Give me strength.

I having a very bad time at work, dealing with a negative co-worker, it weighs heavily on me and my stomach is acting up over it again. Give me strength! This morning Attila got up early and set a full fire in the masonry heater. When I woke up the coffee was on and the fire was just beginning to blaze. Luxury! Wood heat is a lot of work. I find myself resenting the time Attila must spend ensuring adequate firewood and I dislike that extended travel is curtailed by the regime of heating with wood. But oh, the joy in those morning and evening fires! I talked with Terra yesterday afternoon, she is a very busy woman! Hers is an on-call position and she works varied shifts, sometimes nights, sometimes evenings, sometimes days. Her biggest challenge is getting adequate sleep! Lares has taken on a part-time job in addition to his full-time job. I feel very lucky that we get to see them each time we visit our little house! Luna and Janus and the grandkids and the granddogs are coming for a “sleepover” visit to our country house this week; at least that is the plan. We are … Continue reading

Present and Past

A sunny day here and Attila is using it to its fullest advantage.  He is repairing the roof on the screened in porch, which has had issues since it was built; largely due to some unusual design specifications I insisted on.  He is also gathering materials to take to the little house when we next visit.  Further winterization of our country house is also high on his list for today.  He will install the insulated panels over the windows downstairs and parts of the windows upstairs, literally boarding up the windows to prevent excessive heat loss.  And finally, there is a lot of wood to split! I am having a very busy day as well.  I’ve been baking apple crisp, two so far and another will go into the oven this afternoon.  I baked bread yesterday for the first time since we started commuting to the little house on a regular basis.  Attila is extremely pleased to be eating homemade bread again, as he does not consider commercially made bread to be palatable. My most recent visit to the doctor revealed that my blood pressure is excellent but my cholesterol levels are slowly creeping up.  Yikes.  I had hoped to … Continue reading

Ageism

Ageism, the lucky amongst us are going to face this type of discrimination, later rather than sooner. I urge every one of us to keep an eye on how we interact with people younger or older than ourselves. Respect for differences should cover just about any situation. When we assume the way we look at the world is “normal”, we do a disservice to everyone, including ourselves. I wonder, why would I find the comment, “you look so young” complimentary? It always upsets me, makes me feel uncomfortable and unhappy, aware of impending loss. I can tell it is meant as a compliment, so I smile. But if this is so important to people, what the heck am I going to do when I don’t look so young??? It will happen, if I’m lucky. I really don’t want to think of myself as “young looking”; I want to be “Maggie looking” and I want that to be all right. I can carry “Maggie looking” to my the end of my days, it is that flexible a compliment. My Dad died of colon cancer. I have regular colonoscopies, which, for me, are always potentially fatal due to human error with medications … Continue reading

Thin Layer of “Fools”

Last night Attila and I watched a program about the history of Scotland. I was interested, many of my ancestors came to Canada from Scotland. My grandfather spoke with a mild Scottish accent, which I picked up and was ridiculed for at primary school. The word history is a broad term, defined by the Oxford Dictionary in several ways. It seems that the new English meaning of the word is focused on “record of important or public events”. In the media these events seem always to be focused, in turn, on power, struggles for power, violence and violent death. When a book or a television program describes history, it is almost without fail a description of a very, very thin top layer of ambitious climbers. Seldom do I see descriptions of community building and strategies for human harmony; mostly I see long chronologies of wars, battles, political allegiances and betrayals. Certainly my high school history courses focused on these themes. However, the origin of the word history offers more than this: “Origin: late Middle English (also as a verb): via Latin from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man” This origin of the word history does … Continue reading

Kindling

This morning I awoke at five to find Attila up and engaging the day. He is going in to work early, as it is very busy and he wants to get a start on things early. Before leaving for work Attila has started a fire in the wood stove downstairs to keep the place warm today, and he has assembled all the kindling I need to begin curing the masonry heater for the winter. I have my first burn crackling merrily in the masonry hearth as I write. Curing the masonry heater is an annual ritual, necessary to slowly expel all moisture from the refractory cement core, to avoid steam during the force of a full fire burn. I will burn five or more small fires throughout the day today, and will continue to build incrementallly larger fires for the next five days. In five days a small amount of heat will begin to radiate from the heater and it will be ready for full service. I am not working this week, a short break, so this is the perfect time to charge the heater. Tending fires requires my attention at intervals, all day long. So, I have set the … Continue reading