Monday, May 31, 2021

The Physiatrist

I'm guessing most of you don't even know what or who a 'physiatrist' is (not to be confused with a psychiatrist.  A physiatrist is a doctor who specializes in your muscles and bones, in other words your muscular/skeletal system.  Sounds like a natural for someone who is paralyzed, right?

A physiatrist is also a doctor who knows more than most about pain, since most injuries to muscles or bones produce pain.  In fact pain is usually the main symptom of muscle injuries.  As you would quickly guess a physiatrist deals with a lot of athletes and sports injuries.

We saw my physiatrist last week and he suggested two major changes to my pain medication and my exercise routine, and I'm encouraged to hope these will help.  I saw a respirologist, a urologist and a cardiologist soon after returning home from the rehab hospital, and they all set me up with the appropriate routines, medications, and equipment to maintain those parts of my health.  I think that package is all working well. 

So I've changed my pain medication as he suggested, and so far I think it's working.  All these medications just take the edge off the pain, so I find it hard to judge how much they're helping.  But he will call after 2 weeks and we'll adjust it as needed until we get it right.

He also suggested adding some cardio to my exercises, so I'm doing  that the only way I know how - by following a video on my phone.  Obviously I can only ever do upper body movements, so it's limited but I move my arms steadily for the 7 minute video and I certainly feel worn out.  I'll have to build up to more.  All the rest of you have no idea how many calories you burn just doing your normal daily walking.

So overall I'm encouraged.  After being locked down for so long, I hope I can re-engage with this stuff and take more responsibility for my own health.  Wish me luck!


In memory of the 215 children discovered in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, I join with many other Canadians in wearing orange today.  I don't have an orange shirt, but I do have my orange hat.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Day in the garden

Yesterday was a busy day in the garden, and our garden helper came to help dig holes in the hard clay for Mrs. F.G. to plant the rest of her plants.  And I'm glad to report that we're just about at the end!  I got out there for most of an hour to enjoy the sunshine and watch them work too.

These Leopard's Bane are finished now, but were very pretty while they lasted.

Both the white and pink bleeding Hearts have been in bloom for two weeks, and looking gorgeous.

The first of the Columbine are out, a white one.  I just love the intricate shape of these flowers.

A new plant to me this year, Camassia.

This morning Mrs. F.G. went out and got a close-up of the Peony that is opening up.  It will be a beautiful colour.

She also got some pix of our Azalea, which is a white one at a distance, but up close appears very light pink.  Lots more to come over the coming weeks.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

More of our Rural Countryside

 After stopping in the swamp we continued our drive home down the back road past a lot of interesting (at least to us) rural countryside.  We kept our eyes peeled for those Sandhill Cranes, but no luck.

I've always liked this farm sitting on top of a drumlin, but felt that it is awfully exposed to the winds!

And here's a brand new house.  I don't even know if the owners are living here yet.  But what a unique 2nd story, a 'widow's walk' spanning the whole width of the house.

Around the corner and you can see these 'bedrock bumps' near Walters Falls.  I've never read a satisfactory geological explanation for these, but they are composed of the solid dolostone bedrock of the escarpment.

Sorry for the blurry railing, but this is the Bighead River at the spot where I put on for a paddle downstream with a group largely unknown to me a few years back.  Has to be done in April when the water is still high.

From a distance I though this was just a big pile of topsoil, but it's a big spreading clump of Staghorn Sumach.

On through another stretch of road bordered by swamp on both sides, with lots of ferns.

Cattle out grazing, 

And an older barn still in use if the fresh manure pile is anything to go by.

I like this picture just for the view of the countryside it provides.  The hills you're seeing are mostly drumlins.

Clearly many farmers have been out preparing their fields for crops, and in many cases planting them.  We badly need rain to help those crops along.

i can never believe this is still here, but one farm has this slope riddled with dirt bike tracks.  You'd think a teenage boy would grow out of this hobby, but no, it's obviously become a serious passion here, going on 10 years that I can remember.

FROST last night, killing off tomatoes planted too early and surprising a number of people.  I've heard that you need to wait until June 1st for planting tender plants here but until now I didn't believe it!  And yesterday there was SNOW overnight further south, up on the highlands!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Driving Home - the Back Road

Coming out of physio we decided to drive by the back road and keep our eyes open for Sandhill Cranes.  No luck, but we did see some nice rural scenery (and a lot less traffic).  Now, let's see if Blogger lets me upload photos today.  I like many others couldn't do that yesterday.   ...   (It worked).

Down the escarpment into Owen Sound, 

And up again out of town after physio.

