Friday, March 31, 2023

No Swans

We stopped by the pond in the park around the corner. It was teeming with Canada Geese. The silly things honked their fool heads off as soon as we approached and headed far away from us.

A group of them swam to the far end. I was able to capture the scene ↓ with my telephoto lens.

This pair ↓ was at maximum telephoto distance, but I liked how the trees framed them.

Meanwhile, these two were a little braver, so I was able to get a bit of a closeup.

Sue was shooting close by.

There were also ducks in the pond. I was hoping for something other than mallards, but nothing doing. Still, I did my high key minimalism trick with this pair. I liked this photo because the guy duck looks happy. At the same time the girl duck looks resigned: "Alright, let's get this over with."

We then drove to a different section of trail by the river, hoping that the trumpeter swans might be there. No such luck. The water in this swampy area beside the river is still frozen. My telephoto was not the best lens to have with me at that point, but one tries regardless.

On the way back to the car, Sue stopped me long enough to get this picture. I don't always use my cane, but I thought that it would be best along that path.

As you can see in most photos, plenty of snow remains, and not just in our crazy front yard that I have been posting about recently. The forecast says that many days next week will get temperatures going up to 7 or 8C, so that should begin to make a difference.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Feet for all Seasons

If you've been here for awhile . . . and poor you, if you have . . . you will remember Sue's almost catastrophic pre-Christmas faceplant.

It was a bad one, and three months later she still has what I would call subcutaneous bruising, poor thing. I am doubting that it will ever go away, but we remain in hope.

Trying to keep up with Sue, I took my own fall several later, but it was a mild one.

Both falls were a result of us not tying our boots properly. It's not that we don't do this normally, but in both cases we were just poking our noses out the door for a few minutes.

Here are my boots.

You can see why we wouldn't want to lace those bruisers up. We're not completely stupid, and we did stick the extra lacing inside. But the lace from one boot still caught on the hooks of the other boot, and down we went.

Of course, we knew that we would definitely need to find a solution for next winter.

Then Sue found an online sale. Hers are the laced pair, but they are permanently laced and can just be tightened or loosened via a pully thingy. Mine are the non-laced, pull-on brown pair.

But wait! What about those red shoes? They don't look much like winter boots, do they? Well, they were on sale too, and I couldn't resist. They're pretty sharp looking and maybe even snazzier in real life than they look in the photo.

So I am set for summer too.

A man for all seasons, am I.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Eight Days Later

No doubt you hang on every word that I write and do your utmost to commit my posts to memory. So, of course, you remember this ↓ first-day-of-spring photo from last week.

No, you don't recall this photo of our snow removal sign? Well, I wrote then that in the previous week the snow had receded from the top of the 6 to reveal the whole area code. But that it had changed much in the preceding week. And here's where ae are now.

I was somewhat surprised the see the amount of decrease because we haven't experienced any real warm weather to speak of. However, most days are at least rising slightly above freezing, and we also had a day of rain.

It was even more surprising to see how much the pile had abated at its deepest point. I am 6' tall, so I guess that is less than 5' in the deepest section. That did surprise me because when I first started checking the mound, it seemed to be about 7' high and perhaps even more.

The tree in the background ↑ is in the centre of a small garden ↓ around it. As you can see, there remains a lot of snow on top.

I would like the snow to be gone before the tulips try to push through, for they did this once before. I can't prove it because I can't find the pictures that I am pretty sure that I took back then. I think it was back in '08, but I may be a year or two out.

However, the tulips are likely safe for a few more weeks as they tend not to bloom fully before early May. I must try to note the time better this year and not rely on my very unreliable recollection.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

I am but a lowly Tripod

One of my more exalted positions in life is to serve as Sue's tripod. When she needs to include herself in her own photos, well AC carries her camera (phone) and stands where she tells him to stand. He then points the camera and presses the shutter. He shows her the result, and she will tell him what to do next.

Her group prompt yesterday was to take a picture showing where her feet were at 3pm. But it also had to have something to do with her hometown.

She decided to feature Roy Brown, our WWI flying ace who is credited with shooting down the Red Baron. Roy was born here in Carleton Place, and we celebrate his accomplishment.

Sue posed in front of the Roy Brown mural while positioned strategically to hide a garbage pail behind her. 

It was an option, but that is not the main reason for going downtown, and we had quite a bit of time before 3 o'clock to take many many shots with the new statue of Roy.

