Busy us!

Busy us!

Last week my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom arrived for a visit. It was very exciting to have them here, Sister-The-Youngest-Girl had been here once before for a short visit with Beau Bob, and this was Mom’s first visit.

We managed to provide Mom with her a bed of her own, in a room of her own, and my sister slept on the pull out couch in the living room. Our house is small, and my sister was worried that she would be in the way when Attila had to get up early to go to work. The flow of Mist Cottage worked very well for all of us! Attila does not enter the living room in the mornings before work, and the living room is well out of the way of our bedroom, the washroom, and the kitchen, the rooms where all of Attila’s pre-work preparations take place.

They arrived on a Wednesday evening, having stayed the night before in a KOA cabin, and spending a good part of the day driving. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl is a very organized woman, and she arranged for we three gals (Attila had to work) to take a boat cruise of the Thousand Islands on Wednesday afternoon, Mom’s treat. And it was a treat! I hadn’t been out on the St. Lawrence River before, so it was a new experience. The highlight of the Cruise for me was getting to see the Just Room Enough Island. The water level is currently very high, so that the landing, and the stair to the door were under water, so that exiting via the door would be stepping right into the river.

On Thursday, after Attila left for work, and the rest of us had our breakfast, we left for a visit to the Rideau Camp. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl was on her way to Ottawa, to spend the day at a spa with our cousin, they have been close friends since infancy. The Camp is on the long route to Ottawa, so she decided to have a quick stop to see our special getaway in the bush. Mom and I stayed at the Camp for quite a while after she left, looking around, relaxing and chatting. I took the our usual long route home, the back roads, which is definitely not the way my Mom travels, preferring the major highways to get from point a to point b. Attila, Mom and I also drove out to visit with Lares, Sunny, and Sky. Terra had to work, she is back to work now, so Lares played host, and the Grandbabies got to meet their Great Grandma. They were delighted with my Mom, and she with them, the time flew by!

On Friday Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Mom headed home again. Attila and I loved having them here!

On Friday Sister-The-Middle-Girl sent me some pictures of my Granny and Grandpa’s house, near our Traditional Camp. She and her hubby had spent the last week at their cottage, and with the help of our cousin and her hubby, they cleared away much of what was left in the house, as things were in a state of chaos with so many trespassers and vandals going through the place. Now it is virtually empty, with most of what was left there having been taken to the dump. It looked so wonderful, that Attila and I decided to take some of his vacation time and make a visit to our Traditional Camp, a four day weekend.

We packed up Iris, booked a site at a local campground, and headed out early Saturday morning. We take back roads when we travel with Iris. She is very light, fibreglass, and at high speeds she blows around like a peanut shell on the highway. The lower speed roads are much more relaxing, probably a lot safer, and much prettier. But, they also extend the time it takes to get where we are going. It took us 7 hours to drive to the camp site, we were very tired when we got there!

Attila spent his time at the Traditional Camp removing stumps, they were left when he cleared the trees on the lot. He worked at this diligently on Sunday and Monday. I spent my time visiting the dump, where I found a great plastic patio table, dirty, beat up, and perfectly functional. I also found a few pieces of stainless steel cutlery, a stainless steel saucepan, some pillow cases, freshly washed and pressed, a stainless steel cookie sheet, nine Corelle luncheon plates, and four Corelle mugs. All of these items will be used in Grace The Trailer. The local dump believes in recycling, and it works! I also found time to sit for hours on Granny and Grandpa’s porch. There is not place else on planet earth that I would rather be, than sitting on that porch, watching the dragonflies flit, the flies buzz, the bees hum, the birds call, the Day Lilies and Heliopsis sway; even the occasional passing high-speed motorist adds to the charm.

Our rented camp site provided an electric hookup, and a water hookup. It was our first experience camping in Iris with electricity. Wow! What a difference it makes. For one thing, our refrigerator works well on electricity, no coolers, no ice, luxury! And the interior lights allowed us to retire to the trailer well after dark, to read until we were tired, when we turned them out and snuggled into our beds. Having running water next to the trailer was also a treat. We decided not to hook up the water, as we don’t eat or prepare food in Iris, we do all of that on the picnic table under our kitchen tent.

Our fourth day out was spent driving home. We left the camp ground at 8 am and arrived home at 2:30 pm. It was a lovely drive, stress free. The rest of the day was spent unpacking Iris.

