Sunday, February 26, 2012

February This and That

In my last post I reminded myself not to use "busy" as an excuse. After all, I am happy to be able to be out and about every day and involved in interesting activities. Blogging has taken a back seat in this interesting life. Here is a little rundown of what is new lately...

Last year I received a coupon from Trip Advisor for a free Shutterfly book. (I wrote several reviews for Trip Advisor and this was my reward). Shipping was free in the USA so I sent my book to family.
During my recent trip to Mexico, I saw the book and some calendars I had also designed. I was very impressed with the print quality. I did three more books of my Mexico time with family and decided to design others with pictures from holidays in the past three years. Back in "the day", the cost of buying and developing film would exceed the cost of these books. Shutterfly has special pricing posted frequently (I got 40% off in January) so you can complete your project and save it until the price comes down. I have been uploading and arranging photos from our Western Canada trip and will start on our Nevada-Arizona-California trip soon.

I started working on a new unit this month and have gone from treating strokes, hip fractures, amputees and the like on a slow rehab unit, to a caseload of geriatric assessment and mental health patients. The work is physically easier for me but I find I need to research and upgrade some skills with this different population. There is so much stigma with mental illness. These people often present with physical symptoms from their disease and the medications they take. We have a new longer term mental health unit at our hospital and the staff are enthusiastic and interesting to work with. They treat the patients with respect and dignity and I look forward to getting to know the team.

Last night we drove home after dark through the countryside and admired the crescent moon and the bright, bright light of Venus. This week is superb for skywatching. My dad told me he was out looking at the night sky in Mexico but in our part of Canada, the skies are cloudy much of the time so I am not in the habit of star gazing. Tonight Jupiter is the planet nearest the moon. You can check the skies at this site. 

This on again-off again winter has led to the earliest start of maple syrup production in our area. Birds are moving in different patterns as well. We have driven around looking for out of the ordinary birds. Yesterday we visited our daughter in London, Ontario where a Ross' Goose had been seen all week near her home. We walked through Springbank Park and did not see it, but this pair of Hooded Mergansers was on the Thames River and a mature Bald Eagle flew above our heads. It was very icy for walking (and driving) so I wasn't as thorough in my searching as I would be on a warmer day.

It snowed twice this month and I made a snowman for the birds with the packing snow. Raven enjoys running around outdoors in the yard, the dog park or the woods. She sheds like crazy and her feet get full of frozen ice and snow. She likes mud and digging and throws up easily when she eats or drinks too fast. But we love her anyway and most of the time she is no problem at all.

This is my third year enjoying a vegetarian (mostly vegan) diet. My meat-loving husband likes most of the dishes I serve even though he eats them as sides. The internet is full of great ideas and I rarely use cookbooks anymore. Here are two yummy recipes I tried this month (1) (2). And talking about print media... We have decided to stop our newspaper subscription after 35 years. It costs $16 a month for paper delivery and $4.95 and month for full internet access to our local news. With a computer, Kindle and iPad, I seldom turn pages of a paper book anymore.

Here are some of my favourite iPad apps and most are free. You will have to look them up in the Apps Store.

Word Ladder by Sporacle- fun and fast word game
BBC iPlayer- I just watch free stuff
All Recipes- I paid $4.99 for this and use it often
CBC Music- Free streaming of many musical genres
Apollo Browser- great free web browser that syncs with my computer's Firefox history and bookmarks
Notability- Write with your finger, a stylus, or use the keyboard
My Fitness Pal- Track food, exercise, calculate nutritional info of recipes. It even allows you to scan barcodes with an iPad or iPhone camera...very cool!
Dell Voice- A free phone! You get a number and can call landlines free of charge across Canada from your iPad or iPhone

That's all for now folks!


  1. Your life certainly is full,but that is good.
    Thanks for the hints on your favourite Apps.I will be checking them out. We are finally getting snow and lots of it. Now if we get a wind,no one will be going anywhere.

  2. Sounds like you've been a good kind of busy.

    Thanks for sending the video. Posting about this tomorrow.

  3. It's a nice newsy post, and the book looks really good.

  4. Mexico Mom11:37 pm GMT-5

    A wonderful condensation from a wonderful blogger. I learned a lot in a few words.

    Your writing cover so many phases and always interesting.

  5. It's amazing how quickly the digital world has taken over our lives. No more print photos, actual newspapers becoming a rarity, and even pring books are almost passe.

  6. I like reading Tripadvisor too. A spotting scope works well to see Jupiter and its moons.-This winter has been strange in our area.It's been too mild to call winter.It feels like a non-season.

  7. Wow - love the moon picture! The way the branches are set against it make it appear that they're actually inside the light. Beautiful!

  8. Ruth, you sure have been busy. I love the books you made and did not know you could make anything so beautiful so affordable! With such a busy life I do not know how you get around to any blogging at all! So, thanks for taking the time to come and visit me! Love the Hooded Mergansers. Such pretty birds.

  9. Your book looks beautiful. I'm impressed and will check out the site.

    Nice to have a change at work, even if it means research, but then that makes your job more interesting.

    I too have been going to cancel my daily newspaper. Haven't got around to it yet.


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