Flies

The first thing I noticed, as I gazed out the living room window, sitting comfortably in my easy chair, was the flight of distant birds, silhouetted against the billowy grey, pink and blue tinted, clouds. I soared with them for a moment.

The second thing I noticed this morning, from the comfort of my chair, was the absence of flies. Every morning, until this morning, the windows I look out of have been crawling with flies, trapped between the single pane glass of the windows and the storm windows. They have been so numerous that their shadows have added much animation to the splashes of sunshine on interior of the house. I will not miss the flies. They will soon be replaced by ice, which forms on the inside of the windows in the winter, as single pane glass is prone to condensation and ice formation during the winter months. I moved the furniture, and my chair now faces different windows. Taking note of what I have written about my view and the windows since the furniture move, I was inspired again to rearrange the furniture, allowing me a view out the front window, with a clearer view of the sky, the evergreen tree, and the ash tree. I am much happier with this arrangement, despite its disadvantages!

Perhaps when Attila installs new living room windows the furniture will be rearranged once again.

Inspired by the change of scenery through the window, I checked the outdoor thermometer, attached to the outside frame of the window, and noted that it was -2C. A lovely white frost lay over the yard, and on the roofs of the neighbouring houses. A very pretty morning.

Out of curiosity I looked at the weather forecast for our former home in the country. The temperature there will drop to -18C tonight, with snowfall, while here is it predicted to fall to -10C with no snow. I am so very glad to be living at Mist Cottage, with Attila home evenings and weekends, and my thermostat at the ready!

Today I am listening to Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, an audiobook on youtube.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7°C
NOTE: My thermometer, at the very same time, reads -2C!
Date: 7:00 AM EST Thursday 9 November 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency:Falling
Temperature: 7.1°C
Dew point: 2.1°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: SSW 34 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.”
Cher
1946 –

Silence By Degrees

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Today is cold and sunny. There is a snow storm on the way, lots of snow the weather people say. Winter isn’t done with us yet.

It is a quiet weekend here at Mist Cottage. A little bit of baking going on, a little bit of food preparation for next week, using the off-peak hydro prices by cooking ingredients. Our wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and we are celebrating with a homemade pizza, and a movie. I have my menu carefully planned for that day, so that I can afford to eat the sodium in the bacon bits we Attila cooked today. Eating out is out of the question.

I chatted with my Mom and Sister-The-Middle-Girl this afternoon, on FaceTime. My Mom looks so beautiful these days! She is bright eyed and rosy cheeked, her hair framing her face perfectly. Her recovery from her health issue is amazing. My Sister-The-Middle-Girl is looking quite beautiful these days too. Life must be agreeing with them!

Last week I chatted with Sister-The-Youngest-Girl over FaceTime, which was lovely. She is renovating her kitchen, a very big job. She and Beau Bob have gutted the kitchen, the electricians are still finishing up their part of the renovation, and the drywalling has been started this weekend. By the time we get there for a visit again, it will be finished. I am looking forward to seeing it!

Attila and I are not planning projects this summer. He will be touching up the paint on the house siding, putting in a larger garden, installing the cap on the basement waterproofing membrane, and finishing off the bathroom drywall. I am thinking about staining the exterior concrete walls of our basement, which would take me all summer. In a few weeks we will be venturing out into the yard with an eye to spring cleanup, but we have to wait out this coming snow storm first.

My crochet hooks should arrive in the next two weeks, I will be starting to watch for them next week. Yesterday morning’s second attempt at the single crochet stitch was more successful and I can see that I am going to have fun with it, once I get used to it. Now my thoughts are wandering to a suitable first project, and I have decided on a washcloth, a very simple washcloth. I like like the idea of functional creations, and eventually I would like to make soft fluffy washcloths. My first one will be made with this $1.00 ball of yarn, and my $1.00 crochet hook. Soon enough though, my new crochet hooks will arrive, and I will begin to cast my eye towards other balls of wool.

I have not been going out for walks, it is just too cold for my arthritic knee. I am loath to do any further damage to the knee, as each time it goes on me, it will not regain the functionality I have. I will lose mobility by increments, so I am being very careful not experience any incremental episodes. I have my fingers crossed that by next week the big snowfall we are expecting will have melted, and the temperature will rise above freezing during the day, so that I can begin to venture forth.

