Routines

After balmy, above freezing weather, that melted all the snow in our yard, we are experiencing another cold snap, which the weather gurus say will be short lived. Attila and I went to buy groceries this morning, and it was bitterly cold walking across the wind swept parking lots. The oil furnace is heating the house, and I find myself enjoying the flow of warm air coming out of the floor register.

This afternoon I am making another batch of banana muffins, with the last two bananas that were purchased last week, both wonderfully, aromatically overripe. Attila cooked stir fried vegetables and I baked some chicken breasts for supper. We watched an hour of the series The Almighty Johnsons. Old routines are still here, but they feel empty, the emptiness echoes.

I have started sleeping with the blanket I crocheted. It feels so warm, so soft, and squeezable. It has become my safety blanket, something I can hold onto, or wrap around myself, when the cold blast of reality is rattling my bones.

DSCF1348 My trusty cape, aka safety blanket.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-13°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Saturday 13 January 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -13.4°C
Dew point: -21.9°C
Humidity: 50%
Wind: NNW 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -21
Visibility: 24 km
Clearing near noon. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. Temperature steady near minus 13. Wind chill minus 25.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 25. Wind chill minus 32.

Quote

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa
1910 – 1997

The Emptiness of Space

Writing, I hope coherently, is helping me maintain an internal balance.

“By virtue of that intactness, we have been able to make great bounds in what we can learn from them [artifacts, plates, teapots] about who made them and how they were used.”
Source: ARTfix Daily

Interesting how in our current culture professional (non-domestic) careers can be made looking into who used plates and teapots.

Another cold snap has arrived, and is predicted deepen so that Saturday night the temperature will drop to -28C here, and colder to the north. Sunday should bring warmer temperatures and more snow. While this is going on, the eastern seaboard of North America is being battered by severe winter weather conditions:
“The storm strengthened Thursday into a “bomb cyclone,” the dramatic name for what happens when a storm’s pressure plummets as it explosively intensifies. Though forecasters said this storm was among the most powerful ever observed on the East Coast, much of the cyclone actually remained in the Atlantic Ocean as it lashed the coastal states.”
Source: The Washington Post

Yesterday I gathered strength, downed a quick breakfast, and drove to the city to the walk-in clinic. I have needed to do this for months, since October really. There should have been a follow-up ultrasound to check on the significant gallstones, and the cyst in my kidney. I also want a CT scan of my head, to eliminate the possibility that I have an aneurism. The doctor was one I had not met, quite efficient, relatively friendly, and he will see that appointments are made to have the tests done.

When I came out of the walk-in clinic, which is downtown, I had some time left on the parking meter. It was an opportunity to walk around the area and explore. Just around the corner from the clinic was a shoe store selling well made shoes. The black slip-on walking shoes, purchased more than 15 years ago, have holes in the uppers, they are wearing out. Having a very high instep, most shoes will not fit, the foot will just not go into the shoe. There was but one pair of slip on shoes in the store that suited, both liked and ticking off all the buttons when it came to function. The size needed was not in stock, has been ordered, and I will be called when they arrive at the store, so that actual fit can be determined. They are expensive, well-made walking shoes, to be worn for many, many years, god willing. If they last as long as I want them to, they may outlive me.

Things here at Mist Cottage remain difficult, for both of us. Talking continues, revelations abound, life is an unexplored jungle, full of beauty and danger. Sometimes I forget to wear my pith helmet. Sometimes Attila hands it to me. Sometimes I hand him his.

Listening to music has been a welcome relief. It is then the energies from those I’ve loved, who are gone but not lost, come to me. Alone ceases to have meaning.

My crocheting continues to wait for me by my easy chair, ready to hold my hands. I have yet to manage enough focus to read my books, giving it a try every so often, to see if the cloud of confusion has lifted, if my eyes can see through the surrounding density.

The morning is moving on without me, I must eat, something I frequently forget to do just of late. Thank goodness a hearty soup sits in mason jars in the refrigerator, and a batch of fortifying Chocolate Cherry muffins sits on the kitchen counter.

The morning, arid, desiccatingly cold, has offered up sunshine. Funny old world.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-21°C (our thermometer say -25C, and it is close enough to the house to be a little warm)
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 5 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -20.8°C
Dew point: -26.5°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: W 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -29

Quote

“True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.”
Edith Wharton
1862 – 1937

“the emptiness of space outside the vagina”
An out of context quote from the song “The Waters” by Shakey Graves. I like it because as a stand alone statement, thinking about birth and life, it sheds light on the introspection of women, and that men seek reunion.

Sweet

Another frigid day has dawned. I am beginning to feel housebound, I think it is time for a shopping excursion, if nothing else. It will need to be in a big box store, or a mall, due to the intensity of the cold.

This much cold creates a few domestic challenges, but nothing terribly intrusive. There is a significant draft along our floors, unheated basement and single pane windows, and my ankles get cold, so I have am wearing boots as slippers. The oil furnace is providing all of the heat in the house, and the air is becoming quite dry. The humidifier is running constantly, so that I must refill it with water constantly. We are keeping an eye on our uninsulated, unheated basement, where the temperature continues to fall, we don’t want the pipes to freeze.

Posted on Facebook today:

“Fun facts:
1) 9 out of the 10 coldest places on earth today were in Canada
2) it’s been warmer at the South Pole than in #ygk this week
3) it’s warmer on some parts of Mars than in most parts of Canada right now
Actually, none of those were fun. Sorry.”

