Jack’s Walk

The Palomino Tree, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Our walk today was slow and short. To begin with it’s raining. There’s been a constant light rain since yesterday and every now and then it unexpectedly morphs into a heavy downpour that eats up the light and has you soaked in seconds. That’s what accounts for the shortness of our walk. The slowness is another matter, though. On rainy days I move like a sloth. The best way that I can explain it is that I feel like I’m moving through thick porridge. Even my hands give me trouble and simple things like doing up buttons and keyboarding seem to take forever. Today it’s worse than usual and I’ve got quite a bit of brain fog to go along with it. Let me tell you why.

Yesterday Mr. Voyager had sleep dentistry done. This is becoming a thing around my area. You’re given a light general anesthetic while they do fillings, etc. and it’s commonly used for children. Mr. V needed 2 root canals done plus several fillings so being asleep seemed like the best option. He’s had sleep dentistry done in the past and it went well so we weren’t expecting any problems. Ha, silly us. This time the Mr. wouldn’t wake up. He went under at 11 o’clock with about 2 hours worth of work to be done. At about 1:30 the nurse came to tell me everything went well, but they couldn’t rouse the big guy. Nothing to worry about they said, he’s just sleeping. OK, I thought, he didn’t sleep well the night before so let him snooze for a bit. Then 3 o’clock came and went. Then 4, then 5 and by the time 6 o’clock rolled around the office was closing up for the night and the nurse is still telling me not to worry, he’s just sleeping and they’ll stay with him as long as needed. Finally at 8 pm the Dr. himself walked my sweet, groggy husband out to the car and we made the 45 minute trip home. My sleeping beauty drowsed the whole way home, went to bed as soon as we got in the door and didn’t get up until 11 o’clock this morning. He says he’s feeling quite refreshed. Me, not so much.

I do most things standing up resting on my arms because sitting is uncomfortable. My desk is at standing height and so is my work table. Some days even lying down isn’t comfortable so I’ve learned how to sleep standing up. It’s because of the fibro plus an advancing  scoliosis. Sitting causes nerve compression which sets off sciatica which sets of the fibro which makes voyager a tad cranky. Yesterday, I sat for hours. It was pouring rain outside so going for a walk wasn’t appealing and there was nowhere I could stand and rest my arms. I also kept thinking he’ll be awake soon and we can go home.

Jack’s day wasn’t much better. We left him with my brother-in-law who has a dog about the same size as Jack named Angus. Angus is a dick. He’s part German shepherd, part border collie and part Australian cattle dog and he’s smart as a whip, as fast as the wind and a bully. He taunts Jack and teases him with toys that he never shares. Yesterday was the longest that Jack has had to stay with Angus, almost 12 hours, and he was absolutely overjoyed to see us. I can see today that he’s exhausted so I don’t think Angus let him rest yesterday.

So, both of us slow today. Sorry about the prattling on, but I can’t find the brevity button in my brain. I hope you find some joy in whatever you do and have a good weekend.


Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s shedding season and poor Jack is looking a bit shabby. His coat is covered in tufts and clumps of lightly coloured, curly hair that pokes out at odd angles. I try to brush him every day, but I simply can’t brush him long enough . To begin with, my arms gets sore. Sure, I’m out of shape, but Jack won’t stand still and the whole process feels a lot like trying to herd cats while wrestling with a bear.It’s lab-orious. The clumps mostly come out whole and as soon as they’re free of the dog they astonishingly explode in size like a magician’s flowers. The brush fills up after only one or two passes. While I stop to declog Jack decides to wander over there (look mommy it’s bird poop!) so I have to go get him and try to make a good pass while he’s turning in a circle trying to get behind me. Jack isn’t a timid dog, but he doesn’t like being the front guy. He prefers to be one or two paces behind me which isn’t exactly workable in this situation. And then we repeat. And repeat. And…

I did buy one of those Furminator type brushes which doesn’t clog up , but Jack didn’t like it at all and he writhed and he wriggled like a slippery eel until I finally gave up and went back to using a slicker. I figure it’s his body so he should have the choice. This won’t be over any time soon. My little hair machine of a boy has still got heaps and bunches of undercoat to shed, but it’s just one of the rites of spring, like rain and mud, and there’s nothing to be done about it except to accept it.

