Christmas Eve Day

No snow yet! But the weather people say it is coming.

It is Christmas Eve. Attila is preparing our turkey dinner as I write. We decided that we would have our feast this evening, so that neither one of us need cook tomorrow. Leftovers are so very good, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and another turkey dinner for us on Christmas Day, so very good the next day!

It is oh so difficult to eat sensibly at this time of year, so many delicious traditional foods to savour. I have a weakness for candy, chocolate in particular, so I added an extra tablespoon of chocolate chips to my muffins yesterday, just as a treat.

The gifts are wrapped. It is altogether too much fun wrapping gifts for Grandchildren when they are wee! All of our Grandchildren still believe in Santa Clause, although Imp and Elf have their suspicions! In theory, we will see the Grandbabies, Luna and Terra’s children, not Emmi’s, at Terra’s house on Wednesday. We look forward to that get together! Terra works tomorrow, Christmas Day, then she is off work for the rest of the week, so I think she will have a chance to rest before the rest of us descend upon them.

Wishing everyone who joins me here a peaceful Christmas Eve, however you are spending it.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre
Not a creature was stirring, except the meteorologists.
As all eyes were transfixed on jolly Old St. Nick, his herd of furry friends, and an approaching snow storm just in time for Christmas.
Total snowfall amounts of 5 to 15 cm are likely across much of Southern Ontario.”

-5°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 24 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -5.3°C
Dew point: -9.8°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: ENE 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

And More Snow!

It snowed all day today, oodles and oodles and oodles of snow. There was freezing rain mixed with the snow this morning. Attila did the last of his Christmas shopping this morning, without me, and he said that at every stop, when he returned to the parked car, he had to chip the ice off the windshield and windows. By noon the freezing rain had ceased to fall, it began to snow heavily, which continued until darkness fell.

I did my Christmas baking today, muffins for me, and mincemeat squares for Attila. We decided to have our big turkey dinner on Christmas Eve, so the oven will be busy most of the day tomorrow. Listening to Christmas Carols playing in the background, and gazing out the window from time to time at the beautiful falling snow, I enjoyed baking today.

Attila and I went out to shovel snow after supper, in the dark. The air was cold and crisp, the snow had stopped coming down. I tackled the area near the door into the house, while Attila took care of the large snow bank across the end of the driveway, left by the snow plow this morning. In less than half an hour we had cleared the driveway, and the path the front entrance of the house.

It was a quiet day here at Mist Cottage. When it snows outdoor sounds are muted. I did little things like pay bills, process paper work, and bake. Attila shopped, and ate, and ate, and ate. He is eating right now, his second supper. I have no idea why I weigh a bit more than he does, when he eats five times as much as I do, every day, it doesn’t seem fair to me. Such is life.

I am pretty sure my daughters do not read this online journal. So I am going to take a chance and post a picture of the booties and hats I made for Terra’s twins, Sunny and Sky. The fit is a guess, but if anything these will be too big for the babies.

Hat booties multi DSCF1671 Sunny’s foot blankets and hat.

Hat booties blue DSCF1661 Sky’s foot blankets and hat.

Weather

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT… 5-10 cm snow!
-4°C
Date: 9:00 PM EST Saturday 23 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -4.2°C
Dew point: -6.0°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: WSW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters encourage momentary escape into others lives and I come back to my own with greater contentment.”
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

Fractured Health Care Delivery

I have been observing lately, and at times very close to home, that lapses in judgement happen to everyone. I have my own list. For some of these incidences on my list, there were no good choices to be made, so it is down to wondering if a different choice might have been a better one. For most lapses though, hindsight allows me to consider alternative options that might have been better choices on my part, if not in outcome, then at least for my conscience. My feeling, at this point in my life, is that I am better to go with what my conscience allows, rather than what others expect, or what seems logical at the time.

It is never a good idea to give other people’s opinions, or your head, full reign over your decisions and actions. A balance must be worked out between your heart and your head, and often this requires hard work.

