Wonderful Weather

After a crummy summer, the weather turned beautiful about four weeks ago; just in time for Fall. We took advantage of the sunshine and went apple picking.

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After Becky filled our bag with apples, we headed to another farm for a well-earned cup of tea and a pumpkin muffin.

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One if the reasons we love this particular farm is because they also have a gift shop. There are lots of home made jams, pickles, sauces, and pies. Yum! There are also unusual things like this

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Bacon Hot Chocolate! Of course we bought it.

There’s shelves and shelves of treasures which we like to look at but rarely buy.

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We mainly bought cookbooks by local chefs such as Michael Smith and Lynn Crawford. They tend to use local products and cater to out weird Canadian palates.

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I think we will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll post one of the recipes we cook.

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Making it Work

The first week at work continued to be hectic. I was either driving the bus or driving the car to appointments. Becky’s regular helper has been away the whole time, so there’s no breaks for me during the day. On Friday, my students cancelled, so I was given a different bus route to drive in the afternoon. I had to learn a new route with several pick ups and drop offs in two hours! It started an hour earlier, which threw off my schedule with Becky.

This week has been slightly better. Still no helper, still running to appointments, and still having new routes thrown at me. Becky is now in her second cast.

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These are to straighten her foot, so she will be more comfortable in a splint. Over time, the muscles tighten and she goes through this process to stretch them out. It involves weekly casting up to eight weeks. Each cast has to be monitored for 24 hours to make sure that circulation is not being cut off and there is no pain. It’s a very tiring process for Becky now she has extra weight attached to her weaker leg, and it’s restrictive for both of us.

By the time we get to the weekend, we are both ready for something different. Lately, we have been cooking. Last weekend we made Tapas , salsa, and bread dough. Last night we made cinnamon rolls ready to pop in the oven this morning.

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They were delish!

We also roasted a whole bunch of tomatoes.

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We are going to make these into pasta sauce later today.

Life is very tiring and restrictive at the moment, but we always find a way to make it bearable. Bon appetit!

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First Day

Tuesday was my first day driving a school bus as a job. It started off alright, safety check, drive to first pick up, load students, and then I went to drop the students off at the school. “No. We can’t take the student in a wheelchair as we don’t have the facilities to accommodate them”, the teacher informed me. This was a temporary location while another school was under construction.

I waited about thirty minutes while various staff came and went and said they were trying to figure out what to do. I finally got the nod to take the student home. No problem. I drove the student back home, completed the drop off and headed back to base. I arrived home at 10:30 am instead of 9:30, which was what I expected.

Becky had an appointment at 10:30 and we weren’t there. I called to let them know we couldn’t make. I was told that there was another opening at 11:10. “We’ll be there”, I said. I ran around putting on Becky’s splint, changing wheelchairs (another story) and packing everything we needed. We arrived at 11:05. Am I good or what!?

Appointment complete. We arrived home ready for lunch. Once we’d finished that, it was time for me to head back to work. So far, so good. I was a little frazzled, but okay. I started driving to pick up the students from school. It started raining, and raining, and raining, and flooding.

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It wasn’t quite that deep, but there were several inches of water on the road. Traffic slowed to a crawl. I heard that traffic lights were out in several places across the city. ‘Not the first day’, I thought. I was already nervous about driving a bus and starting work again after five years. I really didn’t need the added stress. I went slowly and made it. Then I had to wait twenty minutes as I was at the back of the bus line. The school seemed to load one bus at a time, so it took a long time to load the ten or twelve buses ahead of me.

I got the student home, and I got me home, an hour late. Then I threw some food together because Becky’s attendant was due. I finally collapsed about 7 pm. What a day! I was really hoping the rest of the week was going to go a little smoother.