So here we are home again, after having an exciting two weeks, attending a music festival, enjoying a visit from Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom, going on a Boat Cruise, and visiting our Traditional Camp, Granny and Grandpa’s house, and camping in Iris at a camp ground.

Time for a little down time I think!

I am writing this in a state of fatigue, all this activity!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 8:39 PM EDT Thursday 17 August 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 20.9°C
Dew point: 15.1°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: ENE 12 km/h
Humidex: 25
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.”
Shimon Peres
1923 –

Hot and Humid and Dry

Wednesday, August 2

Another sunny day, hot and sticky. The temperature is not all that daunting, but the high humidity clings to the body, fills the lungs, in the most unpleasant way.

My crocheted top is coming along slowly. I am designing it as I go along, and have ripped out a lot of stitches in my experiments. The panels of the back and the front are complete, and now it is time to consider the shoulder straps. To be honest, I am not enjoying this project all that much, as I have no idea what I am doing, and I am not confident the garment will be attractive when it is complete. There is a lot of learning going on with this project.

Our garden is thriving. I should really call it Attila’s garden. Each afternoon when he arrives home from work, he changes out of his work clothes, and heads for his garden. He putters there for an hour or so, weeding, examining, considering. It is a great source of pleasure for him. I remain at arms length when it comes to the garden, mostly because I enjoy looking at it far more than I enjoy working in it. But it is also important that Attila have a time and place to defuse after a long hot day at work; a place where he does not have to deal with people, even me, a place where he can hear himself think, breath slowly, and come back to himself. That is something I could not do while raising children, as the primary (and then only) caretaker I had not one single minute of time to myself, my daughters even waited by the bathroom door when I was using the facilities, it was exhausting. So I know how important that quiet time after a day’s work can be to a person’s peace of mind and well-being.

My day today includes errands. Paying bills is never really fun, but it is a lot more fun when the money to pay them is available! Today the money is available.

Our vehicles are getting old, so they require that we be attentive to their condition. Tank ran into problems and was towed to the garage a few weekends ago. Thankfully that problem was easily and freely resolved. Tank had another maintenance visit to the garage, for a regular oil change and look-over, she received a passing grade.

The garage where I take her has two hoist bays, two mechanics, the owner and his partner. Tank had an appointment, but just the same he asked me if I was staying while Tank was being serviced. We had discussed this on the telephone when I made the appointment, I was staying, he forgot. The garage is a mile or so outside of town, too far to walk on any day, let alone a sunny, hot, and humid day. I chatted with the other customer for a bit, and after a little while he gave up the one seat to me, by the open window. I was pleased, as despite my appointment I was told the wait would be several hours. Settled comfortably in by the open window, book in hand, cold drink by my side, the time passed pleasantly. The owner periodically dropped into the office to chat with me, about life and the universe and anything. He is a very nice man, an honest man, a pleasant man. My wait was much shorter than anticipated, perceived and actual.

Yesterday I received a surprise video call from an old friend! I had to let the call through four or five layers of security to allow it. The funny part was, it was a “pocket call”, so it means she is keeping me close to heart on that little portable device that determined that now was the time. When a machine decides to reach out to you, is it fate, is it karma, or are you a mere 0, or a 1.

Thursday, August 3

Attila watered the garden last night with bath water. The rain barrels are dry. Although the areas to the north of us have received a lot of rain, we have had very little. Attila also reports that the rabbits have nibbled away all the leaves from our second planting of green beans. What beasties! That was a whole month of fresh vegetables we lost to them, I hope they enjoyed their meal. Discussions about a fenced garden are now in progress.

We are planning on taking Iris out for a weekend sometime this summer. Iris is equipped with an ancient refrigerator, a two-way refrigerator that will run on propane, or on electricity. Last night Attila ran an extension cord to Iris so that we could test to see if the refrigerator will run on electricity. It took about an hour, and sure enough, the freezer section was getting very cold. This is impressive. The refrigerator is a 1977 model, making it 40 years old. We will be looking to take Iris out for a weekend at a camp site with electrical service.

In my dreams we travel around Canada, pulling Iris along behind us. This dream isn’t likely to come true, there is not time while Attila works, and there will be no money for such whimsy when he retires without a pension. But still, what would life be without a dream!

