The torture of the Covid test

In the midst of the last part of our trip. The day we were to take the Ferry over to stay at an airbnb.

No matter how careful you are Covid lurks.My partner and I tested positive for Covid. 

We used a rapid test to see if we had Covid. The instructions are in very small print. So we used our cell to take a photo of it to be able to read it clearly. The text has some flaws. 

The full kit. The test is in the green foil pack.

First step, wash your hands. Then open the test you get a small tube holder, some liquid, a vial, a lid and a swab. You need to open the liquid and put it in the vial. Open your swab with only touching the plastic end. Now the torture part, you can do it yourself or have help. Lean your head back and put the stick slowly into your nostril till you reach the notch on the swab. This notch is about the distance between your nostril and ear. Hold it in there for 5 seconds then press your nostril closed with a finger. Turn the swab with the nostril closed 70 degrees. Take your finger from your nostril and slowly pull out the swab and repeat the process in the other nostril. Once you’re done that step you put your snotty swab in the vial with the solution. Stir it around and leave it in the vial for 2 mins. When you’re done squeeze the swab in the plastic vial and get the liquid out as you remove it. Put the used swab back in the plastic you took it out of. Put the cap with the white part on top of the vial with the spout out. Open the test cartridge and drop 3 drops into it, wait 15 long mins and if you have two lines you know you have Covid. I told my partner we have gone to a whole new level of romance, matching Covid tests..

This is the swab in the vial with the
liquid and the unused Covid test the cap for the vial.

Once your 15 mins is up put all the stuff back in the fold and dispose of it in the trash. Wash your hands with good warm water and soap. If you are helping another person wash your hands between steps, you can wear medical gloves too.

This is what a positive Covid test looks like you drop the 3 drops in the cycle

I feel bad it has been 2 weeks since I did a blog post. Things were very busy with my move. Friday we get the keys for our new place. Take care. If you get Covid please rest as much as you need. It is a very harsh virus. The physical pain my body is in is really hard. My left lung was so painful I needed to use my inhaler.

Logistics of long haul moves

Have you ever thought about what might be needed for a long distance move..? Become a monk, give away all your worldly possessions.. Might not be the step you were thinking.

This is some of our stuff ready to go. My family is still packing the last stuff. There is so much in our locker.
I still need to pallet wrap some of the furniture. We will keep our bed up till the morning we rent the truck to get things to the crate.

Where do you start, what options work the best for you? It takes a lot of research and calling around to find a fitting option.

Calling in movers to pack and move your home is one way to go about it. As I found out, not all movers do long haul. They seem to charge by weight so they can give you an estimate but nothing exact on the cost. They can look at all you got and if it is packed up already it is a guess. This can run you for a three bedroom town house with some outside equipment like barbeque, hoses, planter, lawn mower, composter and outdoor patio. $14,000 CAD To move it in Travel time 3 hours 15 min, and store it for 6 days. That is with a toll on the Ferry. For a standard vehicle like our Van is $62.00 plus $18 per passenger. They want a detailed list of what is going and they do a walk through estimate. or they talk on the phone and give you very poor information. When you look up movers for distance on the internet look up ‘Long haul moves’

They have 4 different sizes

You can rent a storage crate, this has many options also. Our neighbor rented from Big Steel Box for their move 12 hr 6 min, 1133 km (704 miles ) from here and they loaded in the crate storage yard. This option worked wonderfully for their family due to not having a place right away to move into. So they stored in in a near by yard and will have it dropped off at the new home.

Not all crate services do long haul. You can have a crate dropped off at your home as long as you have enough space to off load it and pick it up (70 feet). There is a fee for loading and unloading. We need a 20 foot crate. They come smaller but we have lots of stuff. If they can’t drop it off or you want to try to save money your options are to have movers take your stuff to the crate and load it for you, or to load the crate yourself at the yard. 

https://www.uhaul.com/Truck-Rentals/15ft-Moving-Truck/

You can rent a truck, load up your stuff and take it to the crate. That is what we will do. That in our area is $30 CAD plus 47 cents a kilometer plus fill the tank back to where it was.  We got a 15 foot truck, so better than doing it all in the van it will be multiple trips but still faster and bigger than our family mobile.

