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!

First Trip To The Rideau Camp

11:50 am

It is almost noon, and the first load of laundry of the season is out to dry on the line across the back porch. In the winter the laundry is dried on racks in the front bedroom, which has multiple benefits; it saves hydro and humidifies the air during the heating season.

It has been a busy weekend and week so far. On Sunday last Terra and Lares brought Sunny and Sky for a little visit, since they were in town on errands and in the area. Terra had been keeping the babies close to home, for the most part, with few visitors, because their lungs are still catching up after having been born prematurely. She feels more comfortable now taking them out and about, as the season for some of the more dangerous conditions is over for the winter. The babies are still a wee bit small for their age, ten months old today. They are rosy and healthy and progressing as one would expect. Both babies sit up, and crawl. Sunny will actually pull herself up on chairs and grandma’s knee, and loves to walk around with the helping hands of loving adults. While they were here Lares prepared their lunch, and fed Sunny, while Terra fed Sky. Lares has been ill with some kind of flu or food poisoning for the last little while, he was looking rather worn, so off they went home.

After Terra and her family left, we packed some muffins and grapes, loaded some mildewed scrap wood from the garage into tank, dressed in our finest ratty old work clothes, donned our rubber boots, and headed for the Rideau Camp. Our first visit of the season. I will be one year ago this weekend that we took possession of the Camp property. We arrived to sunshine and blue skies. We collected fallen branches from around the camp, and soon a camp fire was burning merrily in the fire pit. Nothing had changed, except for a few fallen branches, since we left for home last November. It was warm enough that by the end of the afternoon we were both in shirtsleeves, and quite comfortable. The new crocheted hat, to keep the hair out of my eyes while working at the camp, lived up to expectation.

So many things were forgotten on the first trip out to the camp. Most felt was the absence of the camera. Most appreciated was the fact that there was tiolet paper from last season still sitting in tank.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty much consumed by travelling to the city to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor attached on Monday, and handed back on Tuesday. The highlight of my spring came when the doctor reviewing the results with me said, “why are you here?” Apparently my blood pressure averages 126/80 now, couldn’t be better! So I will continue on the low dosage of medication, the low sodium, low sugar diet, daily apple cider vinegar, and daily activity, as it all seems to be working in my best interest. The good results are not a result of significant weight loss, or increasing medication.

There are more doctors appointments next week. One with the cardiologist to review the moderate issues with my heart valves. One for an ultrasound and bone density test. And one to have a mole removed and biopsied. At some point another appointment will be needed to discuss the results of the ultrasound and bone density test, the pap smear, and the mole biopsy. Then, with any luck, I will be tuned up and ready for the summer. Fingers crossed that there are no surprises.

Today I am working on my book. All the images have been collected, and now they need to be added to the book, and captioned. The software in use is not good at doing this job, so a different software package is used for the image layouts, the results are saved as PDF files, which will in turn be imported one by one into the book. This is going to take some time!

The crocheting continues to be fun. The washcloth made with the half double crochet stitch is complete, and I can see a few mistakes I made, as well as a somewhat uneven width due to differences in the tension as I went along. I’ve decided to save it as is and move on to the next stitch, the double crochet stitch. I tried it yesterday and had to frog (tear apart) the whole effort, today is another day and I’ll give it a another go.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

8°C
Kingston Airport
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Wednesday 5 April 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 7.5°C
Dew point: 2.4°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: NNE 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then–we elected them.”
Lily Tomlin
1939 –

[This was originally meant to be humourous, in a sardonic way. Now it isn’t funny.]

Quiet

February has been a very, very quiet month. Winter arrived in February, which means I only get out for a walk occasionally. Today was one of those days that I got out there to pound the pavement. Our snowstorm on Sunday left quite a bit of snow behind, and the temperature has remained below freezing ever since, so that the snow is still with us. That meant that sections of the road were covered with snow packed to ice. Conditions for a walk were not ideal, and several times I had to inch my way onto the ice at the side of the road, when a vehicle approached at speed, speeding on a quiet residential street. If one of the neighbours decides to petition for a speed bump I will be signing on the dotted line to support it. Although I had to remain alert and cautious, I enjoyed my walk, taking in the crisp breeze and enjoying the odd ray of sunshine that shone down on me through breaks in the cloud.

I have been forcing myself to work on my book. I admit to extreme inertia when it comes to working on my book these days, who knew I would dislike searching my archives for copies of images, and references. I haven’t even reached the stage of inserting the images into the book! Still, a few times a week I manage to get myself seated in front of the new iMac, to work for a few hours. Progress is not steady.

Attila’s Christmas gift to me was a set of books written by Elena Ferrante. I have been enjoying the first book. It took some time to become engaged in the story, but now I am hooked.

Last weekend Attila cooked a full turkey dinner, which will provide us with our daily dinner for a about a week, and after that turkey soup for many days. The dressing for the turkey was made with my sodium-free bread, so that I could eat it without compromising my food choices for the day. On Sunday I baked two loaves of sodium-free bread, and low-sodium squash muffins for Attila’s lunches this week. I had planned on a visit to a farmer’s market in the nearby city on Sunday, but the snow storm made a cozy day at Mist Cottage seem very appealing; maybe next weekend we will venture out.