We took various photos from various angles including this photo ↑ with townhall in the background. I will refrain from trotting out all of our efforts but will say that she thought this ↓ angle would be best.

But when the time came, we would want to get the feet in the frame too to best satisfy the prompt. My lady decided that the final photo should look something like ↓ this.

The watch ticked over to 3:00, and I took a variation of the above shot.

She then decided to post it in collage form to her 365 group.

Now I sing this song 


I'm a lowly tripod
Tall and fat
I serve my lady Susanne
This is where I'm at

Monday, March 27, 2023

The Party

Shall we do a few birthday photos?

Photos at Sha's are always problematic due to the light. We can get some light, but it is backlight which leaves subjects in shadows. We close the curtains, and then it becomes an issue of not enough light.

Being a clever boy, I brought a light for my camera.

Being a dumb boy, I forgot to insert the memory card in my camera.

So, it was the phone to the rescue. Actually, it worked well enough.

I took a photo through my wine glass, which I hadn't emptied much. As you can see, I am not a big drinker. Too bad about the dot over Sue's face, for the concept was a good one.

Gifts came.

After the gifts, and only after the gifts, I remembered that I had brought a card. It featured some of Sue's recent photography – first the inside and then the outside because that is how Blogger inserted them.



As is the custom, JJ paraded the cake in. Shauna sang the birthday song. I forgot to sing because I was concentrating on the photos and focusing on the ever-moving JJ. Sue also took pictures. I am not sharing any of hers (or mine that I took with her phone) because we are having trouble transferring them today.

Since COVID, we don't blow out candles, or if we do, we put a solitary candle on a single piece of cake for ceremonial purposes. But Shauna has found the perfect alternative.

So that was birthday 76 for the old gal. Next comes Danica's Sweet Sixteen in less than a month.

Sunday, March 26, 2023


I might have something more to post about Sue's birthday, but for today, I will post our latest sign photos. You all know the drill. A resident changes her sign several times a year, and Sue comes up with a way of using them in a photo op.

The current theme is hockey, for the town entered a cross-Canada competition called Hockeyville. We borrowed some of JJ's team sweaters, and posed.

We were forced to use a unique angle that hid some very bright reflections off the poster. I think it makes the composition more interesting, or at least a change.

In this ↓ photo, we assume the crosschecking position, which can result in a two-minute penalty if consumated on the back of an opponent.

You can see old, dirty snow in both photos. More snow fell yesterday, but it won't stick for long. Indeed, it was melting almost as fast as it fell. Almost: not quite though.

Saturday, March 25, 2023


Milady is 76 years young today. She survived another year with me, and can still smile. To acknowledge the occasion, we went to a restaurant in Ottawa. The meal was free because we used a gift card from Christmas 2019. You may recall something about a little pandemic. Well we hibernated for quite a long stretch. We finally got around to using it yesterday, just a little more than 3 years later. Anyway, that's where I took the photo.

Thursday, March 23, 2023


I saw them posted by someone in town, but at the time, I didn't stop to see who the poster was or in which group. When I went back to find the pictures, I couldn't. FB can be like that.

Some 30 years ago, my dad had a couple of snowdrop flowers in a tiny garden space just outside his front door. I don't recall ever seeing snowdrops before or since. I see them in photos here and there but never in person.

But that person, whomever they might be, posted a photo from here in town. All I could see in the photo was a wall and a few flowers. But from another photo that they posted, I could see that they had been downtown just north of the bridge.

I dragged Sue down there on an overcast and slightly unpleasant day. I didn't have much hope of finding that little wall, but after a short while, I thought that I might have spotted something just a little way down a side street.

Sure enough.

It was in front of one of those old homes, the type without much of a front garden, but there was maybe a yard's width of garden between the house and the sidewalk.

Me being an elder, and neither the day nor the spot being appealing, I opted not to get down to ground level. I did have my telephoto lens, however, so from more or less a standing position, I squeezed off a few shots. Zoomed in as I was, some were on the fuzzy side, but two were not bad, especially the second one, below.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll get back there with my macro lens and this time lie on the sidewalk and try again. But they won't last long and were already on the wane, so probably not.