My guidance to you if you are hoping to save costs is pack all your own belongings. Then try to find a rental truck that has a one way drop off at the end location. Load the truck, drive it and off load it yourself. Downfalls to this is poor health, not having 1 way destination drop off and having to deal with the logistics if you are going on a ferry. Weight truck scales, booking the ferry for an over length and weight truck…

I’m not at the stage in my life that I want to do things all in one day anymore. There is the factor that you are completely liable if anyone or anything gets hurt or damaged.

If you are moving soon, safe travels have a safe end of summer. 

Health complications to be aware of in the heat

In my years in alternative health I have seen and dealt with many health conditions. Do you think about how yours or others you know medical conditions are altered in the heat? What precautions should be taken to stay in the best health.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-heat-and-health

Mental health reactions in everyone can be influenced when you turn the heat up in areas that are not hot normally. Our brain function changes when we are too hot. It is like when you have a fever. 

Also people who take medication for mental health and many other conditions can have side effects. Either from the way the body processes the medication or from photosensitive reactions. 

Ways to help, if you take any medications over the counter or prescribed please read the labels or ask your pharmacist. Here is a list of medications that might be affected by environmental heat

Stay hydrated with broths, unsweetened herbal teas, and water. Fruits with higher water content and vegetables like cucumber. You can have fruit if you’re a diabetic. You just need to be mindful of how much you have in a serving.

https://seanburgessfitness.com/stay-hydrated-this-summer

People with high blood pressure can get dizzy and dehydrated if they are on medication like water pills. Keeping your heart safer in the heat You can aid by cooling your pressure points by soaking your wrists or feet in cold water, put a wet towel or neck cooler around the neck or feet and drink more fluids. Stay in a cool place. Tips on cooling your feet.

Anyone with a cardiac condition can be at higher risk of strokes and heart attacks, Many of the medications dehydrate you or cause contraindications for hearts that are struggling. 

Diabetics please watch your blood sugars in the heat, check them very regularly. Eat small protein dense snacks even if you feel overheated. I suggest hard boiled eggs. Keep your insulin in a cooler pack, if it gets to warm it can wreck you medicine.

See if your area has cooling stations. Malls often have air conditioning I would recommend not walking there if it is really hot out. Try to avoid midday sun. From noon to about three in the afternoon is often the hottest.

https://the-storage-inn.com/blog/2020/07/baby-its-hot-outside

In extreme heat weather you have a medical condition or not. Be mindful of exercising at the hottest time of the day. You can try getting up early. Take in enough electrolytes. 

I’m blessed to have been loaned ac units, so I’m not dealing with the side effects in the house, my doctor changed one of my meds that was giving me problems in the heat. stay cool and safe. If you have any ill effects in the heat please talk to you practitioner. Take care till next blog.

Life updates

If you have been following my blog for sometime, you may know we are in the process of relocating. Our townhome sold! That is quite the process. You need to get your home ready to make it like a show home. How does one do that when they have a “Bob’s Burgers family couch” Well you put a sheet of the same colour over the well loved parts. It is family after all! You might need to get a bigger beverage for todays read.

Bob’s Burger’s, their smelly old, tattered couch that they where going to put out on the curb.
The Mom was like but it is family!

Now you have done all this fussying up of your home, you call a realtor and sign some papers, and then the realtor works some magic and voila your home is on display! We chose to not be at the home when it was being shown. So we traveled to some of the areas we might want to live and were there for 3 weeks. One week we were watching a friend’s home and pet. The next week was spent in a one bedroom basement suite. With 3 adults, one worked from home at the makeshift office, the other was at their computer doing their things for their job, then there was me working quietly around both of them in this tiny space. I was making most of the meals and trying to keep the space clean till my weekend shifts at work. 

