Monday, July 22, 2024

More from Athens

I would like to return us to Athens, for I have a few more photos to share. You have already seen murals and the fine old post office, but here is the other fine, old building.

I didn't get very close to it, but I could see that it now contains the police station and public washrooms, and I might assume some municipal functions.

Main Street looked typical a villages of this size with angled parking and older buildings with not-so-pretty storefronts at street level.

I decided to add those ↑ two photos since I have them, but I am really dropping this post in order to show the next two photos that appeal to me in some way.

This ↑ is a close-up of the poor, abused door that we see from across the road in the earlier photo. I like it as a photo subject but am glad that it is not my front door. I think it should find a resting place at Rideau Antiques with the hundred or so doors that are already languishing there.

I have already shown the ↓ mural in the previous post last week, but the adjacent property appealed to me. Right on Main Street, it was likely the home of a prominent citizen when it was advantageous to reside close to the town centre. I would think that it would still be considered to be a prime property.

Where shall Johnny and Susie go next? I can tell you that it will not be very far away.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

On the Lake

Danica (granddaughter) is at a lakeside cottage this weekend. Look at this picture of the moon rising and the sun setting at the same level in the sky. I don't think I've seen anything  like it.

This blue hour one is pretty good too.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Rideau Antiques Revisited

It has been 7 years since we visited Rideau Antiques, and while I had no great desire to return, we were already out and about, and Sue thought that she could work it into her daily photo theme. She was to take a photo involving her on a thrift shop, or something like that. While Rideau Antiques isn't your typical thrift shop, I think it qualifies. So let us get that photo out of the way and then move on to post more photos of the establishment, for it is a very unique place. (Rideau is pronounced something like REEdough.)

This is the shot.

But this one shows the whole entranceway more fully.

Are you beginning to get the idea? This was one route from the parking area to the front door.

This is the other way round to the door (in the distance).

I took one shot inside from near the door before beating a hasty retreat, for it was hot in there and I had squeezed my way through it those seven years ago.

It's all like that, inside and out. Here is a photo from the front steps. Last time we visited, there was stuff in the barn across the road. We didn't check it out this time.

Sue composed a few composites, one outside and one inside.

But even these photos somehow fail to give the full scope, for it is a little mind-boggling to actually behold.

Believe it or not, it is organized. The proprietor knows where everything is. For example, there is a whole section of old doors, and there are many more than what I am showing here in these two photos.

I like the above door photos, and I also like the next (and also final) two as well. One could go on taking pictures here, but these will have to do for now, for we were on a trip and this was just one stop. Perhaps I should go back and photograph to my heart's content.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Neither Port, Nor Parthenon

We had planned this little getaway regardless, but we were fortunate that the high heat and humidity broke for the day. Our plan was to drive to Portland and then to Athens and perhaps on to Toledo. We did not get to Toledo, and we didn't see the port of Portland or the Parthenon on the Acropolis. In point of fact, we didn't see any of the acropolis. How disappointing!

Haha. You may recall that we drove the hour to Portland for breakfast at the Recess Cafe for Sue's birthday back in March. When I was looking for new (to us) places to visit, I decided on the village of Athens, a little more than an hour south of us. In our almost two decades here we hadn't explored that area. We began at the Recess Cafe in Portland., which, like the two American Portlands, is on the water: however, with no interesting harbour to explore.

As is custom, phone pics were taken across the table. I don't know which one I prefer, so you get two for the price of one.

An hour later we were on the road to Athens. There had been no particular reason to go, other than the name and that we hadn't been there yet.

There were murals on the Main street. Please excuse the finger in the first. I do that far too often on the phone. The murals depicted village life in the early 1900s.

As Sue contemplated her day's photo prompt, she decided that we should next go to Rideau Ferry, so I told Google to take us there and forego the plan to see Toledo. I'll bypass describing our  Rideau Ferry stop for this post and post more tomorrow, but once we were done with that place, I checked with GMaps and found that we were only 15 minutes from Perth where Shauna works and where Danica was also helping out on the Reception Desk for a half day.

What I will say is that, although I had brought all of my photo equipment for the day, I didn't get it out of the trunk once. For the kind of pictures available that day, the phone sufficed. This does not make me exceedingly happy, but it is how life is going right now.

