Weekday Dinner

It snowed last night, but this morning the sun came up and shone brightly. A brilliant morning. I have taken to taking little drives when the mood strikes me, just here and there, or anywhere, with no particular purpose or destination. I drove a bit this morning, the countryside was beautiful, glittering white frosting on the trees, crisp blue sky… lovely.

By mid-afternoon a heavy now began to fall from the sky. The weather report predicts snow off and on for the next week or so. Winter has settled in.

Attila and I had a discussion, and I will be doing the weekday cooking of dinner. This suits me fine. Attila had taken over the cooking the evening meal, decades ago, and held onto that over the years, but now finds it tedious and time consuming. During the week it will be easy for me to take the reins, and cook a meal every weekday. Tonight, we begin with spaghetti and my red pepper tomato sauce. It is interesting that the first night I cook the meal, Attila called to say he is working a few hours overtime and will be home late. The spaghetti sauce is made, the pasta can be cooked after he arrives. Two first this evening, the first evening of the new cooking schedule, and the first time Attila has worked overtime at the end of a work day, at this place of employment.

Yesterday I got a lot of my big projects as far as they could go, which means that today I am looking at other projects. I have begun again to work on the genealogy book, I have some tough decisions to make about it going forward, all to do with those pesky images, they are so painful to deal with, inserting them, placing them, referencing them… I will slog on.

One of Attila’s stated goals is to work more overtime, and on statutory holidays, so that he can take time in leu of, and so gain more time off work. He worked an overtime day between Christmas and New Years, and is working overtime this evening. He would like to work on every statutory holiday.

I am preparing myself for the intrusion of contractors, first to insulate the attic in February, then to install the new windows in April. There will temporary chaos, followed by a satisfying clean up and return to order. The work will be done quickly, inexpensively thanks to the grants, and Attila won’t have to lift a finger. Well, not entirely true, Attila needs to move two pieces of furniture out of the way on the main floor, for the window installations, and a lot of stuff out of the way in the basement for the window installations. He does have until April to accomplish this though, there is lead time.

Now, for a little Tai Chi and a walk on the elliptical machine!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 2:07 PM EST Thursday 8 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.9°C
Dew point: -11.4°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SSE 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -16
Visibility: 8 km

Quote

“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”
George Burns
1896 – 1996

Taking aim!

Two Steps Forward…

They do say “two steps forward, one step back”, and that seems about right.

Yesterday, Sunday, I attended another group in the city that piqued my interest. It did not work out well, and the result is that I have lost most of the internal grounding I accomplished with the women’s group, but not all. The group I attended, although it advertised to accept all sorts, in reality had some pressures that I am not able to cope with at this point in my grieving process. The people were lovely, all of them, but the dynamic of the group brought unwanted emotions to the fore, and my emotions are too intense, powerful, and painful right now to cope with in a room full of strangers. I cried, and that felt so very discouraging and humiliating. I will try again in the spring I think, or whenever I have worked though my present crisis, to a point where I have a firmer sense of my new self, to the point where I can handle the group pressures. It was too soon for this particular group.

I am feeling my loss afresh, last night and today. Part of the process I think, and I have to go through it. Every step is important, whether it feels good or not.

Today I am back on the internet, searching for more activities and groups.

I am working on my genealogy book today, a software update became available, making creating the book a lot easier. Also, on the roster for today, I am spending a lot of time working on the website update, which is really a complete redesign. The crochet blanket is coming along slowly, and is a comfort to me, knowing the project is always there at my side, the familiar stitch allowing me to work with my hands without any mental effort.

The weekend was quiet, without much discussion, the holding pattern is taking hold I suspect. Attila and I shopped for groceries, ate some meals together, watched a bit of Netflix together, and had little contact other than that. A friendly manner prevailed. Attila did manage to get some old speakers, that I had been using with the previous iMac, working with his iPad, allowing him a much better listening experience than the speaker on the iPad. The speakers had been sitting in the living room, no longer needed and unused, so that I am very glad they are now in use, and out of the living room. A step forward in the creation of his studio.

So another week begins, who knows what it will hold for me.

Today I am staying at home, there are freezing rain warnings for today and tonight, and it is not a good time to be out and about. I slept for four hours last night, from 10 p.m. until 2:13 a.m., then the pain woke me up and got me out of bed. I lay down again in the morning, after Attila left for work, and slept for an hour and a bit. I will continue with this pattern for the foreseeable future, getting as much sleep as I can at night, then taking an extended nap in the mornings whenever possible. I hope, in this way, to avoid taking medications. I have stopped taking melatonin, as it makes no difference at all. Eventually I hope the present pattern morphs into a good night’s sleep, so that I can omit the morning nap. It is a plan, and like all of my plans, it may or may not work, but needs to be given a chance.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

FREEZING RAIN WARNING IN EFFECT
-3°C
Date: 10:00 AM EST Monday 22 January 2018
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -2.8°C
Dew point: -5.8°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: NE 26 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“That’s the key to having it all: stop expecting it to look like what you thought it was going to look like.”
Cindy Chupack

A Wee Bit Of Melting Snow

Looking out the window this morning, at first light, I could see snow mixed with the spitting rain. I rose from my chair to get a better look out of the window. The white flakes melted on contact with earthly surfaces, no accumulation today. In the ash tree outside the window, a beautiful Blue Jay fluttered from branch to branch, found the few remaining seeds, then flew off to try his/her luck further down the street.

