October 19, 2000

Finally back in the kitchen.



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

It has been a very busy week.

I did not know that, as a parent of a sixteen-year-old, I need permission to ask questions of the doctor about the child's health. Apparently, this is the law. "The Teenager" experienced abdominal pain a few weeks ago and saw the doctor. We have a very good doctor. He ran several tests, including an ultrasound. The results came back with some unexpected findings. "The Teenager" came home and explained, she was a little upset and confused. I decided to ask about the results myself, only to find that I must have her express permission to have my questions answered.

This all came as a big surprise to me, perhaps it should not have. The upshot was that this week "The Teenager" sent me off to the doctor's office with a note of permission. It felt odd, her giving me the note instead of the usual note FROM Mom. The doctor was pleased that she gave permission and proceeded to explain the results and affirm my faith in him. As I said, we have a very good doctor. "The Teenager" is in no imminent danger of ill health, as far as he knows. He will be keeping an eye on her.

Attila has worked every day since September 3. He is doing quite well this year and has not fallen into a sleep deficit yet.

I do miss him. He had a few hours off during the day last Sunday. He slept in and we had a quiet coffee and breakfast together. Then he disappeared again. That little bit of time together seemed to prime the pump; I missed him madly all day Sunday. By Monday afternoon, my emotions had settled down again. In another four weeks, he will be able to take most weekends off work.

One of my favorite Christmas foods is Mincemeat Pie. I love Mincemeat. The Mincemeat, sold in this part of Canada, is preserved with chemicals I can not tolerate. Every year I visit various grocery chains to check the labels on their jars of Mincemeat. Every year I face disappointment.

We have quite a few crisp, fresh, and slightly scarred apples. Although they are not very pretty, these apples taste every bit as good as those with perfect skin texture and color. I spent the afternoon peeling apples, washing raisins and currents, and transforming all these good ingredients into home-made Mincemeat.

This Christmas I will not be disappointed.

The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the leaves are falling. The warm weather means that our furnace can remain inactive for another few days. The cost of Natural Gas has risen significantly, so that economizing on heating costs will be even more important than ever this winter.

My Grandparents heated with wood. In the basement, a huge cast iron furnace rose high above the floor. One approached on stepping stones through a pool of water. Several times each day someone would need to descend the wooden stairs and cross the water, arms laden with firewood. That furnace and a wood burning cook-stove kept the house warm. My Grandfather felled the trees, chopped, and split all the wood that heated the house and cooked the food. He did this until he was 86 years old. I never heard him complain.

During the winter, the stove in the kitchen was the warm heart of the house. The rest of the house was quite cool during the day. At night, when the furnace died down and the wood stove in the kitchen cooled, the house was frigidly cold. Your breath would proceed you in great white puffs as you made your way down the stairs in the morning.

Today I would much rather help my Grandfather split wood. I would much rather descend the frozen stairs with my Grandmother to the cold kitchen and the waiting stove. I would much rather do these things, than depend on the vagaries of trade and commerce to keep me warm during the cold winters of modern life.

Unlike my Grandfather, I do complain.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

A bowl of mincemeat.

By the Easy Chair
Cite Your Sources
by Richard S. Lackey

Rakes and the rustle of autumn leaves through the open window.


2 lemons
12 apples peeled & finely chopped
4 cups brown sugar
3 cups dried currents
4 cups raisins
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted

Grate peel from lemons, squeeze juice into large mixing bowl and add peel. Chop apples and toss lightly with lemon mixture to prevent browning. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Can or freeze.

From Canadian Living Christmas Cookbook 1982

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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