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!

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Photo Hunt: Triangle

This weeks Photo Hunt theme is “Triangle”…

Since I haven’t been out and about recently (due to Mom’s having been sick last weekend as well as preparing for her 87th birthday party tomorrow) I am falling back on some old photos (pretty much as usual) but they are favourites.

Floating Heart (Nymphoides aquatica)

Although they grow in most temperate areas of North America and Asia, Trilliums are the official wildflower of Ontario. It is illegal to pick or dig up Trilliums in their wild state in federal and provincial parks (partly because doing so damages the plant and they were, at one time endangered in this province). It is absolutely illegal to pick “Nodding Trilliums” (I know I took some photos last spring of some Nodding Trilliums but can’t find them…). Trilliums are, however, available from nurseries so you can enjoy them in your own garden. They are one of the first wildflowers to be seen in spring and last only a week or so.

Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Ontario Labour Law and the Apocalypse (or “The Rapture”).

As many of you know, this weekend marks “Apocalypse” or “The Rapture”, set for Saturday May 21, at 8am EST. As this holiday falls the same weekend as Canada’s national holiday, “Victoria Day” – traditionally marking May 24th but conveniently moved to the closest Monday before the 24th — The Province of Ontario has outlined the specifics of it’s Labour Laws regarding this holiday weekend.

According to Ontario Law, service employees who have to work on Saturday (Rapture Day) AND the May 24th holiday (held on Monday May 23), will get their Victoria Day on Tuesday May 24th. Quebec residents who work in Ontario have the choice of taking either the Victoria Day on May 23 or on St. Jean Baptiste Day. As “The Rapture” is a religious holiday and not a federally recognized statutory holiday, employers are not obligated to provide employees with the day off. Employees may take the day of without pay. Normal rules regarding time-an-a-half and double-time apply only to the Victoria Day holiday. Quebec residents working in Ontario will be paid either for the St. Jean Batiste holiday or the Victoria Day weekend not both.

The Ontario Government has stated that, should The Rapture take place, the savings to the taxpayers of Ontario will be in the Sextillions of dollars (CDN) and may reduce the Ontario deficit by as much as 1/3.

Sunday Drive

My friend Cat and I went for a drive with Mom, today. It was a beautiful day!

We drove out to Burnstown, between Arnprior and Calabogie to a little restaurant, The Black Bird Cafe.

The Blackbird Cafe, via Calabogie B&B

It’s a pretty little restaurant and the food is wonderful, if the servings a bit large (doggie bag!). There are regular menus for lunch and dinner and on Sunday they have a roast beef special (reservations recommended), and specials on the board. I haven’t been for dinner but lunches have a large selection of wraps and a number of other entrées. Last time, both Mom and I had the Salmon Wrap, with soup and a salad (a thick soup with Chorizo sausage), and I had a cheesecake with guava (I think) topping.

Today, I had the Blackbird bacon cheeseburger, with salad and soup (Tomato and sweet basil), and chocolate cake (huge serving of cake!). Mom had the Smoked Salmon wrap, again, with soup and salad. Cat had steak wrap, with soup and salad. Total was $70, which included a glass of red wine for Mom, tea for Cat and myself, and a soft drink for Cat.

The Salmon wrap which is LOADED has spring greens, cucumber, cream cheese, and capers is fabulous!

My burger was good, though, in retrospect I’d probably have picked a different meal, not because it didn’t taste good but it just didn’t hit the right note for me. The burger was juicy and flavourful and was topped with cheese, a home-made salsa sauce, cheese, greens, and tomato and arrived on terrific home-made Ciabatta bun. I think I should have ordered the Blackbird Club sandwich.

Cat was pleased with her steak wrap “It was juicy and DELICIOUS!”. She doesn’t use mayonnaise, but I’d have liked to try the horseradish mayo.