Attila worked today, and I spent a quiet day crocheting, watching a movie, and working on the jigsaw puzzle. A very peaceful day. Except for food, it was a bad food day!

I ate Cheerios for breakfast, purchased for the Grandbabies, eaten by Grandma, and I might as well have taken a vitamin pill and downed a few teaspoons of sugar, for all the nutrition provided in my bowl. It was a crap breakfast. How do people feed this stuff to their kids and call it food!

In the afternoon I broke into the homemade cherry centred chocolates, that Attila made and gave to me as a Christmas present. And as if that were not bad enough, I also broke into a box of chocolates that Luna and Janus gave us for Christmas. Then we ate a turkey dinner, which was my healthiest consumption of the day. The box of chocolates from Luna and Janus is now in Attila’s car, he will eat the rest on his breaks at work next week. The box of Cheerios is still leering at me from the top of the refrigerator, and there are only a few left of the decadent chocolates Attila made. I won’t be doing any more baking. Now all I have to do is figure out a way to take care of those odious Cheerios!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-24°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Friday 29 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -23.6°C
Dew point: -26.8°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -32
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.”
Marie Beyon Ray

Sleep!

OK, I am officially tired of this now. It is almost 5 a.m. and I have been awake since 3 a.m. I have been waking up at 3 a.m. now for more than a week, an extremely tiresome situation. This morning I thought I might go back to sleep, and it might have happened, maybe, but Attila snores, and he was making quite a racket. Of course, my inability to drop off to sleep might not be related to the snoring at all, after all, Attila hasn’t been snoring on any of the other 3 a.m. eye openers I’ve been experiencing, and I didn’t fall asleep on those mornings either. By 4 a.m. I grew tired of lying in my bed in the dark, so I arose, came out into the living room and turned on the Christmas tree lights.

I am not napping. I don’t catch up. I don’t feel tired, not at any point in the day, except my usual “down time” around 4 p.m.

So here I sit, looking out the window at blackness, staring into the computer monitor, seeking noiseless amusement until the rest of the world stirs… which in my case is Attila, “nobody here but us chickens” as they say. I don’t mind doing this every so often, but it is getting quite tedious now. This is the longest bout of this form of insomnia that I have had in a long time. The other form of insomnia that visits me, is not being able to fall asleep at bedtime. Of the two forms, I prefer this one, waking up super early.

Attila sleeps, as a rule, three or more hours per night than I do. He seems to need more sleep, and doesn’t seem to have any trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep.

I think today I will try to think of a change of scene, get out and about somewhere, to break up the energy a bit. Maybe that will help. But where to go! Shopping is the only rock solid choice, always available, no invitation needed, just bring money. But shopping is boring when you don’t need or want anything, and I really don’t need or want anything. I will probably go shopping though, as it is such a readily available activity. I might do my $5 challenge shop, spend hours looking for the perfect $5 purchase… this gets more challenging every year.

The temperature outside has dropped significantly overnight, and it looks like we will be having a cold snap for the rest of 2017. Our oil furnace takes over heating the house when it gets this cold (as low as -26C is predicted), so I’ll be kept busy attempting to keep the humidity above 30% in the house. The humidifier is running 24/7, moistened clothes are draped by every heating register, and laundry is hung to air dry… with all this the humidity hovers and dips around 30% relative humidity.

One of my gifts from Attila this year is a pair of genuine Crocs. I have a dollar store pair, that I have worn for many years, which are more like spongy marshmallows on my feet than shoes. The soles of the cheap knock-offs are so flimsy that I can feel coins on the floor underfoot, and they are not altogether stable. The Crocs are infinitely better shoes! They are more comfortable and more stable to start with, and the soles are sturdy enough to protect my feet, even out of doors. I wear them as slippers in the winter here at Mist Cottage, to keep my feet from losing heat to the unheated floors.

After a big turkey dinner there will be leftover turkey dinners for the rest of the week, which is something we both look forward to.

The card table has been setup in the living room, and a jigsaw puzzle started. We both enjoy jigsaw puzzles. I have many fond memories of doing puzzles at my Granny and Grandpa’s house, during long summer days, and in later years with my Mom and sisters, including just this past visit for our Christmas get together. The puzzle we are working on now, at Mist Cottage, is an image of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which we purchased at the Van Gogh exhibition in Ottawa, in 2012, at the National Gallery.

It is now 6 a.m. I have been awake for three hours and feel comfortable making a wee bit of noise in the house, so I am off to the kitchen to start brewing the morning coffee!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-12°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 26 December 2017
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -11.7°C
Dew point: -18.0°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: W 18 gust 27 km/h
Wind Chill: -20

Quote

“On a lazy Saturday morning when you’re lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, there is a space where fantasy and reality become one. Are you awake, or are you dreaming? You see people and things; some are familiar; some are strange. You talk, you feel, but you move without walking; you fly without wings. Your mind and your body exist, but on separate planes. Time stands still. For me, this is the feeling I have when ideas come.”
Lynn Johnston
1947 –

My daughter’s have described something similarly pleasant to this, and Attila has as well. This drifting state has never been a desirable encounter for me. What Ms. Johnston describes sounds like a fairy tale. I envy that people could have this experience.

What different worlds we have lived in, what different exposures colour our realities, and sketch our internal landscapes. The drifting state is a terrain of nightmares and horrors in my universe, a no man’s land where angels, and I, fear to tread. I would not tarry there for all the world. I find my peace and inspiration elsewhere.

One cannot assume that any experience is universal. We, and certain uses of you, and one, are truly royal words.

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 –