Saturday, 26 November 2022

An Unexpected End to the Pig Story

    Yesterday at the end of the blog, I was waiting for the owners of the escaped pig to arrive and cart her back home, but as usual, what I was expecting was not what happened.  Three friendly, older teens arrived in a pickup truck (no trailer to haul the pig away) and surveyed the situation.

    By the time they arrived, the pig had left the spot where it had been sleeping against our house, but I saw it over by the compost pile.  I got a bucket of very old corn, left over from when we used to have chickens, to try to tempt the pig to follow me.  The pig seemed disoriented and wasn’t really interested in the corn, but seemed to follow me anyway.  I led her into our fenced garden, then shut the gate so she couldn’t get out.

    The teenage boy, son of a local farm family, asked me if I minded if they shot the pig in my garden.  He said that if I did mind, that was okay, they would come pick it up, take it somewhere, and then shoot it there.  I knew it would be a lot less stressful for the pig to be shot where it was, exploring the garden, so said it was okay to shoot it there.

    The deed was quickly done, then the three began the difficult job of dragging the 300+ lb. (140 kg) corpse across the garden, across the yard and to the pickup truck.  Luckily I had some 2 X 12 boards we could use as a ramp to get the pig into the bed of the pickup.   Once the pig was positioned at the bottom of the ramp, I helped as we rolled the heavy carcass over and over, and up the ramp and into the bed of the pickup.

    I was thanked several times for all of my help, goodbyes were said, and up the driveway the pickup carrying the pig went.

    It was a sad ending.  It was not the first time the pig had escaped.   About a month or so ago it had made a sudden appearance at a neighbor’s property.  Our place was a bit further to go for the porker.  It had walked 1.2 kms. (3/4 mile) if it traveled in a fairly straight line to get to our place.  One of the teens mentioned that they didn’t want to have to feed the pig all winter long, so I guess it’s fate was sealed.

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Friday, 25 November 2022

    Our peaceful morning exploded into loud, uncontrollable, chaos, when my wife opened the door to  walk Kona.  Kona immediately knew something was amiss, charged away, madly barking, trailing her leash behind her.  When I  looked out of the window to investigate, my wife was sitting in the snow, arms holding Kona tightly against the garden fence, frantically trying to calm the dog, who was going nuts.  I went out into the dusky yard, to help, then noticed a strange big creature, slowly ambling toward me.  

    The low light didn’t help me figure out what it was.  It was white, with black patches around the eyes, and my first guess made absolutely no sense; it looked like a dirty panda.  As it got closer I realized it was a huge pig.  It didn’t seem at all aggressive, so I went to to helping my wife get Kona into the house.

    Being inside the house didn’t do anything to stop Kona from barking, or going berserk.  I tried to calm her by shutting her in the upstairs bedroom, but all that did was muffle her terrible barking a bit.

    There aren’t many people who own pigs nearby, and I quickly figured out where this one had probably come from.  As we ate our breakfast, the sow nestled down outside, beside the house, to rest.

    I didn’t really know the probable pig owners but after I had eaten, I drove to their house.  Their front yard was a ramshackle of pens, shacks, and barking dogs.  I knocked on the door and all of their inside dogs started going crazy.  I asked the woman who opened the door if she was missing a pig.  She replied that she might be.

    I described the pig and where I lived and she sounded like they would rig up a trailer and come and get it.  So far, an hour and a half later, we are still waiting.

    Each morning when we wake, we sure don’t know what the day has in store for us.  Life is full of surprises and this one was sure unexpected.


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Thursday, 24 November 2022

Ice Design

    I haven’t had much outdoor activity lately, but I did manage to walk Kona around the pond a few times.  On one of those trips, I noticed this intricate design in the ice by the pond’s outflow.  All of the frozen bubbles make it look like it has sections of soap suds.  You can see one of the green sprouts of a Bog Arum plant frozen in the ice.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Bear Still Around

    Last Thursday when I got back home after being in the hospital, I took a short walk with Kona.  Coming back, as I approached the front porch, I was surprised to see some fresh footprints in the dusting of snow on the sidewalk.  They looked like a person had walked barefoot through the snow, but then realized I was seeing bear prints.

    I figured that the bears would have been hibernating, but I guess, not yet.  Neighbors were also surprised to find some bear prints on their properties.  

    Surely by now, a week later, the bears must be snoozing in their dens by now, but who knows.

