The house is once again cozy and warm.  The weather outside has warmed considerably and the thermal mass in the house is warming as well. We signed up for a free month of Netflix, and I’ve been hard at work making the most of the service while we have it.  I’ve been checking out programs that must run on channels we never get on television, like Drop Dead Diva and Huff.  There are a lot of older excellent movies we have not seen yet, out here in the bush.  We watched “A Beautiful Mind”, about the life of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Funny thing though, Mr. Nash doesn’t look a bit like Russell Crowe, who gave an entirely sympathetic performance as the troubled economist. The Kobo continues to delight me.  However, they have not addressed the issue that a book I purchased from them is not available for download onto the Kobo, as it should be.  I’ll have to send them yet another email about this.  How long should this take!  They’ve got my money, I’ve got no book! Tomorrow I am back at work, thank goodness. I become extremely inactive when confined to the … Continue reading

Food Labeling

Sometimes things shock me, that shouldn’t really shock me at all. One of them is the limited response to the Allergic Living “write-in“, a citizen’s opportunity to let the government know that accurate and thorough food labeling is important to Canadians.  My interest in and knowledge about food labels developed in response to my condition of anaphylaxis.  When I last checked this morning, only 1,545 individuals felt the issue important enough to let their voice be heard. Thanks to anyone out there who has already participated. Where are the rest of my fellow Canadians, the other 33,738,355 Canadians, to be exact? Where is the media coverage that would bring this serious issue to the attention of Canadians? Why exactly is this issue not receiving the public recognition it merits? Whose interests are being served? I can think of several examples where people have assumed that food or beverage were safe. They were wrong and people died. The Franklin Expedition, for example, assumed that the canned goods they ate were safe, and never knew that they had been poisoned by lead, which affected their cognitive functioning and compromised their ability to survive the other hardships they faced. Another, more recent, example … Continue reading

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