Jack’s Walk


Green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

More green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

Ha! The forecast was wrong. It’s a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and the air is filled with that earthy scent of spring. I can hear birds singing and the neighbourhood is full of busy squirrels running here and there doing all the things that squirrels do in the spring. Jack was feeling energetic today, too, and he pranced and wagged for most of the walk stopping often to follow a scent or leave a splash of pee. We went past the high school just as the kids were going for lunch and Jack schmoozed with a few gaggles of teens and left happiness in his wake. Best of all today, green is back. The grass is turning a lovely kelly green and there are bunches of fresh green tulips and hyacinths and daffodils getting ready to flower. I can hardly wait.

Jack’s Walk

A cloudy day in early spring. This photo is in full colour. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, it’s rain, rain, rain around here for the next 6 days if you believe the forecast. I don’t usually believe the forecast when the weather is supposed to be good, so why should I believe it when the weather’s supposed to be bad. That might make me an optimist and a pessimist which likely equals out to being a realist, which sounds about right. I’m being stiff upper-lipped about the weather, though. I keep telling myself that April Showers bring May Flowers and that it’s like this every year. Spring is wet, but at least this week it’s rain and not snow and the temps are steadily rising and the sun and the flowers and the birds and the bees will be here soon. Hmm… might be an optimist after all.

Tree Tuesday

I love to see the bright, fresh blossoms on flowering trees in early spring, but around here the show hasn’t started yet and the trees seem to be waking up very, very slowly. In Germany, though, the cherry trees are in full bloom and Avalus has taken some gorgeous photographs to share with us.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

I am a rock. Really. Now go away. ©voyager, all rights reserved

You heard the lady, er I mean rock, now get lost you great slobbering git of a dog! ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s nesting season at the duck pond, which actually has more geese than ducks. Around the pond proper there are several nesting groups, but this couple wanted a bit more privacy and are nesting at the far end of the creek by themselves. Last year there was a small nesting group here so perhaps these two are waiting for the neighbours to arrive. The male was very protective and drew Jack away from the nesting site and gave him quite a verbal drubbing. Honk, honk, honk is obviously a 4 letter goose word for fuck off, buddy.

A Progression of Beautiful Mornings

It’s been a while and I’ve collected quite a few, so here, all at once, is a collection of mornings at the train station, from about mid-January to the very beginning of April. It all starts out quite dark, gloomy and melodramatic, as January ought to be – it is, after all, the depth of cruel winter, and the freezing grip of the season is unrelenting…

January. ©rq, all rights reserved.

February. ©rq, all rights reserved.

Beginning of March. ©rq, all rights reserved.

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Barberry Flowers for Caine

Something very special from Nightjar.

The Barberry shrub I planted last year in Caine’s memory (https://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2018/08/22/a-living-remembrance/) is blooming right now and the bees have been visiting it. This Sunday I was finally able to take a few photos and I thought I should share.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

Hello, my pretties. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Today is one of those ‘April Showers’ kind of days, but Jack and I got our timing right for a change and managed to stay dry for our whole trip around the duck pond.  It’s still blustery, but yesterday’s -4º has given way to today’s +13º and the change is quite pleasant. It’s also pleasant to look around and see signs of spring everywhere. Daffodils and tulips have sprouted, the swans are outdoors at the park again and the trees get slightly fuzzier everyday. Even the lawns are starting to green up. A bit of sunshine would help, but with or without it Spring will keep inching forward. I’d like to poke it with a broom to make it hurry up.

You’re a sight for sore eyes. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Full Fish Ahead: Part 4

It’s time to check in with Avalus to see what’s up in the new aquarium.

Part 4 – Technically Challenged

You could see it in the last part of Full Fish ahead: I modified the filter inlet tubing. Today I want to talk about what I did and why.

A word of warning: When playing around with water, make sure you have no non-water safe electrical McGuffins running in the splash zone and test, extensively, if your seals are really waterproof (for example overnight in a box).

As you can see, I have a darker background. It is an old towel and will be replaced later on by paper. ©Avalus, all rights reserved

A darker background helps to calm shyer fish and lets their colours stand out. I also cut some of the plants in the middle (Didiplis diandra) to give the other plants between space and light (Hygrophilia Araguaia and cryptocoryne wenditii).

The filter comes with 16 mm hose and an inlet piece that fits the hose. The Problem with this is threefold. One, the Inlet has few large openings, small fish and especially shrimp will get sucked in the filter. It also congests really quickly. Then, just behind the inlet, the water flow is choked and because of the small diameter there is much resistance from the walls, resulting in higher strain in the pump. Also the hose really quickly plugs up from particles sticking to the walls and bacterial mats that will grow. [Read more…]