Traditional Camp

The sun comes out and the sun goes in behind the clouds this morning. It is the beginning of what both Attila and I hope will be a quiet and uneventful week.

We made a brief visit to our Traditional Camp in Parry Sound on the weekend, where everything is looking as we left it, thank goodness. The last time we were there was last summer, when we were on our first one week vacation in over 20 years, and it was a disaster. That was the week my brother had a sudden heart attack and passed away. This year, around the same time of year we were in the area to attend a reunion of cousins at my sister’s cottage. Thoughts of my brother and how much my Granny and Grandpa’s house meant to him were at the back of my mind all weekend.

The reunion was organized by my Sister-The-Middle-Girl, and my cousin who is renting a cottage on the same beach as my sister’s cottage. Together with my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl they organized and hosted a get together of all of my Grandpa and Granny’s living Granddaughters, seven of us, except for one Granddaughter who did not attend. We all drove over from the cottages to my Granny and Grandpa’s house and multiple photos were taken of the group. I hadn’t seen one of my cousins for over 30 years, it was wonderful to catch up. My newlywed niece and her husband were there; they treated us to a slide show of their beautiful wedding. My Mom was there, and I got to spend a lovely evening chatting with her. Mom and her daughters, and our spouses but one, all stayed Saturday night at Sister-The-Middle-Girl’s cottage, it was comfortable, and the cottage and beach are beautiful. My Sister-The-Middle-Girl has a beautiful cottage facing west on the lake, the sunsets are stunning.

It is now a 5 ½ to 6 hour drive, one way, to reach our Traditional Camp. We decided to take a scenic journey, heading straight north for quite a distance before turning west to travel through hills and forests. The drive was a treat, the scenery was so beautiful. We took the same route home, but there was quite a bit more traffic, many slower moving RVs on the road, that crawled up the many hills. We were very tired when we arrived home.

I have been growing my hair out for what seems like forever. The idea was to have long hair with no bangs. It is driving me to distraction at times, and at its present length it looks awful all of the time. Usually I do not care, as no one sees me here in the house, or at the camp, save for Attila. It was too bad though that it was looking the way it did for those once in a lifetime pictures at the reunion. I will be very glad indeed when the bangs grow long enough to at least stay tucked neatly behind my ears.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Monday 10 July 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.9°C
Dew point: 17.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: SSW 19 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.”
P. J. Plauger

Floods!

There is flooding all around us! It began to rain on Thursday night, then we had heavy rainfall all day Friday, and it has rained all day today. Luckily we had installed a sump pump when the water main was broken in front of our house, which is carrying away the water accumulating below the floor of our basement. So far we are unscathed.

Many roads are closed, basements flooded, and the creeks and streams are running deep and fast and dangerous.

DSCF0579

A typical breakfast. The muffin is chock full of goodness, oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, an egg, crushed pineapple, desiccated coconut; it does also include a few tablespoons of chocolate chips, and I add two tablespoons of brown sugar to the recipe, so it is just a wee bit sinful. I measure the water I drink at breakfast, to make sure I get the correct amount recommended for taking the medication which must be taken with food and water.

On Thursday Terra called me and asked me if I wanted to take a trip to IKEA with her and Sunny and Sky. Who could say no, not me! Off we went and had a lovely time walking for hours and hours to see all the sights. Sunny is crawling now, and can pull herself up into a standing position. Somehow she discovered how to pull on her harness in the stroller, hard enough so that the back of the seat rose with her so that she could stand holding onto the back of the seat in front of her, Sky’s seat in the stroller. She stood, hands gripped tightly on the back of the front seat, little eyes and a nose just peeking above it, watching everything around her. So tiny and determined! Sky was content to sit in his seat, charming passers by with his big blue eyes and captivating smile. It is so much fun to walk around with these little characters. Sunny wasn’t feeling well on the drive back, I think she overdid it standing the whole time we were strolling through the store. Terra said she recovered quickly once she got her home, changed her diaper and clothes and cuddled for a while.

Friday I had my doctor’s appointment to discuss my bone density test and ultrasound. My bone density is normal, that is a blessing. The ultrasound showed cysts in one kidney, and some very large gallstones. Neither issue is serious, but he will keep an eye on the kidney cysts, so I have another ultrasound in six months time. More new tests though, to explore those chest pains. Looking at my back and stomach next to see if all is well there. I am glad of the opportunity for such a thorough investigation into these chest pains, but I will be glad when we establish that they signify nothing!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

RAINFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
Lightning Light Rain
8°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Saturday 6 May 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 8.2°C
Dew point: 7.9°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: W 5 km/h
Visibility: 2 km

Quote

“I am glad your test results are good, they can always find little things that are not like when you were twenty.”