The realtor called and was like we have an offer after about 13 or so showings. We had less than 5 hours to read over the offer and decide if we were happy. More paperwork this time we did it all on line with electronic signatures, boy did that break my already overloaded brain. I was so upset that it looked nothing like my signature. Took my partner a bunch of time to get me calm and back in my brain. So then the people that made the offer were happy and signed their copies.

Cupcakes Sold signs

At this point there is a part in the contract that gives the buyer time to get their finances done and gives us time to do anything we need to in our part of the agreement. Lucky us (sarcastic looking faces) when they had their home inspections, the inspector found a small drip behind the upstairs toilet. They first were like you must change the toilet, we let them know we would get a plumber in and do what they recommend. We out of good faith changed the shut off valve after the plumber found there were no problems (we suspect the water found by the inspector was caused by condensation). I’m like this is old and can drip a bit when turned on. So we did our part, their bank did what was needed and 12 days later the subjects were removed and those folks gear up for being in a new home September 10, 2022!

This is the old shut off, looks bad but was not leaking

The next part of the adventure, time for us to look for our place. They said oh, “This is the fun part”. It was anything less than fun. 

The first home had Glade scented plug-ins. My weird chemical sensitivities went into overdrive. I lost my voice, had raspy breathing and had a headache that got worse. I had my clipboard trying to take notes and photos while having homeopathic allergy medicine. Looking like a nice place though watery eyes and shallow breathing.. Oh the joys of finding a non vacant home. 

A cartoon illustration of a home for sale looking scared. (This is what house searching feels like.)

House 2 smelled like dogs that had bladder problems and it was small and dark.. I’m starting to lose hope.. I was already not sure about the home due to not being easy to access for people with mobility issues. I have problems with stairs and so do other friends and family.. 

At this point in the game I’m sure I made the worst decision to sell. Too late now you are homeless. 

I’m thinking this can’t get worse. House three smokers that smoke in the home.. My head is pounding and my lips are getting tingling and numb then sudden dizziness, this is the reaction I have when there is mold. I was ready to crawl in a hole and die. Partly embarrassment and partly due to how this was making my body react in front of our realtor who barely knows us. Good impression.

Day one over, looking back I love the first home but made a deal to see all the homes on the list.

Day two, going better with no reactions. I felt like Goldlocks and The Three Bears. This one is too old, this one is too new, this one is beautiful but too small. So I was mulling about the first house day one was just right. Go to look it up online to relook and it is gone, GONE.. What the heck, I like the house not the reaction my body had but the house had much I wanted. I message our realtor and tell him it is gone, nowhere on line. He contacted their realtor and made inquiries.

A while goes by and we get the word we can still make an offer. That is at 9:30 at night. So in the morning we talk over our conditions. Here are estate-terms to help you understand. The realtor put it in print and we had to electronically sign and then by 10:30 am sent.. The deadline for response was 10:00 pm the same day, just under 12:00 hours. We start to get stir crazy (if you meet us, crazy is not that far of a drop). Long walk at 7:30 or 8:00 pm so I’m watching time tick slowly. 8:45 we get a call (it is our realtor) I’m like hi, he us like well I have some news they turned down your offer. Knowing not to get my heart up, I was like oh ok.. He indicated he was joking and we were a step closer to having a new home. Now you need to know the stress boiler just went wild. We need to give the down payment. So we say we will bring it tomorrow after breakfast. Here is where the boiler gets hot. We have 5 days to get all our stuff online. Hoping nothing goes wrong. Well it is a Sunday so the banks are closed. Post Dated cheque for Tuesday. A day to get in touch with the bank.

Boiler

All the documents have been emailed and the down payment was ready weeks in advance. As of today we have 2 days to do everything else and remove subjects.. End of the day Tuesday the bank was called to see what was going on. We have more coal tossed in the boiler. We need an appraiser for the house we are buying.. You know the human that gets paid so much for doing almost nothing.. Because it is a rush, we get to pay the extra large rush cost. We are now at the 10th, two days left to make this all happen. We risk losing the house and the down payment. 

