Rainbow Dragon's Lair

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Some of today's birds. This is a very small pond, yet you can see how choppy the water is. Yep. Today was another windy day. I'd say these birds were having a bad hair day because of it. But these are Red-breasted Mergansers / Harle Huppé (Mergus serrator). Red-breasted Mergansers are pretty much always having a bad hair day!

These are both females. They were the only ducks on the pond today. That long, pointy bill is for catching fish!

It was a very grey day, and from the trail, I could not tell what these birds were. I almost did not go any closer to check them out, because it had rained all morning, and the ground was super soggy. I'm glad I did though, as these photos turned out a lot better than I thought they would in the dim light. Also: this was my first time seeing Red-breasted Mergansers at this location. (I have seen them before elsewhere, but not on this pond, which I have set up as a specific "patch" on e-bird, since I visit it so often.)

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Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Greta pics, and fun seeing those colorful feathery friends! Thanks for sharing!
I often wonder what these birds look like to their male friends.

Female birds are often drab brown colours, whereas the males are bright and colourful. The prevailing theory is that this is because the males need to do the work of attracting a mate, whereas male birds will basically mate with anything that moves, so all the females need to do is show up. Colourful feathers require more energy to produce than brown ones. So why put in the effort if it's not needed?

Certainly in some bird species (like the birds of paradise) this is obvious. Male birds of paradise perform elaborate rituals to attract mates and have developed in some cases quite bizarre physical adaptations that have to be significant detriments to survival in every sense other than helping to pass on one's genes through looking pretty.

But female ducks, while yes, they are most often brown, have some gorgeous patterning in that brown. (You can see it a little bit in my photos above, even though they're not fully sharp.) And birds can see colours we cannot (into the ultraviolet spectrum).

Sexual dichromatism is not as pronounced in American Robins as in some other species, but they do exhibit it. The rusty-orange belly tends to be darker on male birds, and females (and also immature males) exhibit more white on the throat and belly. I cannot always confidently sex an American Robin, especially when seeing one by itself and in less-than-ideal lighting, but I think the photo I posted last week is of an adult male.) My parents had a partial albino female American Robin on their property one summer. They were both confident they had witnessed it doing the work of trying to attract a mate. (But this may have been an anomaly, due to its colouring being so far from normal.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
WTELF?

I just finished an hour-long phone meeting with my brother and his wife, our mother, and some person who's meant to be co-ordinating our mother's transfer from hospital to wherever she will be living post-hospital. The things that came out of the co-ordinator person's mouth were the most ridiculous, nonsensical, are-you-fucking-kidding-me crap I have heard from our dysfunctional healthcare system yet.

Initially my brother had been told he needed to choose five LTCs for our mother, which he could rank in order of preference, but in reality she would be placed in whichever of the five had a bed become available for her first. Now he still has to choose five homes, but two of them have to come from some list the government has of homes that are likely to be able to find a bed for her quickly. Sounds reasonable, maybe? Except here is the kicker: No one will give him the list of approved homes!

I could not make this shit up.

Firstly, our mother is now on a waiting list to be assessed by some person who's job is to determine whether or not she can decide for herself where she will live post-hospital.

She cannot. We know she cannot. My brother has been acting as her power of attorney since the 11th of December--a necessity which has been recognized by three different hospitals and two banks now--because our mother no longer even knows what year it is. She doesn't remember that our father (her husband for almost 55 years) is dead. She sometimes remembers that she's in a hospital now, but does not understand why. Deciding whether she wants to watch figure skating or baseball on the television is the extent of her decision-making capabilities now. But she apparently needs to be assessed again. And there is actually a waiting list (which will take an undetermined amount of time to get to the top of--the person we met with today could not even give us a ballpark on that) for this assessment.

So we wait. For yet another person to say, "Yep. You're right. She's not capable of making meaningful decisions for herself." And then this new assessment person will give my brother the list of the approved homes. But he's supposed to be prepared to choose the five homes he wants our mother on a waiting list for then and there. Including choosing two homes from the list that he was just handed in that moment.

My brother pressed the person who gave us this information hard. Asked her to clarify if she was really saying what it sounded like she was saying. (She assured us she was.) Asked her multiple times for another means of accessing the list of approved homes so that he could actually check out the homes he's going to be required to choose from before he has to make the choice. (She insisted there was no other way to get the list.) At one point my brother asked her if she realized how ridiculous the things she was saying to us were. That didn't do any good either.

Then the coordinator person started talking about where our mother would live during the time between when she is discharged from hospital and when an LTC bed becomes available for her.

My brother and I both said immediately, "There is no in-between time. Our mother needs to go directly from hospital into an LTC."

The coordinator person said that was unlikely to be possible. The waiting lists for LTCs are long. Our mother needs to be discharged from hospital imminently because she is medically stable. Then the coordinator person started talking about homecare.

