Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Penny Has Dropped

I don't know about you, but with my brain, it can take a long time for the penny to drop. I am a pretty good learner, but I am not a quick learner. It seems that things have to stew and mash in my brain for awhile before I truly grasp ideas or even simple directions.

For quite awhile now, I have switched from the computer to my tablet to do light, online stuff. For one thing, my computer is a desktop, so it is simply not as comfortable a situation as being in my recliner. I think I began to transition sometime after I began playing Sudoku regularly, which I play from an app on my tablet  

Except for this morning, I don’t write blog posts  from the tablet because I am usually inserting photos, and they are stored on my computer.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, I can be a little slow on the uptake. I mean, I get there, but in my own sweet time.

So, it is only recently that the penny dropped, and I realized that I can comment on posts by voice from my tablet. The advantage is not so much that it is faster, which it is, but that it is more accurate. Yes, typos are still made but not as many as from my typing. Or so it seems. It is like I make more mistakes typing a pithy comment than I do when writing a whole post such as this. It must be a concentration issue.

That’s all really. I just wanted to say that I am beginning to comment by voice, and I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me a lot earlier that this is an option. I am wondering if you also do this at all, and why or why not? And would you ever do a full blog using voice recognition? I don’t think that I ever would.

Perhaps, it is like a fad, and I won’t continue doing it this way. Who knows? The technology is interesting though and works very well.

Monday, May 29, 2023


I was confused when I took this almost accidental selfie. I was trying a new-to-me photo app on the phone and was puzzled over the very blown-out highlights.

I've been confused a lot lately, especially Saturday evening when the catheter tubing came undone four times. I was rather pissed about that, quite literally.

We are not sure what happened, but it hasn't occurred since then.

I was confused when I bought light track pants that weren't very light at all. And then I was confused about where the receipt went to return the one (of two) pair that I hadn't yet worn.

Basically, as she has been doing a lot lately, Sue was key to getting me on the right path, which more or less amounted to, "Here, let me do it."

I now have several pairs of truly light track pants, and the catheter has remained faithfully compliant.

But in many ways, I remain confused.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Caturday 49 (a day late): Pets and Naps

When Sue awoke yesterday and entered my lair, this is what she saw.

It has continued to get cold overnight with several frost warnings.
By afternoon, I was wearing shorts.

It didn’t used to be this way, but sometime in the last year or so, Lacey has become almost sure to visit me three times a day — morning, noon and night as it were. In fact, I may get multiple visits at each of those times.

She often gets a brushing and seems to love it. Of course, there are no go zones, don’t you know?

Normally, after brushing or sometimes instead of brushing, there is a petting session.

After she’s been on me for 10 or 15 minutes, we may both ready to move on. Often, I offer her a treat to get her to begin to think of moving her furry body. It doesn’t always work though. Sometimes, she stays for more attention and maybe another treat as well. After all, she is a cat, and she can be devious.

Just a few days ago, I was curled up for a nap, so there was no brushing or petting on offer. She still climbed up, found a spot by me that suited, and we napped together for awhile.

I certainly had no indication during her first few years here that this kind of togetherness would ever happen, but trust has been won. She still sometimes flinches though, when she sees a hand coming down toward her head. I don’t think that will ever change. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023


Where did the week go? Where was I? I must have been preoccupied this week.

I ask because when I checked my reader app for your posts yesterday, I found more than 80 that were unread. Some people had four unread entries, which would mean that I had, somehow, not read any posts for a number of days.

It was afternoon after a fairly busy day and also only a day after that procedure of which I wrote about in yesterday's post. I was tiredly slumped in my chair, and I began to make an effort to read your magnificent prose on my tablet, but I confess to failing for the most part. I was too tired and the list too long.

Oh, I managed to get through a few but commented on even fewer.

Then, I marked them all as read, even though they weren't, and will begin anew. But maybe not even today.