We are back in the place formerly known as home till our closing date on September 10. I had my family in to empty the chest freezer. Currently making food for them to use up the frozen food. It is how I cope with major stress, cooking lots of food for others. 

If you are moving, buying, selling or renting in this bonkers market may you find something you enjoy to fill the in between.

Happy week. Sorry I did not get my blog up last week, things were really hectic and we were in and out of cell service, and internet servers.

Healthy food for hot days

If you are like many of us, eating a heavy meal on a super hot day is just not what you want to do to your gut. We don’t digest as well on really hot days. The thought of using the oven or even the stove makes many want to wither on an already hot day. When it is above 30 degrees Celsius, 86 Fahrenheit it is lower than natural human body temperature but it starts to get a bit sluggish. 

Guacamole and cut veggies, gives you good fats from avocados and good nutrients from the veggies. That is what we had for two days when It was 33 degrees Celsius. We make it in a food processor. It keeps well in the fridge so take some time in the cooler part of the day and cut up vegetables. I store them in a glass lock container for about a week. Who am I kidding, cut veggies never last that long here. 

Photo by Anna Shvets

Hummus and veggies or crackers

Greek salad and store roasted chicken You can make Greek salad vegan just leave out the feta and don’t have chicken. I make my own Salad and dressing so much better than store bought and much cheaper.

Fruit salad or cut fruits. How to make a veggie tray

Watermelon salad, we buy huge watermelons and they last a few days. Tips on cutting watermelon

Photo by Elle Hughes

Cucumber salad, I grew cucumbers in my garden to enjoy before we need to leave our sold house. We cut one the other day, it was so tasty. Vegan Paleo cucumber salad

This cucumber was grown in my garden photo take by me.

Chef salad, you can use hard boil eggs, cheese, fresh berries or cut fruit. We bought pre cooked chicken packs served in 100 gram servings. They were great in so many ways including in or cool packs for lunch working outside in the extreme heat. 

Tex – mex salad is good because it has beans. I make mine with cooked chickpeas. It is so filling. I change it up a bit due to allergies.(My family might fall off their chairs if I stuck to the exact recipe, I think they are convinced I can’t read with how many recipes are inspired by the original)

We are making so many easy low cooking meals this summer. It is a bit of a challenge with not wanting to buy food before moving to a new town. We packed up the barbecue months ago and are starting to pack more of the kitchen. (YOU know the “we will be out before summer So lets pack summer stuff..” Well we will be out in late summer.)

The multi cooker AKA Instant Pot has been a great tool in the heat

When I make things like hard boiled eggs and chickpeas, I do the steam release outside so all that hot steam is not left in the house. Opening the door is the gross part, it is cooler in our place so to open the door to the outdoor oven is just not a happy thought.

Photo by Alesia  Kozik

The heat of the summer can make you creative in the kitchen. Hope you’re staying healthy and cool. Next week’s blog will be about health conditions and the heat.

Switching From Google Hangouts

In today’s complicated world of online communication you have so many things to choose from. 

In my family we used a Google program called Hangouts, Nice simple communication device to chat that could be used on your cell, computer or tablet.

Hangouts and Google Chat logos

What happens when your old faithful stand by gets changed? Doom! Panic! How do I use this? Do I have to have a browser open for my email all the time? I’m not an expert but I’m often good at finding out new information, one of the benefits of being a blogger. I learned enough to help my very tech savvy partner at least use it. We might move to something different in the near future. Google Chat how to use it.

The ever spinning learning a new platform

My partner loved that Hangout would bring up a pop up window with a notification on his Windows windows 8. I’m still looking for an answer to if it is possible to have that happen now in Google chat. I half jokingly said we should go back to ICQ and another messenger for those of us in the long term team from back in the day of dial up modems with no fancy fiber optic server or high speed internet. I did look up ICQ and it is still available and revamped. If you can recall your old long in I also read you could still use your account for 15-20 years back. That is a long time back I’m not going to recall my log in. ICQ download it uses your phone number now.