The music concert: I don’t think you really feel a part of something that you have to invite yourself to participate in, unless all the participants are there under the same circumstances, together by mutual choice.

Friday, August 4

We awoke this morning to a thunderstorm, with much needed rain. The water barrels have been replenished, the gardens refreshed. The forecast predicts more thunderstorms today, tonight, and tomorrow.

My new eyeglasses from Costco are a thumbs up purchase, so far. They are progressive lenses, where my former glasses were bifocals. I had tried progressive eyeglasses many years ago, and could not adjust to them. With the new eyeglasses my eyes (and balance) adjusted within an hour to the progressive lenses. I like the new frames so far, they are inexpensive plastic, and do not seem to slip down my nose as my last pair liked to do; the lenses are larger and provide me with a greater range of clear vision.

Plastic eyeglasses would be a bad idea while burning brush at Rideau Camp, those fires throw a mighty heat. I will retain my old bifocals, with the titanium frame, for working out of doors, and for emergency backup. My eyes have changed almost imperceptibly in the last five years, and for that I am truly grateful. The optometrist tells me I have the first signs of developing cataracts, but it will be some time before that becomes a problem.

The crocheted top is coming along. As usual I am learning the hard way, about designing the pattern, the shape, the size, the stitches. I will be very glad to get through to the end, and I have my fingers crossed it will be presentable. The idea was to create a mesh top to wear over tank tops in hot weather. I HATE bras, absolutely hate them, and prefer braless living whenever I can get away with it. But too much wrong-sort-of male attention gathers around my nipples when I go braless in public, in a tank top, or other knit tops, so I want a light cover up, to throw on when we are dashing out the door to the store.

We are planning to attend an all-day music event tomorrow. As usual food is a big issue. It is very challenging to come up with ideas for portable food that is low-sodium, low-sugar, low-cholesterol, and allergen free; that can be comfortably carried around all day long. One light meal we have come to rely upon is homemade sodium-free hummus, with low-sodium rice crackers. I love sandwiches, but commercial breads are too high in sodium for me, and my sodium-free homemade bread is too crumbly for sandwiches. Last week a search through several grocery stores yielded a relatively low-sodium English Muffin; 115 mg sodium, no cholesterol and only 2 gm of sugar per muffin. This will make an acceptable sandwich using onions, lettuce, tomato, and a vegetarian cold cut which is low in sodium and in cholesterol.

Because most value-added foods contain unhealthy amounts of sodium, sugar, cholesterol, saturated fats, preserving chemicals, and my allergen, we cannot just walk into a grocery store and purchase canned or packaged foods for camping or travel. I admit to being ill-prepared this summer, in planning foods that are portable and healthy. Last summer we enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches over the open fire, frequently, but alas the high-sodium bread and cheese has been implicated in the issues I encountered with my blood pressure last summer and autumn. Oh how I wish for a sodium-free sandwich bread!! You would think that the bakeries would respond to the demand, but no.

This afternoon there are tornado warnings in our area, seemingly downgraded to a severe thunderstorm watch now. The closest I have come to a tornado was at our country house, when the wind whipped over the back ridge behind the house, to twist and tear off the top 30 feet of the pine tree in the front yard, leaving a 30 foot high stump. I didn’t see it come down, but I heard it land on my Argosy trailer! My fingers are crossed that we experience no damage here at Mist Cottage, or at our Rideau Camp.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH IN EFFECT
25°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 4 August 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 24.9°C
Dew point: 21.3°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: SSW 14 km/h
Humidex: 34

Quote

“We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”
Blaise Pascal
1623 – 1662

“At heart, the issues raised in a work of fantasy are those we face in real life. In whatever guise — our own daily nightmares of war, intolerance, inhumanity, or the struggles of an Assistant Pig-Keeper against the Lord of Death — the problems are agonizingly familiar. And an openness to compassion, love, and mercy is as essential to us here and now as it is to any inhabitant of an imaginary kingdom.”
Lloyd Alexander
Newbery award winning author of children’s fantasy literature.

The Rideau Camp: One Year And Four Months After Purchase

Bex mentioned enjoying the photographs of our Rideau Camp, which inspired me to get to my before and after pictures. Here they are, the realtor’s before pictures were probably taken in the late summer of 2015. The after pictures were taken by me, this summer.