Oh, and what I will also say is that the drive from Athens to Rideau Ferry was quite lovely for the rural roads that we were driving along were lined for mile after mile with Queen Anne's lace. Many stretches  also included blue chicory. What a treat!

Oh . . . and as a bit of an afterthought, here is Sue's breakfast photo of the perpetrator of this blog.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Miscellaneous Photos

Today, I will just drop a few pics in passing.

I have a folder for Blogger photos, but this one got stuck in there since the spring. I like it, so I'll post it and then delete it from the folder, as I will also do with the rest.

Another semi-forgotten pic from Easter weekend when I went to Ashton to pick up the church pies. It's just a bit different.

Just two evening ago, Sue needed a night photo. We went downtown where I snapped a number of photos. When I looked at them on the monitor, I trashed them all except this one of Sue shooting the man, Roy Brown, who shot down the Red Baron.

Yesterday, We took our morning stroll in the park and sat on this bench for a few minutes before heading back to the car.

While we were sitting there, a gull chanced by.

It is cooler today (TG!), and we are planning on a little local getaway for a few hours. Maybe I will have more photos to post tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Reprocessing Past Photos

As I have previously posted, my photography has been close to non-existent lately. Although I can more or less keep up this blog, I hadn't been posting much to Flickr. Then, I found a folder with photos that I had once posted but then reprocessed at another point in the past. I had stuck them in a folder and had promptly forgotten about them. Upon rediscovery, I decided to post them to Flickr. Then I thought that I could use them here too. I will post them in the sequence that I posted (or will post) to Flickr, so they are not in chronological order.

The first is of Danica, from April 2013. What an expression! That pouty look garnered the photo some notice on Flickr with more than 4.5K views.

Next in my Flickr posting came Sue and JJ sharing quite a funny moment in May 2014

I went to town on the processing of this next photo of JJ in the park. I think that I would call this fine art, but maybe that is too bold of me: September 2015.

At a family gathering in August 2015, I caught my BiL and his DiL shucking corn.

Also at the cottage in June 2013, I had a howling good time with Zeus. My BiL had three dogs over the time that we hung our together. Zeus was my fave. Sometimes when we were all at cottage on Sunday, the four adults would huddle up and begin to sing the doxology (for fun), and Zeus would join in a very wonderful pack howl. We began to call is the dogsology.

This was a very early (October 2004) digital photo with Sue's Canon Elph camera (I think). Once I was exposed to digital photography, I found that I preferred to use the little compact camera over my grand Canon SLR film camera. Soon after, however, I bought my first Canon DSLR Rebel. (Some photographers have stuck to film photography, but I find it hard to understand why.)

Brian aka Treebeard, emerging from the forest

The final photo is also of Brian from August 2016. Brian has a pretty interesting face for photography, and it is ok to process men in a grainy, textured way. Women, however, tend not to appreciate similar treatment.

That is what was in the folder. It makes me think that I should find some more oldies to reprocess.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Braid

"[In] a French braid you use hair strands over the middle section of the braid while Dutch braid uses hair strands under the middle section of the braid." In the States, depending on what part of the country you are from, French braids and Dutch braids are differentiated by "overhand" or "underhand" braids.(Google)

Danica's Dutch Braid

You wanted to know how the gals made out with the Dutch braid. It looks good to me although Sue struggled to complete it to her personal satisfaction. Let's face it, the lady has high standards and can be a bit of a perfectionist. After starting and stopping a few times, I'd say that success was achieved, despite the lack of perfection (according to Sue).

They begin.

There was some ravelling and unravelling as Sue struggled with this new procedure.

Danica checks out the finished product.

I think Sue did a marvellous to teach herself how to accomplish this. I wonder if they will try again.

Monday, July 15, 2024

There was a Question

There was a question in the Comments of the previous post. 

If you live in a townhouse, how come the HOA doesn't mow? Here that's one of the benefits.
We don't live in that kind of situation. We live in a townhouse, but it is not a condo with any sort of overall governance. All properties are separate, and we, essentially, have nothing to do with one another. New subdivisions have sprung up locally, and as far as I know, all of them are like our, older type of situation.

In any case, this ↑ is what our common easement behind our backyards looks like. It exists to give every owner access from the back of the lot. It looks rough because it is largely unused.  The lots are on the left; the fence on the right separates our properties from town land, mainly the road, on the other side.

