Mom’s Afghan

Moms afghan Mom’s Afghan in progress, I am loving the colours!! This is the second Afghan project Mom has worked on since around Christmas, the first, completed, was a large afghan for my niece and her new husband. My niece picked out the colours for the first afghan, Mom picked the colours for the one pictured here. Mom is also helping one of her neighbours learn how to crochet.

Lists

Sleep is beginning to return, as the holding pattern between Attila and myself settles into something recognizable, something to be trusted, at least temporarily. In reality, temporary is the state of any present reality, time takes care of that.

I find I am able to spend increasing periods of time with my projects, and I am grateful that they exist. Crocheting the blanket, working on my genealogy research and book, updating the web site, reading, and writing, lots and lots of writing. Every day I spend a little time with my email account, and a little bit of time on Facebook, where my few friends share interesting tidbits that interest them, and where I meet with friends to share bits of personal news and thoughts. My favourite place in the world does not exist in corporeal reality, it is here, at Page By Page, where I have met, and am privileged to interact with, such wonderful people.

This morning the house is very quiet, it is 6:50 a.m., predawn. Through the window I can just see the silhouette of tree branches emerging from the darkness. It is only a matter of minutes before the western sky will glow as the sun approaches the horizon. Every sound in the house speaks of calmness, the roar of the furnace and its whirring fan, the tick of the clock, random creaks as the house complains about its unknowable discomforts.

This morning I have decided to try lists as a grounding device. I will list the small tasks I want to accomplish today, and check them off as they are completed. Although it seems a small thing, I find that lists assist me in plotting a course through an empty day, to set priorities, and offer a small reward of satisfaction as each item is checked off. Of course, my propensity for the written word means that the black scratchings on white paper are loved and familiar territory.

Reading and writing have always been my refuge in the chaotic storm of life. Books revealed the dreams and observations of bright hearts and minds, providing me with friendships in absentia during my childhood. When Terra wanted me to throw out my books I was horrified to the core, and of course, my books remain here with me at Mist Cottage.

I was dismayed to hear that my Mom wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday last. She had chills and vomiting, but was feeling better by Tuesday night. Thankfully she was almost up to snuff yesterday. It is good to know that my sisters have passports, and are able to fly down to Florida at a moments notice, should she need them. I doubt she ever will need them to do that though, she is a master at taking care of herself. Mom showed me a picture of the new afghan she is crocheting, it is quite beautiful. My Mom is very talented with her hands, and quite artistic as well.

The morning progresses, the western sky is bright along the horizon as the sun approaches, it is 7:20 a.m. My morning coffee has been enjoyed, the paper and pen await my attention, so I am off to compose today’s list.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-15°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Thursday 25 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -14.9°C
Dew point: -18.7°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: W 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -20
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Celia Thaxter

An Amble Scramble Day

6:00 a.m.

The roads are bad today. Attila called me when he arrived at work to warn me about it, and to offer advice on which roads to take to my appointment this morning. This is the worst part about winter, travel on bad roads. Tank and I will be fine, universe willing, but it will be a white knuckle commute to the appointment.

We are settling in to our winter routines, and at the same time breaking some of them from time to time. Last night we ventured out to a live music performance, and really enjoyed it. The down side is that Attila has a late night, and 5 a.m. comes very early for him the next morning. It does for me too, and usually this is of no consequence, since I am home and could nap if I needed to. Today, of course, is an exception, because I have to drive to an appointment. Luckily this takes place in the morning, my best time of day, so I will be alert and functioning at my best for the drive.

A thought occurred to me early this morning, as I was pondering life, the universe, and everything… which could be described as thinking about nothing. This morning I was thinking about the stars, and I wondered where my energy would find a home if the monsters controlling human “progress” return the earth to an inert state. I thought about life travelling. Then I wondered about spores, those dreadful, wonderful little entities that represent life, and death. I wondered if they survived a vacuum. I wondered if my energy would be contained in an interstellar travelling spore, landing somewhere out there in the unfathomable future. That is when I came across the theory of panspermia.

Panspermia is a new concept in my little world, and has opened up several lines of thought. I love having something wondrous to hitch my obsessions to.

2:00 p.m.

I have returned from my appointment. A 60 km round trip, it began on a less travelled road, which was icy in spots, but presented no real problems at the posted speed limit. The roads were completely clear by the time I left the appointment for my journey home.

