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?


Friday, August 01, 2014

Patio Day

Thursday, June 12, 2014


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.


Friday, May 30, 2014

First Patio Day of 2014

Welcome, summer!

Monday, May 05, 2014


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.


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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dancing with Mama

This is probably the worst video I ever made. (Not that I've made a whole lot.) It's horribly dark and grainy because it was taken with almost no lighting. It's also my favourite video I ever made. And I thought I'd lost it forever when my Kodak Playsport video camera died, and only tonight discovered it had survived on the SD card that was in the camera.

I made this one night in December 2011 at the Iberostar Ensenachos resort in Cuba. There had been a show earlier which included this character. Later, "she" danced up the stairs, where she encountered who else but Husband, who was more than happy to join her in grooving to some great Cuban music. You can hear the hysterical laughter on the video - people were in stitches. One of my favourite Cuban memories.