Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unschool portrait, June 2008

Taken at Prehistoric World, Morrisburg, Ontario.

My Favourite Daytrip

Yesterday, the Eagle-eyed Scientist and I embarked on one of my favourite excursions. We headed northeast on Route 37, through Amish country, and crossed into Canada at the Ogdensburg bridge. We headed to Morrisburg to see how the dinosaurs were doing.

Prehistoric World is the labour of love of two brothers. Over the past 20 some-odd years, they have been building life-sized replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures out of rebar, wire mesh, and poured concrete. They have literally turned their back yard into a walk through time, and they have done it on their own terms. They take great pride in the fact that they have created a venue for their art with their own hands and their own money. There have been no investors, no government grants, and no shareholders to tell them what they can or cannot do. They stopped advertising years ago, have no web presence, and operate only three months out of the year. They refer to themselves as artists, not businessmen, and they are the epitome of self-actualization.

The Maiasaura is still under construction, and is a little behind schedule, as the brothers are currently devoting their energy and attention to their elderly mother. After five months in the hospital, recuperating from a fractured femur, the brothers have taken on the task of caring for their Mom at home. This Rehab Nurse will tell you that their days are not easy, and that Maman is a lucky woman who raised two fine sons.

From Morrisburg, we headed straight north on Highway 31 to Little Ray's Reptiles, in Ottawa's south end. Little Ray has taken his business in the opposite direction from our friends at Prehistoric World, aggressively aiming for bigger and better.

His advertising amuses me.

Packing that much information onto a SmartCar is truly impressive.

The Eagle-Eyed Scientist appreciated the tactile beauty of the Albino Burmese Python. I appreciated it from a distance. Mom, you may want to scroll down quickly at this point.

Little Ray's Reptiles is a sanctuary for the orphans and refugees of the "exotic" pet trade. Most of their critters started out as someone's "cool" pet, who became homeless after the coolness wore off and the reality of caring for large hungry reptiles set in, and Little Ray stepped in to save their lives. For this, I have a deep and abiding admiration. So, I was more than a little confused when I saw that, as part of their ever-expanding business model, they are now selling iguanas, bearded dragons, and ball pythons.

No trip to Ottawa is complete without a little retail therapy at Ikea, so we made our obligatory pilgrimage to all things Swedish and wonderful. There's nothing like a little fine and sensible design to slough off the reptilian-induced heebie-jeebies!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A perfect spot for a catnap

And then they woke up and started hissing at each other.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hungry Babies, Protective Momma!

Waiting babies,

Hungry babies,

Glaring Momma,

Here comes Momma!

(Please click on each picture to embiggen!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!

Today marks the beginning of the end of a dark and dangerous practice. The great state of New York is moving to ban mandatory overtime for nurses!

In the past year, I have only been mandated once, and that was one time too many. When my twelve hour night shift ends at 07:30, I barely have enough steam to drive the five miles back home. An additional four hours, at the busiest time of the day on the floor, is just plain dangerous.

This is a great day for nurses, and a great day for our patients!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Peaceful Sunday Morning

The view from my bedroom window, about 10 minutes ago.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Isn't he lovely?

Please welcome the newest member of the family!

We have adopted a 2004 Mini Cooper S!!

His name is Baby.

Well, what else would you expect Miniature Rose to drive?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's good to be back in my own ecosystem

Last week, a mere 28 months after my husband was medically evacuated from Iraq in order to figure out why he's been so sick, he was seen by the specialists at the Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed.

Better late than never, eh?

We still have no clear answers, but I firmly believe that we are one step closer to figuring it all out. The MD on the assessment team is probably the smartest guy at Walter Reed, and a decent human being to boot. His assessment was thorough and thoughtful. I could almost see the gears in his head turning as he tried to put the puzzle pieces together.

The one thing that he did not do - and this is a significant departure from our previous experiences at the major medical facility that my husband calls "the abattoir" - was to diminish or deny Steve's symptoms. He believed that Steve is sick, and believed that he wants to get better. Believe me, my friends - it makes all the difference in the world.

This was our first visit to Walter Reed since the Washington Post blew the whistle on the horrendous conditions there last year. I am pleased to report that, overall, there seems to be a change in the tone and atmosphere of the place. Maybe the $800,000 spent on pixie dust was worth it, after all.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A sea of smiling faces

Silver Spring, Maryland, June 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Effective ad placement, for a very captive audience

I was amused to see this poster on the wall of the women's bathroom at the Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed.

Someone has a sense of humour!