May 23, 2001




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]

After many days of cold and rain, we have sunshine. The temperatures are still rather cool, but it is very pleasant out there. The Dogwood trees are almost done with their blooms and the Spirea and Lily of the Valley are taking over the show. The fragrance that floats in through my open window is heavenly. Heavily scented, the brisk breezes enchant the day.

"The Teenager" spent the "May 2-4" weekend camping with her friends. I was required only to lug tents, poles, pots, and dishes etceteras, from one location to another. She has arrived home with a cold; she always does when she spends time overnight with friends. My theory, that lack of sleep is the cause of her illness, is not well accepted. She did ask.

Attila is still very busy at work but we are starting to see more of him. He spent the day at home last Sunday; we took the opportunity to put in tomato plants and basil seeds. Basil is the most important crop in our garden. Each fall we spend a few days harvesting basil and processing large quantities of Pesto, which we spend the following winter happily consuming. Our seedlings are set out under a wire rack, which we hope will keep the squirrels from digging them up now, and the groundhogs from nibbling them to death later.

I have spent the last few days with the program Quicken and a new dialup Internet account. I must preface all comments on the subject of Quicken with the admission that I hate accounting, budgets, bank statements, and the like. This program is supposed to make keeping the household and business accounts easier; thus far I am rather confused and very tired.

The usual "rain of problems" fell upon me. First, the computer I was setting up to use for bookkeeping decided that a hard drive format was in order before we got down to business. One whole day was devoted to formatting and reinstalling software. Finally, I was ready to install Quicken and configure it for banking. Formatting the computer turned out to be the easy part. After spending the better part of a day trying to move information from bank accounts into the computer, I broke down and called the bank for help. They cheerfully gave me the Quicken support telephone number; I cheerfully accepted it.

I called Quicken, only to find that I would have to pay to speak to someone. No thank you. Back to the computer and the help files. I have not got it figured out yet, however I remain optimistic. I have given up the project for today and will resume early tomorrow morning, after my brain and my patience have had time to recuperate.

Now, as if Quicken was not enough to make the day challenging, I am suffering a sore tongue. I bit into my own tongue during dinner last night. It is a misery of minor proportions in the general scheme of ill health, to be sure. What exacerbates the unpleasantness is that I unconsciously chew my tongue when I am focusing on a puzzle and deep in concentration. Quicken is puzzling. I have been chewing. Ouch!

My reward for gnawing my way through computer programs is sitting on the kitchen table; Rhubarb Crisp, hot from the microwave. Not only is this treat extremely fast and easy to prepare, it is extremely fast and easy to consume. "The Teenager" has had her eye on it since she came home from school and has just now abandoned the telephone and taken up the spoon.


Rhubarb Crisp

2 cups rhubarb
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup soft butter

Wash and cut rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces. Add lemon juice and sugar. Mix well. Place in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, sprinkle lemon rind on top. Mix together brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the rhubarb. Microwave 10 minutes at high and 5 minutes at medium. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Source: Madame Benoit (1986),
Encyclopedia of Microwave Cooking,
Desserts and Jams, pg 29

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Worldly Distractions

Outside the Window

By the Easy Chair
After the Fire
by Jane Rule

8:22 PM DST
Temp: 15` C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: SE 4 mph
Barometric:101.2 kPa

Sunrise 5:53 AM DST
Sunset 8:48 PM DST

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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