This evening, I had a very disconcerting… frightening experience. I got lost.

It wasn’t that I was actually “lost”. I was on my way to a friend’s house in the country which I have gone to about this time, three years in a row, now. Each time I manage to get on the wrong road. I am sure I know how to get there and somehow get turned around. So, tonight, I planned out my route, wrote the instructions down and started on the way. I was watching for my turn and thought I had missed it so I made a turn which should have gotten me to another road to get onto the road I needed. Finally, I found the road I was looking for and started down it. Suddenly it became a dirt road so I turned back, found someone and asked if it was “still #7”. No, they told me, that’s a long distance off. I swear I was ON #7. Anyway, he gave me instructions to where I was supposed to be headed and I set off again and I found myself back on track and knew the road I was looking for was not much further on. I stopped to get gas and bought a road atlas and headed off again. I knew from looking at the map that I should turn left just up the road. I turned left and the road was just not the road it should be so I took out the map, again… and for some reason, I couldn’t look at where I was and make sense of the map.

It sounds silly, but I have been up and down all the roads in the area may, many times. I have been to the house several other times and I just couldn’t think where I was. I couldn’t figure out what direction I was pointed. I knew I wasn’t “lost”… I just couldn’t figure out in my head where I was. It is sort of like starting to fall down stairs and not be able to stop yourself because your foot keeps missing the step. Like I had a blank spot in my brain. I started to panic. Finally, I found the road I was looking for and then the house. I was pretty shaken and, I know this sounds silly, but I started to cry.

I don’t know if it’s because I have been having trouble sleeping and I am just really tired or what. The one thing that I kept thinking about was that this must be like for someone who has memory problems… and then I started wondering if I have problems or am starting to have problems. I am prepared to think it was a one-off. Still. It was really upsetting.

Photo Hunt: Together

The obvious choices for this week’s Photo Hunt were:

Mom and me, aged 37 and 5 and almost 87 and 55.

This is the first time that my brother and my sisters and I were together for the first time EVER. R to l, Me , brother Sandy, sisters Peg and Shari.

A little help, here?

I have a favour to ask. I want to post an image from my “Twilight World of Shorpyville” to the Shorpy website.

What I need to know is what you think the title should be. The original is “The Corridor, 1898” and which you prefer. Click on the images to a link to the hi-res image.

Biopsy Results

My doctor called just now and told me the results of my biopsy. Apparently, there were no abnormalities!

I now have to go for yearly mammograms instead of bi-annual.

My advice? When your doctor tells you do get your bits and pieces tested… GET YOUR BITS AND PIECES TESTED!

Photo Hunt: “Patch”

This week’s Photo Hunt theme is “Patch”.

I immediately thought about patches of light (since it has been REALLY hot and sunny this week). The first photo was taken during a drive in the country, just before a rainstorm. I am always awed by the shafts of sunlight filtering through clouds. Majestic! I used to watch this German-American painter who hosted a program showing how to paint (not because I liked his painting — sort of along the line of “starvin’ artist” paintings– but because I loved his patter). He used to refer to things as “an almighty sky” or “an almighty mountain”. This is “an almighty sky”.

The next series were taken last summer when I was out listening to friends playing at a country pub. It was a brilliantly hot day and the sun was blazing through the windows and landing in patches. I was fascinated by light filtering through my beer and creating rainbows and its highlighting objects around the room. And, yes, the music was great!

Raspberry season!

I stopped by the farm stand on the way home from work yesterday. There are still strawberries available but the crop is getting a bit sorry. I may get a basket tomorrow. However, raspberries are now available and SOOOOOO good! Sadly, the season is just too short!

… and, of course, Benjamin gets the milk-dregs!

Photo Hunt: Backwards

For this week’s Photo Hunt  theme, I picked photos of my favourite tavern in Ottawa. From the inside, the sign painted on the windows outside looks backwards.

There are only a few traditional taverns left in Ottawa. The Elmdale House Tavern is one of them. The building, itself dates to 1909 but the Elmdale House Tavern opened in 1934. Originally, it probably had a single barroom but new (and backward) liquor laws which were enacted in 1937 required all Ontario Taverns to have“two separate and distinct beverage rooms – one for men only, and the other solely for women, except where attended by bona fide escorts” (The Globe March 29, 1937, “Liquor Board to Curb Mixed Drinking in Ontario Hotels, New Rules to Require Two Rooms”). Women were forbidden to cross into the “men only” section. And even if they owned the tavern, women were not permitted to SERVE in the men only sections! By 1944, after much back and forth about the right of women to serve in such establishments, the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) stipulated that “authority holders desiring this privilege [to have female servers working within the Ladies and Escorts room] must make application to the Board as well as submit a medical certificate covering the proposed employee and indicating that she is free from disease”!!! Most provinces had the same laws.