We are enjoying the coziness of Mist Cottage during this cold snap, the thermostat continues to charm us!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Another cold morning, with a major snow storm on the way tonight. Again I am staying indoors, not risking injury to my knee. The inactivity of winter has resulted in a moderate rise in my blood pressure levels, or so I surmise the cause. I am anxious now for the milder weather and the disappearance of snow and ice. It is a time for patience! Next month I am to go in for further testing for my high blood pressure, and afterwards I have an appointment with a cardiologist. At this point I am wondering if another type of medication might help, but that is something to discuss with the cardiologist. With my anaphylaxis, my options are limited as to safe medications.

This morning I have taken an internal walk down memory lane. Joan Lansberry posted a link to a BBC video of desert sounds. I closed my eyes and listened, the sounds, and the vibrations of the sounds from the computer provided me with a pleasant physical experience. I could not find the actual video to share here, but I did find a series of BBC video soundscapes, mostly of human activity, but some of nature’s activity.

We lived deep in a the Ontario bush for about a decade, we had only two neighbours within sight, who as “snowbirds” were often south during the winter. The noise was constant, snowmobiles, ATVs, private planes, speeding sports cars, huge motor boats, and transport trucks on the highways miles and miles away. These sounds became the white noise in our lives, we were rarely conscious of it. We could hear nature, but not without the steady hum, and sometimes din, of modern human activity. However, I considered it a paradise of silence compared to living in a small urban area.

Then I spent a week 60 miles north of Longlac. It was an education. There were no human sounds, not a plane, not a hint of a motor of any kind in the distance, the only tones and notes were created by non-human activity. The “silence” was striking, deeply unnerving. After 24 hours it caught me, and the inner calm that descended is like no other I have ever experienced. This was a rare and precious experience, which resulted from a one of a kind circumstance, and it is unlikely I will ever have the experience again. It would not be achievable for most people on planet earth. I am grateful to have encountered it.

P.S. I found downtown Toronto a close second to this experience. Noise there was constant, and like the wind, it blew a melody of activity that transcended individual sounds. Downtown Toronto was, for me, akin to visiting humans in the wild.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 9:00 PM EDT Sunday 12 March 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -9.7°C
Dew point: -20.4°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: WNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931

You Lose Some, You Win Some

Since January I have experienced tummy upsets, gastrointestinal issues. The cause has been a mystery. A partial explanation has been surmised.

I may be lactose intolerant.

In January I began to eat ricotta cheese with some regularity, because it was a low sodium choice. My issues began in mid-January. Experiments have ensued. The problem was relieved when the ricotta cheese was removed from the diet. Next, bocconcini was purchased, another soft, low sodium cheese. Bingo, within twenty four hours all of the symptoms returned. The next experiment is under way, removing all dairy from the diet. Removing milk from my already highly restricted diet is a hardship. To that end I purchased some plain almond beverage to use as a dairy substitute, which seems to agree with me, at least for now.

We are in the grips of another cold snap. The temperature should begin to rise by the end of next week, but most of March Break will be cold for the kids who are off school this coming week in Ontario. It is very windy as well, so the wind chill is significant. Attila and I are cozy here in our little house, with our magnificent thermostat!

On Tuesday, when I took the car in for servicing, I ran a few errands in town while the car was in the shop. One of the things I purchased was garbage tags. On Friday morning Attila asked me where I had put them. I though they were still in my bag, but when I checked I couldn’t see them there. Then I thought I must have put them away somewhere and forgotten about it. We looked everywhere, which does not take long in our small house. Then I though I might have dropped them when I purchased them, or at the garage when I was paying the bill. Not wanting to call the town office or the garage to ask if they had seen them, I continued to search. A few hours later, after I had removed every last item from my bag, I found them tucked between some papers. What a relief.

I was thinking about this little escapade this morning. I was upset at the time, while looking for the tags. It wasn’t the loss of the money, and the additional money that would have to be spent on new tags, that I found upsetting. It was that I might have come home and put the tags away somewhere, and had not been able to remember a thing about it. The degree of memory loss that would represent really threw me into a tizzy! Luckily, there was no memory loss involved, I didn’t remember where I put them because I didn’t put them anywhere and there was nothing to remember. There was just careless placement of the tags at time of purchase, and a search for them that was less than thorough. I made sure I showed Attila where I decided to store the tags!

The work on the book continues. The book includes the families of twelve brothers and sisters, and at last I am working on the images for the youngest child. Much more to do, adding the images to page layout of the book, captioning the images, including references for each image.