In the 19 years that we've lived here, it has  been up to me to clear the way. Owners are, theoretically, responsible for the section behind their fence, but most do not bother. In fact, I am not sure that most understand that this is their obligation. The neighbour to our north, which is where I am standing to snap this photo doesn't even have a gate at the back because they have side access. They let bushes grow behind their property, so that I couldn't get by to mow, so I asked JJ and his dad to come over and clear them with their electric saw, and the result is the piles of brush that you see here and there down the path. They will been gathered and taken to the waste yard in due course.

Before the boys cleared the way

 I have recently whipper-snipped the easement because the grass had grown too high for the mower and also because it might have been difficult to push the mower past the piles of brush. It has been my job for the past 19 years to clear the way. I have been able to stretch the lawnmower cord from our yard to tend most of the path that you see in the photo. I was able to do 3.5 properties. The last 0.5 at the far end is now tended to by the newer owner, thank goodness. I say 0.5 because I never could extend the cord past their gate to do their full property.

Someone wondered the market value of modest properties like ours. I searched real estate online and was stunned to see the price of equivalent houses. I have no idea how younger families can afford to purchase any sort of home, never mind those larger detached homes.

There are perhaps eight newer subdivisions since we moved here, and the preponderance of homes seem to be townhouses like ours. When we moved here in '05, our street contained the majority of townhouses in the whole town, but they have proliferated since then.

We moved from Southwestern Ontario here to Eastern Ontario back in '05. Our townie here cost about 50% more than our previous house which was larger and sat on a larger lot. As pricey as it was then, its market value has appreciated almost 2.5 fold. It's crazy.

Although it was a very expensive move to a higher cost area, it was worth it be be close to Shauna and the grandkids. 


Yesterday, we watched the men's tennis finals at Wimbledon. My goodness, I think that Mr Alcaraz may be the most talented and exciting  player that I have seen in the 50 years that I have been following the sport. I've seen them from Connors, Borg and McEnroe all the way through to the incredible trio of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, but I don't think I've seen any player make so many shots that, metaphorically, lift me from my seat. Sue and I often look at each other in amazement during his matches.

Alcaraz is a Spaniard. Yesterday, Spain also won the European tournament over England, so I think it is fair to say that Spain had a good day. I don't usually follow soccer, but I did watch much of that game. Due to my ancestry, I was cheering for England, but Spain was pretty dominant.


It is now 6:30 in the morning. I forced myself to stay in bed until past 5 even though I was awake. I keep hoping that I will get back to sleep. Occasionally, it happens.

This morning, Danica will come over for Sue to Dutch-braid her hair. Sue has often done a French braid for the girl but has taught herself the new braid just to please her grandkid. She watches YT videos and teaches herself. In fact, she took a photo of her practise attempt on wool. So, although I am ready to post at 6:30, I'll wait for m'lady to arise, so that I can get the photo.

I may not see Danica, for I have grocery shopping to do, for the pantry is looking a little bleak.

And . . . here's the photo: one of Sue's composites. Maybe I will post at some later time how it goes with Danica and her actual hair.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Eagles Let Me Down

Yesterday, after the awful night and my Drivel post, we went for an early morning walk. We headed out a little after 8 in an attempt to beat the heat. We did not, in point of fact, beat the heat, but we tried.

Aside from the fireworks two weeks ago, I have scarcely taken photos for a long time. On this walk, I at least thought to grab my little camera, and I did take a few flowers photos as we passed by one flowerbed. 

Sue got a snap of me taking a photo. I think it was the last one, above. BTW there is a little bee in that ↑ photo. I didn't see it at the time, and it is fizzy because it was flitting.

Although they were very off-the-cuff shots and not with the big camera, it felt good to make a bit of an effort for a change.

After the walk, we watched the Wimbledon Women's Finals.

Then, although I was pooped after the wretched night and the morning walk, I decided to mow the lawn. Thank goodness it's a small lawn. You might recall that it is mostly the neighbours' lawn, but alas it seems to be up to us for there are no neighbours at the moment. The landlord intends to sell, but in the interim, it sits idle month after month. I have no idea why.