After lunch we had planned to drop into the art gallery next door, and the gift shop but they close at 5, I guess and we missed them… Next time. Instead, we drove up past Calabogie Peaks (die-hards were still skiing). to the Madawaska Dam. I was looking for the turn-off to skirt over to Khartum and double back towards Arnprior… but I missed the turn (both on the way up and on the way down) I still can’t figure out where the right turn is BECAUSE, of course, THERE ISN’T A SIGN……

Next time…

 

 

PhotoHunt: Orange

We had this same theme some time ago. LUCKILY I have a new photo on the same theme taken a few weeks ago.

Orange Lodge #187, Patterson's Corners

The building is now the home of the Kemptville Snowmobile Klub clubhouse. “In 1979 the KSK purchased the clubhouse where it is presently located at Pattersons Corners Road and O’Neil Road, just south of Oxford Mills. The clubhouse was formerly an Orange Lodge and with a large amount of work from volunteers in the club it has been converted into a clubhouse with two floors of meeting space and full facilities.”

It dates back to at least 1889 when it was one of a number participating in a parade in Smiths Falls commemorating the 199th Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Fall colours the same day, at the Reynold’s Cemetery, Garretton, Ontario.

PhotoHunter: Free

This week’s PhotoHunter theme is “Free”.

For want of anything better, I will post some recent photos which have to do with the theme.

Recently, we rescued two turtles who were crossing the road and in danger of getting squashed. The first we released near a river after taking it for a drive in the car (and getting liberally peed on). The second I wasn’t going to mess with and just rolled it on its back and pushed it to the other side of the road. Snapping turtles are endangered and a protected species.

These are they and they were free to go…

(more on turtle rescue, below the photos)

Blanding's Turtle

Snapping turtle. Just about to flip it...

Last summer….

Painted turtle

Another look at the Blanding’s turtle.

Isn't he cute?

... not so cute....

A few things to remember about turtle rescue…

Firstly, many turtles are endangered and the ones that are not are becoming threatened by loss of habitat. Turtles often have to move across roads to get from one wet place to another, either for mating, for food, or because a pond has dried up or been drained for development.

Thousands of turtles are killed when crossing roads every summer, either when drivers don’t see them or by drivers who deliberately run them over. Accidentally running over a large Snapping Turtle can damage your car, as well, or cause a dangerous road situation. Deliberately killing or harming endangered turtles is illegal and if you see someone do it, you should report them.

It is usually illegal for you to remove wild turtles from their habitat and keep them as a pet. They are important to our ecosystems and should be left where they are whenever possible.

If it is injured, take it to a vet.

Moving turtles is relatively easy but you should always keep your own safety in mind. Be careful when you are standing on or crossing any roadway, especially when visibility is hampered by terrain or weather. If you have someone with you, have them watch for and alert traffic to slow down or stop.

Always make sure that you are putting the turtle on the side of the road that it was heading for and far enough off the road that it won’t try and go back the way it came from.

If you know there is water nearby, take the turtle there and release it near the water (not in it, in case you’ve mistaken a tortoise for a turtle or in case the turtle is injured. You don’t want to drown it!).

Always use caution when approaching a turtle if you aren’t familiar with the various species. Snappers are extremely fast and have a longer reach than you might give them credit for.

NEVER pick a turtle, even a Snapper, up by the tail. You can use the tail to flip a Snapper over but carrying one by the tail can damage the spine. As well, they are heavy and if you drop them, despite their having a thick shell, it can do some serious damage to the shell and it hurts the turtle.

Even if a turtle only breaks the skin if it bites you, the bite can be septic, especially the bites of Snappers. They are carnivores and scavengers. If you’ve ever smelled a Snapper, you’ll know you don’t want one clamping down on your hand…

Small turtles can be lifted and carried easily but watch for claws and jaws. It probably won’t hurt very much but if you are startled by them, you could drop them.

Snappers, if they are small enough can be picked up but you would be wise to wear gloves and, if possibly throw something over them, like a jacket or blanket, just to keep their beak away from you. They have an incredible reach.

