ready to go to Emerg.

So that is what we did on the freaking coldest night of the year at -32C/-26F, or even colder depending on the source.

Fortunately, the hospital is just a couple of blocks away. Fortunately, ER was devoid of other needy people, so there were no germs being shared, and I was also attended to pretty quickly. Most fortunately of all, the new catheter solved the problem.

Unfortunately, I will be catheterized through the weekend, which is what I had earnestly hoped to avoid. Unfortunately, I will have to deal with the situation again on Monday morning when I shall have to call my urologist to ascertain the next step.

For now, I am back in my chair with a new catheter attached and already emptied once, and this is after much was drained at the hospital.

But for now, I am fine. I’ve had coffee and toast and just have to fill in the next 9 hours or so before going to Jonathan’s birthday supper.

The boy came into this world 14 years ago, and it was about at this hour that we had also just got back home. Sue had been to the hospital with Shauna, and I had been at their place to tend to young Danica should she have required assistance.

It wasn’t cold like this though, I can tell ya. And I wasn’t connected to tubes, either. It was a better time.

Friday, February 03, 2023

We Figured It Out

We are on Day 3 of  AC's surgery. I didn't think that there would be more to report, but some of you have been concerned about the catheter issue, so here we are.

Back on Wednesday, it seemed that they were explaining the catheter and the two bags almost as soon as I awoke from surgery. I don't process techy things very well at the best of times, and being a little spaced out after anesthetic was, most certainly, not the best of times, to say the very least. They did try to tell me how to change bags, but they didn't explain anything to Sue who is good at these sorts of things. They handed her the bag of stuff, and off we went.

By the way, whatever I say about what could have been done better, the nurses were phenomenal in caring for me. Before surgery, I had to go to the bathroom. The nearest facility was in use, so one gal actually rolled my gurney to the farther bathroom and then helped me get in there. To repeat: they were wonderful.

But, we had two 75-year-old seniors going home right after surgery without a lot of support. In fact, the only additional help would come two days later (which is today), when a home care worker would come by to remove the catheter.

My leg bag was strapped on, and when it came time to figure out what to do for the night, we couldn't quite come to grips with how to change over to the night bag. The tubing wasn't terribly long, and we don't have a bed rail on which to attach it, so we couldn't quite compute the logistics

Therefore, I opted to spend the night in my chair with the leg bag. I was very conscious of keeping it lower than me as best as possible, but it was marginal. I set my watch alarm to go off every two hours to check drainage and the bag. I could lie on my back, which is not how I sleep, or roll a bit to one side. I didn't sleep much.

Fortunately, we have Shauna, and Shauna has connections through her job. The next day, she brought us a bigger bag with a longer tube. She also had a nurse friend drop by to explain it all to Sue. It was also fortunate, that we happened to have a walker in the house, on which we could hang the bag. That device is here for use after a possible foot-fusion surgery. But that is another story.

Before bedtime, Sue got me organized before she crashed for the night after two difficult days and nights for her as well. I was still in the chair, but I could make my way to the guest bed when I felt ready to retire for the night.

In bed, I was able to change positions as needed, and I had one of my best sleeps in a long time.

This morning, she was there to help me the instant that I awoke. She reversed bags again as I looked on in absolute befuddlement. Before long, I was at the computer with coffee and ready to face anther day.

As I wrote, above, a home care worker should visit today to remove the dadgum contraption, but there is another story here about that situation that I shan't go into today. If and when I am free of the device, I shall shower and maybe feel human once again.