Rideau Camp entrance mar 2016 before BEFORE: the entrance. This was our first view of the Rideau Camp, from an online listing of the property for sale. It didn’t look very promising from the realtor’s photographs, but since we were in the area we swung by to have a look. The driveway was flooded when we arrived, not an appealing feature, but we easily drove through the inch deep water to higher ground further into the property. To the left is a swamp that rises high in the spring when the snow melts, and went completely dry last summer, when we experienced drought conditions. This summer the water level is still very high, as we are receiving record amounts of rain.

Rideau Camp entrance july 2017 after DSCF0736 AFTER: the entrance. This is the entrance to the Camp, as it is now. Attila cuts the weeds along the side of the entrance, which helps to control the mosquitoes. He has also been spraying the poison ivy we found spreading rapidly to the right of the drive; we feel no obligation to allow it to exist on our property.

RideauCamp mar 2016 before BEFORE: the clearing. Here is a photograph of the Rideau Camp taken by the real estate agent who was selling the property. The weeds to the right of the crushed stone are brambles, old, gnarly, knee high, and vicious. The trees at the edge of the forest had grown a wall of green leaves, thick with branches reaching out low to the sun. Bulldozed piles of logs and uprooted trees surrounded the open area, lined the long driveway. There was garbage strewn all through the bush, neighbours had used the property as an informal dump. The photograph did not really attract us, we were in the area looking at other properties, and decided to look at this one since we were already there. We drove in the driveway, through an inch or so of standing water where the swamp flooded the driveway from spring runoff. We got out of our car, and we fell in love, at first feel, because the sight was not all that appealing. We wandered around the bush, looked at each other, smiled and nodded. We knew, we knew we were home.

Rideau Camp July 2017 after AFTER: the clearing. This is roughly the same area of the Rideau Camp shown in the first clearing photograph. The brambles have all been pulled and natural vegetation allowed to reclaim the area to the right, which has been mowed with a whipper snipper so that only the low growing weeds survive, making the area easier and easier to maintain as time passes. I also sowed a lot of white clover seed in the areas that are whipper snipped, and it has thrived. The lower branches of the trees have been removed so that we can easily walk under the tree canopy. Short, shade loving grasses have begun to grown on the forest floor surrounding the clearing, now that the sun can penetrate. There are fewer mosquitoes with the reduced volume of greenery at ground level.

Grace The Trailer DSCF0778 AFTER: the clearing. Here is Grace The Trailer, the biggest luxury in our lives. She is parked in the area of crushed stone shown in the before and after photographs above, of the clearing. Although Grace The Trailer has a many features that we cannot use off-grid, we find that having a refrigerator, a range, and an oven that run on propane very luxurious indeed. She is a real home away from home. We will probably never travel with Grace The Trailer, we have our little 14 foot fiberglass trailer, Iris, for easy, if a lot less luxurious, travel.

My Body Remembers

The Obus seat cover is complete! It is made with a simple stitch, and of a simple design. A single crochet stitch was used to create a “cylinder” to slip over the seat cushion, using worsted cotton yarn and a 5 mm crochet hook. The seat cover “cylinder” is open at both ends, designed to stretch slightly across the width of the cushion. It will not shift or bunch, and can be removed and thrown in the washing machine for cleaning. It has taken a very long time to complete this project. I may forget how to do a single crochet in future, but relearning it will be like riding a bycycle, my body will remember how as soon as I get going.

Last month I purchased an Artbin Yarn Drum from amazon dot ca. The only issue with it has been that the soft fabric sides collapse, so that the yarn does not rotate well when used from the outside of the skein. An 8 ½ by 11 sheet of cardboard worked until the drum was moved, then it shifted and failed to hold the walls of the drum rigid. A visit to the Dollar Store solved the problem for $1.25, the cost of a round plastic basket that now acts as a liner for the drum.

There are four devices that will record images in this household. One is an iPad, the sole domain of Attila. Two are computers with built in cameras. One is a digital camera, which must be connected by a cable to the usb port of one of the computers to download images. The iPad and computers are seldom used to record images. The camera requires connecting cables, and exporting images from proprietary Apple software, before they can be worked with. More and more these multiple steps act to impede the inclusion of images on the pages of this journal. The completion of the seat cushion has inspired an effort to take photographs and export them so that they can be shared.