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Keys to the Bus

It’s official! I picked up the keys to my school bus this morning. Yeah! It has been a bit chaotic, of course, as the bus company changed and cancelled routes. Becky has started new treatment on her left ankle to straighten it out. She has tightened up this year and I can’t get her splint on. This is great news and Becky is really excited about having her, “stupid foot straightened out”. Unfortunately, it means weekly trips to Toronto for the next two months. She’s also got some dental problems so she has to go for appointments for that. I needed to know details of my bus route so I could figure out how to get Becky to these things.

I was offered a route about three weeks ago so I started planning. It was going to be tight but we could just squeeze in the visits to Toronto. I then waited for the company to call me in to practice the route. Instead I got a call on Tuesday offering me a different route. It turns out that my route had been cancelled. Why I wasn’t told, I don’t know. Anyway, I asked about the other route. Too late. It had been given to someone else. I was gutted. Complete shock. I was unemployed before I had started.

At 5 pm the same day, I got a call about a temporary route and to come in on Thursday. I was now freaking about Becky’s appointments. How was this all to be sorted out and me learn a new route in four days?

I won’t bore you with the long wait, craziness, crowded experience at the bus company. I did get a route, but I can’t work Becky’s Toronto visits into it. I asked a couple of people to help me out, but that didn’t get me anywhere, so we’ve decided to cancel the first appointment and rebook the rest.

It was a relief to see I have a fairly new bus with no eccentricities or rust. Did I mention I’ll be driving students with special needs? I have a bit of experience with that. I can’t believe it. I actually start work tomorrow. After a week of stress and sleepless nights, I suddenly feel relaxed.

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Calming Effects of Nature

Becky’s been home for two weeks and I already feel like she never went away. I run through every day, I’m tired, but then I can’t sleep. Yep, back to normal. There are some Becky developments, but I’ll know more tomorrow. Until then, a few recent photos from a walk I did along the Bruce Trail.
Borer’s Falls

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The trail is in Dundas, Ontario and overlooks the city of Hamilton. I love walking. It always relaxes me and usually helps me think. I can’t go for long hikes when Becky is home, so this was a lovely treat for me.
Enjoy!

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The Camp Diaries

I picked Becky up from camp this morning. Once home, it took me an hour to get her clean! We had a little lunch, a cup of tea, and then had time to look at her photos. Wow! I asked her if I could share some of them with you because they are amazing. She is amazing.
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The counsellors put her in this harness.
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and then swung her
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like, really high!
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Then she did rock climbing…
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And then she met some dude with an olmypic gold medal. I love this shot; it’s soooo Canadian, eh
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And then they had wild west day and she wore the best hat, ever
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and then she went in the pool
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and then she met her new best friend.

What a great time she had. Thanks to all the staff, fundraisers, and organizers who make this possible. You are all truly amazing, just like my girl!

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A Walk in Toronto

As you know, Becky has been away at camp allowing me a little free time. Quite a bit of it has been spent on rather mundane things like garage, lift repair, and the vets, but I did manage a couple of escapes. On the spur of the moment, I took the train into Toronto today. My goal was to walk to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). It had a facelift a few years ago, which caused some controversy, so I decided to see for myself.

The walk is probably about 2.5 miles/4 km. My first stop was Queen’s Park.

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I crossed the road and thought I was in an English village.

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It’s part of Toronto University campus. Really beautiful isn’t it. I carried on north till I found the ROM.

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Wow! That’s quite a modern frontage on an historic building. Here’s the inside for comparison.

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I didn’t plan on going in, but I discovered that the Forbidden City exhibition was there, so I went in. I’m soooo glad I did because it was extremely beautiful and very interesting. I learnt a little more about the history of the Forbidden City and the emperors who had lived there. The emperors robes were stunning; embroidered silk, and the art work was gorgeous. I had a hard time deciding what to buy at the gift shop, but finally settled on this small stash.

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I walked back to the train station and headed home. It was such a great day, full of surprises, and it combined many of the things I love. I really had no expectations today, and maybe that’s when great things happen. We can wander, meander, and change our course, finding places we’ve never seen before.

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