Sunday, September 07, 2014

Quest for... oh, god.

Kate, the PT Cruiser, has died. We took her to two different garages, an "emergency" one when she overheated on the way to brunch last Saturday, and "our guys" a couple of days later. Estimates for repairs range from $1500 to $3000. (It's almost certainly a cracked head gasket.) She's 14 years old, has a host of other problems anyway (the AC and radio/cd player both quit some time ago), and it's time to say goodbye.

The last time we bought a car it was fun, 'cause it was our decision and we still had a functioning vehicle to use while checking out other cars. This time, we're under the gun and will need to rent while we're shopping. We have a pretty clear idea of where we want to go this time, but nevertheless, it's going to be expensive and stressful compared to that experience.

Husband put it best when he said, as we cleaned her out for the salvage company to take her away, "the end of a car is the end of an era in your lives". Certainly true if you keep your cars as long as we do. We've had Kate since 2008 and enjoyed her all that time. She got us through my 6 months of commuting weekly to Moncton in a horrible winter in fine fashion (I used to say taking her on long drives was like "driving a sofa", she was so comfortable). She took us on innumerable shopping trips to Saint John and Moncton, and on vacations to Halifax and PEI multiple times (and I believe we were in her when we went on a tour of the French east coast of NB). Lot of memories tied up in ol' Kate.

We are incredibly lucky in a lot of ways. We both work within walking distance from our house so we weren't faced with an immediate crisis and need to rent or take taxis. It gave us some breathing room to figure out what to do. We live downtown with grocery stores and a pharmacy and everything else we need within walking distance, so ditto. And I've had my bike out, outfitted with a basket and a big old pair of pannieres all summer, so ditto again.

We also have options because we are both pretty well employed. These days I often think of when we were completely broke and scraping by, as so many around us still are, and how much more terrifying something like this would be if we still were. With a provincial election looming, it reminds me it's always, always important to support parties that are working to making things better for people who have fewer options than we do.

Anyway, next: Quest for Something.

ronnie


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Diefenbunker

Earlier this month, Husband and I took a mini-vacation to Ottawa to celebrate his birthday. We are both in Ottawa all the time for work and meetings, but we never get to really enjoy the city. Besides, there was something there (well, near there, in Carp, ON, the point kind of being to get out of Ottawa) that we'd both wanted to see for a very long time: The Diefenbunker.

To quote from its website, The Diefenbunker is "a four-story, 300 room, 100,000 square foot underground bunker, and was meant to house 535 Canadian government officials and military officers in the event of a nuclear war. Shrouded in mystery, the Diefenbunker, nicknamed after then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was designed and built in secrecy during the crest of Cold War fear, between 1959 and 1961."

The Diefenbunker was fully operational until 1994, when it was decommissioned. In  1997, work began on turning the installation into a museum. What cold war buff could resist a glimpse into what a government - their government - living under nuclear lockdown would have looked like?

Because of the problems posting photos to blogger, I've uploaded some to Flickr, which I hope will make for a better experience for us both. You can see them here.

We also visited the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, and Parliament Hill. I'll be posting some photos of those visits later. I also tweeted the trip with the hashtag #GeekiestVacayEver, because, well, wasn't it?

ronnie

Friday, August 01, 2014

Patio Day

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anniversaries

I have been scandalously neglectful of this blog. Other than a spectacularly miserable winter, life has ticked along quite pleasantly and dully for the past year or so. I am very active on Twitter (@ronniecat) and I find it satisfies most of my need for commentary and expression. Twitter is remarkable; I would say 95% of my news now breaks first on Twitter as opposed to hearing about it on other websites, radio or TV.





We went back to Cuba in April; Cayo Largo again. It's like our second home now. Many great moments but my favourite might be when we were dining one day and our waiter asked us where we were from. "Canada," we replied. He looked surprised. "All your lives?" "Yes," we said, a bit puzzled. He touched my very tanned arm (we were both very tanned) and said, "You are not white". We broke up laughing. I guess Canucks have a reputation. "I thought maybe Mediterranean," he muttered as he walked away. 


2014 is a year of anniversaries and milestones. May 15 was Mojo's 15th Adoption Day anniversary. He is, 3 years after having been diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure, still doing incredibly well. He is happy and engaged and playful. (Yesterday he re-discovered his ball-in-a-ring toy, so that's a current obsession.) His treatments have not had to be altered; 40 cc of Ringer's Lactated Fluid (saline) three times a week, sub-subcutaneously. Old routine for all of us now.

June 26 marks another anniversary; the 10th anniversary of the day I became totally deaf (after several days of dramatic and declining hearing loss prior). What a terrifying journey I was about to embark on, and how ill-prepared, in retrospect, was I for it. How little did I understand the pebble-in-the-pond ripple effect it was going to have on everyone around me; how little did I understand how profoundly it was going to change my Husband's life as well as mine.

If not for the support network I didn't even know I had (which includes you) how would I ever have gotten through that bleak year to make it to the miracle of the cochlear implant in 2005?

Never mind. Thankfully, I never had to find out.

ronnie


Friday, May 30, 2014

First Patio Day of 2014

Welcome, summer!

Monday, May 05, 2014

#31favsounds

May is Better Hearing and Speech month. To celebrate it, CI recipients are asked to do this:

May 1
Tweet your favorite sounds each day in May using hashtag to raise awareness for Better Hearing and Speech Month!

It made me realize there are some sounds that I really, really love having access to again.

Birds singing. There is a tree across the street from our house that just gets filled with birds sometimes.

Crickets chirping. Especially in Cuba, late at night.

Surf crashing. Anywhere. And running water. It's beautiful!

My phone chiming with a message. To quote Futurama's Dr. Zoidberg, "Someone is paying ATTENTION to me!"

Mojo squawking. Learned to squawk while I was deaf. Never learned to meow.

Anything Husband says, pretty much, ever.

Everybody around me when I'm at a pub watching a key hockey game and our team scores.

I'll probably think of more later. But, man, you don't know what you'll miss 'till it's gone.

ronnie


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Play the old year out.

It's a New Year's Eve tradition.



Let the good guys win this year.

We've been back to Cuba (it was fantastic) and returned 3 weeks ago to the worst winter anybody can remember in living memory. About a metre of snow (that's 3 feet for you Yanks) just since Christmas Eve and freezing rain that has coated everything in ice. Our car and our house are suffering and breaking. And we're in the middle of an unplanned and unwanted kitchen renovation due to some water damage in a wall a while ago. The contents of our kitchen are in our dining room. It's been a tremendously stressful holiday break. And we're lucky. Some people in NB have been without power since Christmas Eve. We, at least, have a working microwave and a fridge. In our dining room.

Gotta get better from here out.

Happy New Year, everybody.
ronnie