January 7, 2005

Holding Pattern



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]

So far, so good. We are managing to keep warm, and our bellies are full. If we don't think about the future we feel content.

On the home front, our ice dams have been conquered, at least for the moment. Attila spent many hours on the roof, with his spade, removing six inch thick ice blocks from the roof. Occasionally a block would hit the deck outside the kitchen, and the whole house seemed to shift and rattle. We will try to keep the roof shovelled clean, to prevent a future buildup of ice. But it is probably not possible to avoid this problem altogether. We will do our best.

We have hot water! The water runs hot from the tap whenever I turn the knob! Attila has finished the installation of the hot water heater, and it works a treat. We are keeping an eye on the hydro meter, and so far the power consumption seems reasonable. What a difference it makes to perceived affluence, this humble hot water heater.

Our unpacking is now almost complete. Occasionally another unpacked box will materialize, seemingly from out of nowhere, creating the need for a series of wherever-will we-put-this decisions. Clearly, we have accumulated possessions beyond actual need.

This is an ideal opportunity to give attention to all the little tasks around the house that might otherwise slip by unnoticed. Two spider plants sitting in disintegrating plastic containers will be repotted today. The 2004 calendars will be collected and stored with their predecessors. We feel we are accomplishing something, as we move through the day and through our humble list of activities.

I have once more begun my daily "hamster run". I move about the house for five minute intervals, stretching and running up and down the stairs. The driveway and road outside are covered with slick ice, making recreational walking extremely hazardous. We enjoy going for short walks after dark, gazing at the stars and listening to the wind in the pines. Hopefully we will be able to get out and about again soon.

Our Christmas Tree, which Attila cut from our property, is holding its needles. It graces the living room with its branches and colourful lights. Mist enjoys sitting under the tree. From time to time she rubs her nose against the red and silver garland draped on the lowest branches, or sits mesmerized by her own reflection in the glass balls hanging just above her head. The tree will stay where it is until it begins to loose its needles.

The bread in the oven smells inviting. It is Russian Kulich, made with our own candied peel. Each Christmas we receive a box of Florida grapefruit, a delightful gift. They are fresh, not coated with chemicals or other such substances. We enjoy them for breakfast, and save the skins to make candied peel, a labour-intense process. The candied peel is an important ingredient in Kulich. The results are very satisfying, and we do have lots of time right now to devote to such projects.


Each day we must focus on the future. So far the machine that governs Employment Insurance Benefits has not decided our eligibility. It is a long wait, and our funds are dangerously low. We try not to think about what will happen if some kind of technicality disqualifies us from receiving this much needed benefit, as we struggle to find work.

Each day we spend many hours searching for work. We write and rewrite resumes. We send emails, and faxes and snail mail applications by Canada Post. So far, for all of this effort, we have received two acknowledgements that our applications were received. That is all. Silence reigns as we continue our efforts. My heart is heavy.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Grapefruit Peel for Candied Peel
Drying Candied Peel

By the Easy Chair
Drowning Ruth
by Christina Schwarz

"Here were the people that nobody wanted anything from at all. This was where they gathered for shelter until they were periodically shooed out. There was something people wanted from them, in fact -- their absence, that was in hot demand, but not easily supplied. Everybody has to be somewhere."
from The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul by Richard Adams, page 195.

16:12 EST
Temp: -13`C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: calm
Barometric: 102.2 kPa

Sunrise 7:54 AM EST
Sunset 16:52 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 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."

Copyright 1999 - Today Maggie Turner
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