We headed west and north up off the well-drained flat sand lands around Clarksburg that the apples like best, and came to this view. You can see the Thornbury water tower in the distance, but it's too hazy to make out Georgian Bay.
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Thursday, March 24, 2022
The other day we headed out for a drive over to Thornbury and came back, by the back roads. It wasn't a long drive, but it was nice. We hit the harbour first, and then came back past the apple orchards I took too many pictures for one post, so I'll break it into two.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
We went for a nice drive yesterday, keeping our eyes open for Sandhill Cranes and Tundra Swans, where we've seen them before. We were unsuccessful, but did enjoy the drive. On the way though, I answered a phone message from the agency that provides my evening care. Our regular Tuesday worker was off and they couldn't find a replacement.
Literally a moment later I received a call from the manager repeating that message, and adding that so far they have no evening worker for tomorrow either (that's today now)! We already hire someone privately for Thursdays, so that would be three evenings in a row that they could not find a worker. Now that's not the kind of surprise you want to hear!!!
And we only had someone Monday because another worker who had already worked a full day shift volunteered to come out again in the evening. She had started at 7 that morning and saw me at 8 that evening.
What we don't understand is why they can't simply re-assign a worker from Owen Sound to come out here. That seems to be something they won't do, or else workers have the choice of coming here or not - it does involve a 25 minute drive. But when Mrs. F.G. was a hospital nurse, she went wherever she was assigned if they needed help on another ward, no questions asked.
A beaver lodge.
Apparently the failure to find a replacement puts them in violation of their contract, but there's no penalty attached to that. There aren't even any records kept about the failure to provide services they are committed to, so it's impossible to evaluate how well they are doing what public funding is paying them for.
I can't tell you how difficult this makes things for Mrs. F.G., but we are both fuming mad. We've been polite for a long time, but I'm not feeling polite anymore!
Monday, March 21, 2022
Wheelchair cushions should be replaced every couple of years or so, but they're quite expensive (up to $1000.00), so it's an important decision. It's not just for comfort either. As I'm paralyzed from the chest down, I theoretically can't feel my butt anyway. But I do have a vague sense of feeling while sitting in my chair, and like all wheelchair users, I have a high risk for skin breakdowns. One of the biggest risks is over my tailbone where the muscle mass between bone and skin is very thin and where my body hits the chair cushion.
So we had both an Occupational Therapist and a seating expert from the company that would supply a new cushion here for half the morning today, measuring, talking and explaining it all to us as they moved along. There was fairly immediate agreement that my cushion needed replacing; after 2.5 years it was overdue.
But it's worth interjecting here to explain to you the bureaucratic process around this. We have very little choice in this process, something we don't object to since the government is paying for it. If the government is paying for it, we'll live with the process, though we do get some choice in the product, like what colour chair I want. The chair belongs to the government and goes back to them when I'm finished with it.
Both my Occupational Therapist or OT (who decides on things like the wheelchair you need) and the company (which sells me the chair and cushion) are assigned to me, right from the beginning. There's no such thing as deciding which vendor you'll turn to. The government funding flows through a program called the Adaptive Devices Program or ADP (which deals with all adaptive devices, not just wheelchairs).
The OT fills in the application to the ADP, while the company rep provides the parameters of what's actually available in chairs and cushions that would fit. Obviously it's important for them to agree. The government will not pay the total bill, our insurance will kick in for part and we have to pay part as well. And don't ask how much an entire new power chair can cost!
So the discussion about my cushion went on for some time while we listened. They quickly agreed it needed replacing, but they also agreed it wasn't fitting properly at all. Apparently it's too short from back to front for my butt to fit properly, and it's now too narrow as well, since I've got fat and my legs have splayed out to be wider since all this started (your body goes to hell when you're paralyzed).
They then spent some time discussing how it could be made to fit, and to make a quite long story very short, they decided that it could not be made to fit in this wheelchair! I need a new chair!
Needless to say, this was a big surprise for us. We simply want to be sure my cushion fits properly, but if the cushion comes with a new chair attached, who are we to argue? And the new chairs today are considerably quieter than this one, something that we will both happily welcome. If you're interested they are recommending a Sunrise Quickie Q500m chair.
This will likely be a long process, regardless of how it turns out. A wheelchair technician will come shortly and fit a new cushion in this wheelchair. They are concerned enough to want that changed immediately. Then the company will put together a trial chair, and bring it with two or three cushions for fitting. We'll look at all the 101 choices you have to make for the new chair and cushion to be ordered.