I continue to practice my crochet skills every day. The yarn and hook sit by my chair, ready for me to pick them up whenever the whim strikes. I tried my first single crochet stitch yesterday, it did not go well, but I am undeterred. Today I tried again, it was a little easier, a little bit better, and tomorrow I will try again, and the day after that. It will come. I don’t know what inspires me to spend time with my greatest physical weakness, but inspired I am. I guess I want to push my boundaries a little bit, I have time now, to be patient with myself.

Genealogy and crochet, two projects focused on lines that are woven together to make something beautiful.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-13°C
Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 11 March 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -12.6°C
Dew point: -22.8°C
Humidity: 43%
Wind: WNW 25 gust 39 km/h
Wind Chill: -22
Visibility: 24 km

Quote
“Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.”
Socrates
469 BC – 399 BC

“Marilyn: My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse. “Maybe,” he said. One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky. “Maybe,” he said. Next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies. The people said it was very lucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg. The people said it was unlucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.”
A parable told my the character Marilyn Whirlwind on Northern Exposure.

Keep Thinking

Why? Why do I keep thinking that if I just keep baking sourdough bread for Attila he will change his mind and like it? I did it again this morning. The whole wheat, sourdough, garlic, onion bread is rising in the oven. I guess I thought that if I added garlic and onion to the bread, two things he loves, that he would suddenly see the light and love the sourdough. Tonight will be the test!

Various family photos that have been sent my way over the last 24 years are being gathered together and piled up by the printer/scanner. After scanning eight photographs, it was disappointing to note that the resolution on the scanner was set to 50PPI resolution, too low. Back to the drawing board. The resolution was increased to 300PPI, and the project began again. There is one photograph I am looking for, it is a picture of my Great Grandparents on their farm, with my Great Aunts and Uncles, with the horse drawn farm implements. This photograph hangs in the local community centre near their homestead, where I saw it for the first time. The owner of the photograph was tracked down, and a copy was sent to me, but now I cannot locate where I stored it! Since the move, organization has suffered here at Mist Cottage. The search continues.

The weather turned cold last night, and will stay that way for the next three or four days. I don’t really mind, as it was an expected event. The oil furnace will provide some of the heat during this cold spell, increasing the volume of the fuel delivery at the end of the month. The air source heat pump has been in use often this winter, it takes over heating the house when the temperature outdoors rises above -7C. The hydro bills have been increasing. The humidifier was left out for the eventuality of a cold snap, and it is murmuring in the corner, attending to my health.

I continue to practise my crochet skills, this tension business is going to take a lot of figuring out; but once I develop a technique that works I will never look back.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-8°C
Date: 11:00 AM EST Thursday 2 March 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -7.9°C
Dew point: -15.7°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: WNW 31 gust 45 km/h
Wind Chill: -17
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”
Carl Jung
1875 – 1961

Thermostat Settings

We are experiencing a brief cold snap. It warmed up to -14C this morning, and the forecast low tonight is -18C. This has Attila and I appreciating our heating system and our beloved thermostat.

I am not going out for a walk today, it is just too cold for my arthritic knee. It is a shame really, the sun is shining this morning, and the road mostly clear. Yesterday I did go out for a stroll, but had to walk down the middle of the road from time to time, due to the ice left by our recent deluge of freezing rain. It was not a relaxing walk, but I was glad of it, and enjoyed the sunshine very much indeed.

Well, if there was ever a more mundane topic to write about than thermostat settings, I don’t know what it would be. I decided this morning, as I sat oh so comfortably in my rocking chair, that Mist Cottage is just about perfect right now. In order to remember how I achieved that feeling, recorded here are the thermostat settings and other pertinent factors that make life here, right now, so very comfortable. My memory is such that these kinds of details are not retained, I make no effort to retain them, I never have, and probably never will. In honour of my own idiosyncrasies I chronicle little details that I might appreciate later.

Thermostat Day Time Setting: 21.5C
Thermostat Night Time Setting: 18C

Humidity:
Honeywell Steam Humidifier Unit In Living Room: Low Setting
Alternatively freshly washed clothing drying on racks in the front bedroom.

Entrance:
Using the entrance through the garage to the basement door. Opening front door in living room on main floor only for deliveries.

Clothing:
Layers
t-shirt, turtle neck shirt, unlined fleece jacket
trousers, knee warmer when needed, socks, slippers
Note: It is necessary to temporarily remove the unlined fleece jacket if any physically active task is undertaken.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-14°C
Date: 9:00 AM EST Thursday 9 February 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -14.1°C
Dew point: -20.1°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: N 23 km/h
Wind Chill: -24
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

It was supposed to be a joke, not taken literally!