My Favourite Martian

It was a very busy week! The last of my “run about” activities was accomplished today, an appointment at the bank. Next week will be very busy as well, more banking to take care of, the insulation installation will take place, and I’ll be attending Tai Chi class and meditation classes as well.

While using the elliptical machine, it works well to watch videos on the computer. The Amazon Prime account comes with access to limited programming, and one of the programs currently available are reruns of My Favorite Martian (1964). I have begun to watch an episode each time I spend time on the machine. I enjoy this sitcom, even though it is packed with isms that were acceptable at the time that it was produced. The Martian perspective on life on earth just made so much sense!

In episode three, Tim is making Uncle Martin a cup of tea. The kettle on his range is exactly the same as the one here at Mist Cottage. A good design that has lasted over 50 years!

The weather was lovely today, billowing clouds floating across the sky, lovely sunshine, and melting snow. I don’t really know where the day went. It passed pleasantly enough as I worked on the web site design, and enjoyed a few hours crocheting my afghan/blanket. I think I napped with that warm blanket in my lap, but am not entirely sure about that!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 PM EST Friday 16 February 2018
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dew point: -13.0°C
Humidity: 51%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -9
Visibility: 24 km


“The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.”
John Berry


Life just seems to get more and more complicated as time goes by! Or am I just more aware of the complexity now? Who knows!

I have committed resources to replacing the windows in the house, upgrading to energy efficient windows, installed properly. I have also committed resources to upgrading the attic insulation, to R50, it is currently R10. These changes will likely make a dent in the heating and cooling bills, and make the house less drafty. We are giving a pass on the basement insulation, it got too complicated, too many things to move out into a storage locker, and we aren’t quite sure what we will want to do down there once the dust has settled after the garage is functional. Best to wait, we decided. Renovation decisions are still joint decisions, we both have an interest in Mist Cottage.

It is snowing this morning. Luckily I have no “away” activities planned for today, so I won’t be stepping out the door, or behind the wheel. The morning has been busy, confirming contractor contract details, dealing with administrative correspondence, filing, and odd jobs of that nature. Today I am hoping to finally complete the first draft of the web site I have been upgrading, it has been a lot of work, but I think the results are worth the time spent. I will be practising Tai Chi, and spending time on my elliptical machine as well; it seems I have to list these two activities to convince myself that they need to be done!

Right now all the changes in my life are just painful, intimidating, and exhausting, as I continue to cycle through all the stages of grief, in no particular order or duration. I am thinking that eventually all this change will seem a bit exciting. That is in the long term. One foot in front of the other!

Worldly Distractions


Snowfall of 5 to 15 cm today.
Snow is expected to begin this morning across much of Central and Eastern Ontario. General snowfall amounts of around 5 to 10 cm are likely, however areas close to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River may see as much as 10 to 15 cm. The snow will taper off late in the afternoon or early evening.
This snowfall will likely have a significant impact on the afternoon commute. Motorists are urged to exercise caution.

Date: 9:00 AM EST Wednesday 7 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -8.0°C
Dew point: -9.6°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: E 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 1 km


“But pain… seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?”
Lois McMaster Bujold


I never met a Percy I didn’t like. It isn’t a common name, but I do meet men who answer to it from time to time. My most significant Percy is my Great Uncle, my Grandpa’s brother. I don’t think I ever heard him speak a whole sentence, and yet his presence was strong, and delightful. There was always a twinkle in his eye, as he greeted our visits to his farm, when I was a child. His wife, my Great Aunt Goldie, would always have a freshly baked batch of Chelsea Buns to offer us, when we visited. I have no great insights into the day to day challenges they faced in their lives, but I do know that I was always welcome there, I always felt as if I belonged. I never questioned that feeling of belonging back then, in my Mom’s family, it was like oxygen, it was just there. I didn’t work for it. I didn’t have to manufacture it. It existed naturally from the way people lived. I miss that in this big shiny ugly edifice of a world we live in, or maybe I just miss being a child in a world protected by my Mom.

A quiet day here. Talk continues, communication takes place, no further decisions or action are on the table, tension levels are low. The incredible cold has slunk off outside the windows, and the temperature has risen to -9, it has been snowing off and on since noon.