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Loss of Appetite

    Normally, I love to eat.  Every day I would look forward to the next meal.  That all changed when I came down with Pancreatitis, or whatever it is, that has its grip on me.  I lost my appetite almost immediately, and being on an IV meant that I really didn’t get hungry.  When they took me off of IV and started giving me solid food, I had to force myself to eat it, and when I did, it tasted so bland and tasteless, that eating became a real chore.

    The toast was in no way crisp, the eggs without salt, was not at all tasty, the fruit seemed to be designed more for appearance rather than taste, and I couldn’t even make myself sample the cream of wheat.  I took the photo after I had “finished” the meal. 

    I was eager to get back home where at least food had taste, even though I still had no appetite.  They didn’t want me to eat any food that had fat in it, and fat is what gives food a lot of its taste.  I was able to find things that I could eat that did have taste, but it still didn’t give me any desire to eat.

    Things have certainly changed.  I used to really look forward to every meal, and now I dread the approach of mealtime.  As I force myself to eat, I know that in a few hours it will cause me discomfort in the abdomen.  

    I sure would like to get back to normal.

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Sunday, 20 November 2022

The Worst Night of My Life

    For weeks I have been seeing and hearing news reports about the severe strains that Canadian Hospitals have been experiencing because of the overcrowding.  The crowding was being caused by and explosion of SRV cases in kids, cases of Flu and Covid, and the shrinking of the medical staff because of burnout and resignations.     That all became real when I was sent up to the Prince George Hospital last week due my attack of Pancreatitis.  At the Prince George Hospital, there seemed to be a lot of staff, but there just wasn’t enough room for the huge influx of patients.  

   I was fortunately housed in a curtained room-like enclosure, but looking out I could see other patients whose “room” was just the hallway.  I felt very lucky.

    That all changed on my second night, when they moved me out of my “room” and rolled my bed beside the counter of the central nurses station.  They needed my old space for someone with an IV and I had been taken off the IV.  That yellow jacket is hanging on the end of my bed, where I  spent the night.   

    I knew it would be a bad night, but I hadn’t realized, just how bad.  The photo shows what is was like during the night with the lights out.  I had to tuck my head under the counter, so it would be a little dark.  There were constant conversations going on throughout the night at the nurses station, there were continual beeps and buzzes of medical machines and monitors.

    I did manage to fall asleep several times during the night, but only for short periods.  My dreams were full of rapid chaotic movements.  I certainly was in worse shape after that night than I was before it.  Fortunately, they released me from the hospital and I was very happy to be heading back home. 

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Saturday, 19 November 2022

At the Prince George Hospital

    The photo shows the view beyond my covered feet, onto the line of patients bedded along the hallway of the Prince George Hospital. 

    Once I was delivered to PG, I was given blood tests, urine tests, an ultrasound, and a CT Scan in hopes to discover what exactly was wrong with me.  Like in McBride, my tests results were troubling, but even the CT Scan didn’t clarify the problem.  The physician declared it to be Pancreatitis, but the CT Scan didn’t show the expected blockage that was the suspected cause.   After 24 hours in Prince George, I was taken off the IV and started to be given hospital food.

    As I lay there, I started to learn more about the other patients that were bedded around my me.  In the next cubical was a man in his late 50‘s whose name John, who had a bad heart.  He was awaiting a stress test that would determine whether or not he would be sent to a Vancouver hospital.   He told me that his father had died from a bad heart.  His father was not a good man, a traveling salesman, who the family later learned had 5 other families hidden away in the various places he traveled.

    An 80 year old woman who whose bed was in the hallway was irate at being in the hospital.  Although her story wasn’t exactly clear, it seemed there were “hackers” living in her “house” that continually caused her problems, and disturbed the peace and her sleep.  She made an official complaint mentioning the fact that she couldn’t sleep and the official had her sent to the hospital, and there she was stuck.  Obviously, it was not a place where she would be able to get a peaceful sleep.

    There was a ruckus caused by a Native man, who started ranting and cussing about the “fuggin” white people who were “touching” him, trying to calm him down and.  He loudly yelled that he just wanted to stab himself, and poke himself.  He screamed, “Help, help”, disturbing everyone on the floor, insisting that he was calm.  Eventually they did manage to take him away.

    My dreams the first night were very rapid images, building, rebuilding, chaotic, and not very restful.  I woke often, but was able to return to sleep (and the chaotic dreams) quickly.  Conversations, the beeping on monitors, and lights continued through out the night.


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