Doing Its Thing

March is doing its thing. The morning light brought a vision of white, snow had fallen silently while I slept. More snow is predicted today, and again tomorrow. The blanket is thin, it will easily yield itself completely to a sunny day. There are sunny days ahead.

Today is International Women’s Day. Yay women. Yay men who value women as people. Yay the “us” that comes of all those sentient beings who get it.

My life continues to clunk along, here at Mist Cottage. I think it is clunking for Attila too. The holding pattern has settled into a comfortable state of everyday life. Surprisingly, Attila and I have introduced a few new shared activities into the mix, which we both enjoy, a pleasant development. For me, it is the internal adjustments necessary to cope with the changes, that offer the biggest challenge.

I am determined to continue to develop interests in the outside world. I am looking at courses to attend, and perhaps, as was suggested, I might volunteer somewhere. Really, the only activity that I’ve tried thus far, that I think will stick, is the Tai Chi. For now the Tai Chi is something I perceive as difficult, because the method of teaching doesn’t really suit the way I learn, not a good fit, and the expected pace of achievement is far beyond my capabilities. But even considering all of that, I think that eventually I will learn, and when that has taken place I will enjoy spending a few silent hours with the graceful and comforting movements, in the presence of others who are doing the same thing. That is what attracts me to Tai Chi, the silent sharing, people unified by a mere 108 movements, performed simultaneously. It is the closest human’s get to a murmur of starlings.

I often wonder what humans were up to before written history distorted, perhaps even invented, the past. Yes, we have scholars telling us about what happened, based on archeological evidence. But the degree of speculation in this kind of “science” is seldom acknowledged. How much of lived human life can be reduced to a pot shard, a skeleton, a pyramid… the conflation of human life experience to artifacts is not easily reconstituted into an understanding of lived experience, or reveal the complexity of human interactions. For instance, what will the plastic in the oceans say about us, if anyone in the distance future is here to take an interest?

Thoughts for a snowy March morning.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Thursday 8 March 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.7C
Dew point: -1.3C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NW 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -2
Visibility: 13 km

Quote

“You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep. You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin. You deserve a lover who wants to dance with you, who goes to paradise every time he looks into your eyes and never gets tired of studying your expressions. You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall. You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”
Frida Kahlo
1957 – 1954
Correction 1907 – 1954

Now wouldn’t that be lovely!

Approaches

Terra and Lares have taken possession of their old “new” house and are entering into the adventure with great spirit. They arrived to find the oil tank leaking, fixed that, then found that the furnace was not working, fixed that… and so it went. They are able to laugh and enjoy themselves as they take control of their new home.

I have had FaceTime on my computer for a long, long time. However, it is a Mac to Mac thing, so I’ve really had no opportunity to use it to talk to my loved ones, who have all been windows people. Terra got a new iPhone, and within minutes we had FaceTime up and running. Love it. She was able to give me a little tour of the apartment they are moving out of; boxes!

I have been working on my genealogy research diligently, there is a lot of work to be done referencing all the material I am entering into the database. Slow going, but mostly enjoyable and worthwhile.

I am taping these single thickness bubble envelopes to the single pane glass to see if we can save a bit of energy during the winter!

Waste not, want not; I’ve always heard this proverb and believe it to be true, for the most part. Attila and I are proceeding with our “spend no money” renovation plans. Of course, it is only a goal, to spend no money; a goal we do not reach because we always end up spending some money. Be that as it may, I am always on the lookout to repurpose objects. An experiment I am currently undertaking at the little house is to add insulation to the old windows. I have saved a few bubble wrap envelopes, and as you can see I have taped them to the single pane glass of a window at the little house in the city. We cannot afford new windows, and the old ones are hardly energy efficient. It is worth a try, we shall see if it makes any noticeable difference in the amount of heating fuel we use over the winter.

The nice thing about this bubble envelope window treatment is that the light comes through. The white envelope lets more light into the room from outside, and the manilla envelope filters the light into a glowing golden colour. Both are quite nice, particularly when this window treatment is hidden behind a curtain that hides the details and lets the light through.

I mentioned this to a woman where I worked last week and she thought it was weird and made sure I knew it. She has lots of money, so thinking inside the box is a very comfortable place for her; so I left her there.

Attila is going to use this computer for surfing the Internet and communicating by email.

This morning the iBook G4 got a good maintenance and configuration session; it was set up for Attila’s exclusive use. I have configured the internet, the browser and bookmarks, and the email client so that he can login at startup and begin surfing or communicating by email. It took a while to choose the software, because it is a 2004 model, the operating system is old and a lot of the current software will not work with it. I found optimal programs to allow almost all functions on the internet to work properly, it took some time, but it was worth it.