My brother and I both said, "We are familiar with homecare. It is not adequate for our mother."

The coordinator person insisted on explaining to us the homecare services that are available anyhow.

So we listened. She explained. She asked us if we thought the homecare assistance would be adequate for our mother. We said no. The coordinator then started listing off additional help we could potentially contract for and pay for ourselves.

Over and over again we told this woman no. No. No. No. Our father was disabled. He received homecare for at least a quarter century. During his later years, it was inadequate. What's worse: it was unreliable. The last four year's of our father's life were hell--for him, but also for me and my mother--because we could not get the care for him he needed. And our mother is now very much more disabled than our father ever was.

Our father took all of his food by mouth, and was eating solid food right up until the day he died. My mother and I usually had to spoon feed him during his last few years. But he was sometimes capable of feeding part of his meal to himself. Our mother is receiving most of her nutrition via a gastronomy tube, and has no part in feeding herself the small amounts of semi-liquid foodstuff she is allowed to take by mouth. She's barely even capable of swallowing it (and some days is not and so receives no food by mouth on those days).

Our father had an electric wheelchair he could operate himself (most days). Because he could tilt and recline and make quite complicated adjustments to his own chair, he was able to be up and in his wheelchair for 12 hours a day most days. (Although this was less the case during the final year of his life, and a significant part of the reason why that year was particularly hellish for all of us.) When he was in bed, our father was able to adjust his own bed. Our mother can do none of these things. On the days she is strong enough to be out of bed, she is out of bed for no longer than 3 hours. And this is not every day.

Our father could brush his own teeth. (With an electric toothbrush. And his PSW needed to put the toothpaste on it for him and put the brush in his mouth. But he could at least hold on to the thing.) Our mother cannot.

And it doesn't matter that, as a person on a waiting list for an LTC, our mother would supposedly be eligible for more hours of care per day than our father was receiving. We know from experience just how often the care that is scheduled fails to show up. (It's OFTEN.) Our father was classed as "essential services" for the homecare he received--meaning the service was meant to prioritize sending someone to him, even when they were short-staffed and could not cover 100% of their obligations. (Which was ALL THE TIME. Seriously people: the state of homecare in Ontario is BAD. The rest of the world may have moved on from the Covid-19 pandemic. But homecare in Ontario never recovered from it. My father actually received less homecare during the final year of his life than during the years when we were officially in a pandemic, partly because his scheduled calls were cancelled so often due to the service not having staff available to fill them, and partly because the number of hours of care he was scheduled for was DECREASED--when he was desperately ill and actually needed increased care--because it was simply impossible for the service in our area to provide him with what he was supposed to get.)

We told the coordinator person all of this today, and she just kept insisting that our mother needs to be discharged from the hospital because she is medically stable. She will need to be cared for in a community setting until an LTC bed becomes available for her.

What are they going to do? Dump her on my brother's doorstep? He lives in a two-storey house. There's half a flight of stairs just to get to his front door. They would need firefighters just to carry her into the house. And then she would be a shut-in in an upstairs bedroom. Unable to call out for help. (Her speech is so quiet, you have to lean in close to her to hear it at all. A person standing right outside her room wouldn't hear her, let alone someone on another floor of the house!) Unable to ring a buzzer to get help. (She's not capable of doing anything that coordinated with her hands.) She cannot feed (and in fact has to be tube-fed) or bathe or dress or toilet herself. She cannot even use a remote-control to change the channel on the television. Oh, but hey! She'd be entitled to 4 hours a day of homecare--that may or may not even show up on any given day.

WTF?

Just... WTF?
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
I think that most female birds are also the ones doing the brooding, so they need to be more camouflaged than the males.
Being a shiny fabulous bird is less useful when there's things nearby that want to eat you and your eggs :')
True. In some species the males help out. But it is more often the females.

There are some bird species, including phalaropes, in which the gender roles are reversed. Female phalaropes court and defend males, and a successful female will mate with several males in the same season. But once she's laid the eggs, she's done. The male does most of the work of rearing the young. Female phalaropes are also more brightly-coloured than the males.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Holy hells I am so sorry, what an atrocious lack of concern and understanding from that person.
Thank you @Maegaranthelas .

I think she may actually have been attempting to do her job exactly the way she had been told to do it.