DSCF0585 seat cushionThis is the newly crocheted cushion cover on the Obus seat. Since my skin reacts to synthetic fibres, and the original covering on the seat is made of synthetic fibres, the 100% cotton cover means there will be no worries about bare skin coming into contact with synthetics. Now, to consider how to crochet a cover for the Obus back support. It need not be so sturdy and close stitched as the seat, as it will receive less wear. It will not be made with single crochet stitch, that is for certain!

DSCF0592 artbin plastic linerThe yarn drum, sporting a lovely lime green plastic liner.

The temperature remains below average, but the clouds and the rain have finally moved on, and the sun is shining this morning. Yesterday morning it was snowing, with no accumulation, but snowing. The rain was intense this past week, and there was flooding in our area, but nothing so drastic as that experienced in Quebec and Ottawa. We had installed a sump pump some years ago, when water was coming into the basement due to a broken water main, in our front yard. It hadn’t run again until this past week, and it has had a good workout. The ground water level beneath the house rose to the level of the basement floor, at which point the sump pump worked for hours to lower the level of water. Now the water level is down a few feet below the level of the floor, our battle with groundwater was won, this time. The basement is dry, for now.

Outfitting Iris the trailer for the camping season had begun before the cold and rain arrived last week. Since there was no evidence of rodents having entered the trailer over the winter, it was safe to bring in the foam twin mattress, purchased from IKEA last year. After the mattress roll was uncoiled from its packaging, and had a few days to fully expand, it was covered with a full mattress cover, meant to prevent bed bugs from getting in, but intended in this case to prevent insects of any kind getting near the mattress itself. That is as far as the camping preparations went before the weather turned very nasty.

My thoughts are roving towards Iris once again. There are new curtains to press and hang. Attila’s front bunk needs a lot of attention. The seat cushions that I slept on last summer were moved to the front bunk, which is now three cushions deep, and hopefully will be more comfortable for Attila. But the catch is that the added cushions are not full length, so that supports must be found and installed under them so that Attila will sleep on a level surface. To that end, a very nifty wood box was snatched up out of the box bin at the local grocery store, the corner posts sawed off, to be used as a support under the bottom layer of cushions.

DSCF0594 iris trailer front bunkThis is the front bunk with all three seat cushions piled up high. The shortest one is on the bottom, with the wooden box beside it. The middle one is longer, but not full length, and it is propped up with a plastic tray, a discard from a produce department. The top cushion is slightly raised at the foot. It remains to be seen if this arrangement will be comfortable for Attila. We are looking forward to our first night out to find out.

DSCF0599 lungwort in bloom

The Lungwort in front of the house, blooming. The dandelions are a riot of yellow in our yard. I like it, but the neighbours use some chemical to prevent them from growing in their yards. The birds and the bees like to be around us, that counts for a lot in our universe.

Weather

5°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 10 May 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.2°C
Dew point: 0.4°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: N 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

This is one of those statements that is only true under certain circumstances. Attila and I felt the country house to be an unwieldy property, because it was so much work and held us so close. Mist Cottage is almost the opposite, a haven and sn anchor point to return to after a wander.
I think of all those people in their huge houses, all over Canada, and how much care and expense those houses exact, and I think that Mr. Thoreau’s point very apt in such instances.

2016 Retrospective

Although the calendar year is a mere human artifact, it is one that is familiar to me, and so has meaning in my life. It is time to say farewell to 2016.

A year in retrospect, the highlights.

At the end of the years I always think of A Tale Of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Who is to know what will come, I think to myself. How will we know until the end what was the best, and what was the worst, I ask myself.

The year began with Attila starting on regular night shift at his job. This was a big improvement over working rotating shifts, as he had done since our move to Mist Cottage the previous September. By May he had been offered a promotion to a position that was day shift, and allowed weekends off. This was the first time since we have been together that he has had weekends off, it felt like a miracle, and it still does.

Early winter also saw my Mom facing cancer treatment. There was worry involved for those of us who love her. Not a whine or a whimper escaped her though. She underwent radiation therapy with incredible courage, in her typical indomitable way. And now at the end of a very long year for my Mom, she is cancer free, and recovering from the severe effects of radiation treatment. The side effects of the radiation treatment were severe, and are ongoing. Mom seems to have made her peace with the reality, and has resumed almost all of her previous activities, and is a going concern once more. Sometimes I am in awe of my Mom.