In the 1970s, I can still recall being required to remain in the “Ladies and Escorts” side of all the taverns that my friends and I went to. By then, women were permitted to go into taverns unattended, in the company of female friends, or in mixed groups… but we were still not permitted in the “men only” room. It wasn’t until the late 70s when the law permitted women to go into the “men’s” side. I can still recall the time when we were looking for a friend and my male friend took me through the “Men only” room of the famed Chateau Lafayette (older than the city of Ottawa and one of Ottawa’s oldest institutions!). Despite the fact that women were by then permitted in, it was still a male only bastion and I can recall the glares and stares I got from the denizens.

Some taverns retained the “no women allowed” attitude well into the 1980s. My former father-in-law recalls when The Bank Hotel Tavern in Quebec being the target of a protest by women who wanted the right to have lunch and a beer in the still male-only tavern. They came into the bar and were physically ejected onto the street by the male patrons! It took a court challenge to finally change the unwritten rule of “men only”. Not long ago, ago that you weren’t allowed to pick up your drinks and carry it to another table. If you wanted to move to another table, your waiter had to take your drinks over for you…

Many of the taverns still have the old “Ladies and Escorts” entrance, some still with their sign. Often, the “Ladies and Escorts” door was at the side or back of the building. The Elmdale often feels like you’ve travelled backwards in time.

The Elmdale House Tavern was purchased, updated, and reopened in 2007 and has become one of the most popular music venues in the city. It still retains its traditional tavern atmosphere, especially during the daytime, but it rocks at night! The owners have made a point of supporting local bands and music artists as well as some pretty big names from across Canada and the USA, especially Rockabilly, alt-Country, Rock and Roll, and alternative bands.

I don’t have too many photos of it when it is really hopping because I’ve tended to spend my time videotaping the shows.

Wanda Jackson and The Lustre Kings – “Funnel of Love”

I do have a lot of photos taken killing time waiting for the music to start… Most of these coins have the Queen facing the stage. They are, therefore, backwards!

The car

Yesterday, I decided to take my Mom for a drive down to Kemptville as a treat. When I tried to start the car, all I got was a clickety-clickety-clickety-click sound. The radio was working but the window wipers were really slow. I figured it was the battery… again. I just had it replaced after it died about a month ago! I called CAA and he gave me a boost. We chatted for a couple of minutes and when I said that I had just replaced the battery he suddenly said “Open your trunk!” He closed it after putting the back seat down and looked into the trunk from the inside of the back seat. “Check it out! That’s why your battery is dying so often!” The interior trunk light was staying on when the trunk lid was closed. He removed it and I shouldn’t have any trouble with it.


I had my biopsy done today. I wasn’t sure if I should expect to have a lot of pain –during OR after the procedure.

The DURING was not the most pleasant experience, not from the biopsy, itself. It was from the crick in my neck from the “table” they use. I have no idea who designed this contraption but either they have no idea how women are actually built — that their breasts aren’t placed somewhere near their bellybuttons — or it was designed for elves.

The table is rectangular with a large (2 feet across, probably)  saucer shape in the middle leaving about 3.5 feet at the top and bottom of the table. The saucer had a hole in it large enough to fit your head through. The hole is where your breast hangs and is compressed by the Mammogram machine. You lie on the table with your boob through this hole and your head “resting” within the saucer. They give you a flat pillow (not as seen in the image, below) which is useless. You end up bunching that under your neck so your neck is forced into a flex. The weight of your neck makes this quite painful. I finally asked if I could have something to rest my forehead on and was given a wadded up towel. That reduced but didn’t erase the crick I got.

Stereotactic table (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)

So, with your boob through the hole, you are left with your legs sticking out across the end of the table. They have a sort of leg rest (thinner than seen above) that they can pull out but in only extends as far as mid-shin. I am only 5’4″ tall. I can only imagine what someone taller than I would feel like. The table, itself looks exactly as above, with the exception of the pillow and the leg rest.

Once they have your breast compressed (this wasn’t as compressed as is needed for a regular mammogram) they inject a local anaesthetic into it. Since the tissue they were biopsying was fairly deep behind the breast, they had to put in a lot of freezing. Then they insert the biopsy needle using Stereotactic imaging. It takes images from two different angles and provides the location of the tissue to be removed. The doctor can pinpoint the area that is being biopsied and guides the needle around and remove the tissue. I could feel the needle moving about but it was only slightly painful at the end, when he was actually removing the tissue. They then place a Titanium marker into the breast where they removed the tissue so that they know exactly where it was before. The marker looks like a small “R” (About half the size of the one you see here).

Even so, it was only a mild sensation of pain. They showed me all the scans and an image of the tissue removed. The microcalcifications look like grains of salt. Since they removed them all, if they turn out to be benign, there is no chance of them becoming cancerous later on. I suppose that if they are cancerous, there would be some radiation therapy.

They said that I might have no bruising, a little bruising, or bruising that extends from my bellybutton to my chin… They said that I might have some pain as the freezing left. I had a bit if itching pain earlier this afternoon but nothing that two extra-strength Tylenol couldn’t handle (no aspirin because of the blood-thinning effect).

Photo Hunt: Near

These are near (and there are more here):

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