Learning

Oh the excitement! Well, by modern standards of drama, not really. OK, admittedly by the standards of recent drama in my own life, not really. But I can muster a little bit of excitement over this.

On Wednesday evening, after 7:00 p.m. the dishwasher was doing its thing. The dishwasher generates heat, as it does its thing. Unexpectedly, the dishwasher raised the temperature in the house a whopping 1.5C, which put it at 22.5C. That is too warm for sleeping! The temperature in the house, due to new insulation and new windows, remains constant. Attila suggested turning on the air conditioning. I was resistant. The compromise was to open all the windows in the house until bed time, which brought the temperature down to 21.5. Better. It will take some time to learn how to manage the temperature in the house! I might just open the windows while the dishwasher is running, and see if that keeps the temperature down.

I have been enjoying the beautiful warm sunny afternoons, and chilly clear nights. Everything is green. The leaves are unfurling, the perennials are shooting up towards the sun.

This morning I washed laundry before 7:00 a.m.; it has been hanging out to dry on the back porch clothesline. It has not been a terribly busy day. Attila’s iPad needed some updating, did that. My web sites needed software upgrades, did that. Time is flying by, so I must be having fun.

Things between Attila and I remain friendly, a new rhythm of life is slowly emerging, and I find I am comfortable with that process. The future is unwritten.

Attila’s garden is in the planning stages. The seed packets are spread all over the kitchen table: Swiss Chard, Scarlet Runner Beans, Climbing Peas, Blue Hubbard Squash, Butternut Squash, Basil, Spinach, and a few others yet to be chosen. The Scarlet Runner Beans, Blue Hubbard Squash, and Butternut Squash are seeds we saved from previous harvests at Mist Cottage, originally saved from produce purchased from organic farms. Some of the remaining seeds are Heirloom seeds purchased from Salt Spring Seeds, and some were ordered from William Dam Seeds. This is a gardening weekend for Attila.

I have just come indoors to finish writing this entry. The mosquitoes were beginning to be bothersome. Attila and I had been sitting out on the porch, chatting, and watching the big bonfire that the neighbours had built in their back yard; all the enjoyment, none of the work. There is a party going on around that bonfire tonight, but the revelry won’t disturb me, I’ve been sleeping well most of the time lately.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Friday 18 May 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dew point: -2.6°C
Humidity: 27%
Wind: NE 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.”
Al Franken

Windows

This morning a representative from a window and door company came to do an estimate on the windows in the house. The estimate will be sent to me via email. The windows at Mist Cottage are more than 60 years old, single pane glass, and appallingly cold and difficult to maintain, I can’t even open the front bedroom window, it is so difficult to manage. The living room windows do not open at all. There is a government grant program that will help with the cost of installing new windows, and I am interested in getting this done if we can swing the expense of it. The installation would take place in April. Attila was strongly against looking into it, he balks at almost everything at first, it takes a lot of energy on my part to ride through his reactions to new ideas. Just one of his idiosyncrasies. I went ahead, despite his serious misgivings about the affordability of the project. It is in my best interest to ensure that Mist Cottage is upgraded sooner rather than later, at the least expense, with the least disruption, as a future residence for myself, and possibly Attila, or as a future investment in case I want it sold.

There is also a grant for insulation, so next week I will be getting estimates for that as well.

Attila’s project is to put a new roof on the garage, and to transform it into a workshop and art studio. I will be ensuring that the funds are available for the upgrade when he needs them, and that I do what I can to facilitate the work. The leaking garage is a crucial fix for this property, for living here long term, or for selling it in the shorter term. Either way, the garage needs fixing, and Attila wants to do it, he has a plan, and it seems to be a very good plan.

Tomorrow I go in for my x-ray. I am unclear as to why an x-ray was scheduled, rather than an ultrasound, but I will explore this when I go in to the walk-in clinic to discuss the results of the x-ray. I have the parking figured out for the CT scan later in February, and have my fingers crossed that it is relatively stress free. I must switch vehicles with Attila for the CT scan appointment, the underground parking lot has ceilings that are too low for Tank. Parking in urban areas is the most difficult aspect of these medical appointments.

Today passed peacefully enough, but as evening approached my emotions began to run away with me, this is still happening fairly regularly, but less frequently. Tears are a welcome release, I don’t try to avoid them when they come. I only let the crying last so long though, then I distract myself with a movie, or researching something interesting on the internet, or anything that gives me a little relief. Tonight I made muffins, and watched a movie on Netflix, it seems to have done the trick. I am sleeping a bit better now, around five hours every night, an improvement. Tomorrow is another day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-22°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 31 January 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -22.0°C
Dew point: -24.7°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: ENE 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -26
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
1815 – 1902

Percy

I never met a Percy I didn’t like. It isn’t a common name, but I do meet men who answer to it from time to time. My most significant Percy is my Great Uncle, my Grandpa’s brother. I don’t think I ever heard him speak a whole sentence, and yet his presence was strong, and delightful. There was always a twinkle in his eye, as he greeted our visits to his farm, when I was a child. His wife, my Great Aunt Goldie, would always have a freshly baked batch of Chelsea Buns to offer us, when we visited. I have no great insights into the day to day challenges they faced in their lives, but I do know that I was always welcome there, I always felt as if I belonged. I never questioned that feeling of belonging back then, in my Mom’s family, it was like oxygen, it was just there. I didn’t work for it. I didn’t have to manufacture it. It existed naturally from the way people lived. I miss that in this big shiny ugly edifice of a world we live in, or maybe I just miss being a child in a world protected by my Mom.

