January 30, 2001

She's feeling her oats.



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]

I think that I avoid writing when there are things about which I do not want to think. Right now, I have several things going on that do not bear scrutiny, by me or anyone else. There are no easy answers, magic bullets, or quick fixes for these situations. Most of them are long-standing, chronic issues that began as crises and linger as dark shadows. Talking about them does not help. Thinking about them is counterproductive. Forgetting about them is impossible. So I think about them, remain helpless to resolve them, and refuse to give them full reign on my life. They surely do put up quite a fight for my attention though.

Attila has been feeding us fish. Two nights ago he served a wondrously tasty bit of salmon fillet on a bed of Basmati rice, with a green salad. I turn my nose up at most fish dishes. Raised in the lap of luxurious poverty near a well-stocked lake, I became accustomed to pan-fried Rainbow Trout. Until recently, Attila despaired of ever finding an acceptable low-sodium way of serving fish that could compare to fresh Rainbow Trout. He has achieved the seemingly impossible with his Baked Salmon.

Oatcakes are a favorite snack food here. I make mine from an old Pictou County (Nova Scotia, Canada) recipe that came over the foam with the Scots. There must be a lot of Scot in me, because oatmeal is necessary to my peace of mind and my physical sense of well being. A few days without oats and I begin to feel bloated and fatigued.

Usually I eat oatmeal with flaxseeds for breakfast; but Oatcakes are my first choice if they lie waiting in the tin, of a morning. "The Teenager" loves them; visiting teenagers devour them in great quantities. Attila, however, finds them bland and uninteresting. Reduced competition for foodstuffs is a good thing.

Rain splatters into the puddles in the driveway. The snow banks are beginning to sag, to look weepy and smudged. Our "salt snakes" are dissolving quickly in the runoff from the roof. I harbor concerns as to the effect of salt on the spring gardens.

"Salt Snakes" are what I call our solution to "ice dams" on the roof. Earlier this winter we found that "ice dams" had formed along the east and south edges of the roof and water was leaking into the window casements. My first thoughts were to find an axe and hack the ice from the roof, clearly a spurious and perilous solution to the problem.

Reason prevailed and an Internet search revealed a variety of suggestions on how to deal with "ice dams". The one I favored had no name in particular, so I christened it the "salt snake". Attila visited the late night grocery to purchase several large bags of rock salt. I visited the depths of my "never wear that" drawer to produce a somewhat worn and ancient pair of pantyhose. The hose were split up the gusset and each leg filled with salt, the end tied into a secure knot. The "salt snakes" were born.

Attila placed each snake on a long, narrow board, climbed them up the ladder, and rolled them into position on the roof. Within twelve hours the leaking had stopped. The "salt snakes" had melted their way down to the surface of the roof, forming a clear channel for the backed up water to drain into the evestrough.

This morning, with the cold winter rain, the "salt snake" above the kitchen window drips and dangles bereft. All that remains overhanging the roof is the empty foot. We are expecting cold weather again by the end of the week; it remains to be seen if the need for our "salt snakes" will reoccur.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Birthday Primroses

By the Easy Chair
Quotable Women: A Collection of Shared Thoughts
" Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life."
Sophia Loren, b. 1934

In the Kitchen
Herbed Salmon Bake
Adapted From Amy Vanderbilt's
Complete Cookbook, page 313.

1 pound salmon fillet
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup salad oil
1 whole lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons parsley,finely chopped
Dip fish in slightly salted water. Dry on paper towel. Remove bones. Place fish in baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over fish, and cover dish. Let marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Turn occasionally. Place covered dish in oven and bake at 450 F for 35 minutes.

02:00 PM EST
Temp: 1` C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: ENE 3 mph
Barometric: 29.35 in

Sunrise 7:36 AM EST
Sunset 5:25 PM EST

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 Peterme.com 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."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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