Mom 1945 6 Parry Sound High School picture My Mom at the age of 15, cropped from a school picture, at the end of the second world war.

In the spring of 2016 Attila and I found and purchased the Rideau Camp. We spent every spare minute working there, clearing brambles, brush, dead trees, logs, and garbage. We built a fire pit and a compost toilet system. It was easily the happiest spring of my life, and Attila feels the same way about it.

DSCF8642 This is the Rideau Camp at the end of May, 2016. At this point we had owned the property for seven weeks, the brambles that covered the flat area between the gravel and the wood pile had been cleared and burned by then. We were preparing the camp fire pit, and enjoying picnics every weekend at the Camp.

We also purchased Iris the trailer during the spring. She is a 1976/7 Triple E Surfside trailer, in reasonable condition. We enjoyed camping at our Rideau Camp, and at our Ancestral Camp.

TrailerWEB Iris, on March 5, when we picked her up. It snowed that day!

Also in the early spring we demolished the garden shed at Mist Cottage, and Attila replaced it with a solidly built shed. This project was to take only a few weeks, but the summer had other plans for our time, and it was finally completed in late October. Attila also installed a dishwasher in August, and I must say it is game changer in the kitchen, we love it!

DSCF9742 The renewed Garden Shed, ready for duty at last on October 9, solid and roomy and hopefully mouse proof!

NewImage The new dishwasher. Our counter space is limited, you can see all of it in the photo, and it makes a huge difference when the dirty dishes are piled in the appliance and not on the counters. It also takes little time to wash and air dry the dishes, which are very easy to put away in such a small kitchen.

In late spring Sunny and Sky were born, 7 weeks premature. They were in NICU for six weeks, and Sky had a few touch and go moments. They came home with Terra and Lares, began to thrive, and are beautiful babies. One of Sky’s middle names is Robert, my brother Carl’s middle name, which is just a coincidence as the babie’s middle names are all after Lares side of the family, but it gives me comfort nevertheless.

FullSizeRender Sunny (left) and Sky (right) at 5 months (Gestational 3 months).

We had our first ever summer vacation last July. It was an event we anticipated with great excitement. It just goes to show you that you never know what is around the corner. After spending a few days at our Ancestral Camp, we returned home, then received the news that my brother had suffered a massive heart attack and lay unconscious in a hospital in Toronto. He experienced cardiac arrest for 15 minutes before being resuscitated, and never regained consciousness; my Mom, and all of my siblings were by his side through the long days of hope and disappointment. His funeral was held weeks later. Losing my brother was a profound experience for me, we were babies together, I feel his absence to the core of my being. Carl was an organ donor, and saved three lives.

LittleBrother1970sAtGrannys My brother Carl, at Granny and Grandpa’s house. He returned to spend time at the house almost every year, and that is where we experienced our reunion the summer before last.

By August my blood pressure was high, very high, and would not come down, even after quadrupling my medication. I began a round of doctors appointments at the walk-in-clinic (after more than a year, we still can’t find a family doctor), and had a nuclear stress test on my heart (normal!). The levels slowly lowered, but are still in the “high blood pressure” range. In September I adopted a low-sodium, low-sugar diet, and began taking Apple Cider Vinegar before each meal, which helped. By October I had decided to reduce the ineffective and redundant medication dosage back to the original low dosage, which made no difference at all, but I did find that discontinuing the medication resulted in my blood pressure skyrocketing again, so went back to taking the low dosage. The dietary changes are an intense experience, because something like a pickle and piece of bread could put me over my daily limit for sodium. I also found that food without sodium or sugar is not all that interesting, so that as soon as hunger is satisfied, I stop eating. I no longer eat for pleasure, because it is not pleasurable, just necessary. There has been a slight weight loss.

The most significant feature of 2016 has been that we live at Mist Cottage, and that Attila has regular working hours and weekends off. These two situations are game changers, and have improved our experience of life immeasurably.

It was a year of much joy and deep sorrow.

P.S. I invite you to share the highlights of your 2016, would love to hear them!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 7:05 AM EST Saturday 31 December 2016
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dew point: -6.3°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: E 18 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 3 km

Quote

“You better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.”
Harriet Martineau
1802 – 1876