Sunday, 28 June 2020

Specialist appt

Had my appointment with the specialist on Friday and all is well. He does not want to change my dosage as it seems our family doctor got the dosage right the first time which is highly unusual and he was very impressed with my doctor.

He is sending me for more bloodwork which we will do Tuesday when I go for my in person appointment with the family doctor. This bloodwork is just precautionary since I told him about the other issues I have been having and he didn't want to deal with 'probably nothing', so he wants to make sure and obviously -- I'm good with that.

The specialist did say my TSH being 3.2 is great as it should be between .5 and 5, and while he could adjust it to bring it down to 1 -  I'll live longer at 3 so he wanted to leave it alone.

This makes me very happy as it will allow me more time to torment my wonderful husband. :D

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Gotta go in next week

Had my Dr appointment yesterday (via telephone) and he wants me to go in next week so he can physically check all my issues... (feet, leg and breast). This is scheduled for Tuesday which means we will have to make 2 trips to Salt Spring next week as we go every Friday for Brad's massage and to check our mail.

He tells me that my Thyroid blood work numbers are perfect from last friday's taking.

My FT4 which should be between 7 and 15 was 3 and is now 15
My FT3 which I didn't take note of at the time is now 3.2
My TSH which should be between 2 and 5 was 124 and is now 3.17

We discussed my issue with this extra weight and he thinks that by the end of the year, I should be back to normal which is what they said at the beginning of all this. I will be holding him to that - and I know where he lives. LOL

Aah, the wonders of getting old.

We essentially spent the day on the deck yesterday, just chilling out waiting for our 3pm Dr call. Brad took Robbie for a walk but otherwise we just hung out at home all day.

Tomorrow is my appointment with the specialist who will decide what to do with my prescription dosage.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Doctors, Critters and Projects

So, since this thyroid issue popped up I have put on what can only be described as -- well, fat. I've gained about 10 lbs that won't go away, mostly around the middle. Because the thyroid controls the metabolism, when the thyroid stopped working the weight added up, and quarantine didn't help. Well, I think they have me more or less back to 'normal' now but the metabolism is still too low and the weight is still on.

Last friday we went to Salt Spring for Brad's 1st weekly massage for months and while there, I went to the hospital to give some blood for the Endocrinologist that I have an appointment with this coming Friday...

Today we both have appointments with our family doctor, great kid (LOL - he's my oldest son's age). I have a lot of things to tell him about, all of which I assume are related to the thyroid issue but since I do not generally make good medical decisions - I will let him be the judge, however I know there is a painful squeezy machine in my future. Perhaps its just old age and my body is falling apart - that is an option, not one I like to consider, but an option nonetheless.

A couple of days ago I pulled out the sewing machine. Some curtains I put up a few weeks ago were too long and it was making me crazy in the head -- okay, so I was already crazy in the head -- but that is beside the point. I shortened the curtains and then went to my closet.

Brad has many, many old grubby T-shirts that he refuses to get rid of (he is a T-shirt hoarder ;D) so I convinced him to part with one and proceeded to cut it up in to 2 inch strips. I then gathered a bunch of my T-shirts and proceeded to cut the seams and sew in a 2 inch strip on each side. This will give me something to wear that will be a little more comfortable in the short term and WHEN this weight comes off, I can just cut out the strips and sew the shirt closed, no one will know the difference.

I then went online and ordered some (hopefully) better fitting clothes. No indication as to when they will arrive. Never bought clothes online before and I'm very concerned about the fit.

Our garden is coming along well, although the slugs out here are a significant problem. Sage green with black spots and solid black slugs are everywhere. They love my romaine and broccoli especially. I have found a solution though - COFFEE. I make a spray bottle of instant coffee and spray it on all the leaves after each rain (still raining a lot out here). I didn't spray the potatoes the first night because they hadn't been near them but when they couldn't get at anything else they attacked the potatoes and so now everything gets a spritz of coffee and they are leaving the garden alone.