Why was I so tired? Well, aside from that earlier medical procedure. I had dragged myself and my catheter out for coffee with a friend. Then, I did some shopping for light sweat pants — something that would fit over the leg bag. I already have sweatpants, but it is getting warmer, and I wanted something lighter to get me through that next couple of weeks. I generally wear shorts in summer, but one simply cannot go about with a bag of urine on display.

You don't need the details, but pants were bought and other stops were made, and AC became a tired boy, who for the most part, gave up on blog reading.

But not posting. As you can see.

We'll see if I can do better in the near future.

Friday, May 26, 2023

More Male Malady Musing

How can it be that after only having tiny sips of water for almost 12 hours and then peeing a dozen times, or maybe more, that my bladder was full?

For when the good doctor got the scope in there, behold, it was, indeed, full.

He was able to see this firsthand once he had dilated me for the second time in three weeks.

After the previous cysto and dilation here, I had a most wonderful flow for about a week. Then it started to diminish, and by the end of the second week I was, frustratingly, back to dripping.

But that was just before the long weekend, so it eventuated that I had to endure another week. I had called the doctor on Friday, but they were gone until Tuesday, and I was finally seen on Thursday.

First, he moved my surgery from 4 weeks to 2. But that did not solve my problem of getting me through those two intervening weeks. Under much prodding from Sue, for which I am grateful, I secured another dilation for yesterday.

A cysto is one thing, and not a fun thing to be sure, but having a dilation with it can be a wee bit rough.

But anything is better than peeing every few minutes and still not voiding properly. By Wednesday night, it had been hurting to urinate, but I knew that there would be relief in the morning.

And relief there was . . . and on into this next morning.

The good doctor determined that it would be most beneficial to catheterize me for the next two weeks whilst I await surgery. And then, possibly, for a week afterward.

The catheter is not perfect, but it is comfy enough that I got close to 8 hours of sleep, which is a rather rare treat.


I have been told by my significant other that I was looking rather wiped and spacey yesterday morning before the surgery and after the ordeal of the previous week. The day and night before had been particularly difficult.

Registering at Hospital Admitting

A selfies once gowned and awaiting my fate


Thursday, May 25, 2023

One More Time

I didn't expect to do one more round of forget-me-nots, but when Sue showed me one next to violas in the adjacent pot, I couldn't resist.

Rascally Sue, photographed me ↓ getting the above photo. You will notice the tripod behind me. It was so difficult to maneuver to get the in position for the photo that I decided to do as best that I could by shooting handheld. In fact, all of these images are photographed that way.

This sea of flowers is blue. Occasionally, we get pink blooms, but I haven't seen any this year. However, just behind where I am standing ↑ there was a small plant, almost dwarf, with white flowers.

Back to the blues.

I went out into the unkempt easement beyond the back fence and photographed the edge of a dandelion with a few obscure blue petals out of focus in the background. They are nice complementary colours.

My fave is the third photo — the blues — but I am glad that I tried the colour combination photos as well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Weeding Time

Although we have mulch on top of a weed barrier, weeds still try to take over. At least they are easy enough to pull up, because they are not rooted in the underlying soil.. However, they're very low, and certain people with certain back issues do not find it easy to get down to extricate them. However, a little folding stool does help.

I am weeding ↑ a little patch where Joe Pye grows. It's hard a fathom that the plant will end up being as high as the fence. It grows from nothing to fence height every year. Meanwhile, almost all of the the green that you see right in front of me, were weeds that had to be pulled. (Behind me, to the left, there is the famous bird bath and forget-me-nots. Unfortunately, the plants will soon become too leggy and spent and will also have to be pulled. They do come out easily, thank goodness.)

I have also done some weeding out front, but I can't readily access the garden part around the tree. I can weed the lawn and the garden edges, but I can't easily get right into the depth of the plot. Sue can do so a little, but we brought JJ in to do most of it.

Those are daylilies on the right. They are one plant that is hardy enough to grow in our terrible soil and right next to the hot driveway.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Forget-Me-Not Macros

It was still a bit too windy to photograph flowers yesterday, but I tried anyway. I wanted a light, airy photo. This was the closest that I came, but it isn't quite right. I think it is the background colour that is part of the problem. It just doesn't seem right to me.

