Fear affects a persons perceptions. That is one of my biggest challenges right now, fear control. Even small changes, small shifts, invite me to fall into a state of near panic… what does this or that mean, are things going to get a lot worse now, and how, what don’t I see coming, what shocking surprise is around the corner. I am controlling the fear, for the moment, with writing. I write down every outrageous thought that enters my head, be it founded or unfounded. This is helping considerably; and particularly when the unfounded fear turns out to actually be unfounded. I have quite a collection of recorded fears, and some of them have been crossed out, not all though, not all.

The cold is bitter today. If I sit near the exterior walls of the house I feel chilled. Tonight the low is predicted to fall to -27C, with a wind chill of -39. Indoors is the only reasonable place to be. When the world warms, the snow is supposed to arrive in force. Winter is making herself felt.

I slept for six solid hours last night, for the first time in weeks. When I got up in the morning and saw the time I felt like crying with gratitude. If I hadn’t looked at the clock I would not have known that I had slept that long, I was not refreshed, because these days I do not feel sleepy tired at any point in time, I feel weary to the bone all the time. Although I am not perceiving the benefit of six hours sleep, I am very sure it is helping me to work my way through my present life situation. My diet is good, I am eating regularly and well, I am keeping hydrated, exercise is not something I have a handle on yet though, I keep looking at the elliptical machine, but have only managed it once a few days ago… something to aim for.

I have been writing poems, or pieces of them. Lines come fast, heavy with feeling, and then suddenly they stop, midline, or mid stanza, or on the final line, and I, staring blankly at the page, have no thought in my head. That needed thought, word, concept, it just won’t come out to play. As much as I am thankful for the blank mind, really, couldn’t it wait until the poem was complete!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 6 January 2018
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -26.1°C
Dew point: -32.0°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: WNW 22 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -39
Visibility: 24 km


“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
Robertson Davies

A Little Bit Sick

It has been years since I was under the weather with a cold! On Sunday evening, after dinner, I thought I might have tried to swallow something I shouldn’t have, my throat felt as if something were stuck there. There wasn’t. By Monday morning I had an irritating cough. Yesterday the cough persisted. Last night I had a raging headache. This morning I am a bit congested and the cough is still with me. No fever though, thank goodness.

Because I was coughing so much during the night, Diesel decided to try to get some shut eye on my easy chair.

Today is my Yoga class and I have decided not to attend. There are other women there who would find this bug more than annoying, were they to catch it. I’ll hold fast here at home, and wait out the symptoms.

This morning I prepared myself a lemon drink, water, lemon, and wee bit of sweetener. That calmed the cough for a while, but it came back. I will just have to keep drinking!

I will still be going out for my walk, bundled up to the eyeballs so as not to catch a chill.

Lately, I have been fiddling about with recipes, making up some of my own. I wanted to assess the nutritional value of them, and came upon this site, Calorie Count. There are many sites that will analyze a recipe for nutritional value, but this one seems to be unique. It allows you to type in all the ingredients in one go, or copy and past them in from another digitized recipe. The other sites I found allow you to input one ingredient at a time, then click enter, then start again on the next ingredient, which is very time consuming.

While I was at the site above, I kept a record of my daily food intake, and was pleased with the results, based on a Mediterranean Diet. The results pointed out weaknesses though, too many of my calories came from fat, and too many from saturated fat. This occurred because I ate an avocado which put me over my limit for fats, and later in the day a cheese sauce, the cheese put me well over the limit for saturated fats. I did pretty well with the calories, the fibre, the sodium and the cholesterol though. According to the calculations on this web site, with the calories I am consuming on a daily basis, I should be losing weight. Nope, not happening. That does not matter to me though, as my focus is knowing I have a good nutritional balance with my daily food intake.

The Orthopaedic Surgeon did advise me to loose weight, to aid the maintenance of my knee. It isn’t that simple though. I have no intention of starving to lose weight at my age. If consuming the caloric intake advised to lose weight doesn’t do it for me, then it is not going to happen. I am slightly overweight, according to the calculations on the site. The ideal weight for me, that they propose, was one that I could only maintain on a strict diet (less than 900 calories a day, when I was much younger), which I am unwilling to do. If I eat more than 900 calories a day, I am going to be heavier than my “ideal” weight. I doubt very much indeed that my actual ideal weight resembles the calculations currently in use for such purposes. I plan on continuing to eat a balanced diet, and to walk daily, and if my weight goes down, then that is just a pleasant side effect, it is not my real goal.