The lived experience of our two different heat sources is quite marked. Our oil furnace outputs frequent, short blasts of hot dry air. When the oil furnace is doing its magic, the air is much warmer, and the humidity in the house decreases at an astonishing rate. I often feel overly warm when the furnace is pushing air around, and comfortable between firings.

Our air source heat pump outputs an extended flow of much cooler air, at the same temperature to which the thermostat is set. This air is not nearly as dry as the air heated by the flame of the oil furnace. At times, when this room temperature air is circulating, I feel a bit chilled by the “breeze”.

Today the weather is mild, and the air source heat pump is heating the house. I am now happily snuggled under my crocheted blanket, warm as toast, as the cool breezes flow around the house.

Lares installed the air source heat pump for us, and configured the system to work with the oil furnace. It has just occurred to me to ask him if the thermostat can be configured to decrease the temperature when the oil furnace is heating the house, and increase it when the air source heat pump is heating the house. That would be very handy!

I have taken a temporary break in the search for a suitable counsellor for Attila and I. There was no room at the inn, so to speak, when I called every acceptable-to-me counsellor within driving distance. I will try again in the new year, calling the same people and inquiring about a waiting list. In the meantime we continue to communicate with some intensity from time to time, with long breaks of relative harmony in between. This seems a good holding pattern until we can find someone suitable.

The lack of access to health care has been a real problem since we moved to Mist Cottage. The emergency department at the hospital continues to be overcrowded, with extremely long wait times for non-emergency issues, eight hours on my last visit, as it is used by many as an inadequate substitute for a family doctor or nurse practitioner. One cannot get regular prescriptions from the hospital, leaving seniors and others with chronic health issues, such as high blood pressure, scrambling to find a means to get the needed medications. People don’t notice the problem until they are an unwilling part of it.

Yesterday my Mom arrived in Florida, and settled into her winter home. She sent me a photo of her apartment, it is compact and walking distance to the ocean beach. Her first day there and she was already walking on the beach, and dipping her feet in the ocean.

I try to do a non-daily task every day. Yesterday it was baking muffins. Today it was washing a load of laundry and hanging it on racks, set up in the kitchen, to dry. Tomorrow, who knows.

Last night Attila and I travelled 80 km round trip to the city to listen to live music. It is what I enjoy most, particularly in small venues. We both enjoyed ourselves very much. Attila is stretched a bit to do this during the week, when the music we wanted to hear was on offer, as he had to get up this morning at 5 a.m. to go to work. Our compromise was that we left, far earlier than either of us would have like to, so that we arrived home and were tucked up in bed before midnight. A couple of real Cinderellas.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Wednesday 20 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dew point: -9.2°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: WNW 18 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.”
John Maynard Keynes
1883 – 1946

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

I just delighted myself by reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas aloud to myself. Many decades too late to delight my Granny, and my Mother, who read us poetry every night as bedtime stories.

When I was four my Granny and Mother helped me memorize this poem, to recite at a school Christmas Concert, at the one room school house that my Mother had attended as a child.

I was a shy child, very unused to the company of people other than my parents, grandparents, and siblings. The thought of standing up and reciting in front of an audience, most of whom were unknown to me, was terrifying.

I memorized most of the poem, and then balked, and insisted I could not remember the lines, deliberately making mistakes. I did not perform that poem at the Christmas Concert, nor any other poem. I think my Granny and Mother were disappointed.

The Christmas Concert was a magical event, with every child who attended school there performing some little thing, a poem, a song, and the audience sang along as the students all stood on the “stage” and sang Christmas Carols. Every child received a small gift, including me. It was the highlight of all social events in my life, so wonderful that someone once said of it, “heaven couldn’t be any better than this.” I measure all social activity by this experience, and have been lucky enough to experience similarly magical occasions… Mary’s Christmas open house… Fat Albert’s open stage… an evening with Michael Smith and musical friends at a small intimate cafe… my social life has had its sweet moments in time.

Yesterday we received a message from Terra, asking us if we could come and take care of Sunny and Sky for a few hours. Terra is working shift work, and Lares is on call on the weekends. Lares was on a call and couldn’t leave to come home in time for Terra to leave for work. Their regular babysitter could not take the babies, so Terra messaged us and asked if we were busy. Happily our plans for the day were flexible, so it was an immediate “we will be there” response.

We arrived well before Terra had to leave for work, so Sunny and Sky had lots of time to adjust to our presence before their Mom left. We had a wonderful time playing with them, for about three hours. They are very active little people, curious, good natured, and very rambunctious. The three hours flew by and before we knew it Lares was home. Their faces lit up when Lares came into the room. He had another job to go to, and was taking them with him. He bundled them up, and off we all went, they to the job site (a house with children to play with), us to the grocery store before it closed. I was surprised at how tired I was when we got home!