We had something else attacking our garden and I was sure it was rabbits but the landlord assures us there haven't been any rabbits around here since he ate the last one a long time ago... Then we discovered the Otters, yup Otters. I was sitting on the deck one day and this massive rat ran across the orchard. I only caught a quick look at it and having never seen an otter out of water before I didn't know what the hell it was. Brad thought it was a rat when I described it to him and I assured him that if that was a rat - we were moving! Then a quick google search and I recognized the culprit, however they (family of 4 - we have since learned) don't seem to be bothering the garden. I saw one climb into the cherry tree in the garden once but that was it.

The zipper I ordered for Robbie's bed cover finally arrived (4 weeks from Guelph Ontario) so I also did that while I had the sewing machine out.

Yesterday, the magnet screen I had ordered for the french door arrived and I promptly set about putting that up, it is ordered to measure and this one (unlike a previous one I picked up) not only fits precisely but is a sturdy good quality one. We also replaced the door handle and deadbolt on the back door as it completely failed the other day.

Our neighbour and newest friend, Kane, gave us a housewarming gift, as we had mentioned that we like the one he has on his cabin. So Brad set about setting it up at the front door.

Because we are on a cistern, and this is new to us, we check our water level each Monday. Our cistern is pretty big, 30ft x 10ft and 63in deep. This allows for a total of 9810.42 Gallons (yes, I have a spread sheet so we can follow it and know what to expect next year). When we moved in the water level was 42.5 inches, and this past Monday it was sitting at 42 inches (6540.28 Gallons). We've had a lot of rain since we moved here so the water catchment has been keeping us in water, however the sun will eventually come out... so we are taking precautions (I think I explained this in another post) but essentially and especially because we have a lot of flowers to keep watered we are using water preservation methods...

My bath water is pumped from the upstairs bathroom via this green garden hose in to this 55 Gal bucket between the house and the wood shed using a pump we purchased. This water is then used in the front garden. Because my bath ritual is for relaxation and not cleansing (I shower in the mornings for that), there is no soap in this water and it can also be pumped back in to the cistern and recycled through the 3 filters on the system allowing us to reuse it - should that become necessary.

We also do this in the shower, we have a pail in the (very large) shower that we use to catch the water that would otherwise be wasted while setting the temperature of the water and getting ourselves wet. The bucket is then moved out of the way for the lather and rinse, it is strictly for fresh water. It sounds like a lot of effort, but it really isn't. If the shower was a standard shower stall it would be much more awkward but our shower is about 6ft deep and 3ft wide so there is plenty of room. This water is then taken out the back door where I have another 55 Gallon bucket for watering the flowers along the side of the house and the garden we have on the deck.

Because the weather has been so bad and the slugs were such a problem and given that the romaine is generally not doing so well in the garden (Quail have also pulled it out of the ground while 'dusting' themselves - don't ask me, I've no idea)... we decided to plant the rest of our romaine, carrot and dill starts in planters on the deck where we can better monitor and control it. We also have 4 strawberry pots and a massive tomatoe plant that I think I mentioned before in a previous post.

Because I know someone is likely to ask, yes we can have water delivered should our cistern run dry at a cost of about $300 for something like 4000Gal. However, no one wants to have to do that so we are challenging ourselves to see how much water we can conserve. We're retired and unemployed so its something to do... LOL

Friday, 19 June 2020

A short hike

With things more or less under control around the new homestead we decided to go for a hike yesterday at one of the nearby trails.

Leashed Robbie but never did see any sheep, I think you have to go left for sheep and we went right.

Tons of these decorated rocks all along the trail

We relocated some but left about half of them where they were

At the trailhead

Sure blends in



Reminiscent of an English lane

Great trail with plenty of up and down. We went up and around but then decided to go back the way we came instead of completely the square back home. 1.5 kilometers total.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Broom and a new Chair

Not long after we arrived Brad volunteered to help with Broom removal on the island and also to help a lady with recycling (cans) delivery to Nanaimo. 