Which is to say: We have a shortage of hospital beds in Ontario. There are a number of reasons for this (mostly to do with people being unwilling to elect governments who admit they're going to have to charge tax to pay for the services that people need), but part of the reason is that there are a lot of people taking up hospital beds who could be better served in Long Term Care homes, because we also have a shortage of LTC beds in Ontario. I suspect that the person we spoke with today was not paid to show us concern or understanding but to attempt to dupe and/or bully us into allowing the hospital to discharge our mother back home. What she (and her bosses) didn't count on is the fact that my brother and I have a lot of prior experience with homecare in Ontario and are entirely aware that it would be inadequate and wildly inappropriate for our mother in her current condition. (And this woman was clearly not prepared with any kind of backup plan when we told her this.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 26:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow taps, some one-legged with knee to chest
running: :x:
hiking: 10 km with Shelby

About 8.5 km on our afternoon walk, and then another 1.5 km before bed. We headed out a bit earlier than usual for our afternoon walk, since more rain was on the forecast. Which meant we arrived at the school too early to go back there. But only about half an hour early, after tooling around the pond to admire the mergansers. The sky didn't look as if the return of rain was imminent. So we did a couple of extra laps around the Fit Park trail to kill the time before we could use the trail behind the school. By nightfall it was raining again. so we only did a shorter walk then.

writing: work on short story of the week
new fiction words: 131
fiction YTD: 53,422
story-a-week challenge: 10 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 10 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 2090
consumable YTD: 108,494
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 174,064
deficit: 65,570

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 143
Consecutive days of French study: 1225
Consecutive days of SOOT: 2
Consecutive days of GBOT: 2
 

Maegaranthelas

Well-known member
Bard from The Netherlands
Pronouns: They/them
Posts: 472
"I sing and I know things"
I think you're absolutely right in that analysis; I have been faced with similar officials before.
A lot of people seem to be employed to prevent other people from accessing care.
I am very glad you and your brother are not easily swayed and had enough prior knowledge (though not glad you had to go through what you did to acquire that knowledge). We have to become experiential experts sometimes.
A doctor once tried to convince me to get a procedure.
I said that I potentially had X condition, asked how would that affect the procedure and the expected results.
"Never heard of it, it's probably fine."
:shake:
Got a second opinion from an older doctor: "Oh we are absolutely not doing this if you might have that condition"
Mentioned the procedure to my cardiologist a few months later: "That procedure wouldn't even have helped"

So now I am one of those people who scours wikipedia at every new symptom because apparently not all doctors can be trusted xD
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
No ducks on the pond on Wednesday, but we did see one of @AnnieW 's North American friends: another bird with wild hair, the Great Blue Heron / Grand Héron (Ardea herodias). The shaggy plumes on this bird's back and neck indicate a bird in breeding plumage. (Male or female, I could not tell you. Great Blue Herons exhibit only mild sexual dimorphism. The males are typically a bit larger and have longer ornamental plumage, but this is not reliably identifiable in the field.)

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Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
A doctor once tried to convince me to get a procedure.
I said that I potentially had X condition, asked how would that affect the procedure and the expected results.
"Never heard of it, it's probably fine."
:shake:
Yikes! That is disturbing.

I'm not someone who worships doctors as gods. I'm well aware they're only human, like the rest of us. They're not omniscient. But when a client asks you a question about something you're meant to be a subject matter expert on, and you don't know the answer, maybe say, "I'm sorry. I don't know. Let me look into that for you," instead of just guessing wildly.

:shake: is right.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Another of yesterday's birds:

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This is a Killdeer / Pluvier kildir (Charadrius vociferus). Killdeer are plovers--so technically "shorebirds"--but are often found inland in drier habitats. They nest every year in the agricultural field adjacent to the Fit Park trail and storm water pond where Shelby and I hike. (Although on this day, we saw this one and a friend foraging in the swampy-grass next to the pond, as seen in the above pic.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Here on the left is an American Robin / Merle d'Amérique (Turdus migratorius) seen yesterday, next to the bird I saw two weeks ago, which I guessed was a male.

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You cannot really judge by the orange colour alone, given that these two birds were photographed on different days under different lighting conditions. But my guess is the bird on the left is a female, judging by the extensive white on her throat, plus some white on the belly where the presumed male bird on the right has an all-orange belly. When I see a male and female robin together under the same light, it's usually quite apparent that the male is darker. Here though: I'm guessing. But I'm not sure.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 27:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow to crane, baby handstand presses, end-range wrist strengthening
running: 3 km
hiking: 9 km with Shelby

Still windy, but not as bad as on previous days recently. So decided to suck it up and finally go for a run. That felt a bit rough at first after almost two weeks off. But maybe that was just the wind as I started to enjoy myself as soon as I was no longer running into the strong headwind.

6K with Shelby in the afternoon and 3K at bedtime. Saw some nice birds, plus Shelby's yellow lab friend Mico, and a new friend, a golden retriever, who Shelby was so desperate to meet she tried to pull me into traffic to cross the road to get to. Silly Shelby! (I love her. But she's been with me over ten years now and still does not accept that there are good and holy reasons why I need to be the one to decide when and where we're going to cross a road.)