My Mom left for Florida early Sunday morning. I sure hope I inherited her genes, 86 and nothing slows her down for long. She arrived at her first stop along the way Sunday night, texted my sisters, and later messaged me. She will stop along the way again, for another night tonight, before she reaches her destination in Florida tomorrow. Mom has the same incredible independence, and force of character, that my Grandpa enjoyed.

And so another quiet day begins here at Mist Cottage. Christmas approaches and my shopping is done, what little of it there was. This year we have six Grandbabies. God willing, next year we will have seven Grandbabies. Our budget for gift giving is very limited, so we have opted for one Dollar Store toy for each child, candy, and a high quality book for each child. It was fun to search for just the right book for each child, attempting to match the reading material with the particular interests of each individual. Hopefully the exercise was successful!

My projects for the day have been crocheting, and making a large soup pot full of Vegetable Beef Soup, a on-the-fly variation of my Vegetable Soup recipe. My soups are “stone soup” affairs. I begin with either caramelized onions, or braised ground beef if I am getting extravagant, and build from there. Today’s soup has a bag of frozen Italian Vegetables, and a few cups of our pureed Hubbard Squash added to it. We will eat if for our dinner tonight, and then I will enjoy it for quick lunches for the rest of the week. Attila spent time on the weekend preparing his Pea Soup, a favourite of his.

Twice neighbours have arrived at our mailbox to deliver Christmas Cards. We will be delivering our cards to them very soon!

It has been snowing all day. The snow plow just rumbled past. I have about 40 minutes, to get myself bundled up and out there with my shovel, before Attila arrives home. I hope that snow bank isn’t too high! Mom, aren’t you glad your in the south!!!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Monday 18 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.2°C
Dew point: -14.0°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: NE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -17
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I don’t own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say ‘Mitch,’ and I say ‘what?’ and turn my head slightly.”
Mitch Hedberg
1968 – 2005

Memories!

Sweet

The weather was overcast all weekend, snow fell on Saturday, but only a few isolated flurries. It was good weather for a journey, and on Saturday we left Mist Cottage at about 8:00 a.m., to make our way to a Christmas get together at my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl’s house. The weather was perfect for travelling, both on the way there, and on the way home again, our easiest trip ever in regards to road conditions and traffic.

On Saturday my two sisters, their husbands, my Mom, and Attila and I, sat down to a Christmas feast. There was roast turkey, dressing, four vegetables, and condiments, followed by apple pie, lemon meringue pie, date squares, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. My Sister-The-Youngest-Girl cooked the meal, and I helped with the dressing. The meal was cooked without salt, and it was so very delicious, I didn’t miss the salt at all. I think my taste buds have completely adjusted to the low sodium diet, most foods taste good without any salt added. The desserts were my downfall, I had a serving of everything on offer, and enjoyed every single bite! What a good time we had! Mom, my sisters, and I, worked on a jig saw puzzle in the dining room, through the evening. The “fellas” watched a hockey game.

This morning, unable to resist temptation, I enjoyed a serving of each kind of dessert. What a breakfast! At home we don’t keep sweets in the house, and no longer eat dessert, so this was my big chance to “have it all”, so I did, lol.

Over the last month or so I have been working on a pair of slippers to give my mom for Christmas. Her feet get cold sometimes, so I decided she needs foot blankets. I found a pattern and used the same yarn that I purchased to make the water balloons for the Grandbabies.

DSCF1651 Foot blankets for my Mom, aka slippers.

My sisters, Mom, and I, had our Christmas get together rather early this year, because Mom is heading for Florida, any day now. She will drive from Ontario, Canada, to Florida, by herself. She has done this for many years, except for the last two when she was sorting out health issues. She is ready to roar once again, and is busy getting her gear ready to go. We loved being able to see her before she leaves!

I talked with Luna on the weekend, she recently had a birthday. She is well, and was telling me that they will be spending Christmas in Quebec, because Janus works through Christmas, and he is stationed out of Quebec at the moment, so Luna and Imp and Elf and Tink are going there so they can all be together for Christmas. We might see them as they pass by on their way home after Christmas.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 5:00 PM EST Sunday 10 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dew point: -7.7°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: WSW 31 gust 40 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin
1706 – 1790