In the end, I liked this next photo best, even though it wasn't what I was aiming for. I think I do dark better than bright.

Maybe I will try again, but at least I have one shot that I like, and it will do.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Robin Amidst the Petals

I have one more set of robin-in-the-bath photos. The photos that I posted yesterday were taken more than a week ago, but the forget-me-nots are tall now. I wanted to take some more photos with them surrounding the bath. and almost obscuring the bird.

While I am at it, I found one more photo from last year of a gold finch at the far bath. Although it is a prettier bath, it doesn't get used as much.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Life in the Bird Bath

I have told you that we are presently keeping my older camera with a big zoom on the dining room table. I did not tell you that it looks good there, but there it lies for now. It was actually out there by Sue's request so she could shoot pictures such as these (below), showing a little bird having a good splash about. All of the photos today were taken by Sue, except for the final one, I think.

But it is the robins that realty get into it, so much so that you can barely see the bird. 

Time to dry off. Any convenient cat will do.

Sitting pretty after the bath.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We Can Now All Go to the Bathroom Again

One of the things I kid about is that, after a long winter, Ontarians will finally be able to go to the bathroom again. Phew!

It's my little dad joke, but I am specifically referring to those rest stop conveniences along rural roads. They close after Thanksgiving weekend in October and stay shut up until this long, Victoria Day. weekend.

Many things, such as this rural museum, only open again on this weekend.

Provincial parks open their gates, as does our local famers market, as well as most food trucks that have delayed until now.

Those who have cottages may choose this weekend to open them for the season, and many people will head to their local nurseries to purchase their bedding plants and perennials. Indeed, the general rule of thumb is that nurseries will not guarantee their stock before this weekend. If you purchase flowers earlier and lose them to frost, it's all on you. Indeed, we did have frost twice this week,

But it's raining out, so Amma and Buppa Anvilcloud will stay home. Bike rides and flowers can wait until next week . . . or longer.

PS: I should add that it is somewhat ironical that most businesses will close on the actual Victoria Day, which is on Monday, for it is a statutory holiday. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Blooming Profusion

I've mentioned forget-me-nots a few times already, but just in passing, and I haven't really shown any photos. So far, it has been too windy to shoot my usual close-ups, but I did take a few snaps of what is going on the the backyard.

As I have said before, I just shake and scatter seeds willy nilly when one year's blooming is done. Consequently, they grow hither, thither and yon wherever they choose. But we have quite a concentration around the bird bath.

They are in other spots too, such as in this little, almost unkempt flowerbed in the back corner.

The lilac bush is also in bloom in this rather poor snapshot.

I know these photos leave a lot to be desired for they were just taken with the telephoto lens that we have by the back door for the birdbath and chipmunk photos. I may take more proper photos if and when the weather improves.

Thursday, May 18, 2023


I came across this pithy post on social media.
It's officially 'keep your winter boots at the door near your sandals' season in Canada.
It's true too. The temperature plummeted to just below freezing overnight. When I first awoke before 5, I grabbed my phone and turned the furnace on. It won't have to stay on, but it was a little warmer when I got up a half hour later.

But yesterday was our 54th anniversary, so we made the most of it, despite to cold — modestly speaking of course. I mean to say, while we didn't charter a plane to Paris, we did drive into Ottawa and have lunch out.

We always get a pizza on our anniversary because that's what we did on our wedding night. Doesn't everybody?

This time, and I think for the first time, we went out to Boston Pizza rather than having it at home We ordered their version of Hawaiian, which was not like any other Hawaiian that we have had. It was yummy: a little too spicy but very tasty.

A picture of Sue while we waited.

I experimented with a selfie, but it didn't come out well against the backlight. So Sue gave me her phone to hold pointing away from the window light. She triggered it from her watch once I was set up. That was the moment that the waitress appeared with our salad. So that was fun,

We have another tradition — fudge. We obtained that on the way home. Alas, no photo.