In the meantime the OT is preparing and submitting the application to the ADP. At some point these processes come together if this is all to be approved, and perhaps 3-6 months later I will get my new chair and cushion, - if all goes well between now and then.
I will keep you informed.
Friday, March 18, 2022
If there was a turning point in spring's arrival this year, yesterday was it. The temperature hit 17°C and it was warm! The snow just vanished, leaving the white stuff only in snowbanks and hollows. A few comparison shots for you, all taken less than 24 hours apart, no further comments necessary I don't think.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Now I'm sure many of you don't waste your time on Facebook at all, but I must confess to enjoying it - mainly because I'm a member of the Grey-Bruce Photography group, the Beaver Valley Birding group, and the Bruce Trail Hiking group, as well as one that give me local news of Meaford. So I get a continuous feed of interesting pictures. The best way not to get hacked though, is certainly not to use it at all!
I got several messages from friends suggesting it had been hacked, and finally a call from my BIL made me think I'd better do something. Then Facebook itself emailed me to see they'd had the problem reported and were working on it. So of course I googled 'What do I do if my Facebook account has been hacked?'
Well I learned a good deal in the process of fixing the problem, and I thought some of it was worth repeating here.
I should note that the hacker of my account had created a separate Facebook page purporting to be mine, but the login was slightly different. And if I looked closely I realized almost all the pictures had not been taken by myself, though a number of pictures were of me, or of the waterfalls on the Stew Hilts Side Trail, a falls that by default is coming to be known as 'Stew Hilts Falls'! Most pictures I simply did not recognize.
The hacker did send out messages to some of my Facebook friends, but these were not malicious messages, nor were there any nude pix. There was nothing malicious posted on the alternate page.
So here is the advice I found.
1. First, change your password, preferably to something strong, a password with at least one each of capital letters, numbers, symbols, and lower case letters, in total at least 10 digits long. The trick is to come up with something meaningless to anyone else but easy to remember for yourself.
2. Don't post anything important on Facebook anyway, any important information, or any pictures of children (although this latter one is a choice, clearly it means a lot to some parents). If you choose to do so, be sure they're not pictures that could ever be used on a child abuse website, and think about what your 12 year-old will say about their baby pictures when their classmates have found them on your Facebook page ten years from now!
3. One of the reasons Facebook is so dangerous is that often apps you choose to load on your phone give you the choice of creating yet another password or simply accessing it via Facebook. This in turn means a successful hacker would have access to those apps, so be careful. I have therefore decided to have a strong but memorable-to-me password for Facebook, but a simpler password that I use repeatedly for other unimportant sites that still demand passwords.
4. Protect your email and banking passwords above all, and be sure they are strong. Those two are where a hacker could do the most damage.
They say you should change your passwords every 2-3 months. So far I'm not likely to do that. The next step up would be to use the first letters of phrases as passwords, and above that they say to use a Password Manager software. I'm very hesitant to do that simply because I don't want to introduce something I don't personally understand. In the meantime I will stumble on.
It's certainly feeling like spring around here. March here is the month when we move from all snow cover to none or very little, so the changes are coming fast now. We heard a Cardinal singing for the first time yesterday, one of the distinctive sounds of spring here. And we went for a nice drive today; the countryside is waking up. The temperature is up to 8°C (46F) today.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Let's check out the Canada Geese on Lake Eugenia as we continue yesterday's drive. Tonight is daylight savings time here, and next week the temperature is expected to rise right into the spring range. It's forecast to be 12°C (53°F) on Wednesday and Thursday! I can hardly wait. Those rising temperatures are the real sign of spring.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Yesterday we went for a drive down through the valley, stopping at Lake Eugenia. Along the way signs of spring became more and more obvious. The big one though is the heat of the sun and the length of daylight, and (though I can't quite believe it), this weekend is daylight savings time here. That's practically the unofficial start of spring!
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
One more old canoe trip post before I start sharing signs of spring around here!!! In 2011 we planned a trip around the lakes and inlets of Massasauga Provincial Park, just south of Parry Sound, Ontario. This is a large area of lakes, islands and forests punctuated by only a few cottages and resorts once you get to the outer areas directly accessible from Georgian Bay. It's now a provincial park, and today, a decade later is getting far too popular and therefore over-crowded in places.