By "baby handstand presses" I mean: pressing up onto the tips of my toes. I cannot actually get my feet off the ground yet without jumping (or starting with my feet elevated and my head leaning against a support).

writing: business study (more rolling my eyes at the instructor while he ranted about the same topics once again, really. but I played the videos at 2x their recorded speed, which at least sped things up a bit)
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 53,422
story-a-week challenge: 10 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 10 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 2313
consumable YTD: 110,807
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 176,088
deficit: 65,281

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :x:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 144
Consecutive days of French study: 1226
Consecutive days of SOOT: 3
Consecutive days of GBOT: 3
 

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 1,560
Thank you for those bird pics, I love them! The robin is just such a nice little fellow... In our Bretagne garden I had a young one nearly hopp into my hand (his mom was not far, looking down, and clearly called on her little one to be more wary of those giant, featherless thingies ;) ). The pluvier is nice, and wow, the details on the heron are great.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Glad you like @PetiteSheWolf

Our robins are quite a lot larger than your robins, and not closely related at all. The American Robin is named after the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) due to having similar colouration. But our robin is a thrush (Family: Turdidae), and yours belongs to the family of old world flycatchers and chats (Family: Muscicapidae)

The American Robin is yet another North American bird that got named after a European one for looking similar without actually being similar. Like our sparrows, which also belong to a different taxonomic family from your sparrows. (Except, of course, for the House Sparrow, which is found on both continents because it was introduced here.)

I agree with momma bird about not getting too friendly with the giant featherless thingies. Yesterday Shelby found some birds who she really wanted to make friends with. (Big birds!) Sadly, I had to tell her no.

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We'd climbed the lookout hill (lookout speed bump, really) between the storm water pond and the Fit Park trail. It was a nice sunny day for once. But there was not much of interest about on the bird front. So we were just resting up there. I'd laid down, in fact, and closed my eyes.

Shelby doesn't normally wander far from my side (other than in her own yard). But I had the handle of her leash looped over my toes on one foot, just in case. All of a sudden, she was on her feet, crying, and the leash was pulled taught. I sat up and saw these three wild turkeys just strolling along the edge of the agricultural field, right past us! Shelby really wanted to run down the hill to greet them. But I had to tell her: "I'm sorry, Shelby. Those birds are wild animals. We're not allowed to be friends with wild animals. It's not good for them."

Shelby didn't really understand that. But she consented to just walk along the Fit Park trail and watch the birds from a distance. They walked about 400 metres along the edge of the field. Then, when they got to the hedgrow at the end of the field, they climbed the berm onto the Fit Park trail and they walked along the trail in front of us, around the bend, and then wandered in amongst the fitness equipment on the other side. Shelby was quite excited by the entire encounter. (And it was another new species for us for this particular "patch". So yeah, Shelby! Good find!)

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Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 28:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow to crane
running: :x:
hiking: 8.5 km with Shelby

There wasn't anything on the pond this day other than a couple of Canada Geese. We did a lap around the pond anyhow, to see if there was anything hiding in the reeds we just couldn't see with the sun in our eyes. (There wasn't. But the geese were prettier with the sun at our backs.)

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I heard at least one chorus frog in the marsh beside the Fit Park trail. Couldn't spot him visually though. All I could see in the water was some snails.

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There were a bunch of gulls out on the agricultural field. (Ring-billed and Bonaparte's I think--but they were pretty far away.) And some Turkey Vultures circling around.

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We didn't see anyone back on the trail behind the school. But Shelby decided she wanted to do an extra lap through the woodlot anyhow. So we ended up doing about 7km on our afternoon walk and then another 1.5 km at night.


writing: :x:
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 53,422
story-a-week challenge: 10 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 10 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 692
consumable YTD: 111,499
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 178,112
deficit: 66,613

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 145
Consecutive days of French study: 1227
Consecutive days of SOOT: 4
Consecutive days of GBOT: 4

What else? I made a chicken curry (froze half, kept half to eat this week), cooked a big pot of rice (decided to freeze some of that too, since I have a few curries in my freezer now and did not freeze rice or another starch with them), and prepped the pineapple to make a Pineapple Coconut Custard Tart. I also made a spinach and apple salad with shiitake mushrooms, walnuts, maple balsamic vinaigrette, and 3-yr-old cheddar cheese. Yummy. But I didn't make enough of that for leftovers. (Salad greens don't make great leftovers--at least not to eat as a fresh salad.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 29:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - basic crow practice
running: :x:
hiking: 7.5 km with Shelby

6km with Shelby during the day, then another 1.5 km at night. A sunny day for once, although still windy. Shelby had an exciting birding adventure, which I posted about up-thread.

