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
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
[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 have not been writing.
All is well with us, it is not my own misfortune that has dampened my spirit. No, it is the incomprehensible behaviour I am observing around me that burdens my heart.
The devastation brought by hurricane Katrina to the southern states was heartbreaking. The human element that contributed to poor planning, and delayed relief, is very sad.
What I see are thousands upon thousands of greedy, self-interested, little decisions, falling like rain in North America, until they have accumulated into a flood of human misery.
Having said my peace, I feel I can go on.
Today is sunny and warm. The humidity is high but not unbearable. The nights are cool, dissipating the heat of day before one retires for the night. The bugs are all but gone. The summer people have packed up their SUVs and headed back to the source of their wealth. The neighbourhood has subsided into its quiet autumn state.
Since the nights are cool these days, I am back to baking our bread. Our menus are becoming more varied as cooler weather allows comfortable use of the stovetop and the oven.
We are preparing for winter. Attila is splitting wood for use while he recovers from the surgery he needs this winter. He has accumulated enough split wood to keep us warm for about three weeks. Our little trailer has been cleaned, aired and steel wool has been used to block all the exterior openings in an attempt to keep the mice out during the winter months. We are purchasing our winter supply of flour, yeast, assorted grains and oil.
This is my favourite time of year. I grew up on a farm. Although harvest season meant long days spent in the fields and orchards, the exhaustion one experiences from such hard work and accomplishment has its own satisfactions.
We would come in from the fields to help with canning and freezing. By the end of November our root cellar was lined with brightly coloured jars of strawberries, cherries, plums, raspberries, pickles, relishes and jams. The large freezer was full to bursting freshly butchered beef and chickens from the farm, sometimes venison from my father's annual hunting trip, beans, peas, corn, carrots and any type of exotic vegetable my mother had tried in the garden that year. Bushels of apples, turnips and potatoes would be stacked high against the wall.
The only food we ate that came in plastic bags was margarine. It was white, and had a small capsule of colouring on the inside of the bag. It was the children's job to burst the capsule inside the bag and "knead" the sealed bag to distribute the colour evenly.
Things are so very different now.
When Luna was here with the dogs, as she watched me bake she asked why I broke each individual egg into a cup before adding it to the mixing bowl.
I replied, "To prevent a bad egg from spoiling the rest in the mixing bowl."
Luna replied by asking, "Have you ever had a bad egg?"
I had to think a minute.
"Why no, I don't believe I have ever bought a bad egg from the grocery store. But on the farm we sometimes found eggs that contained large blood spots, or had a partially formed chick in them. I guess I just never got out of the habit of watching for them."
The chasm between my life experience and that of my children is deep and wide.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Early morning sanctuary.
By the Easy Chair
by Michael Ignatieff
Time 5:00 P.M. EDT
Wind 13 km/hr
Rel Humidity 48%
Pressure 102.16 kPa