Saturday, 5 July 2008

End of June Expenses, Museum of Civilization

With all the computer problems, I'm not entirely certain that June's figures are accurate but I think it's relatively close. We had lots of general expenses this month, our Visa card annual fee, our ERS, our new insurance for the truck and RV, a new hard drive (not for my Mac) so I'm pretty happy with the overall total. We also had truck service and new brakes

I had thought today would be a quiet, relaxing day sitting out in my lawn chair but it didn't turn out that way. I started off as usual with my walk/run plan. After breakfast I went to sit outside but Gordon wanted to photograph something pretty. I suggested the day lilies in front of the white birch trees I had seen this morning. He went and photographed them but when he came back he still wanted to go out. He did take time to finally put out the awning so I put down our new mat that we purchased in Mesa, AZ this winter but hadn't used yet. While looking for tie downs he realized we only had one. We had to pitch one a few months ago so we needed to go and buy one of those.

His cordless drill had also bit the dust a while back. It needed replacement batteries which were almost as expensive as the drill so he decided since he doesn't have need to use a drill very often anymore just to go with a basic drill with a cord. Our first stop was Canadian Tire. We found some drills but their ratchet tie downs were expensive. By that time it was time for lunch so we stopped at Wendy's for a little sustenance then off to Home Depot where we found the tie down we needed and a drill.

I had suggested while we were eating that we go to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, QC for some photos. We hadn't been there this year yet so away we went. It's a very pretty spot with paved trails running along the river for bikes, joggers, walkers and roller blading. The Museum of Civilization itself is an interesting building with lots of curves and it is in a great location being right across the Ottawa River from the Parliament Buildings and downtown Ottawa.

The Museum of Civilization

Parliament Hill

National Gallery


On our way home we came back through downtown Ottawa to Colonel By Drive. It's a beautiful drive along the canal on the south or east side of the canal depending on where you are on the drive.

Along Colonel By Drive

When we got back I sat outside with my book for a while. It was hot but there was a very nice breeze. Here's a photo of our chairs and our new mat.

New Hard Drive and Mer Bleue

Today was one of those perfect Ottawa summer days 27C (80F) with a light breeze and very little humidity. I started out the day with my daily walk and run around the neighbourhood.

After breakfast we got ready to take my computer back to Leroy, the fellow we bought it from and got a new hard drive. This is 40 GB more than the old hard drive so I'm back in business! After that we stopped to do some errands, picked up our mail from my sister and back home for lunch.

Gordon set up my computer to get all the data back on it and we had lunch. Then we took off to get some photos. We went to Mer Bleue for our walk. The Mer Bleue Bog area is a very nice walk mostly on boardwalk as it goes through a swampy area and then through a large bog area. This area is significant as the flora and fauna here are much the same as it is around Hudson Bay. It's the only spot like it and is not normally found this far south.

Cat tails in Mer Bleue

Mer Bleue

Boardwalk through the bog

The bog

Beaver lodge

Tiny lily pads with tiny water lilies

We also walked briefly on a couple of other trails in the Mer Bleue area but one was too wet, one had too many mosquitoes and the other one wasn't very interesting.

I managed to get a photo of this little toad before the mosquitoes almost picked me up and carried me away!

By the time we got home, the computer had finished copying my data from the Firewire drive back onto my new hard drive so now I'm back in business! We just have to decide now if we're going to try to format over the old drive. We got a casing for it from Leroy so if we can get it reformatted and it works I could use it as back up (but can it be trusted) or we can send it back to Apple - things to think about!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July to our southern neighbours, well they're southern in the summer but in the winter we're right in there with them!

The sun was shining when I got up today and the radio says we're to have three days of it before the skies open up again so away I went for my walk. I actually got quite a bit of running in today as well. My lower back is still bothering me from our trek downtown on July 1st but I'm hoping it will work itself out. If not, it's back to the chiropractor on Monday. Our chiropractor doesn't work on Fridays.

