Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Meadow vole, AKA Squeakie

It was a comedy. I was working out in the basement. Hooper, who usually runs under the machine, bonking his head, disappeared. I thought, to have a pee. He didn't come back. This was good, as I keep cat toys in the cup holder to throw for him and get him away.
After I was done working out, I went into the litter room. There is a closet that holds the well water pump. Hooper was sitting at the door, listening.
Sure enough, he had found a meadow vole.

This vole was a trooper. Ran out, behind the litter boxes, then into the basement, up and down the baseboard until I caught him and threw him outdoors!


Vole from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I find them cute critters, although they have a wicked bite. Daisy and Dorah have had bites on their noses. They tunnel under the snow, as well!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Pileated Woodpecker

 I was doing a walkabout for the Great Bird Count! I could hear him in the forest, squawking at someone. The chips on the ground were a tell-tale sign. There he was! Male Dryocopus pileatus.
The pileated part is the red crest, which is from the Latin pileatus, which means 'capped.'
The males have a red mustache.


In summer, I've found three of them during one walk across our 2nd and 3rd lots, in the forest. We have 16 acres, total. Mostly swamp (~10 acres)!
Upon circling the tree, I managed to get a better view. I was worried about disturbing him, and I did. (See the end of the video) As I backed off, however, he flew in a circle around the forest and came back to the tree.



Feb. 18

I went back the next day, to do another walkabout, and snapped a better photo of his hole. It would make a nice nesting cavity for the barred owl. The barred owl nest is looking a bit the worse for wear.


I could see him across the highway. This is a pretty dirty lens, but you get the drift. It's too bad the shot of him in flight wasn't focused. I'm just not swift enough.

Why don't woodpeckers get concussions?

File:Dendrocopos major skull.jpg
Wiki Jimfbleak
Woodpeckers' tongue are long, and wrap around up over their eyes to absorb the shock of the head-banging.

This photo's post shows the end of his tongue! It is raspy, and can skewer the bugs!

They are large birds, their bodies can be 49 cm (19"), and their wingspan up to 76 cm (30").



Pileated woodpecker from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Lunch, waterfall and walkies

Feb. 16
Our rule is: When we are too slow to run across the highway to pick up the mail safely, we'll have to move!


We had an extra lamp, having replaced our broken one (New lamps!), and went into the 2nd hand store to donate it. Of course, lunch at Fort Hemlock ensued. I love this spot!


JB had some nummy soup first: Spicy Korean BBQ. You can see the restaurant owner in behind JB, chatting with some other customers. They were discussing the new minimum wage hike ($11.60 to $14 per hour). He was saying servers need to manage 30 customers for him to break even. Also, it's tricky when he has an unexpected influx of customers. I get that, but I'm prepared to pay more for my meal if it means a fair wage for servers. They work so hard, and people should have a living wage.

Eventually, the sun came out. The ice on the dam is amazing.


Smiths Falls from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
XXX
I love this house, nestled back in the woods.


Next, we went down to the frozen lake at Beveridge Lock. The snow machines have been busy.


Poor Gillian GPS gets confused!


Back at home, I took Daisy for walkies.


You can compare her tracks to the turkey's tracks!

 She had a pee in the snow, just after this!
Daisy huntin' from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Process of Cancer Treatment PART LVI: Injection #3

Thankfully, someone reminded somebody that he needed to pick up his needle of Lupron from the pharmacy on Wednesday, while she was about to cook ❤️dinner. Whoopsie. Fortunately, they had one for us. We buy it at our local pharmacy, then take it into the appointment in the hospital. They cost $1100 or so each, but since he is a senior, he gets a senior's discount and pays $4.11. (Treatment is free with OHIP.) We have drug subsidies in Ontario for: seniors, people on disability (ODSP),  youngsters, those living in long-term care, or those enrolled in the Trillium Drug Program.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

Back to the city for another injection, every three months. It appears that the injections are doing their work, keeping the PSA down. It's been 0.08 for 3 months, surgery was in 2014 so it should be zero.

10:00 we departed

It's a heckuva drive (~90 km one way) and 90 minutes long, without heavy traffic.
The weather didn't look good. We had to travel from the dark green (rain) to the pink (ice rain).
 

It was wet and foggy. Pretty miserable. A long drive through swamps, North Gower, Manotick, fog, and speed sensors. Nearer to home, it was 3˚, as we approached the city, it went down to 2, 1, then 0˚.


This speed monitor is a hoot! If you are in the green, it shows a happy face! It's on River Rd., near Manotick.


I wore my snappy boots, with the ice picks on the bottom. Our sidewalk, and the parking lot was still icy.

11:52 Our Meal was Ordered

The trick with going into the city, is planning meals around our trips. We schedule them early afternoon, driving in early for lunch, and straight home afterwards, avoiding any rush hour traffic.
This is our Go To place. The guys with whom JB volunteers said they thought the city a great opportunity to visit different restaurants, but we go back to this one, as we know their menu, we know the speed of their service, and we can depend on them.


It being the day after Valentine's Day, the flowers were amazing!

Someone had a birthday. This was on the floor!

Ottawa Hospital Parking Lot 12:53 p.m.

It was packed! People were driving around in circles looking for parking. Finding parking can be tricky. There was an attendant (which was unusual), and he told me where to park. Right on the end, on top of no-parking lines!

Our appointment was for 1:10, and we were ushered into the room at 1:00 p.m.. Our Dr. popped in, we chatted, and talked about next steps.

The research is very interesting. JB falls into the middle of the two study groups. One research project compared those who received intermittent injections, have a course of therapy, then stopping, or having it continuously. There was no difference mortality rates between the two groups.

 His symptoms are minimal, so we'll keep on with this treatment. The whole course of treatment should buy us 10 years. ENJOY EACH DAY!

Eventually, the cancer cells (in his lymph nodes, determined from imaging) will be able to resist the anti-androgens, and we'll deal with that. The next step is a bone density test, to determine a baseline. (Often, prostate cancer spreads to the bones.)
We won't repeat any other imaging until the PSA begins to rise again. (He's had: Bone Scans–4, MRIs–2, CT Scans–6, Ultrasounds–3.)
We are also participating in a research study on the efficacy of this treatment, including lifestyle and activities. A researcher came in with the questionnaire. He's working hard on his nutrition, and exercise.

The nurse poked him in the left hip. (They alternate sides.)


As we waited for paperwork, and another appointment, I took some photos of the grounds. We've seen this scene in all seasons, lo these several years (beginning in 2013). I even grabbed a photo of the building being built.

Despite the crowded parking lot...


There was a line-up to get into the hospital parking lot when we were leaving at 2 p.m. It appeared to be getting worse.

We stopped for more washer fluid.


We also stopped in Manotick, to see the birds on the river. I'd spotted them on the way in.


There are lots of snow machine trails, including stop signs at people's driveways. (I wonder if there have been collisions?!) I saw one guy out on his machine, even in this less than ideal weather!


Through Marlborough Forest.


You know you are familiar with the roads when you recognize a new stop sign! This one at Dwyer Hill Rd.


At home, it was up to 10˚ C. Hooper decided to talk a walk on the deck. They were happy we were home by 4 p.m. He was watching deer and turkeys.