Monday, 15 August 2016

Eatin' 'n' Drinkin'

When enjoying life at the cottage in 30C sunshine, some of the most important activities include staying fed and watered. I was still hobbling about using a walker and a cane, so was pretty useless in the kitchen. But my wonderful family provided great meals that satisfied everyone... hungry kids, meateaters, vegetarians.
The twins celebrated becoming FIVE, yes FIVE! while we were there. They wanted a cake each.... no sharing for these two. And there's no better decoration on a birthday cake than Smarties.
 YoungerSon made good use of the BBQ, providing juicy cheeseburgers one evening and honey garlic sausages on a bun the next.
 A visit to Kawartha Dairy in Minden is compulsory when anywhere near cottage country. This is the best ice cream anywhere, with numerous flavours to choose from. Emma and Callum both chose Birthday Cake, while Max and Isaac had Bear Claws, chocolate ice cream with big chocolatey chunks hidden in it.
 My family likes to try different imported beer as well as samples of all the local micro-breweries that are popping up everywhere. There were quite a few empties to take back.... I wonder what the refund was?
One more canoeing picture. The white building belongs to the cottage at the top of the steps. I would hate to go swimming and then realize I'd forgotten my towel. That's a long way back up!

Rio 2016 Olympics Update.
Andre de Grasse, Canadian sprinter, won Bronze yesterday in the men's 100m race, close behind American Justin Gatlin who won Silver, and the Gold medalist, fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt of Jamaica. Well done Andre!
Currently, Canada has won 13 medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 9 bronze), 12 of them won by women. Andre de Grasse is the only man to win a medal so far. Go Canada Go!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Cottage on the Lake

At the cottage, we had use of two kayaks and a canoe. YoungerSon is a keen fisherman, and went out on the water every evening to see if the fish were biting. I think he had plans to try his luck at 5:00am every morning, but plans don't always get acted upon at the cottage, specially when snoozing in a nice comfy bed.
The children loved going out fishing. Callum was excited to catch his first fish ever. Emma caught the largest fish of the week, she said it was five feet long but somehow I doubt that. But as I wasn't there to witness it, perhaps it was! She also caught the smallest fish.... about the size of a goldfish. Max is a bit nervous in the canoe so he didn't fish, but he did some fishing off the dock.
On the final fishing expedition, Isaac had a large fish on the line, but the fish got away, taking his fishing rod with it into the water. He was so upset. A new bigger and better rod is in Isaac's future before they go on the next fishing expedition.
 One by one they all got brave enough to jump from the canoe and the kayak into the deep water... PFDs compulsory!
Max really wanted to jump in too, but he's a cautious soul, and held back for a long time, but eventually jumped into the water with a little help from Mummy. I told him he was very brave, but he shook his head. "No! I'm not brave," he said. "Mummy threw me in!"
Lots of happy summer memories being made here.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Cottage Life

Ahhhh! Just what I needed,,,, a vacation!
I just came back from a restful seven days at a delightful cottage by a lake. The weather has been spectacular, hot and sunny every day, just a sprinkle of rain one afternoon. Food was excellent, beer was cold, and the company was great.... OlderSon and family, and YoungerSon and family together for a whole week.
Our cottage was a rental found on the internet. Booking anything unseen can always be a bit of a risk, but this was the perfect place for a week away from the real world. Four comfy bedrooms, big TV, BBQ, 2 kayaks, a canoe, well equipped kitchen, and even a dishwasher... the ultimate in cottage luxury! Enormous deck with comfy lounging chairs and lots of tall trees providing shade if the sun got too hot.
The view from the deck. The plastic owl was on guard against whatever birds might want to land on the railings. Little Gull Lake is small with quite a few cottages along it's shoreline. Monday to Thursday was quiet, but the weekend brought out power boats and wakeboarders having fun on the water.
The lake water was warm and the kids took advantage of being able to swim all day. The first morning they were in the water at 7:30am! I managed to dip my feet in the water but didn't swim with them. Perhaps next time.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Trying to be a Patient Patient 3

Recovery from Total Hip Replacement is definitely not going to plan.
My top speed plan, that is.

