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: http://www.amazon.com/Nurses-Stories-courageous-exciting-profession/dp/B0007EH5C0 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

The Fit

Yesterday was eventful.  My official request for relocation has been submitted to my supervisor.  I have asked to be relocated to an office where I have worked occasionally and enjoyed every minute spent on the premises.  This may be employment suicide, I’m not sure.  I feel anxious about change.  The hours are fewer, the drive is longer, the work is the same.  There is no more hope at the new location of regular hours than there is at the old location.  The attraction of the new location is the the fit; it is a better fit for me.  I felt there was nothing for it but to dive into the change and hope for the best.  The whole process may take months and months. Where did the morning go! Attila has come and gone at lunch and my perception is that the day has barely started. Lets see, shower, dishes, call to lawyer, lengthy job application that included an hour and a half online test, email, call to bank… It all makes sense now. My birthday is in January. There is a downside to this. Our biggest whopping bills come in December and January, no frivolities. My birthday comes at … Continue reading