In the meantime, I have seen snowdrops once again and have the pictures to prove it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

morning stream of semi consciousness

Tuesday 6AM (to be posted Wednesday)

My third cup of coffee is brewing already. I normally consume only two cups, but when life pries me out of bed at 3 o'clock, I permit myself a third cup. I note in passing that these are closer to actual cups than mugs.

Life is a mystery to me. After two nights with 7 hours of sleep, one of them very close to the magical 8 hours, last night was a beast of a different colour. I couldn't seem to get to sleep for hours, and then I awoke at 3. So, here I am with seemingly only two hours of sleep although I suspect that there was some drowsing during the wakeful earlier hours.

The Belgian Chocolate coffee has brewed. Please excuse me whilst I doctor it with plenty of cream, which is my wont (ie: one's customary behavior in a particular situation).

I am tempted to make myself an egg muffin this morning, but I think we are out of English muffins. Nuking one egg for 45 seconds yields pretty good results. I scramble the egg in a wee bowl and add a little butter and shredded cheese first, before nuking.

. . . time passes . . . 

I did go downstairs, thinking of making the egg that I described with a crumpet. There were no crumpets, but Sue had found a new pack of English muffins. Just before grabbing the eggs from the fridge, I recalled that these are farm eggs. As such, they need to be washed before using. While I figure that I have the capability of washing an egg, maybe there is a protocol that I am not familiar with. Besides, who really wants to wash eggs when one is stumbling about groggily in the semi dark? As a result, I am consuming an English muffin with peanut butter. 

This is our first batch of farm eggs in quite some time. A fox rampaged our supplier's hen house, and it has taken her months to get new hens back to laying. I assume that the hen house has been well fortified in the meantime.

I usually don't have breakfast until after 9, even when I wake up early, such as at 5 o'clock, and I usually have healthy cereal, be it hot or cold. However, I throw all rules out the window when it is a 3 o'clock morning.

Being a thoughtful sort and Sue being sensitive to light, I don't put the hall light on when I rummage about in the morning. When I head downstairs, I use a portable light. Sometimes, it is the watch; sometimes, it is the phone. This morning I used my little flashlight — a penlight I think you call it. Something like this. →

Believe it or not, I don't think it throws as much light as the phone, but it's close. Who woulda thought, eh? It's definitely better than the watch, but the watch does throw enough light for the purpose of navigating the stairs. I would have used the watch this morning, but it was still in the bedroom on the recharging stand, and I didn't want to go back in there and possibly disturb Sue's slumber.

Maybe I'll cease this stream of consciousness, or rather semi consciousness drivel now and think about how to navigate the rest of the day. I guess my sleep deprivation doesn't really matter since really not much navigating will be required of me on this day..

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

That Was the First Day of Spring

As you all know, and as many of you have been posting, the sun reached the equator on its way north yesterday. Although we haven't enjoyed any of those wonderful, almost preternatural, warm early days yet, the temperatures have been rising somewhat. And . . . the light is brighter and lasts longer.

As a result, our snow pile out front s beginning to decrease. Earlier last week, we could only see the top of the 6 on our snow removal sign. Look at it now; despite the lack of noticeably warm days, we can see the full 613 area code.

That ↑ marker is on the north side of the snow bank, but look at the difference on the opposite side of our shared driveway – the side that faces south. Southern exposure makes a difference. 

We went for a pleasant stroll downtown. From the parking lot, I took a photo of the Moore House with a little bit of townhall behind.

The Moore House is an original log house that was once the home of one of the leading, early families. It was located elsewhere in town but moved to this spot more than a decade ago. It is now the office and salesroom of the Chamber of Commerce.

The first, official day of spring, was a good day, but I now hope that we also get one of those preternatural, very early warm days. It doesn’t occur every year of course, but I live with hope in my heart.

Monday, March 20, 2023

The Flag Question

Back in the summer of 2019, along with two photo friends, I climbed up the steep, rickety, wooden stairs inside the clock tower in town hall. We made it to an outside landing to about where the red arrows point.

There was a rooftop platform of sorts up there: unfenced and not completely horizontal. We had made that arduous ascension to take a photo similar to this ↓ one. We weren't there in winter but the viewpoint would be similar.

It was the town's 200th anniversary, and we three amigos were charged with taking photos comparing historical pictures to the present.

However, I experience a bit of vertigo. In addition to that, my somewhat lame foot causes me to feel a bit unbalanced. So I exited the rooftop tout de suite.

My two steeplejack friends stayed up there. Later, I composited one of their photos with the original for the town's memorial calendar.