The lawn is small, but we live in a townhouse. To access the strip out back, I have to take the lawnmower on a bit of a walk. Well actually, it was the weed whacker yesterday because the strip beyond the fence was too high for the mower. The strip, by the way, is there for each owner to access the back of their properties. Unfortunately, most owners don't bother, so I mow (or whack) the two adjacent properties as well as our own.

I got it done, but due to the night and the heat, I was feeling exhaustipated. As I carried the weed whacker back to the front, I felt as though I had to force myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

What a trudge it was!

I felt like the hobbits, Frodo and Sam, on their way to Mount Doom, but in my despair, I realized that the eagles were not coming to save me. Getting back to the front seemed like that hobbitish trek to me. I made it, but then I still had to wash down the mower (I had used it out front) and the whacker.

I tells ya, I don't think I've ever felt so beat in my life.

If only the eagles had come. They let me down.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Morning Drivel

The changing temperatures do not help. 

When I begin the night it's 23C/74F. That is close to room temperature, but my little corner feels stuffy and warm. The window is wide open and the fans are on: both the overhead fan and the portable one in the doorway. I decide to switch the doorway fan to blow the air in instead of out, and I turn the overhead fan off.

It's midnight or thereabouts, and I finally drift off to sleep with only light clothes on and sans sheet.

Come 3:30, I am off to the bathroom. When I return, I am cool. I turn off the fan and pull the sheet over me, knocking something or other on my side table over in the process. Now, looking on the floor by my chair at 5:20, I think it was just the cat brush. It could have been worse.

I mostly don't sleep after 3:30, but at 4:30 I get up to close the window because the blowing of the cool 18C air affects me, even under the sheet. I wish the temperature didn't fluctuate so much, so I didn't have to keep adjusting. What I further wish is that it were cool enough to sleep under a light blanket so the breezes wouldn't affect me.

My efforts to adapt to the cooler temperatures don't work very well , so I soon give up and get up and start brewing my first cup. The cat hangs around hoping for breakfast ... or kibble ... or treats. Since she doesn't know for sure what she wants, she gets nothing. (She has just given up the watch and stalked off at almost 5:30.)

Sometime after 4:30, I check things on the computer and eventually decide to go to the blogs. There are a few posts from late last night and two already from early today. Some of you must schedule posting in the very wee hours.

I read the few posts that appear on Feedly and wonder if there is anything that I could post today.

And here it is — my post for the day. Aren't you glad? It's not much, and it is odd, but it is something.

It's 5:35. I guess I will hit Publish in a bit, but what do I do now? I am too lazy to go out with the camera. Besides the time and my laziness, the sky is almost totally overcast, so I am not drawn to the great outdoors to shoot in the dullness. It pains me that I have hardly used my camera at all except for those fireworks.

I do have a book to read: The Shadowcutter, Northminster Mysteries Book 3. As far as I can tell, Northminster is now Peterborough, but I am not sure. It doesn't matter really, but it does seem to be somewhat north of London. The series is set around 1840, and they just took a train to London, and I think I recall the trip taking something like an hour. It's about a young doctor and a somewhat older cop and the murder mysteries that they solve.

I have read the first two novels in the Northminster series via Kindle. Once I have paid my Kindle fee, these volumes have been free. At some point, they will probably want a extra fee for the newer works in the series. This series might be good enough to fork over the extra dosh. We shall see.

This is the fifth series that I have read over the past three or four months, for probably s total of up to 18 novels. While they are not up to the standard of Elizabeth George or Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling), they are decent reads. This Norhtminster series might be good enough to pay an additional fee if and when that becomes the option.

So that is me, rambling on about nothing in my morning stupor. It's warming up, and I have just re-opened the window. I am not sure what to do now. I may be too tired and hot and bothered to read. Wimbledon Tennis will start up for the day in a couple of hours. It is the penultimate day of the Championships. I'll miss it next week.

It's almost 6. I shall read this stream of consciousness over and hit Publish, even if it is drivel.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

brainis interruptis

"I did eventually, have a X shot a few weeks ago."

That ↑ was a line from my previous post, except where it then said X, you were able to read cortisone.


You see, I had a memory issue when I was composing the post. The word, cortisone, eluded me. I knew that the correct word would eventually surface to the top of my consciousness, so I used X as a placeholder. Rather than getting bogged down in the moment, I went on to compose the rest of my post.

Then, when I was done,  was able to replace X with cortisone because it had then risen to the top of my brain.