I slept soundly for six hours again last night, to my great relief, and also managed 25 minutes on the elliptical machine. Meals are regular, no indulgences indulged in, routines are forming, day by day. My crocheting continues to be a source of peace, I do enjoy it, and right now there is a gentleness in the repetitive nature of the stitches.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Sunday 7 January 2018
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -28.3°C
Dew point: -31.5°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -34
Visibility: 24 km

The temperature will increase by 22C over the course of less than eight hours.


“Holding forgiveness hostage to some act or condition was associated with psychological distress and depression.”
– in a study published by National Institute of Health in 2011

The List

Another day has dawned.

I am sleeping four consecutive hours at night, and dozing off occasionally after that, until I get tired of thinking and hurting, so I get up. This morning I arose at 4:30 a.m., having been awake for quite some time. Sleep is the real challenge right now. The nausea has subsided, and I can eat small meals. I try to focus on eating vegetables, as it is all to easy to just eat bread and peanut butter, or cheese and crackers, which are acceptable, but certainly don’t represent a healthy diet. I keep a beverage beside me at all times, sipping frequently, as it would be very easy to become dehydrated right now, I cry so much. These are the basics I am attempting to establish right now.

Yesterday I was able to stabilize myself enough to spend 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, the first exercise I have had since December 29th, 2017. Hopefully I can get back into doing this regularly. I am starting to think again about food, planning meals for myself. I am very glad to have these kinds of thoughts coming into my head!

It is snowing heavily today, the cold snap has abated, for a few days, to return at the end of the week. With the warmer weather comes the white fluffy stuff from the sky. I anticipate shovelling snow this afternoon.

The day looms ahead of me. I am keeping a list of obvious things to do, because my emotional state is still all over the place, and I find myself in pain, and at a loss as to what to do next. Picking something from the list alleviates a lot of distress for me, allowing me not to think, and right now thinking is not always my friend. The list is a solid, reliable thing, that gives me logical choices. I write the list in my brief moments of clarity. Today might include picking up a prescription, and printing some required files, that sort of thing.

Vegetable soup was on my list, so that is how the morning will be spent. When making vegetable soup, I add the basic ingredients for the recipe, and then continue to add more vegetables until the soup pot is almost full. Then it simmers on the lowest temperature on the range, all day long. A batch of chocolate cherry muffins has been baked, and sits cooling on the kitchen counter. Now I have food to tempt me into eating, which right now, is a very good thing.………

I just looked a an old photograph, from the 30s or 40s, in Ontario, Canada, of a woman in a flowered dress, her hair caught up in a bun, standing on the weathered boards of a covered porch, hanging laundry out to dry on a line to the porch. This photograph, particularly the weathered boards of the deck of the porch, elicited in me a deep feeling of contentment, of rightness in the world, of love for the simple functional elements of daily life in times gone by. My Granny and Grandpa’s front porch had similar decking, and oh what heaven it would be, to sit on a worn wooden chair there again with Granny sitting beside me, shelling garden peas.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 3 January 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -6.2°C
Dew point: -9.2°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SW 34 gust 54 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 5 km


“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”
Edwin Schlossberg

I like this quote, not so much in the medium of my own writing, but more in my pleasure in reading the writing of others.

Cold Snap

It is 6:30 a.m., I’ve been up and about for several hours. Attila left for work half an hour ago. It is a lovely time of day, at this time of year. The coloured lights on the Christmas Tree cast twinkling colour on the tinsel, as the forced air heating sets the airwaves in motion on either side of the room. My old hand made lamp casts a soft light from the far corner. It is warm inside these walls, and very cold just a few feet away, beyond the border of shelter.

The light is beginning to creep into the sky. My coffee cup sits empty beside me. Soon it will be time to rise from this comfortable chair, to prepare breakfast, and then to begin the day’s activities. I linger in the soft light, just a little while longer.

Attila and I are continuing to “try”, a complex shared activity that seems to be progressing slowly but surely (I think!).

Here I am writing again as the day begins to close. It is very cold outside, but Mist Cottage is warm and cozy, thanks to our most marvellous thermostat. My day passed quietly, crochet hook in hand, sitting in the warm sun, comfortable in my easy chair. Yesterday shovelling snow was my exercise for the day, today it was the elliptical machine for thirty minutes. I have slowly worked my way up to a half an hour on the machine, having started at fifteen minutes. So far it is very easy on my arthritic knees.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EST Wednesday 13 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -12.6°C
Dew point: -16.9°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: NW 21 km/h
Wind Chill: -21
Visibility: 19 km


“Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne
1804 – 1864