So far, so good. We are managing to keep warm, and our bellies are full. If we don't think about the future we feel content.
On the home front, our ice dams have been conquered, at least for the moment. Attila spent many hours on the roof, with his spade, removing six inch thick ice blocks from the roof. Occasionally a block would hit the deck outside the kitchen, and the whole house seemed to shift and rattle. We will try to keep the roof shovelled clean, to prevent a future buildup of ice. But it is probably not possible to avoid this problem altogether. We will do our best.
We have hot water! The water runs hot from the tap whenever I turn the knob! Attila has finished the installation of the hot water heater, and it works a treat. We are keeping an eye on the hydro meter, and so far the power consumption seems reasonable. What a difference it makes to perceived affluence, this humble hot water heater.
Our unpacking is now almost complete. Occasionally another unpacked box will materialize, seemingly from out of nowhere, creating the need for a series of wherever-will we-put-this decisions. Clearly, we have accumulated possessions beyond actual need.
This is an ideal opportunity to give attention to all the little tasks around the house that might otherwise slip by unnoticed. Two spider plants sitting in disintegrating plastic containers will be repotted today. The 2004 calendars will be collected and stored with their predecessors. We feel we are accomplishing something, as we move through the day and through our humble list of activities.
I have once more begun my daily "hamster run". I move about the house for five minute intervals, stretching and running up and down the stairs. The driveway and road outside are covered with slick ice, making recreational walking extremely hazardous. We enjoy going for short walks after dark, gazing at the stars and listening to the wind in the pines. Hopefully we will be able to get out and about again soon.
Our Christmas Tree, which Attila cut from our property, is holding its needles. It graces the living room with its branches and colourful lights. Mist enjoys sitting under the tree. From time to time she rubs her nose against the red and silver garland draped on the lowest branches, or sits mesmerized by her own reflection in the glass balls hanging just above her head. The tree will stay where it is until it begins to loose its needles.
The bread in the oven smells inviting. It is Russian Kulich, made with our own candied peel. Each Christmas we receive a box of Florida grapefruit, a delightful gift. They are fresh, not coated with chemicals or other such substances. We enjoy them for breakfast, and save the skins to make candied peel, a labour-intense process. The candied peel is an important ingredient in Kulich. The results are very satisfying, and we do have lots of time right now to devote to such projects.
Each day we must focus on the future. So far the machine that governs Employment Insurance Benefits has not decided our eligibility. It is a long wait, and our funds are dangerously low. We try not to think about what will happen if some kind of technicality disqualifies us from receiving this much needed benefit, as we struggle to find work.
Each day we spend many hours searching for work. We write and rewrite resumes. We send emails, and faxes and snail mail applications by Canada Post. So far, for all of this effort, we have received two acknowledgements that our applications were received. That is all. Silence reigns as we continue our efforts. My heart is heavy.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Drying Candied Peel
By the Easy Chair
by Christina Schwarz
"Here were the people that nobody wanted anything from at all. This was where they gathered for shelter until they were periodically shooed out. There was something people wanted from them, in fact -- their absence, that was in hot demand, but not easily supplied. Everybody has to be somewhere."
from The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul by Richard Adams, page 195.
Barometric: 102.2 kPa
Sunrise 7:54 AM EST
Sunset 16:52 PM EST
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