Spectacularly Unspectacular

Easter weekend was very kind to us this year. We decided to stay home and work on the yard and house, because in a few short weeks we won’t be spending our weekends at home, we will be at the Rideau Camp.

On Friday, the day Attila had off work, he raked the entire yard, and trimmed a lot of the dead organic matter from last winter. I removed sheets of plastic that had wintered in bunched up balls under the back deck, hideous! One of them had been sprayed by a Tom Cat, so you can imagine the smell. It was bagged, and along with the yard waste and a large bag of garbage that had hung around all winter, it was loaded into Tank for a trip to the dump.

Friday we got word that Luna and Janus and Imp and Elf and Tink were going to make a flying visit to the area to see all of us before their flight to Amsterdam. They will be living in Amsterdam for three months, the whole family. This news inspired me to undertake spring cleaning. After all, two crawling babies and three active children need a clean space to cavort in. They all arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday, and stayed for an hour or so. Then they headed off to Terra’s house, which is very large, to spend the night.

It was a lovely visit. When Tink asked me to read her a story, it was the perfect opportunity to read to all my Grandbabies one of the books I bought with them in mind. The story we read together is called “The Night You Were Born”, by Nancy Tillman. I love this book because it celebrates every new life, not within the family context, but within the context of the universe, of being a living entity on planet earth. This book welcomes all new human life, not just those who are lucky enough to have a family to welcome them into the world, it is very inclusive. And so there I sat, reading those beautiful words to those bright young souls, that told them the story of how precious they are in the universe. Imp and Tink sat on my left, Elf sat on my right, little Sunny sat on my lap, and Sky listened from the other room, happily ensconced on his Grandpa’s lap. Elf and Tink listened with bright eyes, Imp sometimes gazed off into the distance, as she is known to be introspective at times, Sunny in her frilly dress was intent upon touching the pages, perhaps having a little taste, and Sky could be heard commenting in his own language as his Grandpa held him. How sweet is was when after reading this part of the story,

“So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely… it’s whispering your name again!)

we whispered each child’s name. It felt like my brother, my Granny and Grandpa, and my Aunts, were crowded around us and silently whispering their love into those beautiful names.

Monday morning saw Attila off to work, and me driving Tank to visit Terra’s house, for a shared breakfast with my daughters and their families. I enjoyed listening to them talk amongst themselves, and enjoyed playing with the Grandbabies, all of them. The Grandbabies enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt out of doors, filling their Easter Baskets with the treats they found scattered and hidden all over the yard. The morning flew past, and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye. We will not see Luna, Janus, Imp, Elf, and Tink for quite a while, today they catch their flight to Amsterdam, where they will live for the next three months before returning to Ontario. They are all very excited to be going on such an adventure. Terra and Lares and Sunny and Sky were preparing to attend an Easter Monday family get together at Lares’ uncle’s home.

Today was a day of comparative leisure. I baked Squash Muffins. I washed a load of laundry and hung it outside on the line to dry. I worked on my book. I worked on my crochet project, a cotton cover for my Obus seat. Attila arrived home and we enjoyed a dinner consisting of chicken, potatoes, carrots, and green and yellow beans. Because it is light later into the evening, Attila is out in the yard levelling a flower box that had settled crookedly over the winter. I have cleaned the kitchen, and now written this entry.

We have had a spectacularly unspectacular Easter break.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Tuesday 18 April 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 10.1°C
Dew point: -3.9°C
Humidity: 37%
Wind: SSE 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“For never before in story or rhyme
(no even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…”
from On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

Fairy Book

Attila and I are regaining our balance after the fraught first days of the new regime under President Donald Trump. We restrict our exposure to the madness to a few hours a day, to stay current, and alert as to how things are playing out in the world around us. I mention it here only as an acknowledgement in my memoirs, that we are indeed aware and concerned about the current state of affairs in North America. I won’t be engaging in any discussion about it here, and restrict interaction about these current events to my Facebook timeline, and even there I don’t participate in discussions about politics.

I will not be responding to political comments here.

Attila and I had a quiet weekend. We caught up on cooking. Attila made a large pot of split pea soup. I made oatmeal bread, which tastes heavenly, but the crumb is not right, it is so crumbly that it has to be sliced thick, and so it is not good for the sandwiches Attila takes in his lunch. I baked banana pineapple muffins. We made croutons for our luxurious daily green salads. We read, we talked, we went for a walk.

The sun is shining this morning, and yet there are fine snowflakes falling from the sky. Yesterday the sun shone brightly all day long, and I did get out for a walk. I had to make myself go for the walk though, internally I was very, very resistant. Once out under the trees, staring into the blue sky, I was glad I had forced myself out the door.

Recently I purchased two used books as gifts to myself. The first was the book On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman, 1st Edition (October 17, 2006). It was only in good condition, but it was being sold at a price I could afford. It will arrive before the end of February. I want to read this to each of my Grandbabies, because I think it provides a feeling that life is a gift, and that the arrival of each of my Grandbabies was a gift to the world, not just to their own family. All babies are gifts of life.

The second book I purchased was again a book I would like to read to my Grandbabies. The book was the Flower Fairies Of The Wayside, by Cicely Mary Barker, Hardcover. It is a book of flowers, with a poem for each and an illustration for each that features children interacting with the flower. In an ideal world I would be able to spend time with my Grandbabies going for walks, and exploring some of the plants that are featured. I doubt that will happen, we do not see them often, and do not get to go on outings of our choosing with them. I hope to be able to read these books to them though, that will probably happen. If not, perhaps someday they will read this journal, find the books for themselves, and read with my memory and love beside them.

The winter has been very mild, until yesterday, which was comparatively cold. It seems like winter weather is just beginning. Tomorrow it will be February, 47 days until spring. Attila and I saw dozens of robins flitting about in the trees, when we were out for a walk on Sunday. I saw them again yesterday. They look fat and happy. This is unusual, as we they usually return to this area only in the spring, or at least that is what they used to do. Something has changed.

I would like to finish my book by spring, but I fear I will not achieve this, my motivation to sit sorting through pictures is so very low. I try to make myself do it, but alas, I succeed for only a few hours each week.

Another project that I should, oh how that word should annoys me, get to this winter is to sew bias tape over the cuffs of my old winter parka. The cuff edges are fraying, the coat has been worn every winter since 1992/3, and this is the first sign of aging it has experienced. I bought the bias tape yesterday at the local Walmart, but getting the sewing machine out from under the piles of stuff, finding a flat surface to set it up on, and getting the job done, is something I fear I may not get around to. So many small impediments to the project. Really, I need to take it in stages, get the sewing machine out from under one day. Rearrange the kitchen table (the only table) the next day. Setup the sewing machine and sew the next day. Eventually I will do it, because I love that parka. Getting started is the challenge.

Getting started with bread making took me quite a while as well. I am eating the second loaf now, and will be baking my sodium-free bread for the foreseeable future. I really could have enjoyed sodium-free bread last fall when I first adopted this low-sodium diet, but it has taken me this long to get going on it.

Right now my routines include baking muffins for daily consumption, bread for my daily consumption, and all meals from scratch for both Attila and I. I try to go for a walk each day.

Now, if I could only motivate myself to get to my “should do” list!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Tuesday 31 January 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -3.9°C
Dew point: -10.6°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: E 22 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862