Paper Journal

January seems to be passing unnoticed, by me. In less than a week I will herald in February, the shortest month on the calendar, and often the longest month of experience, for those of us who live in the parts of the northern hemisphere, where winter demands all of our strict attention.

I am settling into a kind of routine now, the days are getting a bit easier, and my bouts of intense grief are fewer and fewer as the days go by. I am still on the lookout for new activities, and volunteer work that might be a good fit.

It has been a busy day. I worked a bit on genealogy, a bit on the web site upgrade, and did a bit of reading. I have puttered around the house, switched mattresses around, vacuumed, washed laundry, dried laundry, put away laundry, sorted through linens, and swept floors. I have done a lot of filing, and even sat down to write in my new paper journal. I decided to write a paper journal, in addition to all my online writing, because it reminds me of my youth. There was a time in my life when I always had a pencil or pen in my hand, and carried pen and paper with me wherever I went. I write differently with pen and paper, although it is hard to describe just how. Still, I am enjoying the paper journal, and it feels good to practise cursive writing and printing again.

By my estimation it is about five weeks until March arrives. I disliked March intensely when we lived at the country house, because it was a month of full-on winter weather, with few signs of spring. Not so at Mist Cottage! March here brings milder temperatures, a lot less snow, and a lot of the snow melts away during the month of March. There are bouts of blustery, snowy days in March, but the severity and duration are not what they are in December, January, and February, or in March at the country house.

It has been sunny all day! I have been sitting in my easy chair, soaking in the sunshine. The wind is blowing out there, so I think it might be chilly to be out and walking around, but it is cozy here in Mist Cottage.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EST Friday 26 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dew point: -8.6°C
Humidity: 56%
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -5
Visibility: 24 km


“The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.”
James Carville

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.


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


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


“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Celia Thaxter


Today I have errands to run at the bank. I need loonies for parking in the city, every time I go to the walk-in clinic I have to pay for parking, and I will need to pay for parking when I go for my CT scan. I need to figure out how to get to the hospital where the CT scan will be done, and find out about the parking there as well. Parking in the city is my ongoing discomfort, I don’t like it. Tank is huge, and is too tall for parking garages, so alternatives must be explored. There are times when I switch vehicles with Attila so that I can use the enclosed parking towers, but I like to find alternatives if possible, and leave the car to Attila, who has it all setup to accommodate his work routines.

I also need money from the bank to pay for activities. Activities cost money. After paying a membership fee, and then for the whole series of yoga classes which were a poor fit, I am reticent to invest in any other activity right now that requires me to pay membership fees and prepay for an entire series of classes. I will run out of funds quickly if I buy memberships from all the different organizations that require them to try out their activities. I am looking at pay-as-you-go activities, where I can attend without making a financial commitment, just in case it isn’t a good fit. This narrows the field somewhat, but until I have exhausted all pay-as-you-go options, I won’t be paying any more general membership fees.

The construction of the rental units at the end of our dead end street began today. A huge transport truck, with a huge digger on the flatbed, backed down the street today and dropped off the digger. Soon they will begin tearing up the forest and wetland, dump truck after dump truck will arrive and leave with during the week, and then when they get the foundations in, the pounding and sawing will begin. It will be a noisy summer with an exponentially increased traffic load on our street. I will just have to get used to it, and I will. There isn’t much vacant land around here after this development, so this should be the last of the new complexes going in near Mist Cottage.

This evening I am attending the meditation class in the city for the second time, and afterwards Attila and I have arranged to attend a music event together. A very big night out for me. Both venues are now somewhat familiar, which allows me to enjoy them more easily. I now have two relatively comfortable, affordable activities that I can attend weekly. Four weeks ago I had none.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EST Tuesday 23 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.9°C
Dew point: 2.1°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SSW 16 km/h
Visibility: 13 km


“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.”
Blaise Pascal
1623 – 1662

Two Steps Forward…

They do say “two steps forward, one step back”, and that seems about right.

Yesterday, Sunday, I attended another group in the city that piqued my interest. It did not work out well, and the result is that I have lost most of the internal grounding I accomplished with the women’s group, but not all. The group I attended, although it advertised to accept all sorts, in reality had some pressures that I am not able to cope with at this point in my grieving process. The people were lovely, all of them, but the dynamic of the group brought unwanted emotions to the fore, and my emotions are too intense, powerful, and painful right now to cope with in a room full of strangers. I cried, and that felt so very discouraging and humiliating. I will try again in the spring I think, or whenever I have worked though my present crisis, to a point where I have a firmer sense of my new self, to the point where I can handle the group pressures. It was too soon for this particular group.

I am feeling my loss afresh, last night and today. Part of the process I think, and I have to go through it. Every step is important, whether it feels good or not.

Today I am back on the internet, searching for more activities and groups.

I am working on my genealogy book today, a software update became available, making creating the book a lot easier. Also, on the roster for today, I am spending a lot of time working on the website update, which is really a complete redesign. The crochet blanket is coming along slowly, and is a comfort to me, knowing the project is always there at my side, the familiar stitch allowing me to work with my hands without any mental effort.

The weekend was quiet, without much discussion, the holding pattern is taking hold I suspect. Attila and I shopped for groceries, ate some meals together, watched a bit of Netflix together, and had little contact other than that. A friendly manner prevailed. Attila did manage to get some old speakers, that I had been using with the previous iMac, working with his iPad, allowing him a much better listening experience than the speaker on the iPad. The speakers had been sitting in the living room, no longer needed and unused, so that I am very glad they are now in use, and out of the living room. A step forward in the creation of his studio.

So another week begins, who knows what it will hold for me.

Today I am staying at home, there are freezing rain warnings for today and tonight, and it is not a good time to be out and about. I slept for four hours last night, from 10 p.m. until 2:13 a.m., then the pain woke me up and got me out of bed. I lay down again in the morning, after Attila left for work, and slept for an hour and a bit. I will continue with this pattern for the foreseeable future, getting as much sleep as I can at night, then taking an extended nap in the mornings whenever possible. I hope, in this way, to avoid taking medications. I have stopped taking melatonin, as it makes no difference at all. Eventually I hope the present pattern morphs into a good night’s sleep, so that I can omit the morning nap. It is a plan, and like all of my plans, it may or may not work, but needs to be given a chance.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EST Monday 22 January 2018
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -2.8°C
Dew point: -5.8°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: NE 26 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 19 km


“That’s the key to having it all: stop expecting it to look like what you thought it was going to look like.”
Cindy Chupack