On Friday, as we were going to Salt Spring for Brad's first massage since the new normal and also my first haircut, we took the load of cans to Nanaimo for her. The funds from the can recycling (lots of people on the island donate the cans to her and her yard was filling up) are used to help with animal care on the island. Food and medication for people who otherwise could not afford to properly maintain their pet's health. 

Broom is an invasive plant we first heard about on Salt Spring Island (at least I heard heard about it there). It has been cut down all around the island and on Saturday morning we, along with many others, went to help load it up and take it to the burning grounds in our big truck. This has allowed us to meet several people on the island also.


The burn pile

Yesterday, I just happened to be on FB and as I've joined all the local FB pages for this island, I saw that someone was giving away a recliner. She had loaded it in her truck to take to the local goodwill shop only to find that the goodwill is not accepting such items yet, they are only taking recycling (cans and bottles - yes, another totally different place taking them). So as it was already loaded in her truck, she was asking if anyone wanted it. So I tagged it and she even delivered as it was already loaded.

New recliner in really good shape


Oh look, it's a standy upper one! 

I had also seen a dress shirt which was brand new with the price tag still on it of $60, the woman got it on sale for $40 and I paid her $10. Not bad at all. I have noticed a definite difference between the for sale pages on this island compared to Salt Spring though.

SaltSpring has much better stuff on the used FB pages, by far. I still monitor the SaltSpring pages because we are there once a week for massages anyway so if I can find a good deal there, I can usually email the funds and they will hold the item until I can pick it up which is very handy. Same with Nanaimo, I watch that area also on Kijiji and Craigslist.

The trouble I find is that unless you watch them all day long you often miss good deals and frankly I just have no interest in sitting online all day. So I check them each morning shortly after 7:30 when the first days listings are posted and sometimes I can get a deal before anyone else scoops it up. This is how I furnished this house.

Now that we have the basic items we need to live in an house, I am watching for deals to replace what we have with better stuff, and we can then give away or sell what we currently have.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Touring around our island

Like a new mother, I've been checking on the garden each morning... the other day I noticed something has been eating the leaves. I'm told it is slugs - big black slimy slugs. How to solve slugs? Coffee apparently. Simply make a pot of coffee and put it in a spray bottle, spray the leaves and I'm told the slugs will stay away.... so I am. To be honest, I actually didn't get to the garden today (pouring rain most of the day) so I'm hoping the coffee is working but I'll have to check it tomorrow. Brad also picked up some slug 'stuff' from the hardware store so failing coffee - 'stuff' it is.

Coffee solution? Keep you posted.

Our new laundry set arrived on Friday and we promptly got to installing that. Tight quarters and that's all I shall say about it.

We went for a walk along the waterfront yesterday, I had a hip muscle start bothering me so I turned around for the car while Brad and Robbie kept going for a short while before returning to the car. While I was waiting, I went down to the water.


Logging remnants can be seen all around the island

Incredible erosion

Entrance Island in the distance and a naturally formed scarecrow of tree.

Curious pock marked circle clearly defined

The smell of the seaweed reminds us of England

Closer pic of the erosion - fascinating.

And yet another odd encasing in the rock, I have stuck my sexy toes in the pic for size

Today we went for a drive and ended up in Drumbeg Provincial Park, passed this enroute

More erosion

Mixing currents can be seen just under that lighthouse beacon

Friday, 5 June 2020

Dog fight overhead and Hummingbird Heaven

Our house operates on a cistern (massive concrete water container in basement), as such our water is collected from rainfall which runs down the roof (house, woodshed, cabin and carport) into the gutters and is funnelled into the cistern to provide the house with water for daily life. 

On Wednesday I cleaned out the gutters on the wood shed and yesterday the gutters on the carport of the cabin next door, both were quite blocked with crud which would obviously have to absorb the water before allowing it to trickle through into the gutters and a decent amount of our precious water would then simply evaporate before getting to the gutter. The main house and the cabin roofs themselves are just too high for me to contend with, if we owned the home I'd bother but as its not ours I'm just not going there.

Not the worst one, but the only gutter I got a picture of.