The weather has turned cold. The dawn was sunless. The weather people are predicting snow squalls with serious visibility issues for driving this afternoon, which should be in full swing as Attila makes his commute home from work. It looks like the snow shovel might come out for the first time since last March.

Plans this week have not worked out well. A night out was cancelled due to warnings of imminent snow squalls that did not materialize. My plans to visit a medical clinic tonight will have to go on hold, snow squalls again. Saturday is supposed to be much better though, with only snow flurries predicted.

I continue to work on my Plan B, it is taking shape, the thoughts and feelings around needing it are beginning to feel familiar, and not so scary. I continue to search for a counsellor. Every day I call and leave a message with a counsellor, who’s fees are eligible for the company health plan coverage, and every day I receive a call back to let me know they are not taking new clients. The list of people I would be comfortable with is almost exhausted, so I may begin again at the top of my list, and inquire about waiting lists. There is no point in seeing someone I am not comfortable with.

It is hard work not falling through the widening cracks in Ontario’s health care structure. A recent call to the medical clinic, where I have been on the waiting list for over two years, gave me a bit of a shock. In May, 2016, I was told that I was at the top of the waiting list of 400 people. When I made yet another call to check on things this week, I was told I was way down the list because I had requested to go on the list in June, 2016. NOOOOO Luckily I write things down, so I had the name of the person I talked to every time, and the dates I had called, and a record of what I was told at each call. The list was consulted again, using my dates, and indeed, I was at the top of the waiting list until someone transcribed the list last June and my name was shoved down the list “by mistake”. I am not sure I believe it was a mistake. I have to wonder if there haven’t been new clients accepted at the clinic, over the last two years, who have connections of some kind. If I hadn’t called, we would be so far down on the list that we would not hear from them for years to come, possibly not in my lifetime. They say they are hiring a new doctor and that I should get a call in the new year… I’ve heard this before from them, so I am not holding my breath.

Another health related gap, is that the report from heart specialist appointment last September did not arrive at the walk-in clinic office. The walk-in clinic did not notice the gap, and it took three calls to them to finally talk with a receptionist, who will request the records from the heart specialist. There were recommendations made that I need to follow up. There are other issues my kidneys and gallbladder that were not followed up as promised by the walk-in clinic, so I will have to after them about that too. Walk-in clinics cannot offer any continuity of care, they aren’t really structured that way. No senior citizen should have to live with this kind of fractured health care delivery.

These things tend to run in cycles, in my experience. So hopefully I will be able to address all of the current gaps, and then enjoy a period of rest before the next cluster comes along.

My Sister-The-Middle-Girl let me know last night that my little brother has had two strokes, which left him dragging one of his legs. The doctors had been trying to figure out why his leg was dragging, and a CT scan revealed that he had had two strokes, unnoticed by him. There are no other discernable effects, other than his leg. My siblings and I, we aren’t children anymore, we aren’t young anymore. And yet, when I think of each of them, in my mind they are the beautiful children that I knew in my early years. For me they are forever young.

We picked up the car from the garage last night, and at last I have a vehicle to use during the day. The bill was substantial, not unfairly so, but substantial on our budget. Belts will be tightened accordingly here at Mist Cottage. The car is working well now, ready for Attila’s commute to work, and for visiting our loved ones during this holiday season.

The errands requiring transportation had been accumulating, and I am now able to begin whittling down the list. The first one was to get the Drive Clean test performed on Tank. With that accomplished, I could pay the annual license fees. Because I was waiting as the doors were unlocked, at the garage for the test, and then the MTO office (Ministry of Transportation) for the license renewals, I was first to the wicket at both locations. Within an hour I was back home and taking care of the accompanying task of applying stickers, and filing. Hopefully next week the weather will be nice enough to make a few trips to the city to check off the other items on my list.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 8:04 AM EST Friday 8 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -2.3°C
Dew point: -8.8°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: W 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -7
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It is unbecoming for young men [women] to utter maxims.”
Aristotle
384 BC – 322 BC

A Wee Bit Of Melting Snow

Looking out the window this morning, at first light, I could see snow mixed with the spitting rain. I rose from my chair to get a better look out of the window. The white flakes melted on contact with earthly surfaces, no accumulation today. In the ash tree outside the window, a beautiful Blue Jay fluttered from branch to branch, found the few remaining seeds, then flew off to try his/her luck further down the street.