Flipping them on their back and pushing them to the side of the road is a good method of dealing with Snappers. Remember to flip them over, again!. I used my car brush to push the last one off the road.

I have used a large piece of plywood to bulldoze a very large one off the road.

I have started carrying a “turtle kit” in the car…. Water (for re-hydrating them and for washing my hands after), heavy gloves, a piece of tarpaulin, and a light snow shovel for pushing them off the road.

Many states and provinces have methods of reporting on-line both rescues and people who have killed or injured turtles. Make a careful note of where you were, the habitat, the description of the turtle, any injuries, and where you released the turtle if you transported it. Get photos if you can. I use Google Maps to pinpoint locations and to obtain the longitude and latitude.

Since I spend many a summer day on the back roads, I have rescued a number of turtles, as well as other animals, including snakes and injured birds. Every animal saved helps make up for the millions that die on our roads every year.

Sunday Drive

On Sunday, Mom and I went on another Sunday drive, along a favourite route. Bolton Road, which eventually becomes Kyle Road, runs south from Highway 43, west of Kemptville just east of Merrickville, all the way south to Throoptown on Highway 21. That’s a distance of about 22.56 km (14.02 miles). It is a lovely drive along mostly dirt roads.

We continued after the trip right down Bolton and Kyle Roads by driving back up to where Land O’Nod Road starts at Bolton Road.  Land O’Nod Road ends at Highway 15, south of Merrickville, a distance of 10.19 km (6.33 miles). Like the Bolton/Kyle Road trip, it is mostly dirt road and lovely. Don’tcha just love the name Land O’Nod Road? Makes me sleepy just thinking of it!

THE LAND OF NOD
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay;
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the Land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the Land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

The round trip from Highway 43 down Bolton/Kyle, back up to Land O Nod Road, along Land O Nod, and up Highway 43 is about 65.64 km, give or take. If you add the kms for the trip from our house to the point on 43 where we turned to go down Bolton, which is about… 115.22 km so the total evening drive was about 180.86 which is a SHORT evening drive for us.

On the Bolton I stopped to take some photos of wildflowers. There was alfalfa which I had never seen in the wild before… or never seen in a field, either, for that matter. It looks a lot different dried in a bag or compressed into pellets for feeding gerbils. It is really pretty and looks like a sort of unkempt clover. Same family, I guess. The flowers are purple and mauve (pronounced “mowv,” not “mawv.” It’s a French word and you look like an idiot if you pronounce if mawv, no matter how many times you hear the likes of Martha Stewart or Oprah pronounce it [incorrectly]. And, in case you need to know “foyer” is pronounced “foy-ay” not “foy-er”. Again… it’s French and that’s how they pronounce it, so they ought to know).

Alfalfa

Birdfoot Trefoil, Red Clover

Just a short hop down Bolton, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. Since it didn’t appear that there was anything resembling turtle habitat either where it was headed or where it had come from, I picked it up off the road and drove along (quite some considerable distance) until I found the bridge over the Rideau River. I released it there.

It wasn’t terribly pleased to have been rescued but I think it would have been less pleased to have been run over by a 4×4… Every so often, it would start scrabbling in my hand (it was too powerful for Mom to hold) and try to get away… then it would pee on me, the steering wheel, the console, Mom…

I took some photos and identified it later as a Blanding’s turtle.

Blanding's Turtle (isn't he cute?!)

Continuing on our way, just about a mile down the road from releasing the first turtle, I spotted a Snapping turtle in the middle of the road…

Snapping Turtle

...not so cute...

It was a smallish one, about a foot wide and about a foot and a half long, not counting the tail and head. Knowing how fast and vicious they can be, I took a few photos and then looked for something to move it off the road with. The last time I encountered a Snapper on the road, it was about 3 times as big and so heavy that all we could do was bulldoze it to the side of the road. Even so, when it reared up, we were in danger of losing a finger!

