Saturday
February 4, 2005

Silver Linings

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Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

REALTOR.ca
[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]

Coming back to write in my journal is like meeting a old friend for a chat, and a cup of tea. The pen writes me true, cutting through the protective wall erected to survive the world of commerce. I don't realize how much writing means to me, until I have been away from it, for what seems like a long time, and then come back again.

It happened without my noticing, the lapse into mindless routine, head down, one foot in front of the other. That is the easy part of working full time.

The difficult part, I suspect for most people, is the "office politic". When people are put under pressure and enclosed together in a small space, tensions are bound to arise. Even between perfectly nice people with the best of intentions. Just add competition and stir. Voila, office politics.

Luna, who owns her own businesses, has talked about the three-month wall. About three months into the job an employee will suddenly see previously unnoticed blemishes in the workplace. Usually, after an adjustment period, they learn to cope with the reality and carry on.

I am in the learning-to-cope stage, staring steadfastly at the end of the tunnel, where the light of carrying on shines.

We are having an amazingly mild winter. Today it is raining. We still have lots of snow though, in spite of the rain.

Tonight our weather people are predicting a major winter storm, high winds and up to 40 cm of snow. Attila and I are busy today, baking and bringing in firewood before the storm hits and the power fails, as it almost always does here in a significant storm.

Although it has been mild, it has also been cloudy. We have had very few sunny days since the beginning of December. I do think the lack of sunlight affects how people feel, and how they behave towards one another. Certainly my dealings with people over the last month has lent significant support to this conjecture.

Recently I was given a magnificent gift. It came in the guise of a brush with death. I have a fatal allergy to a preservative. A person made an error, and administered to me a trace amount of this chemical, in a treatment. I was told immediately, and treated with exceptional compassion and humanity. Obviously, I lived to tell the tale. I escaped unscathed. Everyone involved had a terrible scare.

The gift is that I can tolerate that trace amount of the chemical. The chemical is found in many medications in that concentration. Now I have hope. Hope that if any of the many medications, containing trace amounts of this chemical, are administered to me in a medical emergency, my life will be saved rather than my death guaranteed.

Freedom from fear is an immeasurable gift.

Speaking of gifts, I had a rather special birthday this year. Luna and Janus arrived the night before, and had a birthday breakfast with me before I left for work and they left for home. The dogs were in tow, so I had some happy moments with Benny and Bim. The three of us drifted off to sleep curled up together in my chair. After I got home from work Terra and Lares called and we had a nice chat. Calls and cards arrived from relatives and friends. These things are the greatest gifts.

Today I am struggling with the budget, or what passes for a budget. As usual, the bills add up to a number, which exceeds available funds. Not to worry though, I have a job, and there is always next month to catch up to a balance.

And so the winter is passing.

As Attila wrote in my birthday card, "Even when it's cold outside, it's warm in here!"



Top of Page
RECIPES :: Cast

Worldly Distractions

Bim the Jack Russell
Bim's time out.



By the Easy Chair
When I have time to go to the library the weather and roads are unfriendly. I have been reduced to reading email exclusively.



Airwaves
Web of Desire
Music written and performed by Dave Taylor



On the Screen
Don't Shoot the Teacher
(a title of ironic significance in my present situation)



Weather
Temp 2 °C
Pressure 100.6 kPa
Humidity 86 %
Dewpoint -1 °C
Wind ENE 8 km/h
 

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
Photography
Poetry
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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