The real challenge for me, in eating a balanced diet, is access to fresh vegetables. $$$ Fresh vegetables cost a lot more money than carbohydrates, so that they sometimes cost more than the budget will allow. Usually I can find something fresh on sale. One week it was spinach, another week it was broccoli. As far as fruit is concerned, I don’t even try to purchase fresh fruit in the winter, except as a treat. I settle instead for raisins, dates, dried cranberries, and our own frozen rhubarb and strawberries. I have splurged on a little box of clementines this winter, another treat!

We have just come through another cold spell, not as frigid as our February cold snap, but still below normal for this time of year. The sun is shining though, which adds untold cheer to the day. Even with the cold temperatures of the last few days, the sun was strong enough to melt snow.

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 March 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -9.6°C
Dewpoint: -11.1°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: NE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -14

Country House
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 March 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -6.8°C
Dewpoint: -9.9°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: ESE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -12


“Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.”
469 BC – 399 BC

[This seems the antithesis of the Machiavellian spirit.]

The Bright Side of Life

Attila and I are having a good laugh this morning. I noticed that he had cleaned the toilet. We both hate the job, I usually break down and do it. But I’ve been working a lot since Christmas, and just haven’t managed to make the time. It is an easy job to postpone.

As I was thanking Attila for getting the job done, a thought occurred to me. The only circumstance where we might feel uncomfortable about an unclean toilet is in the event that we received company. We began to discuss when we last had visitors. It was last fall sometime, Harriet and Hogan dropped by for an hour or so on their way home from their cottage. We aren’t sure though just when, but it was last fall. The kids haven’t been to visit since 2011.

We burst out laughing! We dodged that bullet, no visitors, no worries about an unclean toilet. “Always look at the bright side of life.” [Monty Python, The Life of Brian]

We both worked yesterday, and also managed to squeeze in a trip to the nearby town to do our banking, pick up our prescriptions, and do a bit of grocery shopping. Although we have had snow almost every day, the roads are clear and dry.

Fresh Canadian mushrooms and USA strawberries were both on sale. They have been cleaned and sliced and arranged on the dehydrator trays, and will dry during the night while the hydro is less expensive. The strawberries smell divine!

Today, Sunday, is our “weekend”. Attila has prepared refried beans for this week’s lunches, and will be whipping up some baked falafels for quick and easy meals after work. At Christmas Terra gave us the turkey carcass from her turkey dinner, which we froze immediately; today it becomes turkey soup. I love Attila’s turkey soup.

I have baked a fruit and nut loaf for Attila’s snacks, and have yet to decide what other delight to bake. Perhaps I will make some homemade biscuits to eat with Attila’s turkey soup tonight.

I think that cooking for oneself, from scratch, improves mental health. I know it improves physical health. It is a win/win activity.

Having a post secondary educational background in human nutrition, I am sometimes shocked at the proliferation of misinformation that circulates on the web. Recently a friend posted someone’s article about the importance of diet in battling cancer. Sounds plausible. I read on. The article was written by an entrepreneur who is selling “health” products. That was the first warning bell. The article stated that “sugar” “feeds” cancer and should not be consumed. No references, no citations, just the statement of an unsupported “fact”. That was warning bell number two. Warning bell number three came in the next paragraph, where the author suggests eating molasses and maple syrup. Molasses and maple syrup [I eat both] are sugar; the stuff the author just warned readers not to eat. The author was unaware of the contradiction. I stopped reading. In my opinion the author is just another self-proclaimed “expert” trying to make a buck.

Here are some reliable sources offering information about sugars:—FAQs.aspx

Sugar is a treat. Treats are not part of a healthy diet, they are something you indulge in. I indulge in treats. I eat sugar, primarily maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses. I don’t kid myself though, and I restrict the amount of sugar I eat.

A healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise, healthy relationships, and a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, with moderate amounts of other foods.

This is reliable advice on choosing a healthy diet.

Worldly Distractions


-8 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -8.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.8°C
Humidity: 69 %
Wind: WNW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -15


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
1892 – 1973

Amen to that!