Beginning Of The End
Friday, 29 August, 2008 - Today begins the Labor Day long weekend which for all practical purposes heralds the end of summer, or at least summer activities, especially for kids who will have to go back to school on Tuesday.
We had some good weather since my last report, but rain returned yesterday and it's still cloudy with sporadic rain this morning. At least things had a chance to dry out for a little while.
While Sandra was quite busy during this period, taking a daytrip around Rice Lake with Betty and then a two day trip with her to Toronto, I've done little but take my sunrise strolls and photos along the river and continue my regimen of resting, trying to shake this Valley Fever. One might say that lately I've had an arresting personality.
Some good health news is the Plantar Fasciitis exercises along with a pair of Dr. Scholl's Heel Pain Relief Orthotics shoe inserts and a pair of Crocs have my feet back to normal, painfree. The inserts went into the waterproof shoes I wear in the wet grass during my sunrise strolls and the Crocs replace my house slippers as well as the flip-flops I wore in campground showers. Plantar Fasciitis is often called 'Flip Flop Disease'. Neither the shoes, slippers, or flip flops had any arch support at all and with all the wet weather we've had, I've worn the waterproof shoes more in the last few weeks than I have in all the years I've owned them. I think they were at the bottom of my heel problem. On Sunday, we bought the inserts here in Lindsay but couldn't find the right size of Crocs, so we did the half hour drive to Peterborough, the nearest city of any size, and found a pair at Wal-Mart.
While in the city, we drove around a bit and ended up at the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway. It is the world's tallest hydraulic lift lock and as luck would have it, the lock lifted shortly after we arrived. You might have noticed the photo above animating when the page first loaded. This photo runs for 5 cycles and stops. I configured it this way because I find continuous motion on web pages quite distracting. To see it again either reload the page or click on the photo which will take you to a larger and continuously running version. The lock is just amazing technology.
Tomorrow we are invited to attend a corn roast that's being held near Garth's cottage.
Click here for her account of the week.
If I Were A Horse...
Saturday, 23 August, 2008 - ...they would have shot me a few days ago to put me out of my misery. Around midweek I suddenly came up lame with excruciating pain in my left heel and could barely limp around on it. I've had a similar problem now and then for years but to a far less degree. I was about ready to go to the hospital and have it looked at when Sandra checked around and diagnosed it as Plantar Fasciitis. I've now been doing the recommended exercises and they seem to have it under control, so it looks like her diagnosis was correct. At least I can walk normally again, although with some lingering discomfort. O, the joys of getting old.
Anyway, Sandra kept on the go this week, while I personally didn't do much except try to get caught up on the rest I missed during cottage weekend and to go out at dawn for my daily sunrise stroll along the shore of the Scugog River, which rarely fails to be a source of photos that interest me.
Yesterday I talked with my son Ian and got further details on Iris, the newest member of the family. She is pictured above in the lower right corner, being held by her big sister Lillian and both being watched over by their mother Tracy. For the record, Iris Olive Wolford was born at 5:02pm on 16 August 2008 with light brown hair (dishwater blonde as Ian called it), weighing 7.5 lbs., measuring 20.25 inches long, and currently has blue eyes, although that could change in the near future. As always, click on the photo for a larger view.
Last Sunday was the final day of this year's cottage weekend and the usual final day activities were done, like Garth taking people out on the lake in his boat (we got there too late unfortunately and missed the ride), having lunch out on Garth's deck, and taking the annual cottage weekend family portrait, which can be seen by clicking here. A closer look at the family can be seen by clicking here.
Monday was basically a rain day and it was a deluge at times, complete with intense thunder and lightning and clouds dense enough to interfere with access to both satellites for several hours. The weather after that cooled down markedly, to the point we had to run the electric heater a couple of nights, but things have become more summerlike now and we had to run the air conditioner yesterday and again today. In general though, if one ignores all the rain and cloudy weather we've had, it hasn't been a bad summer termperaturewise.
Wednesday, Sandra and Betty spent the day shopping with their longtime friend Bonnie who was visiting from Toronto for a couple of days. That evening I drove over to the cottage and had supper there with all of them.
Thursday, Sandra and Betty again met up with Bonnie in Lindsay and did even more shopping. I was left with instructions to make the RV presentable since Bonnie was going to stop by sometime midafternoon to see it on her way back to Toronto. So, while everything was tidy (as if it's a mess normally) I setup the camera on a tripod and took a shot I've been wanting to take for quite sometime - the photo above right. I had taken a similar one a couple years ago to use as a self-portrait on the Profile page of my PBase Galleries, but in that first photo I was only in the rightside recliner slaving away on my laptop and it wasn't until a while later the leftside recliner being empty bothered me and just begged for this treatment, which shows me doing the two things I spend most of my waking hours doing. This is obviously a double exposure blended together.
Yesterday, we went out for a sunset drive to fuel up the truck for the first time since being in Ottawa and today Sandra spent the morning at a beading store that also gives instructions and that's about it for now.
Click here for her account of the week.