I am enjoying my mornings here at Mist Cottage. Attila leaves before dawn each day, and I am always awake to give him a hug before he heads out for work. Usually I sit in my rocking chair after Attila departs, taking my morning coffee, watching the dawn slowly arrive through the living room windows. Every morning I am delighted by this scene, it is as if an animated Maxfield Parrish painting slowly comes to life before my eyes. I love where we live now. Mist Cottage, this neighbourhood, this town, they are not perfect, and I do have some small complaints and concerns, but they are only truly small, there is nothing in our context to mar our happiness here, such a contrast with our life at the country house.

Lull brook winter detail Lull Brook Winter, Maxfield Parrish, 1945
Source: http://www.scanopia.com/maxfield-parrish/lull-brook-winter-detail.html

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Tuesday 14 February 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dew point: -11.8°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: ENE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“I began to have an idea of my life, not as the slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know.”
Joanna Field

“Marion Milner, sometimes known as Marion Blackett-Milner, was a British author and psychoanalyst. Outside psychotherapeutic circles, she is better known by her pseudonym, Joanna Field, as a pioneer of introspective journaling.” Source: Wikipedia

This n’ That

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The skies are blue again today, and the gardens need rain! Attila and I are saving household grey water, which I carry outside and use to water the garden. The only water we are letting go down the drains is when we flush the toilet.

Today was my annual mammogram, which is mildly unpleasant, but doesn’t last long. So far I’ve been lucky, the results have come back clear. It might be my imagination, but sometimes I feel they are disappointed that my results are always good.; nah, couldn’t be.

Today I prepared more clothing for outdoor use, spraying it with permethrin. I sprayed Attila’s running shoes, my sandals, and a third pair of socks for myself.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

This morning I sprayed with permethrin again, two t-shirts and one pair of socks for Attila. Even though it was raining, I managed to apply the spray on the back porch, well out of the rain, allowing the newly inundated fabric to dry on the line.

I am aware of two mosquito bites that drew blood thus far this summer season. The first was through the stretchy pants I wore at the Rideau Camp. The second was this morning in the front yard at Mist Cottage, and I didn’t feel it, but visually caught the nasty little bugger first hand. With any luck, neither of these two enterprising mosquitoes carried West Nile Virus. Frankly, one can take precautions, but it is impossible to completely avoid mosquito bites if they live where you live.

It sure would be handy to have a couple of vaccines, one for West Nile Virus and the other for Lyme Disease; they might drastically reduce the number of people requiring health care services for these chronic illnesses. Since the drug companies won’t find this profitable, perhaps our government could enter the fray and get these things developed for the tax paying population in the country. And then there is the Zika virus, which as far as I know hasn’t been contracted in Canada, but like the others, it may only be a matter of time. Who needs vanity drugs, or GMO foods, neither of which enhance human life here on earth. Humans need to use their intelligence to prevent needless suffering and improve the standard of living for every single member on the planet, which also includes respecting the environment. Did I go off on a tangent here… yep, I guess I did.

Also on my to do list today is hanging out a load of laundry, which now has to wait until the permethrin sprayed clothes have dried on the line.

I worked all day yesterday on my book, it was exhausting. A cousin and her husband have been helping and encouraging me with the book, they have provided a wealth of information on their family, her Grandfather was a brother to my Great Grandfather and they all lived in the same area. My cousin sent me a list of people to contact for more details, and pictures, and stories. Yesterday I called the first person on my list. I wasn’t sure if it was him, the number was for a person with the same first initial, so I took a chance and called anyway. He answered the phone, and we hit is off right away. He is 80 years old and gave me a lot of great information, and says he is going to look up some details and phone me back, and also send some pictures for the book in the mail. I entered data for several hours after chatting with him.

I think the book might take forever if I keep up this sort of research, but really, it is so interesting and the people are so wonderful, that I can’t help but follow every lead.

This morning while researching online, I bumped into the death notice for a woman from my ancestral community. Because I keep records, and reference each record, I knew that Attila and I had met this woman while grocery shopping in the town near my Granny and Grandpa’s house. She was over 90 when we met her, and she asked us to help her with her groceries. We unloaded her cart at the check out, packed the bags, loaded them back into her cart, took the cart out to her car, and loaded the groceries into her car. We chatted the whole time, it was an privilege to assist her, and to have the chance to talk with her. She passed away this spring at the age of 100. I was drawn to her kind face in the death notice picture and read the whole notice, and when I entered the information into my database I saw the reference to our chat in the grocery store, and remembered the pleasant experience.

Attila is allotted a one week holiday this first year on the job. We don’t know when that week will be, since the whole system of allocation changed when he got the new position. Yesterday he applied for a specific week, and we don’t know how long it will take for the application to be either accepted or rejected. It would be nice to know, but we remain flexible about it, because we have our camp sites booked for the whole summer… we own them. If we had to reserve a campsite at a Provincial or Private Park we would be very upset by now, as we would have missed any opportunity to book a site, the campgrounds are booked solid during the summer months. Things have worked out well for us.

Local Natural Hazards of My Youth:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Granny and Grandpa’s house)

Local Natural Hazards Today:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Ancestral Camp)
mosquitoes (West Nile)
ticks (Lyme Disease)
Giant Hogweed (phototoxic)
Wild Parsnip (phototoxic)

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 1 June 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dewpoint: 8.0°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNE 13 km/h
Today
Mainly sunny. High 23. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low 16.

After a cool night, Mist Cottage did not cool down even 1C. She is holding on to that heat.

17°C
Date: 9:07 AM EDT Thursday 2 June 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 16.9°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Today
Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this afternoon. High 25 except 21 near Lake Ontario. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Low 15.

Quote

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott
1832 – 1888