Basking in the shade... typical men.

Wood shed is filling in.

View of our place from the cabin.

When we moved in the peaches looked like this.

Now they look like this.

Some interesting ships sail by here so I think I'll create a photo collection of them.
(Looks Titanic-ish)

Yesterday we had Eagles and Buzzards fighting over our heads. The buzzards had a significant amount of feathers missing from their backsides - the eagles were clearly winning. One older and one younger eagle (perhaps it was training day). You can see the missing plumage (lower bird) in this picture if you look closely.

They flew around very close - we'd never seen an eagle in flight within 20 feet before. Beautiful.

Second unusual ship. Reminded us of an old Japanese ship (name escapes me).

I am going to show before and after pics when I get a better shot with sunlight... supposed to rain all week but I'll watch for a moment. Meanwhile, the wood pile is stored.

All the wood is put away and there is still room for our garden tools.

The grape vine was overgrowing the upper deck in the front of the house, the landlord said we could cut it out but we felt so guilty about it that we are trying to keep them alive... Absolutely no clue if this is doable but we had to try. I know from an app that this is an invasive species so we are hoping that they will take if we keep them saturated for a few days. They are clearly not doing well right now but they appear to still be salvageable. We will see. 

Special treat. 

There are dozens of Hummingbirds around here and they love the feeders the neighbour has on the cottage. They will drink my feeder but not to the extend they do his, I'll ask him today what his secret ingredient is.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Garden complete - Almost

We managed to get our garden planting finished on Sunday, but then yesterday an order of seeds that I placed weeks ago arrived...... so....

In this corner we have:
Asparagus, Sweet peas, several different Tomatoes and Romaine

In the main body we have:
Old and New potatoes, Butternut squash, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Green/Red/Yellow/Orange/Jalapeno Peppers, Celery, Dill, Parsley and Cucumber

Here I have Sunflowers, Dill, Oregano, Carrots, Onions and Romaine

Not sure yet how we will fit these new additions in as the garden space is pretty full but we'll have to find a way -- especially for the Romaine as we eat so much of it.

We also received an order of 2 cords of wood yesterday and we managed to get a good chunk of that stored into the wood shed before it started to feel like rain so Brad went to the shops for a part for the sink repair (hang on I'll get there) and grabbed a tarp while he was there. Good thing because we barely had it covered when the weather guessers were wrong and it bloody rained!! It will take a few days to get this put away because I am clearly still recovering from my Thyroid thing even if I do feel fine and with Brad's injuries we're a right pair.

Now about the sink. About a week after moving in I realized that the drain pipe under one side of the double sink was not attached (yes, I found that the hard way). We've been so busy with everything else that I was just using one side until we could get to sorting it. Yesterday was sink sorting day, now both sinks drain properly but there is a missing stopper so I'll have to pick that up as each of the two sinks have different stoppers -- no idea how that happened, but.... there you have it. Oh, and the dishwasher, which we don't actually use (not enough dishes, so easier to do by hand) doesn't drain.

As does (not) the washing machine (new washer and dryer expected to arrive on Friday, btw) I am able to do laundry (did it yesterday) by washing in the washer (bang/clang/boom), wringing the clothes out and then hanging them on my laundry line on the back deck to dry for a couple of days. There is a better laundry line in the front (in the sun) but I can't access it yet because the grape vines need to be redirected off the deck so I can get out there and we just haven't gotten to that chore yet. First world problems, I know.

I don't think I mentioned it but I am back to Pickleball. I started back on Thursday and went again on Sunday, today is the 3rd scheduled play day of the week... The club has been very welcoming which is nice, like me they seem to just want to play - not become professional picklers, so that is awesome. Playing with pro wannabe's is stressful, so having a club where everyone just wants to have fun (such as Salt Spring) is fantastic. So the Covid-19 protocols for play require that each player has their own ball and no one touches another players balls (never thought I'd write that on this blog - haha!) This is a pain in the arse but is easily adapted to and its all for fun anyway so who cares?!