August 2010

Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada

Finally Done

Click here for larger view Yesterday, we finally got the new bathroom counter and sink installed (click here for the photo). This install was the last major renovation item off our list, so we are now done with the improvements the place needed when we bought it.
    Of course, we've also had to deal with a few things that have come up since then, like the clog in the sewer line that happened a month ago and we learned the plumber (Don) who fixed the problem was also licensed for electrical, cooling, and heating work.
    This turned out to be very valuable information when two weeks ago the central air conditioner blower suddenly developed a horrible noise. So we called Don who came right over and quickly found the problem was a pulley had come loose. Unfortunately, in the process of working loose it had damaged the shaft it had been attached to and getting the shaft replaced took a week.
    However, while Don was here we arranged for him to install the new bathroom counter and sink (both of which we had already picked up and were stored in the basement) and to install a doorbell (when we're up front we can't hear it if someone visits and knocks on the back door, the main entry to the house) and to install a dedicated power line up to the electric fireplace in the TV credenza (photo above). There was only one circuit on that wall and it didn't have enough power to safely run the TV and fireplace at the same time. So now the fireplace has plenty of juice. I expect it will be getting a fair bit of use come this winter.
    Don did an excellent job on everything, which is saying something because installing the new bathroom counter and sink was quite a challenge due to everything having no room to spare, at all. He made it look almost easy.
    So, I'm happy to report that we're down to the small jobs (like touching up paint, installing a garage door opener, etc.) that we can handle ourselves and none too soon because I'm just about burned out on dealing with this stuff. I'm ready for a calm and tranquil routine to get settled into.
    For Sandra's accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

Two For Two

Click here for larger view I'm very happy to report that Wednesday morning we once again made the 75km (47 mile) drive to Ottawa where Sandra successfully had her second cataract removed, this one from her left eye. So she is now cataract-free in both eyes and with the lens implants they replaced her natural lenses with, her vision is not only now clear but she no longer needs to wear glasses. She is ecstatic, having had to wear fairly strong glasses her entire life before this. And, of course, a happy wife makes for a happy husband.
    Then yesterday we had to return to Ottawa for Sandra's post-op checkup with the eye surgeon to see how the eye was healing and it got a clean bill of health. The next checkup isn't until next week, so we'll get a break from all the driving and Sandra is talking about driving herself to the next checkup which will give me an even longer break. Unfortunately, yesterday's checkup put us leaving the hospital at evening rush hour and with all the much needed road work being done to Ottawa streets, we encountered bumper-to-bumper backups everywhere we turned. I won't miss driving in the city.
    The photo above was taken of a nearby field which looked pretty with wildflowers and dawn mist.
    For Sandra's accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

Well Hung

Click here for larger view I suppose some might think that headline could be an anatomical reference, but my meaning is nothing so crude. What I refer to is the door I hung yesterday on our office (computer room), the door shown in the photo here, and I'm happy to report the job, with the able assistance of Sandra now and then, went well.
    Hanging a door is a fair bit of a chore and one I've done in the past, although that was decades ago. Fortunately, I hadn't forgotten how it's done, but it is not a chore I enjoy doing, unlike the handier kind of guy, so it's one I've been dragging my feet on, especially since the door opening isn't a standard size, which required sawing off some from the top and bottom of the door and the door it replaces was an accordion door, so hinge and strike plate recesses for the new door had to be chiseled out. In days past, the lumber/hardware store that sold the door would trim it for you, but sadly that no longer seems the case, so I had to do the trimming myself and that's a job I'm poorly equipped for. However I did manage to get acceptably straight cuts with a regular old circular saw, having first practiced on a few less important doors around the house that didn't have adequate clearance from the carpet beneath them.
    The fact the new door is a French door full of glass panes also meant greater care had to be taken with it, however it survived the operation unshattered and I managed to chisel out the hinge recesses and cut out the doorknob and bolt openings with all hardware lining up properly between door and frame, so I'm quite happy to have this nasty little job out of the way. Slowly but surely, we are whittling down the list of home improvement tasks this place needed when we bought it.
    One other cool item gotten out of the way recently was taking delivery Thursday of a new upright freezer Sandra has been wanting. We had purchased it at Leon's Furniture in Ottawa on Monday when we were in the city for one of Sandra's eye doctor appointments. I think the last big items she wants (for now) are some kind of storage unit for the basement and replacing the bathroom counter and sink.
    For her accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

One Down, One To Go

Click here for larger view This past Wednesday Sandra had the first of her two cataract surgeries, this one removing the cataract from her right eye, so one down and one to go. The left eye is to be done two weeks after that one. All has gone well post-op and now Sandra is looking forward to the second surgery. She says she sees much better now with the repaired eye.
    Otherwise, not much newsworthy happened around here until yesterday when we took the new car out for a fairly long drive of 180 km (112 Miles). Click here for a map.
    We first headed southeast to Brockville on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. From there our cell phones can reach Verizon cell signals across the river in New York state, so we like to update our cell phones' roaming capability when we're along the Saint Lawrence. However, in Brockville we encountered traffic snarling crowds (we later learned they were resulting from Brockville's Ribfest), so we left as soon as we could crawl our way through them and headed southwest to pick up the very scenic Thousand Island Parkway.
    We've driven along this parkway numerous times in the past, but not in the last few years so it was good to see it again. Along there it is also close enough to New York to allow updating our cell phones so we did.
    Also along there is the riverside tourist village of Rockport, which is nothing at all like its namesake town in Texas, but still interesting as one can get a ride on a tour boat of the famed Thousand Islands from there, as seen in the photo above. Here we again encountered quite a crowd, milling around and impeding traffic, having no concept, apparently, that oncoming vehicles could do them bodily harm and showing little interest in getting out of the way. We did manage to park without running over anyone, although it was tempting, and walked around for a while taking photos.
    From there, it was back to the parkway and on to Gananoque, another riverside town where we found a parking spot waiting for us, so we took it and had a bite to eat at Tilly's restaurant. We weren't terribly impressed with Tilly's, but were impressed that once again we encountered quite a crowd along the sidewalks and heavy traffic in the streets. It seems that thousands of people had the same idea we did, that the Saint Lawrence was the place to visit on an absolutely gorgeous day.
    For much greater detail and more photos, visit Sandra's blog here. My latest photos are here.


For Older News

To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.

Updated Friday, September 24, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.


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Didya Know?

Your brain is about 2%
of your total body weight
but uses 20% of your
body's energy.

The energy used
by the brain is enough to
light a 25 watt bulb.

(Who would've thought!)

A Spot O' Humor

A thief who stole a
calendar got 12 months.

A bicycle can't stand's two tired.

Parting Thot

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most complicated
organization of matter
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– Isaac Asimov

Cast of Characters

For those reading this page who might
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my life, these are who I often refer to
without noting who they are
(in alphabetical order)...

Becky - Nick's wife
Betty - Sandra's older sister
Caden - Grandson
Carol - my younger sister
Danica - Margie's daughter
Eric - Son-in-law
Faith - Granddaughter
Garth - Betty's husband
Grace - Granddaughter
Ian - my son
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Sandra - my most wonderful wife*
Tracy - Daughter-in-law

*(a.k.a. 'Grammy' to some)