Here is a European Starling seen on the same walk, against the backdrop of this day's gorgeous azure sky:

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Crow pose practice this day was very basic, because I actually forgot to do it, went to bed, and then remembered. So I crawled out from underneath my blankets and did crow pose on the bed. My wrists sinking into the mattress cause a pretty extreme wrist extension. So I wasn't going to try anything too adventurous on the bed.

writing: business study
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 53,422
story-a-week challenge: 10 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 10 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 1001
consumable YTD: 112,500
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 180,136
deficit: 67,636

French: CBC Gem, text translation

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 146
Consecutive days of French study: 1228
Consecutive days of SOOT: 5
Consecutive days of GBOT: 5

Made the Pineapple Coconut Custard Tart this day. Since I was making double the amount of custard called for in the recipe, I made two tart crusts. But there turned out to be only enough custard to fill one of them. So I also made a Tofu Onion Quiche. Then, because the quiche used only half a package of tofu, I made some Tofu Strawberry Chia Pudding. (Or perhaps Tofu Raspberry Chia Pudding. I haven't decided what fruit to put with it yet.) I also made another apple and spinach salad, some balsamic grille broccoli, and a chocolate chip shortbread cooking (from the trimmings from the pie crusts). Keener cook washed all her dishes while the pies were baking!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 30:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow to crane, baby presses, crow taps
other: hauling groceries
running: :x:
hiking: 7.5 km with Shelby, 4 km errands

There was no one at all on the pond today. But we did see this nice Red-bellied Woodpecker / Pic à ventre roux (Melanerpes carolinus) pecking at a hydro pole in the subdivision:
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It's a bit hard to tell from this angle, but I believe this bird is a male. The tail pressed down position you see in this photo is typical of woodpeckers and is thought to help them stabilize their bodies against the tree (pole in this case) they are clinging to (since woodpeckers often cling to the side of tree trunks, instead of perching on top of branches like most other birds).

When we got to the trail behind the school we saw Shelby's friend Hendrix on the path up ahead of us. Shelby was eager to catch up to him. But I did not feel like running. So I let Shelby off her lead so she could run ahead to catch her friend. (This is not technically an off-leash area. But it's far away from traffic. Most dog walkers let their dogs run free back there, and I've not heard any reports of problems with bylaw enforcement in recent years. I don't normally take the risk, since Shelby has a big yard of her own to run around in and won't normally leave my side in other locations anyhow. But Shelby was really eager to catch up to Hendrix, and there was no one else around, so...) Shelby ran ahead of me about ten paces. Then she stopped. Looked back. Saw I was not keeping pace with her. So she waited. I picked up my pace and we walked together to catch up with her friend. We did an extra lap of the woodlot to walk with Hendrix and then headed for home. By which point it had started to rain.

I timed my grocery run poorly this week, forgetting that it was Easter weekend. I had planned to get groceries on Friday, but did not remember until Friday that it was a holiday. (Sometimes our grocery stores open on holidays, but usually with reduced hours. And I'd not bothered to check what the case was this week.) With a stat on Friday, and Sunday being a holiday for most people too, the store was bound to be a zoo on Saturday. I'd hoped to go first thing in the morning to beat the rush. But then I had to walk Shelby early since rain was expected for most of the rest of the day. So I headed out to the store after Shelby's walk. The place was packed. And my walk home turned out to be the rainiest part of the whole day. But I got a good haul of food, and many of the staples I needed were on sale. So there were some bonuses there, for sure.

By nightfall the rain had stopped, but I was late finishing my work. So Shelby and I did only the shorter, 1.5-ish km walk at bedtime.

writing: short story
new fiction words: 434
fiction YTD: 53,856
story-a-week challenge: 10 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 10 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 2081
consumable YTD: 114,587 (Yes, there's a glitch in the math here. I reported the wrong number on Wednesday. My screen is old, and text is not always the clearest on it. Today's numbers are corrected.)
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 182,160
deficit: 67,573

French: CBC Gem, text translation

GOBOT :x:
SOOT: :v: (close enough)
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 147
Consecutive days of French study: 1229
Consecutive days of SOOT: 6
Consecutive days of GBOT: 6

I made falafels and tzatziki this day, both of which were delicious. I was not a keener cook, so my kitchen is now a mess. (And will likely stay that way on Sunday, as I, as usual, have too much writing work to get done on Sunday.) But at least I have plenty of yummy food in my refrigerator.

I received my marching papers (move out date) from my home of the past 15 years late Saturday night (after I'd gone to bed, actually, so did not see them until this morning). I have some mixed feelings about this, understandably. But mostly I feel relief. In three months I will be done with this place. And I'll be couch surfing. Which will be hard in some ways. But in other ways it will be a big improvement over my life now and my life of the past few years. And it will be a chance to start focusing my efforts more fully on moving forward.
 
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TopNotch

Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 1,742
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
Sorry about the situation with your mother. Think I missed why you have to move out of your home but good luck with finding another place. I understand the Canadian housing situation is as bad as ours due to excessive immigration, etc, so really - good luck.
And it's nice to see bird pictures again. :)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Thank you @TopNotch .

