A Sunny Day

Today arrived sunny and cool, it was 8C predawn. We continue to turn the thermostat down at night, to 18C this year, a little warmer for my night wandering partner Attila. During the day I set it to 21.5C, which I find comfortable if I wear warm footwear. We do not heat the basement, so that the floors can be quite cool. There was frost everywhere this morning, sparkling in the sunshine.

High Blood Pressure: The Ongoing Saga

Sometimes I write things down in this journal because I know I won’t remember them otherwise. This little tidbit is just such a reminder to myself. Today I halved the quadrupled high blood pressure medication. Instead of 300 mg I am now going to take 150 mg, which is double the dose I was originally taking.

It isn’t logic I am using to do this, it is a fight or flight reaction to the addition of a second medication when the first one is not working. I might have accepted a switch to another medication, but I am balking at the addition of yet another.

There is some logic involved as well, but it is not the deciding factor in my decision, so if it is flawed it doesn’t matter for practical purposes. Here is it anyway. When I found the medication I was taking no longer worked to lower my blood pressure, the doctor doubled the dosage. That had no effect, it did not lower my blood pressure. Since that didn’t work, the doctor doubled the dosage again, quadruple of what I had been taking. That had no effect, it did not lower my blood pressure. So, since this medication does not work, and I don’t want to try adding a second medication unless I absolutely have to, it makes sense to me to get rid of the medication that does not work.

Rather than stop taking the current medication cold turkey, I am going to halve the dosage for a week, then halve it again for another week, then discontinue it. That is the plan if my blood pressure remains relatively stable as I reduce the medication. I will be monitoring my blood pressure twice daily. I take it five consecutive times at one sitting, one to two minutes apart, and average the result. This method was described by a doctor who uses it to try to mediate the rise in blood pressure some people experience due to “white coat syndrome”. I have taken my readings in this manner three times now, and sure enough the initial reading is higher than the subsequent readings.

Yesterday Attila and I drove out to the Rideau Camp for the day. Attila brought along his chain saw and fuel. His project for the visit was to fell the trees we had marked with orange tape. Five of those trees were dead, one was dying, some others had been damaged when the great log pile had been bulldozed into the edge of the bush, and still others shaded out trees we want to flourish.

We are encouraging oak, maple, and pine trees around the perimeter of the Camp.

Attila felled the trees, sectioning them so that I could burn the brush from the branches. The dead wood burned quickly, and the green wood burned slowly, that is the way of it.

I am avoiding bread at the moment, in my quest to reduce sodium in my diet. Bread is very high sodium, a sandwich takes up most of my daily allowance. Attila brought cheese and crackers for his lunch, and I brought RyVita crackers, peanut butter, and fruit spread for my lunch. Lunch wasn’t nearly as exciting as it is when we have grilled cheese sandwiches. But those sandwiches, with two slices of bread, and a couple of cheese slices consumed my entire sodium allowance for the day.

The day was sunny, and the breeze was quite chilly. We were prepared! We had both chosen layers of clothing to wear. The sun became quite hot by early afternoon, so we both found ourselves removing layers down to our shirts by lunch time. Attila warmed by the sun and a lot of exertion; me warmed by the sun, moderate exertion, and the camp fire I was tending. At no point did we feel cold. We stayed until the sun was low on the horizon. As we packed up we did a tour of the Camp, making sure that everything was winter ready. At this time of year we want to leave the Camp in a condition so that if we find we do not return until spring, there will be nothing to worry about.

A few images from the Rideau Camp, taken yesterday.

Stumps, old and blackened, the work of a long ago fire.
Charred Stump with Beech and Oak.
This magnficent little Oak tree is under special consideration. In the early summer it was attacked by army worms, which we dilligently killed around the Camp perimeter. Then yesterday, Attila assessed the lean on one of the dead trees we had decided to fell, and determined that it would severly damage this little Oak as it fell. We made the decision to let the dead tree rot in place, rather than risk damaging the Oak.
Attila sectioning a small tree which was felled across the camp fire pit. The tree chipped a flake off one of the granite perimeter rocks.
Attila taking a break to enjoy his surroundings.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EST Monday 7 November 2016
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.3°C
Dew point: 6.1°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: SSW 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it.”
Doris Day
1924 –

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I can definitely understand you wanting to wean yourself of the high blood pressure drug that isn’t working for you. Your plan looks quite logical, though I’m wondering if you’ve checked on the drug to see if there is a recommended weaning schedule for it. Some drugs have them and some don’t.

You seem to be feeling that you’re missing quite a bit with your current spartan diet. I’m wondering, if you’ve seen no positive changes from cutting back on salt and such will you eventually try adding back in amounts of salt to make your diet more palatable? (Kind of the reverse of what you’re currently doing with your medication.)

Really enjoying the pics you’ve posted. Love the colors, but also really liking the pics of Attila. Those pics look so much like pictures of my Great Uncle Harvey when he and my aunt had their camp. There was just this immediate feeling of recognition, right down to the outfit Attila was wearing. Deja vu!

Bex Crowell

Life is so complicated! But so pretty in the fall!!!


I vaguely remember spending a night at my aunt and uncle’s camp. I might have been 7? They had one of those pop-up campers and I can remember sleeping there.

I do remember them puttering around the camp and pictures that I saw later from times they’d had at the camp.


I do have fond memories of times with my aunt and uncle. My Uncle Harvey shared my birthday, and he loved that. I could always make him smile. And my aunt would always make these wonderful, fancy birthday cakes for me. I especially remember one that was a carousel.

Uncle Harvey gave me my first experience with fishing, taking me down to the herring run at the docks along the ocean. I remember he gave me a pole with just a line tied to it and the line had maybe 20 hooks going down the line. I just put the pole in the water and then pulled it up a minute or so later, and like magic there were fish on it. 😀 It was a no-fail way to introduce a kid to fishing.

I also remember my uncle smoking the herring that we caught. He had a homemade brick smoker in his backyard. Oddly, I can still smell the smoke on those herring even though I can’t remember eating any.

They were good times, unique times that gave me all kinds of wonderful experiences.