At last I am baking bread again! Bread baking took a real dive when I worked full time. For more than a year I got up six days a week, put one foot in front of the other and dragged myself through each day, collapsing in exhaustion when the necessary domestic chores were done after work. My bread baking skills slipped significantly as a result of that long break. I’ve produced six loaves of edible but not great bread. They keep getting better, so maybe sometime before Christmas the bread will be as mouth watering as it was before I started working all hours. Attila has his fingers crossed, because he is the one who eats most of the bread.

Winter is approaching. During the first few months of winter weather, through November and December, I fare well. The snow and cold weather are a beautiful novelty, contact with people who know my name is frequent enough to maintain equilibrium and there are a lot of projects on the go as we adjust to below freezing temperatures, snow and ice.

Then January arrives, cold and relatively featureless physically and psychologically. Social contact begins to suffer from the weather and the flat white landscape stretches as far as the eye can see and soul can reach. Winter seeps slowly into my bones. By February I am struggling with cabin fever. By March I am considering running away from home, flying to Australia, hitchhiking to Mexico, taking a train to Florida. Of course I do none of those things, throwing caution to the wind is not my modus operandi, but in March they seem like a good idea. March is a difficult month in this little corner of rural Ontario.

Of course, then April arrives and the colour of spring chases away the dark and lonely days. The challenge is over until the following January.

Last February Attila and I were both working and so could afford to take a few days off work without wages. It was a one-off, as we can ill afford to lose wages on one income. I wrote the following during that blessed break from the bleak:

Attila and I have had a few days off work, an unpaid
mini-holiday. Much needed and we feel well deserved. The interlude is
well worth the tightened belts.

Change has always been a pivotal component in the way I live, think,
feel, breath. The constant drone of working full-time and part-time
numbs the life right out of life. The natural flow of change becomes
blocked and clogged like arteries victimized by too much butter and red
meat. The pressure of change builds in my life, when I’ve no time to
live.

That is why these last few days have afforded me a rainbow of
epiphanies. My internal skies are full of tears and bright sunlight.

I have come to know a few things more intimately.

My beliefs have foundations. The foundations are living entities that
evolve over time, and to add interest, will vary according to
perspective at any given time. My beliefs are the garden from which I
gather sustenance.

One epiphany related to an old knowledge, is that my personal happiness
is a gift to those who love me, and it honours those who have loved me
and have passed on to the next level of existence. Their happiness
is/was a gift received. Letting happiness pervade my life is desirable
in the greater scheme of things. I am allowed to experience personal
happiness even when many other’s are in no position to enjoy such
feelings. If an imbalance exists, it does not need to be restored by
removing my personal happiness for the sake of others. The path to
healthy restoration of balance in this world we live in is to increase
the personal happiness of others. To think local is to act global.

Nothing new here, just the same old wonderfulness of being alive.

Endlessly fascinating.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.5°C
Humidity: 72 %
Wind: ESE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“Shut out all of your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows.”
Sir William Osler
1849 – 1919

“Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet (July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a Canadian physician. He was one of the “Big Four” founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital as the first Professor of Medicine and founder of the Medical Service there. (The “Big Four” were William Osler, Professor of Medicine; William Stewart Halsted, Professor of Surgery; Howard A. Kelly, Professor of Gynecology; and William H. Welch, Professor of Pathology.) Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training.

He has been called the “Father of modern medicine.” Osler was a multifaceted physician and individual, functioning as a pathologist, internist, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, and renowned practical joker…

An inveterate prankster, he wrote several humorous pieces under the pseudonym “Egerton Yorrick Davis”, even fooling the editors of the Philadelphia Medical News into publishing a report on the imaginary phenomenon of penis captivus, on December 13, 1884. The letter (still cited in all seriousness in a number of textbooks) was apparently a response to a report on the phenomenon of vaginismus reported three weeks previously in the Philadelphia Medical News by Osler’s colleague Theophilus Parvin.

Davis, a prolific writer of letters to medical societies, purported to be a retired US Army surgeon living in Caughnawaga, Quebec (now called Kahnawake), author of a controversial paper on the obstetrical habits of Native American tribes which was suppressed and unpublished. Osler would enhance Davis’ myth by signing Davis’ name to hotel registers and medical conference attendance lists; Davis was eventually reported drowned in the Lachine Rapids in 1884.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Osler