This one being smaller, I figured if I could find a stick I could try the old Indian trick of getting it to bite on the stick and lifting it up and carrying it hanging from the stick. But since I couldn’t find the appropriate-sized stick (and, indeed, don’t know if this actually works, I resorted to using my car scraper/brush, flipping it on its back, and pushing it across the road. I  flipped it back over on the other side of the road into a field.

One thing about Snappers is that they STINK! Whether it’s because of their diet or the fact that they wallow in marshes, I don’t know.

Again, it didn’t appreciate the effort I had gone to but since a 4×4 went roaring by a few minutes after I moved it off the road, I think it was in its best interests to be moved. So there….

Snappers are endangered, here in Ontario, and you can make a report to the Ontario Department of Natural Resources, along with other endangered flora and fauna.

Gahhhhhh….

L_BoSo_TM2430_ABPM

I took Mom down to The Heart Institute and got her fitted with the  ambulatory blood pressure monitor this afternoon about 2:30. We went from there to the chiropractor’s and then I drove her home. I went out to Sears and bought 2 pairs of shoes for myself and then got some shopping done. I arrived home, just before 6, and went to put the groceries away and Mom started complaining about the blood pressure monitor as soon as I got in the door. “We need to take this back.”

I asked if it was uncomfortable or something and then walked into the living room to find that she had taken it off. I asked why she’d taken it off. “Because I’m done with it!”

“We have to take it back.”

I said “You aren’t supposed to take it off. It’s supposed to be left on!” We paid $100 for this test that isn’t covered by OHIP and I’m worried that we’ll have to pay another $100 to have it put on again. I am still trying to understand why she took it off. And then she says “Aren’t we supposed to take it back, today?”

I said that we are supposed to take it back Thursday that she’s supposed to wear it for two days!

“But I’ve been WEARING it for two days!”

I kept trying to tell her that she’s had it on for less than 4 hours, at this point. She’s looking at me like I’m crazy…

I told her what we did today and she’s convinced that that was 2 days ago…

I managed to get the thing put back on properly, though. Hopefully, it will STAY on for the next two days.

And every time the thing beeps before the cuff inflates, she’s asking “Is this going to go on all night?”. I explain that it only beeps for the first few hours and then before bedtime, it stops beeping and won’t beep at all before we take it off. It will take her blood pressure every half hour but it won’t beep…. It beeps again and she gets irritated and asks if it is going to go off all night long, again.

“It seems to be beeping every 2 minutes!”. It is 1/2 an hour by my count…..

Jesus and all the Saints preserve me….

Monday’s Shingle-y update…

I went to the hospital today because my vision in my right eye is blurry and I have what appear to be new spots and some swelling around my eye…

The doctor, the same one as last week,  (who, by the way, was the doctor who say me, here in Ontario, after last year’s Elk attack) said that it appears I have an abrasion on my retina cornea, either from rubbing or from the eyelid sores rubbing but I have to go to the Eye Clinic tomorrow* to make sure.

Apparently, when the eye is involved, to the extent that mine was, the “remote” likelihood of the Herpes virus infecting the eye is less “remote” and when it infects the eye, it can get into the brain…. Brain Shingles, as goofy as it sounds is pretty serious. AND, as you may know, reading up on these things often gives you more information than you want to know… Like, people who get Shingles which invade the eye are at a higher percentage than normal (as much as 30%!) in having a stroke within a short time of their attack.

Having said all that, the doctor is pretty confident that it hasn’t gotten in there but with the corneal abrasion, he wants to make extra sure, especially as my vision in the right eye has become “significantly” blurred since just last week. Then, I was able to read clearly all but the bottom line of the chart, and even some of that. This week, I could read down to line four and that would go in and out…. He thinks it is just from the abrasion.

He drew me a diagram of what the Herpes virus on your eye looks like (see below – with dye and refraction). He says mine just looks like an abrasion but that it it’s best to get it checked out.