Iris Olive Wolford Arrives
Saturday, 16 August, 2008 - Today was the big day of Sandra's family's Cottage Weekend 2008, but the big news for me was this evening my son Ian called to let me know that his second daughter had just entered the world. She's named Iris Olive (hope I got that right since the cell phone connection at the cottage isn't too good) and is his and Tracy's third child and Sandra's and my sixth grandchild. At the time of Ian's call, all appeared normal with Iris and who has light brown hair. No further details or photos at this time, but I will, of course, post them when they arrive. Congratulations, Ian & Tracy!
Otherwise, we had a fairly quiet but beautiful day at the cottage and it didn't rain once! Lots of sun, but it was too windy on the lake for Garth to take those who were interested out for the traditional boat ride. Some of us walked around the neighborhood and the rest of the day was spent eating, napping, and reading.
Then after a sumptuous steak supper, the collective birthday celebration was held for those of us who have a birthday around this time of year - Margie, John, Sandra, and myself. This is a milestone birthday for Sandra, her 60th. I was given a shirt, sweater, and vest.
The photo is of Sandra just before blowing out her birthday candles.
Click here for her account of the day.
Soggy Weather Continues
Saturday, 16 August, 2008 - Last year when we were in Lindsay, the weather had been dry for quite some time, the river was low, and the grass was brown. This year has been just the opposite. The wet weather we had in Ottawa has continued here as well. Even if you go for a walk and the sun is out, you have to go prepared for it to rain before you get back. I'm not really complaining, because this is better than drought, and we do get some sun, but I've never seen a summer like this.
Anyway, we've been enjoying life here on the banks of the Scugog River. This is a great spot for sunrise photography since we're on the west bank which means the sun always rises with water in the foreground, as seen here in a photo of yesterday's sunrise, which at first didn't look like a possibility, but then at a fortuitous moment a break appeared in the clouds on the horizon and the sun peeked through for a short while. Click here to see the other photos I've taken so far while in the region.
Otherwise, Sandra and I met Betty and Garth a week ago for what turned out to be an excellent breakfast at the Durham Cafe in Lindsay and then Betty and Garth had us over to the cottage for an equally excellent dinner Monday evening, when we also enjoyed the sunset over Sturgeon Lake in the photo above.
Tuesday, Betty and Sandra spent the day out shopping and Thursday Sandra decided she'd like to visit the Ken Reid Conservation Area which is just north of Lindsay at the southern end of Sturgeon Lake.
The Ken Reid CA has some good views of the lake and a nice boardwalk over some marsh. We saw a bit of small wildlife (Northern Leopard Frogs, young garter snake, birds, damselflies) but the most interesting of it was from an overlook for viewing an osprey nest in the marsh and ospreys were not only using it but apparently fighting over it. We're not sure exactly what the confrontations were over, but we saw three ospreys at one point that were obviously displeased with each other over something important to ospreys. Click here for a photo of two of them.
This weekend is the annual family weekend at Garth's cottage and it was kicked off yesterday with a girls' (Sandra, Margie, Danica, Betty) shopping trip during the day and followed by dinner at the cottage. We'll be returning later today for more festivities.
Now In Lindsay, Ontario
Friday, 8 August, 2008 - For the first time since returning to Canada in April, we packed up this morning and relocated to a new location, the Double "M" RV Resort & Campground at Lindsay, Ontario. Well, it's not really new since this is the fifth time (if memory serves correctly) that we've camped here, although it's the first time we've been on this particular site, one I've always liked since it's very close to the Scugog River, which is just visible in the middle left side of this photo of our campsite, but for various reasons never got it. One of the attractions of this site is that it's one of two that are tucked away in essentially the back corner of the campground, which makes them quite a bit more tranquil than the others.
We left Ottawa this morning at 10:30am and took backroads we've gotten to know quite well to Highway 7 just east of Carleton Place and then took that highway the rest of the way to Lindsay, a drive of 194 miles (312 km) that took 4.5 hours. We were fortunate to have had no significant rain while we packed up, then encountered a mix of sun, clouds, and rain for the whole trip, and almost got completely setup before rain put a temporary damper on it.
Anyway, we've signed up to be here a month and will then be heading back to Carleton Place.
Click here for a map of today's drive.
Click here for Sandra's account of the day.
Better Get This Page Updated
Thursday, 7 August, 2008 - It's been a while since my last report and as usual the delay has come from not having done much of interest, due mostly to me trying to get as much rest as possible, as well as the weather being less than favorable. We've had a lot of cloud, rain, and high humidity, the kind that makes your skin clammy and sticky. Can't remember such a rainy summer. Fortunately, it hasn't been all that hot, so the humidity has been bearable, although unpleasant.
In between the rain, we have had some good periods of sun, like late yesterday afternoon when the sun came out just after our latest thunderstorm had passed over and these are the conditions that make rainbows and sure enough, when I looked out I saw the rainbow in the photo here. Not the most brilliant one we've had, but still a beautiful sight.