I thought this farmer on the edge of town had retired with no sign of his livestock, so I was pleased to see this herd of cattle out grazing.  He used to raise sheep too.

We turned south to come home the backroad, and I noticed this new logging operation.  It looks to me like they must be producing firewood, the logs are too small for much else.

Then we drove past the Sydenham Quarry, which you can't see much of from the road, but which is a big white scar on Google Maps.

Turning east on #18 we passed this farm where I've always admired the rows of Norway Spruce.  They create quite an alleyway for the house.

This is a hugely cropped photo of two horses a long distance away.  Driving back yesterday on the same road the same two horses were right up close at the fence with a very young colt - pictures to come.

We turned down a sideroad briefly and looked into the swampy forest.  Lots of ferns growing.  I think these ones are Ostrich Ferns.

Across the road the woods looked strangely bare, making me even wonder if it was grazed - but there was no fence.

Lots of ferns further down the road though; these ones are Sensitive Fern.

Today is cold so it's an inside day and I've just finished binge-reading the second half of an Elly Griffiths mystery.  Haven't done that in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Driving to Owen Sound

We headed into Owen Sound for physio yesterday, and I took along my Canon to see what photos I could capture.  I was hoping to get some pix to show off our beautiful green spring landscape, but it's not as easy as you'd think.  Still I can crop photos from the Canon whereas I can't the iphone shots, so it was worth trying.  Here are the results - our countryside in late May.

One of the interesting old farms along the way.  Every week I watch to see if that drive shed on the left has collapsed yet.

And a much more modern barn, built I think just to take advantage of the government's subsidies for solar panels.  It's never been used much, except rented out perhaps for a few horses.

The meadow and forest behind the wetland has all turned green, but the marsh itself is still light brown.

And then we get to the rock cuts which serve as markers for our drive, and which I always enjoy, up over the escarpment and back down.

I'm not sure when the last plane landed on the small airport strip, perhaps last October or so.  I don't know how it continues with virtually no business for 8 months a year.

There are a few cropped farm fields in areas where the soil is decent enough.  This farmstead is a long way back in, and couldn't be seen until they bulldozed a couple of fencerows between here are there last year.  No sign of spring crops germinating yet though.

I was dreading physio yesterday since we missed two months and I figured I was all stiffened up, but my physiotherapist was actually pleased so I'm encouraged.  And I'm not really in any extra pain today either.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Lilacs and Leaves

The Lilacs are out in bloom here, one of the most common shrubs to see around rural farmhouses.  Here I mostly see big old shrubs 20 feet high, in just 3 or 4 yards.  And I still have pictures of emerging leaves I'm simply compelled to share with you.

All the Lilacs I see here are white or a gentle purple, but I saw a deep purple one today as we drove home from physio.  Such a delightful odour.

My favourite leaves, and the first to come out are the Horse Chestnuts, soon to be in flower.

A Japanese Maple, shot with the sun shining through it.

And a Silver Maple, with those typical big keys that will be littering the ground soon.

Monday, May 24, 2021

A Sunny Day Out Back

Another beautiful sunny day here and I sat out back for an hour with my coffee as I did 2 or 3 days ago.  The garden is jammed with interesting plants now as Mrs. F.G. gets to the end of planting all the plants she germinated, so I'm interested to see all these things growing.

Again Blogger has totally reversed the order of my photos, so I'm just going to leave them like this and tell  the story in reverse!

In the about to bloom category is this white Columbine, as well as this spectacular Clematis.  It's put on 6 feet already growing up the side of our shed.

Our Bearberry, a nice creeping groundcover, is in bloom, its tiny white flowers far away from me,  I'd really have to be able to get down on the ground with my macro lens to get the photo I'd like.

Still blooming much more luxuriously is the Leopard's Bane.  I counted 56 flowers on it one morning.

I can see our young Redbud about 10 feet away, growing very well.  Look at how fast the leaves have come out in 4 days!

Sitting in the shade on the deck are the remaining plants that Mrs. F.G. germinated.  Our son is delivering some more that he picked up for us this afternoon.  That will be the end (for this year).

These are the views to the east and west when I sit on the deck enjoying my coffee.

And this is overhead!

If there's a breeze I sit on the patio, which is warmer.

And if it's hot I sit in the shade on the deck.  Always a choice.

Today in Canada  we celebrate Victoria Day, declared a national holiday in 1845 to remember the birthday of Canada's queen at that time, Queen Victoria, born in 1819.  For many it's the beginning of summer, known unofficially as 'May 2-4'.