Think I missed why you have to move out of your home
I have been living for the past 15 years in a house that was owned by my parents, helping to take care of them. (Mostly helping to take care of my father, who was extremely disabled. My mother did require assistance with some things but was largely independent until her aneurysm rupture in December.) Since my father's passing last September, the house is now owned entirely by my mother. It is clear she will never again be able to live in it. So my brother (her power of attorney) has decided the house will be sold this year. Further: he believes the house will sell for more money if it is vacant than if a human and a dog are living in it. So he has given me an eviction notice for July 1, even though the house is not even on the market yet. (And frankly, a lot of work will need to be done to get the house ready to go on the market, if he cares at all about getting a decent price for it.)

I understand the Canadian housing situation is as bad as ours due to excessive immigration,
Canada has long used immigration to drive population growth. Trouble is: multiple governments now have failed to ensure our housing supply increased to match the increased demand. We also have a lot of temporary residents in the country currently. (Lots of asylum seekers in the world these days. Plus some Canadian universities have been fattening their coffers by inviting in far more international students than the communities they are situated in can support.) And of course there is Airbnb. And yeah: the situation is bad.

Shelby and I have a place to go though. Come July 1, we will be sleeping on my friend's sofa. (Which is quite literally the only space she has left in her house to offer us. She already has five people and a cat living in a 3.5-bedroom house.) We will be better off than many people here.

And it's nice to see bird pictures again. :)
Indeed! We have more species returning/passing through this area every day now.

In other happy news for the week:

1. My brother was able to get the list of approved LTCs believed to have shorter wait times. One of the homes on the list is where his father-in-law lived the last year of his life. That was a dozen or so years ago now, but the family was happy with the place at the time. Another home on the list is where the mother of a friend of my brother and SIL is living now, and that friend is impressed with the place.

2. My brother was able to speak with our mother's doctor at the new hospital on Friday. He told him about the coordinator on Wednesday pressuring us to take our mother back home. The doctor was gobsmacked. He agreed with us that that would be wildly unworkable and inappropriate and told my brother not to worry, he would ensure that our mother is taken care of until an LTC bed becomes available for her. No small amount of relief there!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Good to read 1 - at least two options for which you also have positive feedback, and point 2 is also a relief. Continuing to think regularly of your family!
Thank you @PetiteSheWolf

Yes, there are many good options near my brother's house. The trouble is the long waiting lists. It seems he will not have difficulty choosing 5 homes. He would choose more than 5 if allowed. But when will a bed become available for our mother in any of them?

The Ontario government passed legislation in 2022 that now enables hospitals to force a patient who they deem ready for discharge into an LTC not of their choosing. Said LTC can be up to 70 kms away from any of the homes on the patient's list of five choices. (Up to 150 kms away in Northern Ontario.) I think the requirement to choose from the approved list of homes with shorter estimated wait times is part of an effort to reduce instances of coerced transfers. But the threat remains.

Ontario's hospital bed shortage is a legitimate crisis. But forcing vulnerable elderly people to live in homes not of their choosing, far from family, is a cruel (and many subject-matter experts believe ineffective) way of attempting to deal with it.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
March 31:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - handstand hops, crow push-up attempt
running: :x:
hiking: 6.7 km with Shelby

The usual hike with Shelby. Only a pair of geese on the pond, but we saw some nice birds in the woodlot. I will try to post photos later. (Later in the week. Tonight I must do some cooking!) We met up with Shelby's friend Hendrix as we were leaving the woodlot but then went back in to do a couple of laps with him. We did not do a second walk this day as Shelby was asleep before I finished my work.

writing: short story, submission prep
new fiction words: 2845
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 3665
consumable YTD: 118,252
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 184,184
deficit: 65,932

I finished my short story for week #11 of my challenge to write a short story a week every week for a year Sunday night with two hours to spare.
No improvement over the previous week. In fact, I was an hour later this week. But there were extenuating circumstances.

Last week I needed to not only write a new story but also get one submitted to a market that closed on Sunday night. The story I wanted to submit I had already completed earlier in the month. It just needed a few minor tweaks to the copy. This took maybe an hour. Fixing the formatting took considerably longer. (OpenOffice keeps breaking my formatting when I export to MS Word file formats. I really need to get a better process here!) Also: in light of the eviction notice I received on Sunday morning, I figured it was time to start putting my new address on my submissions. So I had to write to the friend who will be taking me in and ask if it's okay for me to start using her address now. (This only took two minutes. Ruminating in a bad head space over certain specifics of that whole situation took considerably longer.)

Anyhow... I got the submission corrected and in on time. And the story done on time. Two big wins. And the things that caused me aggravation were one thing I can fix myself (this week if I just get my butt in gear and do it) and one thing that will go away on its own with time (I will mostly be free of it three months from now). A messy success is still a success, right?