So, why am I posting this four years later?

Well, it is because one of you recently asked how they change the flag way up there above the steeple.

I had never thought about it.

But then I did think about it.

If you squint on the right image of the first photo of this post, you can see a rope (or something) that comes all of the way down from the flag to the rooftop landing that I briefly accessed that day.

And that must be how someone would raise or lower the flag.

I just hope the rope is made to last for a very long time because swapping that out would not be for the faint of heart.

That certainly wasn't my favourite photo from the calendar. I like the following ones better.

Looking downriver

Bridge Street (ie Main Street) From the Queen's hotel

Looking upriver from the trail bridge toward town hall

It was a fun project in 2019. In the present, it helped me to answer how they change the flag. 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Quirky Siri Chimes In

A funny thing happened after Sue and I watched The Voice, a day late at Tuesday noon. No, it wasn't watching it a day late that was funny.

After the show, for some reason I started singing a funny song to Lacey, or about Lacey anyway: I sang "laceree lacerah" to the tune of The Happy Wanderer (play the video ↓ if you don't know the original).

The point was that I was just clowning around and belting it out.

Suddenly, Siri interjected from my Apple phone and started talking to me. And then she began to play music. I don't know how she got from my Laceree Lacerah (Happy Wanderer) to a song called Wine by a someone called Suran, but away it went, including some of that hip hop rappy type of stuff. To repeat: very weird.

It was just one of the quirks of life. Quirks make life interesting, but this was just one more bizarre thing to perplex my already addled brain.

Just after writing the above I happened to check FB and this ↓ popped up 

Yup, I think I must have invoked ghosts, even though I am a boomer and not a millennial.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Caturday 47: Rocky Reminder

It pops up on my Google calendar every March: Rocky 2010. That's all that I need to remind me that was when he passed away, and it briefly saddens me.

Rocky was the cat to which I have probably been most connected. He seemed to prefer me to Sue or at least hold us as equal, and he has been the only being, human or otherwise, for whom that has been true. Except for my mother . . .  maybe . . . maybe not.

Rocky being a typical cat in a box at Christmas.
The atypical Lacey doth not do boxes.

It's alright, Lacey; don't look so taken-aback. We love you too. It's just that you don't love me as much as he did.

Some cat's have it pretty good, and sometimes we might want to be one.

Friday, March 17, 2023

It Almost Always Snows

My urologist operates (so to speak) out of the hospital in Smiths Falls. It is only a half hour drive, or even a bit less, but it seems like an ill-fated drive. No, that's not the right way to put it, so let me just say that my winter appointments there seem to more often than not occur in snowy weather.

This has been true for about 18 years now and has become almost a standing joke, except it isn't really very funny. In the recent catheter crisis, I actually cancelled my removal appointment when the weather promised to be even worse than usual.

Tuesday was my 6-week debriefing, and just look at the weather. The first two pics were taken as we were about to leave our town. The third photo was taken farther along; thankfully, the snow was no longer accumulating was gone by then.

The doc and I had no great concerns to share with each other. For my part, the clotting has stopped. For his part, the biopsy proved to not to be cancerous. However, he still has some concern with it as it doesn't appear quite normal either, so he has scheduled another cystoscope for June when at least it won't be snowing. I did apprise him the problem that I had with home care, or the lack of such, and he promised to look into it.

The ride home was uneventful, and we stopped off for breakfast — a scrambled wrap for me with a hollandaise sauce for dipping along with a generous helping of home fries.

In a sense, the big breakfast for two only cost $12.70 because we had a $50 gift card which was given to us after we spent $12K on a new furnace and AC last summer. First, I drained the gift card, and then I used my regular card to pay the rest, the larger portion of which was the tip.

It was the tip plus this ↓ that put us over the top.

From where Sue sat, she could stare directly at a chocolate cake on the counter. We decided to order a piece to share. I'm glad we shared, for it was $8/per slice. We should have known, for a friend recently paid $100 for a whole cake from this restaurant. Mind you, it was big enough for a large party, but still . . .

The cost for this breakfast was in addition to breakfast at the sugar shack last week and means that we have spent a very large whack of dough on breakfast this month. That is a lot for us, and there is a dinner or two to come, but I'll get to that later.

I must say that both the breakfast and cake were very good. Sue maintains, however, that the cake was not $8 good.