It is 4 weeks from today that I had the surgery, and I really believed that I'd bounce right back to my normal energetic self by now, but no such luck. Still walking with a 4 wheel walker, and I can't imagine trying to walk with a cane just yet.
I suppose we all recover at different speeds.
However, I'm able to go outside with the walker every morning. I can maneuver myself in and out of bed, and up and down my front steps without crumpling into a sobbing heap. So that's progress.
My main problem is not the hip itself, but lymphedema, a puffy leg, ankle and foot that can be quite painful, but even that gets a little better each day with application of ice packs and resting my foot on a huge pile of pillows, so I'll soon be out there line dancing again!
Won't I?
Grrrrrr all very frustrating......

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Trying to be a Patient Patient 2

The fourteen days spent in recovery at the nearby Seniors Retirement Residence was quite an eye opener, renewing my determination NOT to become a permanent resident during my advanced years. But I suppose if I was really in my dotage, I probably wouldn't mind the lifestyle.

The staff were very attentive, bringing me toast and coffee every morning, and assisting me and my trusty walker on the slow roll to the dining room for lunch and dinner every day. I had help in washing my hair and showering... no modesty here!

Clean towels and housekeeping every day, nurses on call 24 hours, they could not do enough for me. And there were all sorts of entertainment and activities available if I had felt like taking part. One evening I shared a table with 3 white-haired nonagenarians and we had a fine time colouring pages from an adult colouring book. It was fun!

Of course, the residents were 80% widows, and only 20% widowers.... be warned, men! You're going to pop your clogs first!

It was a bit like being at a geriatric boarding school.... lots of cliques, and groups of friends who seemed to criticise other groups. I often occupied an empty chair at the dinner table with 3 lovely ladies: Ethel, Mildred and Mary (names have been changed to protect the innocent). The three of them were merciless in criticism of the usual occupant of my dinner seat, who was visiting her son. Then one day the missing lady showed up, and I have to admit, I agreed with them!
Oh no, I'm turning into one of them!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Trying to be a Patient Patient 1

Well, here I am back to blogging and I have some stories to tell.....
The Total Hip Replacement surgery went well. After all, it's a routine operation these days. I'm sure my surgeon replaces 3 or 4 each week.
When I went to the Pre-Op meeting at the hospital back in May, I found that I was scheduled to have surgery on the same day, and by the same surgeon, as another lady..... and this lady turned out to be what I politely call a "difficult" person, arguing with the pharmacist and the physiotherapist, and generally having a gloomy and grumpy outlook. Oh no, I thought..... I'm going to be in the same hospital room. Not looking forward to that!
OlderSon took me to the hospital on the appointed day, and once I had changed into my green hospital gowns (so flattering!), there she was in the waiting room, still looking grumpy.
I said hello, but my surgery was first, so pretty soon they walked me reluctantly (can't change my mind now) into the operating room and I got up on the very narrow table. I was given an IV of some sort of stuff that banished all my cares but didn't actually send me off into la-la land completely, and before I knew what was happening, the spinal was taking effect and I could hear loud sawing, drilling and vigorous hammering going on. I thought I was on a construction site..... which of course I was.
A few minutes later, or so it seemed, I was wheeled into recovery, and then, thank goodness, was moved to a private room on the cardiac floor due to my history of  cardiac arrhythmia..... hooray! I don't have to share a room on the surgical floor with with Ms Grumpy!
The next day, I was sent to X-ray, and the technician said I was the second one to arrive who had hip surgery the previous day. Ah.... I thought I knew who it was. I asked if the lady was co-operative. The technician rolled her eyes. I had my answer!
I was scheduled to go home on day 3, but was kept until day 4 due to problems with low blood pressure and dizziness. But by day 4, I was up walking the corridors with my walker, and had even conquered the steps up and down with my cane.
YoungerSon came to collect me, and instead of going home where there is nobody to help me, I had booked a 2 week respite stay at the nearby Seniors Retirement Home. Lots of stories to tell about that! Next time.....

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Doing the Wave

This is the Simcoe WaveDeck at the foot of Simcoe Street on the Toronto waterfront. Unique wooden wave decks are being constructed along the edge of Lake Ontario between Bathurst Street and Parliament Street.
The Simcoe WaveDeck opened in June 2009. The design has a dramatic 2.6 metre high curve and metal railings to prevent injuries.

These are new public spaces that vary in shape, articulation and design to reflect the constant movement of Lake Ontario.