French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :x:
GBOT :x:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 148
Consecutive days of French study: 1230
Consecutive days of SOOT: 0
Consecutive days of GBOT: 0
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 1:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :x: - forgot. but I did do some core work for @PETERMORRIS966 's birthday (see below)
other: 69 knee-to-elbows, hauling books to library
running: :x:
hiking: 9 km with Shelby

Did extra laps of the woodlot again with Shelby in the AM. One lap with her friend Hendrix. Then we stayed and looped around a few more times birding. Saw some more FOS (first-of-season) birds. (Photos to come.) Went out with Shelby again in the afternoon to return some library books. No night walk again because it was raining.

writing: craft study
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 0
consumable YTD: 118,252
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 186,208
deficit: 67,956

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :x:

Got up early to game with @'rin and @sleep_twitch . After going to bed stupidly late the night before, this resulted in crashing in the afternoon. And then not being tired at bedtime. (I did turn my screens off on time. But then Shelby and I didn't walk due to rain. We just went to bed. Shelby was smart and went to sleep. I played Wingspan.)

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 149
Consecutive days of French study: 1231
Consecutive days of SOOT: 1
Consecutive days of GBOT: 0
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 2:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crane, baby handstand presses
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km with Shelby, 4 km errands

Shelby and I did our regular walk but did not see anybody. (It was wildly windy.) We again missed our night walk due to rain.

writing: craft study
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 688
consumable YTD: 118,940
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 188,232
deficit: 69,292

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :x:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Crashed early evening. Woke up in time for our night walk. But it was raining. Shelby and I were both happy to just stay in bed.

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 150
Consecutive days of French study: 1232
Consecutive days of SOOT: 2
Consecutive days of GBOT: 1
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 3:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow taps, standing splits
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km + 3 km with Shelby

Decided to add in some standing splits to my crow training as a means of training strength and flexibility for the lifted leg in one-legged crow, but from a standing position. It's also great standing balance work.

Shelby and I did our usual 6km daytime walk and actually got our 3 km bedtime walk in too. Didn't see anyone on the pond other than ducks this day. In the woodlot we met up with a cat. And the boy who owned the cat. The boy told me all about how he was concerned for the cat, because it liked to wander off. And potentially climb a tree and get stuck. But he did not do anything to prevent the cat from wandering off or to prevent it from climbing trees once it wandered into a woodlot. He just followed the cat into the woodlot and then stood there watching it trying to climb a tree while telling me he was concerned about it trying to climb a tree. I have difficulty understanding other people's behaviour sometimes.

writing: research
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 884
consumable YTD: 119,824
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 190,256
deficit: 70,432

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 151
Consecutive days of French study: 1233
Consecutive days of SOOT: 3
Consecutive days of GBOT: 2

Got my tickets for the Boreal concert this day! (Well, purchased them, at any rate. This concert is a community event, hosted by a church. Not some big venue with an online ticketing solution. When I'd first called them about tickets, they didn't have any yet and hadn't even decided on the ticket price! This day they called me back with info. So I paid them via e-transfer, and they will hold the tickets at the door for me.:happy: )

I was a keener cook this day. Made up the batter for another batch of falafel, cooked some black beans to make a stew, made some chickpea blondies and a strawberry rhubarb crumble and washed all of my dishes. (Which, considering the backlog of dishes from the previous weekend was no small feat.)
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 4:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - basic crow
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km + 3 km with Shelby, 4 km groceries

Rain, rain, and more rain this day. Then thunder. Did not take my camera out on our walk, since I was afraid it would rain again. So of course we saw lots of birds! Robins, grackles, male red-winged blackbirds displaying their fancy epaulettes, at least five song sparrows, and 3 hooded mergansers on the pond. I guess we weren't the only ones taking advantage of the only period of dry weather within the day to be active! We also saw Shelby's friends Mollie (Sheltie) and Bear (Golden puppy).

writing: business study
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 0
consumable YTD: 119,824
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 192,280
deficit: 72,456

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :x:

Went to bed on time. Then stayed up stupidly late playing Wingspan. I really need to work on hitting my writing deadlines without staying up late. I have a hard time getting back on schedule once I mess up even once.

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 152
Consecutive days of French study: 1234
Consecutive days of SOOT: 4
Consecutive days of GBOT: 0

Was a keener cook again this day. Made the falafels (slightly differently this time than the last--see my "2nd Batch Update" note at the bottom of the linked post). I also made a big pot of stew with black beans, sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and spices, some smoked salmon quiche (I make these as mini quiches in muffin cups), and cooked a pot of quinoa.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 5:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow to crane, back stretches
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km + 3 km with Shelby

The back stretches weren't so much about my crow pose training as about stretching out a back made cranky from all the cooking. They felt good though.

This day we had snow. (Not enough to stick on the ground. But still...) And high winds. At one point we were hit with a gust strong enough it was difficult to gain ground against it at all. We saw one goose and two hoodies on the pond. None of Shelby's puppy friends, but Buddy did come out to see us.

writing: :x:
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 0
consumable YTD: 119,824
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 194,304
deficit: 74,480

Took a cooking day this day. It was worth it!