Until next year . . . 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Backyard Visitor

My older DSLR camera is lying at the ready on the dining room table. It is also attached to a monopod. This is not me being messy but by Sue's request.

When she put out the bird bath for the season, she wanted to be able to photograph visiting birds. As good as she is with her iPhone, it doesn't really do the trick for these long, fast photos. I attached my longest lens, and set up the camera, so she could just turn it on and shoot.

She picks it up from time to time and catches a bird in the bath.

Meanwhile, I saw a chipmunk scurrying around the yard, so I took a few photos.

Here it was digging in the mulch.

It hopped up onto the flowerpot to check it out. No flowers yet, which is a good thing since we experienced another frost warning last night. I even turned the furnace back on this morning — just for awhile, you understand.

From there, it did move to the bath, but chipmunks aren't birds, and they don't seem to bathe. They do drink but not on this day. So cute. Why are chipmunks cute but squirrels not so much — at least to me?

It was quite interested in the pot of violas. I had purchased it for indoors, but it is surviving outdoors for now.

As you may have noticed, we have forget-me-nots strewn about. They are particularly noticeable in the third photo. I haven't made an effort to photograph them as such yet this year. I probably will at some point although they will undoubtedly looks the same as every other year.

After the previous post, two of you mentioned sowing forget-me-not seeds. Go ahead, but there's no hurry, for they won't bloom this year.
Myositis plants are relatively easy to propagate, whether via seed or by division.

Most garden forget-me-nots will be biennial, growing from seeds dispersed in late summer and fall, flowering and dispersing seed the following year, and dying afterwards.

But because they self-seed readily, it’s easy to keep your flower patch going.

After letting them go to seed, I shake the plants to scatter seeds. They take hold where they will and flower in the next spring. These are descendants of my dad's forget-me-nots that he sowed at our place over 40 years ago. I transported them here 18 years past, and they return every year. It pleases me greatly to greet them once again in spring and to be reminded of my dad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Spam , Weeds, Tulips and Trees

The Spam filter associated with this blog has been going wild. It has been picking up possible spam from the past — the deep past. Some comments, actually many, were legit but from commenters who have since gone their own way. A few have been from someone who has since deceased. The oldest spam that has been flagged, or at least the oldest that I have noticed, was from 2007.


JJ came over to help us weed. It was the plenteous low low tree seedlings (we think) that would have been back-breaking for us. They weren't in deep because there is a barrier under the mulch, but it still a would have been a very back-bending undertaking for the oldies. Meanwhile, random forget-me-nots by the bird bath in the foreground. 


I returned to the blossoming trees at the park, but it was too early in the day, and the sun wasn't high enough to light them sufficiently, so I took a few more tulip photos instead. The tulip patch was in the sun, which you can tell from the very bright highlights.

Outdoor photography leaves one at the mercy of the weather. I could either put up with the too-bright highlights or give up on the photo. As usual, I chose to get what I could at the time.

I was of a mind the return to the trees one more time, but the next day (yesterday, Monday) was overcast, so the trees would have been dull. That being the case, here are a few from a previous year — May 2019 to be exact.

I am not sure what I could have done differently or better this year, but I had been hoping to try regardless.

Monday, May 15, 2023

That was Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day, apparently with an apostrophe for the singular. I've resisted it for years, but I capitulate. However, I do reserve the right to rescind my capitulation.

Sue and I drove to the park and set up chairs for the clan. While waiting, I took a phone pano, but I never seem to avoid a drop-off, and so I have the the right side tilting downward.

You might notice that Sue was well bundled. It was the wind. Whenever the breeze abated, which was seldom, the sun warmed us rather pleasantly for a few fleeting seconds.

The others came. 

There was a bit of food and the usual chit chat. Some looked youthful, happy and rather unblemished from the vicissitudes of life and aging.

Presents and cards were opened.

We might have stayed longer, but the wind was penetrating. Dani took a final group selfie, and we were on our way.