Temporarily losing track of ones nouns, is a common side effect of aging. There can be many changes in how our brains and bodies work, but that is one of them for some seniors. It is temporary; we know that the words are still there, and we know that other words don't fit, but may fail to come up with the right word in the moment.

When I wrote about the issue quite a long time ago, someone in the geriatrics field commented that retrieving a noun could be likened to looking for an article on a crowded desk. You know that it's there, somewhere, but it can take some time and searching to find it.

My mind is still working pretty well, thank you very much. I do my puzzles in the morning, including what is often an extreme Sudoku. I am seldom stumped by the puzzles, including those very difficult Sudokus.

Mind you, when I am trying to convey something to someone and can't find the word, I can both feel and look pretty dumb, even though I am not.

I call it temporary brainis interruptis.

In my case, I can think logically and coherently, and I can write about my thoughts fairly well, I think. Feel free to comment if you think otherwise. I'll delete it, but go ahead.

However, as much as it seems to be the case so far, this post is not really about me, but I simply cite my example in order to make a point. Rather, I am thinking about the grand debate last week. I confess that I did not watch it, for I feared the worst. On one hand, there was a candidate, who has the gift of the gab, aided by the fact that he doesn't care whether or not he is being accurate and truthful. The other candidate is hesitant due to brainis interruptis as he struggles to find the right words and to tell the truth.

I did not watch because I feared the worst, and the worst, apparently, happened.

It is appropriate to question the latter's competency, but for the love of all that is holy, please take a minute to understand the senior mind. A person may have temporary issues retrieving words or may falter in expressing a thought, but they can be extremely competent. A temporarily lost word or hesitant thought does not necessarily indicate precipitous cognitive decline.

People and the press should know this. It's not difficult to understand. 

Age and competency are certainly concerns in this election, but I have an opinion about who is the more stable candidate, and it is the one who has a good governing track record and no criminal convictions and nor required to report to a parole officer.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024


Last week, I wrote two short posts about my early adventures with self-catheterizing. As I often do, I tried to be humourous. Hopefully, it worked, at least to some degree, for my humour can be very dry and not always obvious.

Now that I've been at this catheter business of self-abuse :-) for more than a week, I am thinking that maybe I should bring us up to date with a little more detail: not about the process, thank goodness, but about the whys and wherefores.

When I went in for my four-month dilation in June, the urologist suggested that we try this procedure. I was startled because I had hardly heard of it before. He explained that it may help to keep me open better and longer. Although I was rather shocked by the suggestion, I also thought that it would be rather nice to at least push the dilation interval back a little. After all, dilation not fun. Neither is self-catheterization fun, but it is bearable once you get the hang of it.

Sometime every morning, I do the deed, and there is not much more to tell. It stings a little but not much, and the process doesn't take long. I insert the tube until I flow, and then I gently pull it out.

We use a new, sealed, catheter every day. Sue has organized a system to keep the process as clean as possible. Although catheterization at home is not considered to be a sterile procedure, we want to get as close to that as possible, for you may recall that last year's surgeries and catheters led to prostatitis that required several bouts of strong antibiotics.

That's pretty well it, but since we're all together in this open and frank place, I shall also say a little something about my rotator cuff issues. I did eventually, have a cortisone shot a few weeks ago. The doctor targetted the most painful spot, a little above the bicep on the outside of my arm. It has worked fairly well. I wouldn't say that it's perfect, but I do appreciate quite a bit of relief. Having that particular area of pain reduced, however, I notice my actual shoulder more. There is kind of a grinding up there, almost like it tends to get stuck a bit. However, it is manageable and better than it was.

So we move along in this petty pace. We are watching a lot of Wimbledon coverage this week. We don't usually watch regular, network tv, preferring to stream specialty channels like Brtibox and Acorn. However, we signed up for the full sports package on TSN for July. Come August, we will have to get SN (sans T) for the Canadian Open. In September we'll go back to TSN for the US Open.

Monday, July 08, 2024

Images in Passing

I had to stop and grab this image. For me, it is Tylenol for arthritis, I have some upstairs to take before bed and some downstairs to take with breakfast.

At most I got five hours last night. Recently, I had two awake hours in the middle of the night.

Maybe I should purchase this shirt; it's pretty accurate.

Life is interesting.