April 12, 2007

White and Mushy on the Outside



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 peeked out through the blinds just before midnight last night to see snow shooting by the window in long white sparkles. This morning the accumulated white is dripping off the roof in mushy lumps. The morning will be accentuated with muffled thumps, as once again the roof shakes off the blanket of white and the world turns brown.

Heating season is much longer this year than any since we have moved here. The ample supply of firewood we stored for the winter was exhausted last week, when the temperature dropped below minus five degrees every night. Attila has been using his emergency stash of firewood. Lovely stuff it is, oak that burns long and hot. We have learned from this heating season, and will be increasing the volume of firewood we store for next winter.

Cooking has been on my mind quite a bit these days. Often my morning and noon day meals are prepared separately from Attila’s, as I cannot maintain normal body weight if I eat the high calorie foods he needs for nourishment. I like to prepare quick meals from eggs, usually using a non-stick frying pan. But I do not like the PTFE surface on the pan. I just don’t trust it. After researching all kinds of non-stick “alternatives”, I reached the conclusion that tried and true cast iron would suit my needs best.

The search for a small cast iron skillet began last week. A trip to town included extra stops at the Canadian Tire and the large grocery store where we seldom shop. Both carried high quality cast iron skillets, but not small ones. A visit to the Lodge site provided a list of products available, and an online catalogue. Pleased, I proceeded to checkout with the 6 1/2 inch cast iron skillet. Alas, after entering my address the page informed me that no international orders would be accepted online and provided a telephone number. I called the number only to find they were not yet open for the day.

While waiting for time to pass before calling Lodge, I decided to scour the yellow pages for other possible local suppliers. Several calls later I succeeded. A half hour drive from home, at a Home Hardware store, a 5” cast iron skillet was on sale. Attila picked it up the next day. The quality is definitely inferior to the products sold by Lodge, but it is perfectly serviceable.

After curing the pan, I have been experimenting with various breakfast meals. The recipe testing continues using various proportions of egg, milk and flour, as well as electric element settings. The results so far have been edible, but not quite right. Tomorrow is another morning!

We continue to sort and purge our material wealth. How did we ever acquire this much stuff? A new pile of items grows on the table in the back kitchen. We are still making our first pass through our belongings. However, soon we will have sorted through almost all of our accumulated items and will then need to begin again with a more discerning eye.

I have it in the back of my head that we need a minimal residence in the city. Our surplus belongings would certainly outfit it comfortably. A private and secure room with a washroom and balcony, or private outdoor area for Attila to smoke his cigarettes, would be perfect for us. This is a fantasy, as the cost would be beyond our means. I have been applying for interesting work in the city, and this may or may not work itself into reality.

Dreams and fantasies are important. The thrill of possibility is the stuff of life. Reality never matches what the imagination creates. Yet the process of fantasy can yield impressive results, well beyond the borders of dreams. The trick is to recognize fantasy as the starting point, the end point unknown.

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Worldly Distractions

mushy snow on an april morning
Mushy snow on an April morning.

mist the kitty
Mist pleads, "Make it go away!" [snow]

Feels Like -5°C
Wind E 26 km/h  
Rel Humidity 93%
DewPoint 0°C
Pressure 100.32 kPa 
Visibility 4.8 km
Ceiling 600 ft

Fantasy Fav
When we lived down the street from a nursing home I met some interesting people. One gentleman had reached the age of 95 and cruised the street daily with his walker. We often stopped to chat. He spoke of getting out of "that place". He even stopped by our house one day for a visit, checking out the possibilities. He never made it out of "that place", but only death stopped him from trying. His memory is both inspiring and sad. His spirit was inspiring, the specter of institutionalized old age was and is sad.

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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