Permanent Resident (PR) Card
As to what I've been doing, the most important thing I've done is to get the renewal application prepared for my Permanent Resident (PR) Card. This card is no doubt a result of the events on 911, because before that time permanent residents were simply issued a paper that was supposed to be permanent and didn't need renewing. But 5 years ago they started requiring this card, which not only needs to be renewed every 5 years, but also costs $50 each time and requires a new photo each time (which was another $18) and the forms to be sent by registered mail (which was another $9), so not all that cheap, but the worst thing is all the paperwork and red tape involved. The main application form is 4 pages long and requires information about one's addresses, job history, and periods out of the country during that time. I can't remember what I did yesterday, so having to provide accurate and complete details from 5 years ago required a lot of digging. I hate paperwork at the best of times and this was particularly hateful. The checklist of what you have to do is 2 pages long itself!
Unfortunately, my card expires in March next year while we're expecting to be in Texas, so it had to be renewed before we left, but the backlog of issuing them put the normal delivery date just about the time we were to head south for the winter.
Fortunately, we noticed the card's expiry date in time since we learned how to expedite the process, but I estimate that all told, with digging through their website, phone calls, tracking down data, filling out the forms, double and triple checking everything and doing everything else involved, it took two full days of my time over the last week or so before we handed it over at the post office. What a royal pain in the neck. And technically, the cards are only required for permanent residents to get back into the country if they are returning via a commercial carrier (airline, bus, train, etc.), but not an absolute requirement if you're returning in a private vehicle, where the permanent paper is still acceptable although not preferred, no doubt because the card has a magnetic strip on the back and they can track your border crossings and the paper doesn't.
Anyway, that's done and I don't have to worry about it for another 5 years. I just hope in 5 years I remember it needs to be done.
Otherwise, Sunday, 27 July, we hiked the trail that goes around Bruce Pit, which I assume was once a quarry but is now a scenic location in Ottawa's Greenbelt and very close to where our last house was. Unfortunately, it's getting more and more difficult to actually see the pit which contains a pretty little shallow lake that birds like, including herons. In fact, it is one of the few places around Ottawa where I've regularly seen herons and even egrets have been reported to have been seen there, although I've never seen any there myself or anywhere around here.
I say it's getting more and more difficult to see the pit because they now have it fenced off so you can't get to the water's edge and are allowing the banks to return to nature so trees and overgrowth are now obstructing most of the view of the water, even from the overlook, which will be a topic for an editorial I'll be posting once it's finished.
On, Sunday, 3 August, we drove out to Tranquil Acres, our preferred RV park in the Ottawa region out near Carleton Place, it just isn't as convenient to doctors and hospitals as where we've been since our return. We wanted to check with Dave and Shonagh about staying there after we get back from our stay in Lindsay, for which we are planning to leave tomorrow, even though the forecast is for rain (what else).
At Tranquil Acres, we were greeted like returning family and assured they would have a spot for us for the rest of the summer.
After a very enjoyable visit with Dave and Shonagh, catching up on everything that's been happening since we last saw them, we drove the rest of the way into Carleton Place to see the latest developments there, not the least of which was the Wal-Mart Supercentre was open that they'd started construction on last year, plus a plethora of other new stores had opened in the same area. We've always liked Carleton Place, but the shopping had been limited. That's now changed and there's little I can think of that we would need on a routine basis that couldn't be found there.
On the drive into town, we saw the scene in the photo above right. This farm has always caught my eye and there have been times when the conditions had been favorable for photography but I hadn't stopped because it's along a very busy highway and I dislike trying to shoot photos with cars and trucks whizzing by within mere feet of me. However, this time I just had to stop, not being able to pass up the dramatic sky along with bales in the field.
Washed The RV
Then on Monday, 4 August, I forced myself to get up on the roof of the RV and clean it. Well, try to clean it. From the pattern of the grey residue that had accumulated on it, it was obvious it was coming from the birch trees that line the sides of the campsite.
This is the second time we've had a problem here with the trees depositing something that is almost impossible to clean off. The first time was seeds that had a sticky substance on one end, so when they fell on the awning, they stuck there and we didn't realize what was happening until too late and the sticky substance had hardened and has proven to be impossible to get completely cleaned off.
Anyway, I got the worst of the dark grey residue off the roof and upper nose of the RV and then Sandra got everything below that. This is probably the last thing I needed to be doing, but didn't really have a choice as the RV was looking so grungy it would have been embarrassing to have had it seen out on the road in that condition.
Other than the above, about all I've done is to shoot photos of places in the immediate area, like the Ornamental Gardens, the Arboretum, the Experimental Farm, the Ottawa River, and Chapman Mills Conservation Area along the Rideau River and to see to doctor's appointments and to take the truck in to have a burned out bulb replaced.
And as I mentioned above, we are scheduled to leave Ottawa tomorrow to spend a month at Lindsay, Ontario, not far from Betty and Garth's cottages beside Sturgeon Lake. And like I said, the forecast is for more rain, but there's little point in putting off leaving since the forecast is the same for days. This really is getting tiresome. Even though it seldom rains for the whole day, it appears so frequently it's hard to plan anything and a person has to take an umbrella or raincoat with them whenever they go out, just to be on the safe side. Presently though, the sun is out again.
For Sandra's account of the last few days and with a lot of fine photos, click here.
For Older News
To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.
Updated Saturday, September 6, 2008
Copyright © 2008 by Gordon L Wolford .
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