My Mom, what she wrote to me in response to my medical news of the day.

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!

Silence By Degrees

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Today is cold and sunny. There is a snow storm on the way, lots of snow the weather people say. Winter isn’t done with us yet.

It is a quiet weekend here at Mist Cottage. A little bit of baking going on, a little bit of food preparation for next week, using the off-peak hydro prices by cooking ingredients. Our wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and we are celebrating with a homemade pizza, and a movie. I have my menu carefully planned for that day, so that I can afford to eat the sodium in the bacon bits we Attila cooked today. Eating out is out of the question.

I chatted with my Mom and Sister-The-Middle-Girl this afternoon, on FaceTime. My Mom looks so beautiful these days! She is bright eyed and rosy cheeked, her hair framing her face perfectly. Her recovery from her health issue is amazing. My Sister-The-Middle-Girl is looking quite beautiful these days too. Life must be agreeing with them!

Last week I chatted with Sister-The-Youngest-Girl over FaceTime, which was lovely. She is renovating her kitchen, a very big job. She and Beau Bob have gutted the kitchen, the electricians are still finishing up their part of the renovation, and the drywalling has been started this weekend. By the time we get there for a visit again, it will be finished. I am looking forward to seeing it!

Attila and I are not planning projects this summer. He will be touching up the paint on the house siding, putting in a larger garden, installing the cap on the basement waterproofing membrane, and finishing off the bathroom drywall. I am thinking about staining the exterior concrete walls of our basement, which would take me all summer. In a few weeks we will be venturing out into the yard with an eye to spring cleanup, but we have to wait out this coming snow storm first.

My crochet hooks should arrive in the next two weeks, I will be starting to watch for them next week. Yesterday morning’s second attempt at the single crochet stitch was more successful and I can see that I am going to have fun with it, once I get used to it. Now my thoughts are wandering to a suitable first project, and I have decided on a washcloth, a very simple washcloth. I like like the idea of functional creations, and eventually I would like to make soft fluffy washcloths. My first one will be made with this $1.00 ball of yarn, and my $1.00 crochet hook. Soon enough though, my new crochet hooks will arrive, and I will begin to cast my eye towards other balls of wool.

I have not been going out for walks, it is just too cold for my arthritic knee. I am loath to do any further damage to the knee, as each time it goes on me, it will not regain the functionality I have. I will lose mobility by increments, so I am being very careful not experience any incremental episodes. I have my fingers crossed that by next week the big snowfall we are expecting will have melted, and the temperature will rise above freezing during the day, so that I can begin to venture forth.

We are enjoying the coziness of Mist Cottage during this cold snap, the thermostat continues to charm us!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Another cold morning, with a major snow storm on the way tonight. Again I am staying indoors, not risking injury to my knee. The inactivity of winter has resulted in a moderate rise in my blood pressure levels, or so I surmise the cause. I am anxious now for the milder weather and the disappearance of snow and ice. It is a time for patience! Next month I am to go in for further testing for my high blood pressure, and afterwards I have an appointment with a cardiologist. At this point I am wondering if another type of medication might help, but that is something to discuss with the cardiologist. With my anaphylaxis, my options are limited as to safe medications.

This morning I have taken an internal walk down memory lane. Joan Lansberry posted a link to a BBC video of desert sounds. I closed my eyes and listened, the sounds, and the vibrations of the sounds from the computer provided me with a pleasant physical experience. I could not find the actual video to share here, but I did find a series of BBC video soundscapes, mostly of human activity, but some of nature’s activity.

We lived deep in a the Ontario bush for about a decade, we had only two neighbours within sight, who as “snowbirds” were often south during the winter. The noise was constant, snowmobiles, ATVs, private planes, speeding sports cars, huge motor boats, and transport trucks on the highways miles and miles away. These sounds became the white noise in our lives, we were rarely conscious of it. We could hear nature, but not without the steady hum, and sometimes din, of modern human activity. However, I considered it a paradise of silence compared to living in a small urban area.

