The past several days have gone by like a blur. A friend of my family passed away over a week ago and my mom has been dealing with our friend's home and contents, leaving my dad without transportation to and from skating (Dad skates at least 3-4 times a week) so I was helping out with that. Of course there was the funeral to attend as well. I used to house and cat sit for Norma and her husband John when they took trips. Norma was a really neat lady, kind and gentle, and will be greatly missed.
Of course, the clean-up has continued on the Little Sackville River after the oil spill. I went out Saturday morning with one of the other members, Sebastien, to collect certain plants that are useful in this sort of thing. Sadly, it's so late in the year, that most aquatic plants he wanted were long since gone. We ended up gathering two garbage bags full of cattails, though, so the search wasn't wasted. The rest of the morning was spent meeting up with other members, running errands for supplies, and ferrying said members to the spill site. I couldn't stay for the actual "work" (I timed that well, didn't I?), but they spent a couple of hours setting up stakes and burlap as filter material. I hope to get to the site again tomorrow to see how well our rainfall and mild temps today dispersed the clumping oil. It was clumping because of the cold.
Here's a picture from 3 weeks ago on the morning of our last River Ranger group. My location was in the shade and after spending 20 minutes in the shade, in and out of the river to get rocks to find bugs, I was frozen and stood in the sunshine to try and thaw out. My face was frozen to the point where I was beginning to lisp. And I had two more groups to work with at that point! You can just make out my breath coming out as a cloud:
The Wookie and I also attended the AGM of the MS Society Atlantic Division on Saturday afternoon. One of the Board members' term is finished and we wanted to say thanks; he's also a founding member of our Bike Tour Team , The Cycle Delics. And there was a presentation by Dr. John Fisk, who is leading the end MS Regional Research and Training Centre for Atlantic Canada. 5 of these centres were set up in May of this year as part of the endMS campaign in Canada. I had wanted to meet Dr. Fisk as he's conducting one of the studies I'm currently enrolled in. He spoke about a number of activities that have occurred since the centre began including the exciting work by some of the med students. One of the foci of this campaign is to attract new people to the field of MS research. There are scholarships and grants being set up to retain some of these talented people and as they have a chance to do first hand work with current top notch researchers, it should help. The picture below is the first group of endMS summer students in Halifax this year:
After the AGM, we headed back to Lower Sackville to a pool hall where a fund raiser was being held for the Sackville Rivers Association. I wanted to just make an appearance, bid on some silent auction items and go home. Which is exactly what we did. I'll find out tomorrow if we won any of the items we bid on.
And I have managed to get in 4-6 kilometre walks almost every morning. Now, it may seem like I'm kind of pushing myself a little too hard, and you're probably right....but get off my back. The past week was an exception to my usually more laid back schedule. I'll behave better this week. I promise.