Occular Herpes (ARGOS Consultorios de Salud)
Occular Herpes (ARGOS Consultorios de Salud)

On the whole, he says that I am “clearing up nicely”, in fact and that the spots are “post-Herpetic”. After yesterday when I was having a lot of pain and took a number of the pain meds, (rendering me “pretty loopy” today, the headaches seem much reduced, though painful. And I can’t tell if the hot-flashes are to do with Shingles or being 53…. I have taken “dr. az’s” advice and decided to give myself a break from Scramble on Facebook because I was worried about my “brain fog”.

And my blood pressure was great, or at least the bottom number, which is the one that matters (160/94).

The really GOOD thing out of this is that, last week, when I was at the pharmacy, I overheard the clerks talking about “doctors taking patients!!!!!”!!!!). There is a new clinic around the corner from the pharmacy and I toddled right in an made an appointment for a “meet and greet” with the doctor.

Hopefully, this will be the start of a beautiful friendship and I can stop waiting 3 hours for an “appointment” which isn’t an “appointment” but the Appletree Clinic version of a cattle-call. MY last doctor left the previous clinic without warning to join the Ottawa U Medical faculty and the clinic in question didn’t seem interested in finding me someone else to see. My theory about doctors is that you know what kind of service you are going to get from the receptionists and the previous clinic was, for the most part, cold and disinterested.

The welcome at the new place was friendly, considering they were confronted with a person with swollen eyes and a horrific rash. We’ll see how things progress. It has been almost 10 years since my lovely family doctor, Dr. Power, retired, leaving me high and dry (they were unable to find new doctors for a good number of the patients, including me).

I will miss Dr. M from Appletree because he is matter-of-fact and we got along but I need to feel confident in the over-all care and I just don’t feel that with Appletree.

*Tomorrow, I also have to take Mom in to The Heart Institute to get fitted with a blood-pressure monitor that she will have to wear – and have $100 to pay for it. Wednesday, she has to see her cardiologist, hopefully about the results of the “event monitor” she had on for two weeks AND I have to arrange to have the second part of her root canal done. Life is full….

PhotoHunter: “Rock”

My “rock” is part of the Canadian Shield. The Canadian Shield (aka the Precambrian Shield, or Laurentian Shield) is the Precambrian rock that covers about 8 million square kilometers of Eastern and Central Canada. It is comprised of some of the world’s oldest rock, dating back approximately 4.5 billion and 540 million years.

Some of that Pre-Cambrian rock.

Some of that Precambrian rock.

Over successive ice ages, mountains (including some volcanic) as high and awesome as the Rockies have been scoured down to bare rock over which lies boreal forest. You can find evidence of the last ice age all over the place.

The view of the Laurentian mountains from Mont Tremblant, Quebec

The view of the Laurentian mountains from Mont Tremblant, Quebec

In the photo below, you can see the edge of the Shield where it is cut off by the Ottawa River Valley, a great, wide valley which extends from the St. Lawrence River in the east and swings west and then northward towards Hudson Bay. It is a rift valley, formed when the bedrock dropped down tens of kilometres deep. Several major fault-lines run through the area and we experience frequent earth tremors, as a result.

View from the Champlain Lookout

View from the Champlain Lookout, in the Gatineau Hills

The edge of the Shield which bounds it on the northern edge rises up about 300 metres.

Parts of the Shield extend down into the US.

The Ottawa Valley and Canadian Shield

The Ottawa Valley and Canadian Shield

The Ottawa River Valley

The Ottawa River Valley

The Ottawa Valley was once part of the great Champlain Sea, a huge brackish inland sea where whales once swam. The Champlain Sea formed when the great ice sheets of the last ice age pressed down on the land and when the melted, the Atlantic Ocean flooded in. When the last of the ice was gone, the continent tipped back and the water flowed out, again.

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