First Frost

We had our first frost last night, October 22, 2023.

Attila expected it, and put plastic sheets over the peppers, tomatoes, and other vulnerable plants that are still producing. The brassicas didn’t need protecting, nor did the Swiss Chard. Yesterday he brought in green tomatoes, all the squash, tomatillos, and a few peppers. The garden harvest is winding down, but not quite over.

On Saturday morning we canned a batch of Salsa Verde using tomatillos from the garden. Today we are canning another batch of Salsa Verde with garden tomatillos harvested yesterday. From today onward only brassicas from the garden will be canned, all other harvested vegetables for the rest of the season will be used immediately, frozen, or used in products that will be frozen rather than canned. We will still be canning a few more batches of coleslaw this year, and I think that will be the last of the canning, probably in early November.

<health issue>
Another health issue for me has just popped up. On Saturday I noticed that my visions was impeded by large “floaters”. These eventually resolve, so I planned on just waiting it out. But then I started to see flashes of light. Hmmm… I wasn’t sure what that was about, so I looked it up. I was surprised to find that these two symptoms combined can flag a detached retina, and that a detached retina is considered a medical emergency necessitating a visit to the emergency department. Merde!!!!

So off to the emergency department I took myself, where I sat in an uncomfortable chair for seven hours before being brought into the chamber of care where I waited another hour to be seen. Then a doctor spent about five minutes all told with me, guessed at a diagnosis, and setup an appointment for me a few hours hence, with an ophthalmologist in the nearby city. At this point I had been up all night, arriving home from the emergency department at 4:30 a.m., slept for less than two hours, then arose to travel one hour to the eye clinic. Attila drove, thank goodness. After a thorough examination I was diagnosed with PVD or Posterior Vitreous Detachment, a much less serious condition than a detached retina. A follow up appointment has yet to be scheduled, to ensure that the condition does not deteriorate into something more serious, and I was given a 24/7 phone number to contact if symptoms significantly worsened. Apparently this is a common condition of aging.

The wait in the waiting room at the emergency department was long and arduous. I wish the Premier of Ontario and all of his relatives and friends needed to experience this every time they need health care, no wonder they want privatized health care for the affluent!

There have been improvements though, as the wait times have been this long for years. One improvement is that the receptionist is the first person of contact during office hours, she does intake by taking all information, provides a wrist band, and records the reason for the vist. At this point there is no contact with a medically trained person. Another good implementation at registration is a sign, with the date and estimated wait time, which when I entered was 7+ hours to receive care, which turned out to be accurate.

Then one waits in the triage waiting room to be called in by the triage nurse, who quickly does their assessment, rates one’s need of immediate care, and off you go to the department waiting room. In the department waiting room, with almost every available chair filled, people sit and wait for seven or more hours to see a medical person, this includes elderly people in wheel chairs, and young children with their mothers, no fathers there on this visit. I do not envy mothers with sick children waiting seven hours in crowded waiting room with a sick child.

Another improvement is that now during this time, a nurse comes into the waiting room to check on select patient’s blood pressure, and to ask them if they are in pain and in need a painkiller. My blood pressure was good, and I accepted a painkiller, because of arthritis, sitting for any length of time is painful. At home I seldom sit for very long, constantly up and about puttering around.

During this visit to the emergency department there was some excitement, as unseen people burst into the registration area screaming for a doctor, swearing, and crying. And within minutes there were police everywhere. I did not rush over to try and see what was going on, many did. The police were there for hours, and when I was in the chamber of care, hours later, they were still there in number, consulting about a patient. I hope whoever it was survived!

There was also a very drunk man who came in at the same time as the screaming patient, he came in with a dog that barked a lot. He was loud, the dog was loud. He talked on his cell phone, complaining about a dead dog in his car, and other rather disturbing things. I wish they had made him wait somewhere else, it wasn’t fair to the children in the room to have to wait next to that kind of behaviour, I wasn’t keen on it myself.

Not the nicest way to spend a weekend, but I was not alone in that experience as the waiting room was full to capacity, and my results were positive, always something to celebrate!!
</health issue>

Sheet pancakes, my current go to breakfast!
I make a regular pancake recipe, double it, add extras like flaxseed and pureed squash, then bake it in a cake pan at 350F for 20 minutes, and there I have it, eight breakfasts!!
I cut this sheet pancake into eight pieces, eat one, freeze the rest. Every morning I thaw one in the microwave, top it with home canned applesauce, a little swirl of maple syrup, and enjoy the experience.



Updated on Mon, Oct 23 at 10:25 AM
4 °C
Wind 8 NW km/h
Humidity 77%
Visibility 19 km
Sunrise 7:32 AM
Wind gust 11 km/h
Pressure 102.2 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 6:11 PM


“The gods too are fond of a joke.”
384 BC – 322 BC

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Maggie, every time I hear someone here in the US complaining about our current health care system and talking about how great things are in Canada, I want to send them to you for a realistic point of view. What an agony! You have my sympathy.

I’ve been the sudden PVD route and it really can be an emergency. Like you, I dodged the retinal detachment bullet, but it is scary stuff. Mine happened on a Saturday morning and my ophthalmologist had me come in to have it looked at shortly after I called his emergency number.

My brain doesn’t learn to ignore floaters so I was fortunate to be able to have a vitrectomy in that eye and now have clear vision. If you need that surgery, I hope you don’t have to wait too long to get it.


Hi Maggie. I’ve had floaters for years and my brain now tends to ignore them. I also had the flashing lights anther time and went to my opththamologist. I didn’t have a detachment and the lights went away.

This is from the American Society of Retina Specialists: ” How serious is “posterior vitreous detachment?
PVD is non-sight-threatening and the symptoms subside in the vast majority of patients. Most patients no longer notice flashes after 3 months and floaters tend to improve. No specific treatment is needed for PVD.”

But if I had any change in the number of floaters, vision etc I’d still do back to be looked at. I’ve found that getting old is filled with surprise 🙂

Joan Lansberry

I’m so sorry you had such a long wait. They need to have all paid scholarships at the medical schools so that there are more doctors and nurses. I’m glad, that your eye will likely get better, though.


Ugh. Sorry you had such a terrible wait in the ER, Maggie. I would not have enjoyed that at all and I hope I never have a reason to go to one.

I’ve had floaters since I was in my teens, so it’s a norm for me. And I also had my eyes examined just a few months ago. For now, I apparently have very healthy eyes. But I do remember one night when I was noticing flashing lights at the edge of my vision. I looked it up but fortunately it stopped after just a few minutes and never returned again. I have no idea what caused them.

Your sheet pancake looks tasty! DH makes waffles, which we enjoy. He does a double recipe and we put a few extra in the freezer. But a sheet pancake might be a nice alternative. The flavor is a little different and the texture much different. I might have to give that a try!

Forgot to say that yesterday was DH’s birthday. He’s now a ripe 66 year old curmudgeon. Lol!

Last edited 7 months ago by Teri