ICQ logo

What messaging platform have you enjoyed over the years? Did you ever used ICQ? 

Our summer is almost half way though, hope you are staying cool!

Wall Lizards

When you sit in nature you see many living things. Trees, flowers, shrubs, fungus, bugs and animals. When visiting people on the Island I have seen little green and black lizards.

Photo by me, Lots of sitting still to get this photo.

Sometimes you see them lying around sunbathing other times they are scuttling over and under rocks. Being a curious person I looked them up.

In my search I found out they are not native to the area. They are known as European Wall Lizards (I should have known by their accent) or the scientific (Binomial) name Podarcis Muralis.

They have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Females lay eggs up to 3 times pending on the duration of the summer each year, 3 to 11 eggs each time. They will find places under rocks paving stones, planters and other tucked away places to lay their eggs. The eggs will incubate for up to a month. Being an omnivore (eats meat and plants) they can live well snacking on fruit, bugs and other tasty things in the world. They are skittish and don’t want much to do with humans or other species. 

Photo by me

They don’t pose much threat to humans or other animals. If cornered or handled they might bite. As someone who owns a larger lizard in comparison they have brutal teeth. (The picture of a rabid tiny lizard seems comical) The little lizards get about 20-23 centimeters (7.9 inch) and their tail is twice as long as their bodies. (They don’t look that long in the quick glimpse you get of them)

As fascinating as those lizards are, they are an invasive species. When they are brought in by people or cargo they bring in danger and depletion of resources our native lizards need. Food and places to live become hard for our species to live with any rate of survival.

If you see one of them they ask that you try to get a photo and call them in or use the invasive species BC app Here is a web link to invasive species Canada phone numbers invasive species USA

If you see something that makes you smile take a photo if appropriate. So many things in this world pass us by, cherish all you can. Have a great week.

Weird Energy Levels

Summer is a time when we think we should have a good amount of energy. The extended hours of light, warmth and fresh air. Then why are people getting more rundown this year? This is the first year in two years events are back on in full capacity. Some people are right on, all the events. Then there are others that are so beat by 6 pm that life seems to be on hold. I’m at the later end of this energy drain. I feel like someone has sucked my energy out with a straw. 

https://github.com/kelvins/sunrisesunset

Many things can be a factor on what gives people energy or steals the last blinks we have in our eyelids. 

Temperature or change of weather can be a factor, the body needs to use more energy to regulate a healthy range for our safety and comfort. Tips to stay healthy if the weather is hot.

Age can play a part, sometimes metabolism can decrease as we age.

Medical conditions can really pull from our energy reserves.

Hormone levels, it takes the liver and other organs a lot to make the hormones.

Here are some hormones that can leave you feeling more run down.

  • Melatonin.
  • Serotonin.
  • Oestrogen.
  • Progesterone.
  • Testosterone.

 Cortisol is a stress hormone that is created in the adrenal glands, when you are under stress your body makes more of this hormone. It controls your flight or fight response, your blood pressure and glucose. When it is high your rate of inflammation goes way up. So this can wear your body and brain out. The two years on high stress alert with covid likely left many of us a  bit more stressed than before. Until things get really hectic with your adrenal glands western medicine does not often feel it is a problem. Natural practitioners often will have you do a saliva test a couple times a week to test. Adrenal fatigue is when your body puts out too much cortisol so the adrenal glands can’t do their job. The adrenal glands are small grape sized glands over the kidneys that put out over 50 other hormones that make the body run.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/adrenal-glands

How much we eat and what we eat can affect us too. If we don’t eat enough nutrient dense food our bodies can’t produce the hormones needed to stay alert and healthy.