I have become accustomed to visiting Facebook each day to see what my friends are up to. There are friends on my friends list who really are friends! However, lately I’ve noticed a subtle state of uneasiness, which manifests as anxiety as I try to fall asleep at night. I am wondering if it is related to Facebook, and the “friends” who aren’t really friends, just interesting people on my friends list. So today is a day that I will not login to Facebook, and perhaps tomorrow and the next day too. It remains to be seen if Facebook is at the root of the uneasiness.

Facebook is not a particularly healthy place in which to spend time. It is full of emotionally homeless people. And here I failed, I had to write that on Facebook, the emotionally homeless concept, could not resist! And while I was there I noticed that someone had tagged me in a comment, and so visited the comment to see what was up, and got a link to a very useful archival technique tutorial for removing photographs from those old gluey photograph albums. Facebook has its positive aspects. I am back now though, logged out, closed the browser window, narrow escape.

I will continue to use the Internet to work on my genealogy, and was hard at it this morning by 6:30 a.m. I haven’t discovered any new-to-me data, but the process of research is like peeling an onion, layer by layer information is revealed. Every day spent with the records could bring to light something new and interesting.

It is an odd sensation, while perusing files on ancestry, to find my Grandpa and his personal information listed on a stranger’s family tree. They are not related, as far as I know. It is just weird to see strangers sifting through my family identity. I also collect information on people I am not directly related to, but who have been a part of the communities where my ancestors lived. I don’t post it on the internet though, nor do I hand over the connections, images and stories I have found to the multinational corporation that is ancestry. It is also interesting how misinformation is published and then shared with confidence in its legitimacy. That is one of the reasons I publish books with references, references that will verify the information shared.

After renovation projects there is always cleaning to be done, and clutter to clear. Furniture needs to be returned to its rightful place. This need was graphically demonstrated to me this morning, as I bumped my bad knee on an end table that was sitting in an unaccustomed spot, thankfully sustaining only a bleeding surface wound; so far the arthritis does not seem to be flaring up.

Attila has been working hard this fall, new windows in the dining area, a new window in the back bedroom, and a new kitchen floor. Renovating Mist Cottage has been a slow and laborious series of projects, which began in 2010. Attila has done all of the work himself, with the exception of putting on the new roof and gutting the basement, when Lares helped him, and the hiring of a contractor to dig and install the footing drainage around the basement. Because Mist Cottage is so small, each renovation project is intrusive and requires significant adjustments in the way we live, for the duration of the project. Because the renovations advance slowly, we are able to savour each improvement, enjoy each change to the fullest extent. Soon, I think, both the bathroom and the kitchen renovations will be completed to our satisfaction. Then I think Attila will hang up his tools until the spring, when he will tackle putting a new roof on the garage.

Kitchen floor DSCF1588 The new floor project as it stands today. The refrigerator and the range have been moved back to where they belong, we can cook again!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Monday 13 November 2017
Condition: Light Rain and Snow
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 1.5°C
Dew point: -0.6°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: ESE 12 km/h
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”
James M. Barrie
1860 – 1937

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.

Green Grass

It has been raining since early this morning. The temperature is hovering around 5C, and has been all day. A glance out the kitchen window provides a welcome sight, the grass is turning green!

It has been a very dreary day out there; a good day to stay cozy and warm inside Mist Cottage. Warmer weather will arrived next week, and that is when the outdoors will begin to hold real appeal.

The genealogy book is slowly taking shape. Creating the layout for the tables and images is extremely time consuming. There are twelve children for whom there are documents and family photos, and at present the work is slowly slogging through the second child; ten more to go when this segment is done.

Mom called this morning on FaceTime, it was delightful to hear from her. We chatted for quite a while, about this and that. It turned out that she did not mean to place the call, it happened by mistake when the wrong button was clicked. She was as surprised to see me as I was to see her! 🙂

Terra and Lares had a miserable common cold when they visited on Sunday, and now I have a miserable common cold. They may have left it here, but then again, the frequent visits to doctor’s offices over the last few weeks might have been the culprit, it is a place where sick people hang out. It began with a headache and moved right into the sinuses. Hopefully it will be short lived.

Funny, although there is no snow, early spring seems to be dragging on. It rained and/or snowed most of March and April has been very dreary so far. A little sunshine wouldn’t go amiss!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

RAINFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
Lightning
Light Rain
Date: 3:45 PM EDT Thursday 6 April 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.9°C
Dew point: 4.0°C
Humidity: 94% Wind:
NE 27 gust 40 km/h
Visibility: 6 km

Quote

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

They aren’t faults, they are features!