The Terrarium

This morning arrived early for me, 5:00 a.m. I was up and about, puttering, sitting at the kitchen table with my copy of the Five Roses Cookbook, just like my Granny’s. Auntie Mame and I were chatting yesterday about that cookbook, she began with it when she was nine years old, and carried on to become a Chef. I began with it by my Granny’s side, as she used it all during my childhood. It was propped up on the kitchen table in Granny’s kitchen, the table was the only working surface in the kitchen, and beside it the wood stove burned happily, waiting for our creations. Attila arose hours later, around 9:00 a.m., he needs much more sleep than I do, and usually uses the weekends to catch up after a week of working. As we chatted, sitting on our easy chairs, basking in the morning sun, I glanced at the living room windows to see a big fat black fly crawling across the glass on the inside of the storm window. I said to Attila, “You know when the weather is warming when you see flies between the window and the storm window!” Attila laughed and said, “Ah, … Continue reading


February has been a very, very quiet month. Winter arrived in February, which means I only get out for a walk occasionally. Today was one of those days that I got out there to pound the pavement. Our snowstorm on Sunday left quite a bit of snow behind, and the temperature has remained below freezing ever since, so that the snow is still with us. That meant that sections of the road were covered with snow packed to ice. Conditions for a walk were not ideal, and several times I had to inch my way onto the ice at the side of the road, when a vehicle approached at speed, speeding on a quiet residential street. If one of the neighbours decides to petition for a speed bump I will be signing on the dotted line to support it. Although I had to remain alert and cautious, I enjoyed my walk, taking in the crisp breeze and enjoying the odd ray of sunshine that shone down on me through breaks in the cloud. I have been forcing myself to work on my book. I admit to extreme inertia when it comes to working on my book these days, who knew … Continue reading

Thermostat Settings

We are experiencing a brief cold snap. It warmed up to -14C this morning, and the forecast low tonight is -18C. This has Attila and I appreciating our heating system and our beloved thermostat. I am not going out for a walk today, it is just too cold for my arthritic knee. It is a shame really, the sun is shining this morning, and the road mostly clear. Yesterday I did go out for a stroll, but had to walk down the middle of the road from time to time, due to the ice left by our recent deluge of freezing rain. It was not a relaxing walk, but I was glad of it, and enjoyed the sunshine very much indeed. Well, if there was ever a more mundane topic to write about than thermostat settings, I don’t know what it would be. I decided this morning, as I sat oh so comfortably in my rocking chair, that Mist Cottage is just about perfect right now. In order to remember how I achieved that feeling, recorded here are the thermostat settings and other pertinent factors that make life here, right now, so very comfortable. My memory is such that these … Continue reading

Three Fat Robins

I am sitting in my rocking chair looking out the living room windows. In the ash tree there are three fat robins, very fat robins. Then two more fat robins join them, then more and more and more fat robins congregate on the tree. The robins look content. They fly to and from the crabapple tree in our front yard, where small red fruit offer “ice wine” for birds. I continue to be amazed at seeing robins in February, and to see so many of them together in the same place at the same time. We are expecting freezing rain this morning. The roads were clear when Attila left for work pre-dawn, so his journey would have been relatively safe. I hope that the freezing rain comes and goes long before his journey home. I am not getting out for my daily walk very often now, February is like that. I imagine that within a few weeks that will change, and the roads and sidewalks will be clear of ice and snow. In the meantime, I have taken to spending periods of time standing to work on my laptop, standing is not as good as walking, but it is better … Continue reading

Robins & Grackles

In 1996 I suffered a back injury. I heard it rip at the the time, a terrible sound. It was a weak spot in my back, having been injured way back in 1970 at a Bob Dylan concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. At that concert we were coming down the concrete stairs when the woman behind me lost her balance, or was pushed, and kicked me at the back of my knees. My legs went up, I went down, landing on my back on the edge of the concrete step. The bruising was extensive, and it took months and months to heal. Luckily no bones were broken, but my back was never the same again. In 1996 I was lifting a heavy box, and I heard that area of my back rip apart. I was bedridden for weeks, unable to move, and Attila, bless his soul, took care of the kids, the cooking, everything domestic, including me and bed pan duty. I was in physiotherapy for six months after that injury, and again, my back has never been the same. At that point in time it looked as if I would not be able to hike in … Continue reading