Cool Indoors

There was a bit of light in the sky this morning, when Attila left for work; I could see him to wave goodbye. The outdoor temperature is -26C, getting warmer.  The indoor temperature is 16C in the warmest part of the house, right beside the masonry heater.  After Attila left I spent ten minutes before the fire, warming my clothes before dressing for the day.  When it is cool indoors it is very important not to allow yourself to become chilled.  I am wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday, plus my fingerless gloves.  The temperature outdoors should rise steadily during the day; the temperature indoors will follow suit. By tomorrow Attila will restore cozy. Mist adores Attila, with good reason. During the last week I’ve left the house for a total of three hours. This is a problem, as the longer the isolation, the more painful it becomes to venture forth from home and participate in the world. One week of isolation is my threshold, after that venturing forth becomes a source of anxiety. Luckily I have a job interview tomorrow, and after that I am scheduled to work for a few days at the end of this week. … Continue reading

A Long, Long Way

I woke up at 3: a.m. this morning and made my way through the dark to the washroom.  My bare feet became icicles before I made it back into bed.  Attila had kept the bed warm, so I warmed quickly after diving back under the eiderdown. This morning I am dressing for the indoor weather.  From toe to head: Wigwam -40F/C socks (ca 2010) faux-fur lined mid-calf slippers thermal tights flannel pants (pajama day!) cotton short sleeve t-shirt long sleeve turtle neck shirt long sleeve sweat shirt Cowichan Sweater (ca 1989, Banff) I’m layered large and comfortable. The warmest part of the house is 16C, it is about 12C where my desk sits nearer the windows. Attila gave me two pairs of Wigwam socks for Christmas.  I love getting these socks for Christmas, they are a real indulgence.  My feet feel almost massaged when I put them on; they are the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn in my life.  Made in Wisconsin, they are about as locally produced as a sock can be in North America.  The price reflects not only the fact that they are made in North America, but also the quality. My Cowichan Sweater was a gift … Continue reading

Cold Snap

Cold. Mist sits in front of the masonry heater when the fire is burning, basking in the warmth. Mist sits in front of the masonry heater when it is not firing, yowling loudly to let us know that it is chilly in the house and a roaring fire would be appropriate. Three full fires a day are the maximum we will burn in the masonry heater, as no additional heat is to be gained by additional firings beyond three. This afternoon Attila will build a fire in the little cast iron wood stove in the basement for additional heat. Tonight we definitely need to sleep under the eiderdown. We decided to make a dash for the grocery store this afternoon after Attila got home from work. The drive alone took more than an hour round trip, and it took us about an hour to do our shopping. The second we arrived back Attila built a fire in the little wood stove downstairs. While we were away the indoor temperature near the masonry heater dropped two degrees centigrade, to 16C. Dinner is already made, we are having leftovers. I pan fried haddock last night; dredged in flour and ground pepper, browned … Continue reading

Lifting Weights

Life is full of surprises! Sometimes unwelcome, sometimes very welcome indeed. The universe has been lifting weights, including one from my shoulders. Since my request to relocate at work, the opportunity to work seems to be coming my way. I have the equivalent of fifteen days of work scheduled over the next two months. I am in shock and awe. Sometimes things just fall into place and this seems to be one of those times. This turn of events was not anticipated. In addition, one of the interviews I recently attended, for a temporary position, looks like it may materialize into about six months work. The hours for this position are flexible, meaning I can juggle the job I already have with the temporary position. That would make for a very busy schedule for the duration of the six month contract, but who’s complaining! The temperature will fall to -24C tonight. Attila will have an extra fire in the little wood stove downstairs tonight, to keep the basement temperature above freezing. Today is quite windy, which always makes it more challenging to keep the house warm. Although the house is well insulated, it is an older cottage and there is … Continue reading

Travel by Starlight

My life path has not been straight or circumscribed; often I traverse my path by starlight. Would I have met all the interesting and wonderful people that I have, were my path an easier, straighter, more affluent one?  I think not. This winding path I follow, the starlight that illuminates it, offers sights and sounds and insights that fade in the big brotherish glare of our cultural sunshine. One of my female relatives gave the gift of a book that influenced my way of looking at life, it was called Nurses Who Led The Way. Source Image: Here is a woman I’d never heard of, and wish I had, particularly when I was young and needed diverse role models. Stephanie Kwolek’s research with high performance chemical compounds for the DuPont Company led to the development of a synthetic material called Kevlar which is five times stronger than the same weight of steel. Kevlar, patented by Kwolek in 1966, does not rust nor corrode and is extremely lightweight. Many police officers owe their lives to Stephanie Kwolek, for Kevlar is the material used in bullet proof vests. Other applications of the compound include underwater cables, brake linings, space vehicles, boats, … Continue reading