A quiet day here. Talk continues, communication takes place, no further decisions or action are on the table, tension levels are low. The incredible cold has slunk off outside the windows, and the temperature has risen to -9, it has been snowing off and on since noon.

I slept soundly for six hours again last night, to my great relief, and also managed 25 minutes on the elliptical machine. Meals are regular, no indulgences indulged in, routines are forming, day by day. My crocheting continues to be a source of peace, I do enjoy it, and right now there is a gentleness in the repetitive nature of the stitches.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-28°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Sunday 7 January 2018
Condition:Clear
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -28.3°C
Dew point: -31.5°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -34
Visibility: 24 km

The temperature will increase by 22C over the course of less than eight hours.

Quote

“Holding forgiveness hostage to some act or condition was associated with psychological distress and depression.”
– in a study published by National Institute of Health in 2011

Blank

Fear affects a persons perceptions. That is one of my biggest challenges right now, fear control. Even small changes, small shifts, invite me to fall into a state of near panic… what does this or that mean, are things going to get a lot worse now, and how, what don’t I see coming, what shocking surprise is around the corner. I am controlling the fear, for the moment, with writing. I write down every outrageous thought that enters my head, be it founded or unfounded. This is helping considerably; and particularly when the unfounded fear turns out to actually be unfounded. I have quite a collection of recorded fears, and some of them have been crossed out, not all though, not all.

The cold is bitter today. If I sit near the exterior walls of the house I feel chilled. Tonight the low is predicted to fall to -27C, with a wind chill of -39. Indoors is the only reasonable place to be. When the world warms, the snow is supposed to arrive in force. Winter is making herself felt.

I slept for six solid hours last night, for the first time in weeks. When I got up in the morning and saw the time I felt like crying with gratitude. If I hadn’t looked at the clock I would not have known that I had slept that long, I was not refreshed, because these days I do not feel sleepy tired at any point in time, I feel weary to the bone all the time. Although I am not perceiving the benefit of six hours sleep, I am very sure it is helping me to work my way through my present life situation. My diet is good, I am eating regularly and well, I am keeping hydrated, exercise is not something I have a handle on yet though, I keep looking at the elliptical machine, but have only managed it once a few days ago… something to aim for.

I have been writing poems, or pieces of them. Lines come fast, heavy with feeling, and then suddenly they stop, midline, or mid stanza, or on the final line, and I, staring blankly at the page, have no thought in my head. That needed thought, word, concept, it just won’t come out to play. As much as I am thankful for the blank mind, really, couldn’t it wait until the poem was complete!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
-26°
Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 6 January 2018
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -26.1°C
Dew point: -32.0°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: WNW 22 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -39
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
Robertson Davies
1913-1995

The List

Another day has dawned.

I am sleeping four consecutive hours at night, and dozing off occasionally after that, until I get tired of thinking and hurting, so I get up. This morning I arose at 4:30 a.m., having been awake for quite some time. Sleep is the real challenge right now. The nausea has subsided, and I can eat small meals. I try to focus on eating vegetables, as it is all to easy to just eat bread and peanut butter, or cheese and crackers, which are acceptable, but certainly don’t represent a healthy diet. I keep a beverage beside me at all times, sipping frequently, as it would be very easy to become dehydrated right now, I cry so much. These are the basics I am attempting to establish right now.

Yesterday I was able to stabilize myself enough to spend 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, the first exercise I have had since December 29th, 2017. Hopefully I can get back into doing this regularly. I am starting to think again about food, planning meals for myself. I am very glad to have these kinds of thoughts coming into my head!

It is snowing heavily today, the cold snap has abated, for a few days, to return at the end of the week. With the warmer weather comes the white fluffy stuff from the sky. I anticipate shovelling snow this afternoon.

The day looms ahead of me. I am keeping a list of obvious things to do, because my emotional state is still all over the place, and I find myself in pain, and at a loss as to what to do next. Picking something from the list alleviates a lot of distress for me, allowing me not to think, and right now thinking is not always my friend. The list is a solid, reliable thing, that gives me logical choices. I write the list in my brief moments of clarity. Today might include picking up a prescription, and printing some required files, that sort of thing.

Vegetable soup was on my list, so that is how the morning will be spent. When making vegetable soup, I add the basic ingredients for the recipe, and then continue to add more vegetables until the soup pot is almost full. Then it simmers on the lowest temperature on the range, all day long. A batch of chocolate cherry muffins has been baked, and sits cooling on the kitchen counter. Now I have food to tempt me into eating, which right now, is a very good thing.………

I just looked a an old photograph, from the 30s or 40s, in Ontario, Canada, of a woman in a flowered dress, her hair caught up in a bun, standing on the weathered boards of a covered porch, hanging laundry out to dry on a line to the porch. This photograph, particularly the weathered boards of the deck of the porch, elicited in me a deep feeling of contentment, of rightness in the world, of love for the simple functional elements of daily life in times gone by. My Granny and Grandpa’s front porch had similar decking, and oh what heaven it would be, to sit on a worn wooden chair there again with Granny sitting beside me, shelling garden peas.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-6°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Wednesday 3 January 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -6.2°C
Dew point: -9.2°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SW 34 gust 54 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 5 km

Quote

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”
Edwin Schlossberg

I like this quote, not so much in the medium of my own writing, but more in my pleasure in reading the writing of others.