When I’m having to run a 10 hour day of work I will have more proteins and fresh fruits and veggies. I also bring happy planet smoothies because sometimes my sugars get a bit low. Having a quick smoothie can bring your sugars up to a healthy level in a short time. If you can eat nuts the oils and good fats can help you feel better within about 10 mins. Healthy snacks for long days

I got this from the The Sacred Plant Facebook

If your running high or low energy, please take care of you. Eat small healthy snacks about every 4 hours. Have 4 to 8 oz of water every hour (Water calculator based on your weight and activity levels) and if you need more rest than normal try to not over book your time. Rest if you need to and keep a cool cloth in the fridge or your cooler to help put less strain on you. If your are going filled with energy, follow the guidelines and book down time to sleep. 6 to 8 hour of cool sleep down time. (sleep calculator) this means try to keep your sleep space cooler! Bodies need that to heal and recharge.

The Historic Roundhouse In Esquimalt

I had the opportunity of working an event at a historical site in Esquimalt, which is on the south side of Vancouver Island..

Heritage structures fascinate me. 

Photo take by me June 2022 The big wooden doors Of the Roundhouse. This is the car house.

They had a way of building art. The buildings were not always as elaborate as the roman days, but still has arch brickwork that now has vines growing in it. The Roundhouse is composed of three industrial buildings. It was designated a Heritage site of Canada in 1992.

Photo by me, in reading about the Roundhouse, They talk about the big windows to let lots of light in.
Many are boarded up now.

The buildings were designed to store, maintain and service the locomotives. It was used to service them until 1949. I think about how warm it would have been in the summer. One of the buildings had a boiler room. There were fans but no air conditioning. The Roundhouse is one of 3 built, and the only surviving Roundhouse built for the EN rails. The EN Stands for Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway it is located at 253 Esquimalt Rd, Victoria, BC

Photo by me, This is one of the other three buildings of the Roundhouse.

Before the first world war the EN rail was run and owned by Robert Dunsmuir. He came from Scotland and owned much of the EN run and founded the railway. He started as a coal miner and died the richest man in British Columbia in that era. 

When I decided to do this as a blog topic, I never realized how cool it would be, nor did I realize my photos would be a history lesson. Sometimes when I get a quick photo opportunity and so much more develops.  I went back to the site and looked around after doing some reading. There was not as much information online as I had hoped. A family member of mine is into trains and the history of the rail line. I gave him a call as he has many wonderful books on the topic. Because of the timeline as I was doing my blog, the books were not able to be looked at for information. So I might do a continuation on this topic in the future. 

Photo by me, this is a locomotive that was in the bay. Workers would get in to the pit to look under the trains to work on them.
Photo by me, the Ivy growing under the metal protective grate over the window.

What historical things or places do you enjoy, do you take photos of old places? Hope you have a great long weekend.

Some of the links I used to write this blog are:

http://www.brian894x4.com/ENRussellroundhouse.html

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/business/the-southern-pacific-roundhouse-has-colorful-history/article_cb0a0419-0717-52d5-8f0b-9eb2188382de.html

https://www.timescolonist.com/islander/our-history-the-ens-long-journey-from-dream-to-doubt-4635182

https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=1621

Biography on Robert Dunsmuir

Saanich News History of The EN rail

Update On the Roundhouse from 2004

Challenges Of Ferry traveling in BC

What a week, this weeks blog is coming to you from the car deck of the BC ferries vessel it is 10:45 at night. Normally my blog is scheduled and I’m in bed by now.

My world has been a whirlwind. Our place went on the market today. Hoping it sells in a timely manner.

From the internet not sure who the credit goes to.

With selling our place there will be some challenges we are moving to Vancouver Island.

The last months many ferries have canceled sailing due to staffing shortages. In our traveling back and forth, we have suffered the long waits due to more than one ferry not being able to run. 

Photo by me taken in May 2022

It is very hard on staff to be short staffed it affect the safety of all saling.  

They are offering hiring packages to encourage people to get employed with BC ferries.

Have you been on a ferry? Did you enjoy the sailing? Hope your week holds positivity.