Then I spent a week 60 miles north of Longlac. It was an education. There were no human sounds, not a plane, not a hint of a motor of any kind in the distance, the only tones and notes were created by non-human activity. The “silence” was striking, deeply unnerving. After 24 hours it caught me, and the inner calm that descended is like no other I have ever experienced. This was a rare and precious experience, which resulted from a one of a kind circumstance, and it is unlikely I will ever have the experience again. It would not be achievable for most people on planet earth. I am grateful to have encountered it.

P.S. I found downtown Toronto a close second to this experience. Noise there was constant, and like the wind, it blew a melody of activity that transcended individual sounds. Downtown Toronto was, for me, akin to visiting humans in the wild.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 9:00 PM EDT Sunday 12 March 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -9.7°C
Dew point: -20.4°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: WNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931

Love These Weekends!

We had a busy weekend. Oh how I love the sound of that sentence!

On Saturday we attended a family event to celebrate the engagement of my niece. My Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Beau Bob organized and hosted the happy event, great food, wine, and good company, a winning combination. My Mom and my five brothers and sisters were there, and it was wonderful to share such a happy time together.

We returned home on Sunday morning, to relax and putter around the house for the day.

On Sunday Attila loaded yet more scrap wood into Tank. The scrap consisted of some of the old shed door, that was missed the first time around, and the mousey kitchen cupboards that were removed when the dishwasher was installed, quite disgusting they were. All gone now though. We have had rain and the fire ban was suspended, so that I could burn all of the scrap in a campfire. We have a bit more scrap wood left to burn, that would not fit into Tank, it was sitting under the back porch when we moved here.

The garden shed is still not completed, as Attila lost his momentum due to unforeseen family events this summer. It is close to being finished though, tantalizingly close.

When I arrived at the hospital to have my toe nail looked at, my blood pressure was taken, it was very very high, 180/115. I questioned the doctor about it during the examination, and she said no big deal, “people are just nervous about being here”. I would have none of it, I have been to Emergency many times before and my blood pressure had not risen in this way. I stayed put on the bed, I was going nowhere with blood pressure that high. So the nurse took it again, and it was down to 164/99, so they insisted that I was fine, and should go home without looking any further into it.

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:

Normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg.

Prehypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.

Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.

Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.
The Mayo Clinic

Ignoring blood pressure that high was unacceptable to me, I could feel something wasn’t right. So this morning I took myself to a walk-in clinic, which was a 45 minute drive from Mist Cottage. I am glad I did. My blood pressure was high when the doctor there took it, he suggested increasing the dosage of my medication, and gave me a prescription. He also looked over the blood work report that was done after I was told I had Chronic Kidney Disease. He confirmed that I do not have Chronic Kidney Disease. I was very pleased with the visit.

At home, an hour after I took the additional dosage of medication for high blood pressure, my blood pressure had dropped to normal, the high end of normal, but normal. I am feeling much better.

Luna has decided to go back to school to work on a science degree, and to that end she begins classes when the children return to elementary school. Their’s will be a very busy household this autumn! Luckily Janus has a generous amount of time off work, he is going to need it.

The weather is still warmer than I would like, and humid. Cooler temperatures are always predicted as a few days away, and that is where they have remained all summer, a few days away.

The garden is now lush and green. The green beans are bearing again, there are new tomatoes on the plants, and the peppers seem to have produced some small fruits. The Scarlet Runner Beans are a joy to behold, their bright blooms festooning the fence and swaying with each passing breeze. The lawn will need to be cut soon, the second cutting since last June!

My Mom is doing very well. She has regained the weight she lost when she was ill, her cheeks are rosy, and the sparkle in her eye is back. We didn’t get much of a chance to visit during the Engagement Celebration, but it was great to see her looking so great!

I just noticed something interesting. We have been watching Lucy Worsley’s “Empire of the Tsars” on youtube. The list of her films that appears down the side of the web page, each offering a posed image of Ms. Worsley. And suddenly she seemed familiar and comforting! I was surprised, wondering where that came from, and then I knew. She reminds me of the paper dolls of my childhood, the ones that came in books, with a doll in a frozen pose, and many outfits to change how she looked. And that is what Ms. Worsley looks like to me, in all her poses, a frozen paper doll with tabbed changes of clothes. I loved playing with those dolls, hearing my Granny in the next room cooking on her wood stove. Thank you Ms. Lucy Worsley for the flashback!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

25°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Tuesday 30 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 25.2°C
Dewpoint: 17.3°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SSW 27 gust 37 km/h
Humidex: 31

Quote

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955