Hallowe’en

I have begun the process of shutting down some of my web sites. One in particular has few visitors, and is difficult to maintain, security being the issue it is on the information highway. I deleted all files from the server this morning for that site. I have to say I will not miss the constant updating required to keep it secure! For now I will continue to maintain the other sites, as they receive a steady stream of traffic, and are quite useful to those who use them. The other sites are easier to maintain, they are newer and the security software is easier to update.

It is 6:30 a.mm. Through the window I can just begin to make out the silhouette of the ash tree. There are intermittent gusts of wind that set the branches swaying. I love watching the dawn gently nudge the day awake.

Yesterday, and the night before it, were rough ones. I don’t dwell on the sadnesses in my life, they are monoliths of pain, ancient and unmoving mountains, beyond my ability to scale. I do have to visit them though, from time to time. Yesterday, and the night before it, I was camped in the foothills.

I did find that, the night before last when I could not fall asleep, the Melatonin tablet that I placed under my tongue, after a few hours of tossing and turning, helped to take the edge off the pain, enough for me to finally fall into a deep and much needed sleep. As I began to doze off, I promised myself that I would address the issues in the morning, when I was refreshed. Sleep is so very important when one is dealing with sadnesses. I always eat well during these short periods of time. Keeping my physical condition at its best while dealing with difficult issues is crucial.

I kept my promise to myself, and spent yesterday exploring the sadnesses, spending some time with them, affirming that they are indeed very sad, and that there is nothing to be done. Attila and I had a chat last night about the issues, he knew something was amiss with me. He also knows the situations with which I deal, and knows the sadnesses are well founded, inevitable, and that the time I spend with them will be painful but brief. And that was the end to it, until the next time.

Last night I slept soundly, without needing assistance from Melatonin. This morning I awoke refreshed and ready for a new day.

Soon the window replacement will be completed. When it is, Attila will move on to the next project, the new kitchen floor. The materials have been purchased, commercial grade vinyl tiles, low VOC, very inexpensive, very plain.

I have been emptying the storage cabinet in the dining area of the kitchen, bit by bit. It is a big job, as there is really no other place to put the contents. All the drawers are now empty, and I am working on the shelves. I anticipate that by the time the bedroom window project is finished, the storage cabinet will be empty and ready to move. But where to move it! Every square inch in this little house is occupied. It will have to be kept in the middle of the living room I fear, for the duration of the floor installation.

Today is Hallowe’en. We expect a few Trick or Treater’s at the door tonight. We have a pumpkin, which Attila will carve when he gets home from work. We have candy, which we purchased a few weeks ago when it was on sale. The Jack O’ Lantern will be our only decoration. We are not enthusiastic decorators when it comes to “holidays”, except at Christmas, we like to have a Christmas tree, and coloured lights. But Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Easter, we do not decorate. We don’t really notice these days really. But we do know that the kids like Hallowe’en, and Trick or Treating, so we turn on our porch light, light the candle in the Jack O’ Lantern, and distribute sweets to to the kids who come to our door.

“Peter Tokofsky, an assistant professor in the department of folklore and mythology in UCLA states, “The earliest trace (of Halloween) is the Celtic festival, Samhain, which was the Celtic New Year. It was the day of the dead, and they believed the souls of the deceased would be available” (Navarro).” Source: The Origins of Halloween

Hornet's nest For Hallowe’en… some real ghostly remains. This is a hornet’s nest that was built on a branch of the crabapple tree in our front yard. The branch was about three feet off the ground, so this was very low hanging, and might have been bumped into by anyone passing. Attila sprayed it in August, which effectively killed the hornets, and it has hung on the branch ever since, slowly disintegrating in the weather. The high winds we have been experiencing have taken matters into their own hands, to strip the nest of its wrappings, to exposed the combs beneath. The dead bodies of hornets can still be seen in some of the combs. Creepy, and beautiful at the same time. Unfortunately we cannot live comfortably side by side with hornets. Attila is allergic, and the stings are very painful.

I will be thinking of my ancestors tonight, and my loved ones who have passed. I can remember my Grandparents, my Great Aunts and my Great Uncles, and I know by first hand account of their families, who raised them, further back than that I cannot reach with my heart.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 31 October 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 9.4°C
Dew point: 0.4°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: WSW 32 gust 44 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“But psychoanalysis has taught that the dead—a dead parent, for example—can be more alive for us, more powerful, more scary, than the living. It is the question of ghosts.”
Jacques Derrida
1930 – 2004

The Blue Bowl

This morning I am sitting in the light of the rising sun, listening to the High Mountains of Portugal audio book, and crocheting a warm blanket. I will breakfast later, when my stomach wrenches me out of this circle of warmth.

