Back at It

Our Norwegian Forest cat Sweetness and purebred Bengal Ozzy
Two of our cats, Sweetness on the left and Ozzy

Once again, I slacked off and haven't written anything in a couple of weeks. I have been down with the flu for the last week and haven't had the energy to tackle much of the daily tasks, let alone getting in a few hours of writing. I did spend some time working on a website for our coop and as the website is primarily French, it's a bit out of my wheelhouse when it comes to creating pages and other tasks, like creating online forms. But I now have some others who are writing the content for the website, so it will just be a matter of copy and paste once that's been completed and performing some fine-tuning.

One of our cats became extremely ill as well. I was on my way to Cornwall one morning when my wife called me crying saying that one of her cats was having a lot of problems breathing and was starting to turn blue. Luckily, she was able to get one of the neighbors to drive her to the animal emergency hospital, which is maybe 2 kilometers from our home. The staff at the animal hospital was able to get the cat Ozzy to come around and get him breathing once again. We are grateful that the staff at the animal hospital were able to get him breathing again, however, we were not very happy when it came time to pick him up and learned that they had not done much of what they said they would. More on that in a different post, as it will be fairly lengthy.

I think the reason I came down with the flu has a lot to do with having our furnace cleaned along with all our heating ducts. We had one company come in last month to do the annual maintenance on our furnace. This was the first year that we used this company, and it will no doubt be the last. The company we used before was a one-man outfit, and he did a great job and was very thorough. Unfortunately, he had some issues and is no longer able to do the work. The new company we thought, would be doing the same kind of work. Once they finished, I did notice that the air in the house wasn't right when the furnace started up. Being asthmatic, I found that I was getting very congested whenever the furnace started. Another company a few weeks later came in to do the ducts, which we have done every 4 or 5 years. This company found that the filter in our furnace was the wrong size and a couple of inches short on the width side and a few inches long on the length. What kind of heating and cooling company would put in a filter that is clearly the wrong size? I worked underground for many years and having adequate airflow was priority number one. Most miners are well versed when it comes to ventilation and know that forced air will always take the path of least resistance. What I'm trying to say, is that having a furnace filter that is not wide enough to cover the entire duct means that the air coming from the fan will go around the filter, making the air filter absolutely useless. They might as well have not put any air filter in at all. So, I had to go to Home Depot and buy the proper size air filter and change that. It is quite possible that the breathing problems the cat was having stem from the dust that was in the air as well. I know that once the filter was changed, my breathing improved dramatically. If you happen to live in the Ottawa area, avoid the company Axis Heating, as they don't seem to give a crap about doing the job properly, just getting paid.

We also started having problems with our old car, including the transmission cooling lines starting to leak. It just isn't worth putting more money into it for repairs, so we spent time looking for a replacement. Rather than buy new, we bought a used car that will suit our needs and is much less money than something new. We both have bad backs and the Malibu we now have, we are both able to get into without any problems. We tried some other sedans, and it seems like the height on them has gone down considerably. Trying to get into a Chevrolet Cobalt meant banging our heads on the roof of the car while trying to get in. So, we decided that we would have no choice other than to go to as SUV or a van. We found a Mazda 5 that we can both easily get into and I think it will be much better on gas with the smaller engine than our current vehicle. After the New Year, I will be working exclusively on websites and other online media, so we won't be doing much driving other than to doctor's appointments and for tasks such as getting groceries.

I've been working on my weight for the last while and I have lost over 20 pounds since the summer. I'm hoping that I can get down to 185 pounds before next summer. With my back and neck issues, along with my knees, I have to lose the weight to get the pain levels down. I'm supposed to be seeing a specialist concerning my knees, but I have no idea how long the waiting list is before I will be seeing anyone. I had to give up bike riding this past summer due to my continuing knee problems. My doctor had me go for an MRI a couple years ago, but the specialist who saw the images said that there wasn't much that could be done for a shredded meniscus and that I was too young for any type of replacement surgery. I twisted my right knee back in April while in Las Vegas and the swelling hasn't gone away since that event. Getting in and out of a vehicle is now the hardest issue I have with my knees. Walking the dog every day doesn't cause much difference other than a bit sorer when I get home, but that usually gets better after a few hours.

I hope that everyone has a good week ahead. We should be getting our new vehicle tomorrow or Tuesday. We must start planning for our trip up to Timmins over the Christmas holiday and I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate with us for the days we have to drive. It will be the first long trip we take with our dog Sunny, so I'm hoping it goes well. I will be taking him to Cornwall with me a few times over the next month to get him used to the new vehicle and hopefully get him acclimated to longer trips in the vehicle. He generally gets a bit car sick, so we may have to get some medication for him before we go, just in case. I guess we will see how it goes when we get to that point.

Cheers,

G-Man

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