Know-It-All

Tai Chi was a misery today. I can’t really keep up with the class, which doesn’t bother me at all. When something is difficult, I stop and watch. I might look confused, I am, and that is how I need to feel and look while I am figuring things out. I made no demands on anyone else, or on the pace of the lesson. When you have significant differences, it takes time to transform what you see, into what your body will actually do. I get there, at my own pace. Apparently, today, my own pace was not acceptable to one self-important female social engineer, who constantly directed me, interrupted my concentration and flow, and even told me I shouldn’t practise at home. What a know-it-all ass she was. I have been home from class for a few hours now, and I am still feeling annoyed! Can you tell?

I’ll try a different class next week and see how it goes.

It is sunny and beautiful here today, and warm, and windy. I enjoyed my drive to class, and my drive back.

It seems I did reach a turning point last week. Nothing has changed here at Mist Cottage, as far as I can tell, the change is within me. The holding pattern is doing just that, holding. It offers no particular hope, just each day of undisrupted existence, the present, nothing more. I am having trouble sleeping again, awakening at 1:30 a.m. most mornings, despite a consistent bedtime every evening. The insomnia will just have to be waited out, it was better for a while, now it isn’t, but hopefully it will be again soon. I continue to cycle through the different stages of grief, but the lows aren’t so low as they were.

I was supposed to do some banking at the end of last week, and I completely forgot about it. So this afternoon I headed over the bank, and managed to get the whole process completed. What a relief to get it all done, before I forget about it again. Now I can forget about it in peace.

I have been back at baking homemade 60% whole wheat bread. The first three pound loaf came out as a brick, it could have been used for a wall. The second loaf was much better. My loaves last one week, and by the end of the week the bread is very dry. I made bread yesterday, and this time I added 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder. I notice a difference in the crumb, it is better, and the taste has improved, a subtle improvement. By the end of the week it will be evident if the ascorbic acid addresses the dryness issue.

Mom has been on the road since Saturday, and is due to arrive home today! She is driving herself home from Florida. It is so nice that the weather is decent for her journey, and to greet her as she returns to Ontario.

The spring equinox arrives in three weeks and one day!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

6°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 26 February 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.9°C
Dew point: -3.0°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: W 21 gust 33 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
Paul Gauguin
1848 – 1903

Attic Hatch

Here it is, the last week in February. March, at Mist Cottage, has so far shown signs of spring. Sure, we get snow storms, ice storms, below normal temperatures in March, but not endlessly, there are breaks to remind us that it is only a matter of time before the weather turns milder, kinder.

Today I asked Attila to lift the attic hatch so that I could install weather stripping. What a messy job! Even though I vacuumed the ledge in question, copious amounts of insulation and gritty black crap fell all over my head and body, as I cleaned the surface that was to accept the weather stripping. It didn’t take very long though, to get the job done. The cleanup was the longest task. I ended up vacuuming my hair and body, and enlisted Attila in vacuuming off the back of me. Then there was the floor, this insulation stuff blows around everywhere, and fibres of it float in the air for days. The gritty black crap was the crumbled remains of the ancient weather stripping that had disintegrated in place. I’ll be cleaning, cleaning, cleaning for the next few weeks, but that should do it. I won’t be opening up the attic hatch again!

The last task involved with the attic insulation, is disconnecting the power to the on/off switch for the kitchen ceiling fan, as it has been sealed off. Attila must do that, and I am hoping he will get to it this weekend. He certainly has the time, but it remains to be seen if he has the motivation.

I have been interested in electromagnetic fields (EMF) in our house, but loath to spend money on a meter that would measure such levels. To my surprise, there is an app for Attila’s iPad, free of charge, that will measure EMF levels. I installed it and gave it a try. The readings were shockingly high, ranging from .77 microteslas (µT) to 1.25 microteslas (µT). This was disturbing, as the common literature indicates that homes are typically under .4 microteslas(µT). Ah, BUT the iPad itself would emit electromagnetic fields! So I took it out to the backyard, where there are no power lines, or any source of electricity at all, and voila, it read .77 to .79 microteslas(µT). That is the baseline reading, the internal reading of the iPad itself. So once I subtracted the baseline reading from the high readings in the house, away from appliances, of.97 microteslas(µT), they translated into .2 microteslas (µT)… ah, that is much better!

Attila decided to cook a turkey dinner today, with all the fixings. He loves his turkey dinner, and I love his turkey dinners too. That will relieve me from cooking for most of the week to come. The leftovers usually last a week.

This morning I baked a batch of squash muffins. I have also done a bit more work finishing up the web site I designed. The payment I will receive will really help towards the attic insulation! A very timely project.

The weather continues to be relatively mild. The air source heat pump is supplying all the heat in the house these days, so with any luck we won’t need a delivery of fuel oil before the spring weather officially arrives. Fingers crossed.

On Thursday morning I saw a very sad thing. On the street light pole, at the end of our street, where the trees have been ripped out of the ground and piled at the jagged edges of the muddy clearing created, clung a beautiful pileated woodpecker, the first I’ve seen in these parts. The bird gazed across the field of mud that had once been a wildlife habitat, it looked confused. It was there for the longest time, surveying the destruction of a previous haunt, and then it flew away to seek refuge elsewhere.

I didn’t manage to get to Tai Chi this past week, but I did attend the meditation class, and made progress with my ongoing adjustments to single life. Next week I will be back at my Tai Chi class, and continuing with the meditation as well.

My Mom is driving herself home from Florida tomorrow. She times her travels around the weather reports. The trip usually takes two days of all-day driving. What a gal! Mom lives with my Sister-The-Middle-Girl, who will be looking forward to her homecoming! Happy trails Mom!

And here I am at the end of an entry, and once again, no spelling mistakes! I am flummoxed! How did I get this good this fast! Maybe there are spelling elves.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Saturday 24 February 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.0°C
Dew point: -1.9°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: NNW 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Satchel Paige
1906 – 1982

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