I will briefly mention here, in this record of the events and small passages in my life, the property dispute that arose at the Rideau Camp during our vacation early in September. We had erected No Trespassing signs in the spring of this year, where someone had cut down trees on our property at the roadside. To our dismay, a person unknown to us made entry while we were there, doing additional damage to the property. The authorities were called, and we discovered that our neighbour claimed the property to be hers. The issue evolved over the month of September, culminating at last in an amicable meeting with the neighbour, who acknowledged our rightful claim, based on surveyor’s stakes, and apologized for the mistake. An understanding had been reached and the matter closed. I dealt with the entire matter myself, and found it to be extremely stressful. It certainly took the shine off the vacation! Maybe next year’s vacation will be better, one can only hope. At this point I feel I have highly overrated the concept of vacations.

My backup drive arrived on Monday, and the Cloud drive has been successfully backed up to it, the files are now easily available and have been catalogued for easy searches. It helped to work on the book while setting up the backup drive, experiencing immediately any issues, that would make using the drive to access archived files difficult. The new drive is very small, and light. It will hold all of the files I have saved since 1985. I was lucky enough to have most of my academic work, which was created on the technology of the time, floppy disks, transferred first on the smaller diskettes, and then on to hard drives. The changes in technology have been amazing.

My book it beginning to take shape. I have moved on from editing sources to setting up thumbnail images to be included beside the text description for each individual. Most of my images are very low quality. The copies sent to me are photocopies, the originals belonging to individuals who do not own scanners and find the photocopy machine the best way to share them. Poor quality images are better than no images. I spent yesterday scanning the photocopies at 600 dpi, which is the highest quality my scanner will produce.

I am thinking about how to actually publish this book. Epub is interesting, paper will be preferred by many family members, but the cost of shipping is a big concern. My first book shipped as oversize letter, which was only around $5 postage per book. The second book will be longer and heavier, and will have to ship paying for package postage, at a much higher rate.

I do not publish anything on ancestry, or on the any of the sites on the internet. These are corporate organizations seeking profit, and they may not have my research to charge my relatives, and future generations, for access to their own family history.

Recently on Facebook a fellow mentioned that he had been in the area, where my ancestors pioneered, for fifty years. I am not really sure why he mentioned how long he had been visiting the area, it wasn’t relevant to the posting. At first I replied that my family had lived in the area for 147 years, give or take a few months, and their presence was preceded by the Aboriginal people who hunted and fished in the area for generations unknown. The “who has been here longer” discussion has very little to offer in the way of building present healthy communities. I deleted my response. I found out a little bit about the person who posted the comment. He has a cottage, a recreational property, and does not make the area his primary residence. He has vacationed in the area for 50 years. Vacations are not the same as living in an area. More relevant to me is that the Aboriginal people relied on the land for survival, my family survived by building a community in which people worked, lived and died, and that non-resident, recreational use of property does offer the same opportunities to support viable communities. I say this of course, as a person who owns two Camps, two recreational properties, and as such I am very aware that the people who live in the areas surrounding our Camps form a community, which I would very much like to support, but am not committed to as I would be if I lived there. It is in my best interest to honour their commitment to the area.

It is interesting to think of the land my ancestors farmed. Humans first moved through it in temporary shelters, hunting and fishing. Then humans created modest permanent homes and farmed it. Then humans lined the water bodies with small recreational seasonal buildings. Then humans replaced most of the small recreational seasonal buildings with large, sometimes palatial, “cottages” on the water, and bought up much of the rest of the countryside for large country estates. I witnessed the last progression, and it hasn’t been pretty. I wonder what will evolve next; perhaps it will be like the Scottish highlands, with lords on estates where most of the local inhabitants have been evicted, to fill the ever growing cities.

And finally I feel like writing about a blue bowl, a blue cereal bowl. I took it out of the china cabinet last spring, and it is now sitting on the kitchen cupboard. It is a patient bowl. It has never been used. It was made just for me, by a friend who is a talented potter, almost 25 years ago. I am thinking that now might be a good time to start using it. Thanks goodness I have the time to use the blue bowl.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 4 October 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.5°C
Dew point: 14.3°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: S 31 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.”
Suzanne Necker
1739 – 1794

I believe this statement would have been based on keen, first hand observations, over a long period of time.