I had errands today. Gordon needed a prescription filled and I needed to drop some stuff off at the Salvation Army among other things. I finally got a box to store our bills. I really hate carrying that stuff with us but I hate to be without it too. We were asked once for all the service bills on the truck. Luckily I didn't have to dig them out but the bills for our electronic equipment and such might be needed at some point.

I'm not spending a lot of time on the computer right now as it's on the desk and the chair there is very uncomfortable but since it's hooked up to the firewire drive (it's a Mac thing) acting as my hard drive, we need to leave it there. Sure hope that my hard drive can be replaced tomorrow!

It will be a while before I can post expenses for June due to my hard drive failure. I still have a lot of input to do and I don't want to do it till I get my new hard drive.

The photo today is one Gordon took of a little chipmunk at the Ornamental Gardens the other day.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Bad News!

I have been having weird things happen with my computer. Remember I bought this brand new in August last year. When I tried to open anything, it took forever and I was getting tired of seeing the little colour wheel spinning (that's what you see instead of the timer that PCs use). So, my resident Mac expert AKA Gordon took a look at it and decided that the hard drive was toast. He did manage to get it backed up, thank goodness although it had been backed up recently. At least my backup information is now current as the hard drive has died completely! It can be replaced under warranty however then they want your hard drive to be returned to Apple. If you've been unable to write over the drive to be sure all documentation is gone, you're probably better to just buy a new one.

Leroy (our Mac person and friend of Gordon's) says that hard drive failure is pretty common these days. So everyone, be sure you're backed up regularly unless you want to lose all your data! For now, I'm running off an external hard drive till I can get it replaced. The link is on the left side of his blog.

It was pouring rain this morning so today is day three for no morning walk. I've been so sore since walking around downtown on Canada Day though that it might be a good thing. My whole back and rear end muscles have been very sore! Guess I'm more out of shape than I thought.

The weather started to clear up around noon so I went out to do errands and get some groceries and was gone most of the afternoon. The sun did come out finally and we're supposed to have sun till Monday!

I won't be operating normally till I can get my hard drive replaced probably on the weekend.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Good News!

We had an early start this morning so I was up before 7 a.m. to get ready for Gordon's doctor's appointment in the west end of the city for 8:30 a.m. So for the second day in a row I had to forgo my morning walk. We got there in lots of time as the traffic wasn't too bad. I guess lots of people took the week off surrounding Canada Day.

The news was good. Gordon does not have multiple myeloma (this is the disease that was suggested by another RVer as Gordon's symptoms were similar to ones her husband had). Our doctor thinks it is possible that the problem he is feeling on his right side and under his right arm might be from a misalignment in his back and she recommended that he go to a chiropractor.

After the doctor we had some other errands to run and then we stopped at the Fletcher Wildlife Gardens to take some photos. The photos below are from there.

This is the first thing I saw, a cute little chipmunk nibbling on something.

We also saw this little turtle. There are two frogs also one on a rock on each side of the turtle.

A bug on a black-eyed susan

A tree swallow

After that we came home and since it was such a beautiful day, I sat outside and read for a while and had my lunch outside again. It seems that my chances to do this lately have been few and far between.

This afternoon, Gordon went to the chiropractor and we filled up with fuel again at 1.39/litre - ouch! We have paid more per litre than this since we've been back in Ottawa.

We saw this cute slogan on the back of a Land Rover that was ahead of us at a stoplight!

Other than that, I had a brief chat with Deb (Debken) from the chatroom on Yahoo Messenger. Deb's blog can be found by clicking here.

We hit about 28C (83F) today under sunny skies but with quite a good wind. I think it's blowing in a storm for tomorrow but at least we've had two days of nice weather!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Today Betty was picking me up at 10 a.m. to attend the Canada Day Festivities downtown and for a lady's day out. She actually arrived at 9:30 a.m. Luckily I was ready!

We drove back to my sister, Margie's place and her husband, John drove us to the bus station. It was much easier taking the bus downtown today as a lot of the streets were blocked off for the celebration. Margie supplied bus tickets, thanks Margie!

First stop was a tour of the lab where Danica is working this summer. Here she is in her lab coat.