I have become accustomed to visiting Facebook each day to see what my friends are up to. There are friends on my friends list who really are friends! However, lately I’ve noticed a subtle state of uneasiness, which manifests as anxiety as I try to fall asleep at night. I am wondering if it is related to Facebook, and the “friends” who aren’t really friends, just interesting people on my friends list. So today is a day that I will not login to Facebook, and perhaps tomorrow and the next day too. It remains to be seen if Facebook is at the root of the uneasiness.

Facebook is not a particularly healthy place in which to spend time. It is full of emotionally homeless people. And here I failed, I had to write that on Facebook, the emotionally homeless concept, could not resist! And while I was there I noticed that someone had tagged me in a comment, and so visited the comment to see what was up, and got a link to a very useful archival technique tutorial for removing photographs from those old gluey photograph albums. Facebook has its positive aspects. I am back now though, logged out, closed the browser window, narrow escape.

I will continue to use the Internet to work on my genealogy, and was hard at it this morning by 6:30 a.m. I haven’t discovered any new-to-me data, but the process of research is like peeling an onion, layer by layer information is revealed. Every day spent with the records could bring to light something new and interesting.

It is an odd sensation, while perusing files on ancestry, to find my Grandpa and his personal information listed on a stranger’s family tree. They are not related, as far as I know. It is just weird to see strangers sifting through my family identity. I also collect information on people I am not directly related to, but who have been a part of the communities where my ancestors lived. I don’t post it on the internet though, nor do I hand over the connections, images and stories I have found to the multinational corporation that is ancestry. It is also interesting how misinformation is published and then shared with confidence in its legitimacy. That is one of the reasons I publish books with references, references that will verify the information shared.

After renovation projects there is always cleaning to be done, and clutter to clear. Furniture needs to be returned to its rightful place. This need was graphically demonstrated to me this morning, as I bumped my bad knee on an end table that was sitting in an unaccustomed spot, thankfully sustaining only a bleeding surface wound; so far the arthritis does not seem to be flaring up.

Attila has been working hard this fall, new windows in the dining area, a new window in the back bedroom, and a new kitchen floor. Renovating Mist Cottage has been a slow and laborious series of projects, which began in 2010. Attila has done all of the work himself, with the exception of putting on the new roof and gutting the basement, when Lares helped him, and the hiring of a contractor to dig and install the footing drainage around the basement. Because Mist Cottage is so small, each renovation project is intrusive and requires significant adjustments in the way we live, for the duration of the project. Because the renovations advance slowly, we are able to savour each improvement, enjoy each change to the fullest extent. Soon, I think, both the bathroom and the kitchen renovations will be completed to our satisfaction. Then I think Attila will hang up his tools until the spring, when he will tackle putting a new roof on the garage.

Kitchen floor DSCF1588 The new floor project as it stands today. The refrigerator and the range have been moved back to where they belong, we can cook again!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Monday 13 November 2017
Condition: Light Rain and Snow
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 1.5°C
Dew point: -0.6°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: ESE 12 km/h
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”
James M. Barrie
1860 – 1937

Common Cold

I have a miserable cold! It comes with a mild fever, lots of leaky fluids, and malaise. My health matches the weather, snowed today, then rained, now windy and cold. Tucked up in a sweater, scarf, comfy bulky socks, and underneath the quilt my Mom made for me.

Learning the double crochet stitch has turned out to be quite a challenge. With the help of another crocheter online, and Bex herself, I think I have it figured out. Having a low key project to take up occasionally when sick is a boon.

It is the weekend at last. I can expect a wee bit of babying! Attila is planning a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for tomorrow, the last big oven meal of the season. Bread baking must also be undertaken during the next few days; and muffins need to be baked of course.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 7 April 2017
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.5°C
Dew point: -2.4°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: WNW 28 gust 37 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me.”
Simone de Beauvoir