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :x:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 153
Consecutive days of French study: 1235
Consecutive days of SOOT: 5
Consecutive days of GBOT: 1

More keener cookery. Made a batch of black bean brownies, cooked a pot of rice, made carrot pineapple muffins, eggplant tomato pasta, and pizza! And washed all the dishes!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 6:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :v: - crow to crane, "flying" with crossed legs (supporting the ankle of the lifted leg on the ankle of the supported leg)
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km + 3 km with Shelby, 1.5 km errands

Nobody on the pond this day but a couple of geese. Shelby saw her friends Hendrix, Maia, and Cadbury in the park behind the school.

writing: some thinking about this week's story, but did not actually begin writing it
new fiction words: 0
fiction YTD: 56,701
story-a-week challenge: 11 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 11 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 1582
consumable YTD: 121,406
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 196,328
deficit: 74,922

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :v:
GBOT :v:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 154
Consecutive days of French study: 1236
Consecutive days of SOOT: 6
Consecutive days of GBOT: 2
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Shelby has a Sheltie friend? This pleases me.

I mean Cooper is her friend (I’ve deemed it) but he doesn’t have his passport updated.
Ah, yes. Mollie is quite fond of Shelby. Mollie's brother is the Golden Retriever puppy, Bear, who is big now but still rambunctious. I think Mollie appreciates having another dog in the park who is calm like her. Shelby and Mollie greet one another genteelly while all the youngsters are racing around.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
April 7:

60 Days of HIIT: :x:
daily crow: :x:
running: :x:
hiking: 6 km with Shelby

writing: short story
new fiction words: 2518
fiction YTD: 59,219
story-a-week challenge: 12 of 52 completed
54 stories in my 54th year challenge: 12 of 54 completed
new consumable words: 2682
consumable YTD: 124,088
target YTD for 2024 words a day in 2024: 198,352
deficit: 74,264

French: CBC Gem

GOBOT :v:
SOOT: :x:
GBOT :x:

Streaks:

Consecutive days of working out: 0
Consecutive days of French study: 1237
Consecutive days of SOOT: 0
Consecutive days of GBOT: 0

Up early for gaming with @'rin and @sleep_twitch . Then had to sort through some paperwork as my brother had messaged me the day before to say he was coming out to deal with income tax stuff. (Due to our mother's illness, he now has to file her 2023 income tax return, and I have to file our father's. We're using an accountant to prepare the returns. But we still need to get her the relevant paperwork and well... let's just say our mother's filing system left much to be desired.) Then a walk with Shelby. We saw only geese and a muskrat on the pond and were too late for her friends on the trail behind the school.

My brother was at the house for ~ 7 hours, which was disruptive to my work day. (Although he spent most of the time clearing junk out of our mother's room. He half filled my garbage cart. He put so much weight in both of my fibre recycling bins it's borderline whether or not the guys who drive the recycling truck will be willing to pick them up. He put one suitcase in his car of things he's taking for our mother. And otherwise completely filled his car with junk to take to a thrift store. And he barely made a dent on the room. (Honestly, if you did not know how much crap was in there before, you would not believe he'd cleared anything out of it at all.)

I still managed to get some writing done while my brother was here, and finished my short story for the week with three hours to spare. Still not where I want to be, but an improvement over the past few weeks.

Shelby was sleeping when I finished my work. So we did not do a bedtime walk.
Also: I think I forgot to do any crow pose work. I've zeroed my workout streak in any case. The things I was allowing to count as a "workout" were getting so wimpy, it was really meaningless. Going forward, I'm setting my minimum back to 30 minutes per day. Which does not include hiking. (Unless I was out hiking most of the day. Then it counts. But just walking Shelby in town does not count. Fetching groceries from a store that's only 2 km away does not count.)
 

f1shie

Well-known member
Honeybee from 'MURRCA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 690
Ah, yes. Mollie is quite fond of Shelby. Mollie's brother is the Golden Retriever puppy, Bear, who is big now but still rambunctious. I think Mollie appreciates having another dog in the park who is calm like her. Shelby and Mollie greet one another genteelly while all the youngsters are racing around.
I feel like if you found an artist who is really good at drawing dogs you could make like, an adorable children’s book out of Shelby and her friend adventures.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 1,794
"Striving to be the change."
Some of today's birds:

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

DSCN1733.JPG


Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

DSCN1736.JPG


Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

redwing-April9.png


European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

DSCN1742.JPG


House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus)

finches-April9.png


Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

dove-April9.png


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

DSCN1751.JPG


House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

DSCN1753.JPG


Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

flicker-April9.png


Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

DSCN1769.JPG


Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)

DSCN1775.JPG
 
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