She showed us all around the various areas and in where the fish are that she's working on. Unfortunately the only fish photos that turned out were the goldfish and she works on trout!

From there we bussed it back to the downtown area and had lunch at Palermo's on Sparks Street. Sparks Street is a pedestrian mall here in Ottawa with all kinds of shops and restaurants. Betty bought lunch, thanks Betty!

From there we walked toward Parliament Hill. There sure were lots of people around today.

The crowd in front of the Peace Tower at the Parliament Buildings. There were lots of people dressed in red and white.

Left to right: Margie, Danica and Betty

We sat around on a planter wall for a while waiting for the Snowbirds to fly over. Unfortunately my camera didn't do well on photos of the Snowbirds.

A Mounted Policeman

Then we walked down by the locks between the Parliament Buildings and the Chateau Laurier Hotel. There are 7 locks here to get from the Rideau Canal down to the Ottawa River.

From there we went to the Rideau Centre which is the downtown shopping mall and the only thing open today for shopping except for the Byward Market which is also in that area. We spent a couple of hours walking around there. Betty bought a dress at an outdoor shop in the Market, Danica got a couple of pairs of shorts at the Rideau Centre and Margie bought her husband some shorts at Giant Tiger (a Canadian discount store). I didn't buy anything! No money and no room!

This is the view looking towards Parliament Hill from the bridge over Rideau Street at the Rideau Centre.

After that we walked back to the University of Ottawa campus area to catch the bus back to Baseline Station where John was waiting to pick us up. They dropped me off at the RV where I have collapsed!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Lunch Out and an Unplanned Visit

It was a bright, sunny morning with little humidity and I enjoyed my walk today. By this afternoon we were back into rain although the next few days are supposed to be very nice.

Betty was picking me up late this morning as we were having lunch with her long-time friend, Linda at Pelican Grille on Bank Street. The restaurant is part of a fish store and it was excellent and beautifully presented as you can see!

Betty and Linda had the Sea Scallops

I had the crusted Thai trout

Left to right - Sandra, Betty and Linda

Linda's parents have been well known to our family since before I was born. Linda's father was born in Williamsburg where our family had their farm and was in fact related to the lady we called grandma who brought my father into their home as a child from England when young boys were being sent to Canada to work. Linda's mother was born in the nearby town of Iroquois. They have just moved to a senior's residence quite close to where we were having lunch so we dropped in to see them. I hadn't seen then for any years.

Here are John and Lee along with their son and Linda's brother, Allan who dropped by while we were there. I might also add that I had my first job with John when he was a manager of Mutual Life here in Ottawa.

Betty dropped me off at the campground late this afternoon in time for me to have a nap!

Happy Canada Day tomorrow to all the Canadians. Canada is 141 years old tomorrow!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Sunday in Ottawa and Dinner With Family

We had some serious rain overnight and a thunderstorm. I got up to unplug my computer just in case. It wasn't raining this morning but it was humid and the threat was still there. Eventually the sun did come out but it was long after my morning walk.

After breakfast we decided to go out and do something fun since the sun was shining, a rarity the past while so we drove to the Arboretum and took a short walk through the hostas and then down by the river. We came across this golden retriever having fun retrieving his ball out of the water. Lots of people out this morning jogging, biking, walking dogs and enjoying the sun. I can't believe I actually forgot to take my camera. Luckily Gordon had his Minolta with him so I used it. Duh!

Some pretty flowers in the garden where we parked the truck.

Horse and buggy followed by another horse with the Canadian flag. I'm not sure what that was all about but must have something to do with Canada Day which is July 1st!

Part of the hosta garden (again)

A beautiful old tree in the Arboretum

When we got home I sat outside and read my book and had my lunch.

We were invited to my sister's place for dinner tonight in honour of my nephew, Nick's 23rd birthday and also to see my sister from Toronto who arrived this afternoon to spend a few days. We had a good dinner as usual and Nick opened his presents. It was a nice family time.

This is Nick opening a gift from his Aunt Betty - champagne as Becky watches.