April Snow Showers

April Snow Showers

It was raining when I arose early this morning. The earth and things that grow in the earth needed the moisture, it was getting very dry. Shortly before 10:00 a.m. the rain turned to sleet, and then soon thereafter into snow. The snow melted on contact, there was no accumulation. The wind came up, and it was biting cold outside. By noon the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but it was still just above freezing. By the time Attila was awake and moving around the wind had died down and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Last Friday Attila split and transplanted three lilac bushes. The idea is to have them growing between our yard and view across the back neighbour’s yard out to the street on the other side. Attila also transplanted day lilies to a spot along the back fence, and prepared a sunny bed at the back of the yard for the Irises, which we transplanted from the front of the house when we had the perimeter of the basement dug up. We want to plant vegetables in the garden this year, so the Irises are being moved yet again. The snow and the rain were a welcome event, now all the transplants have had a good soaking in their new locations.

While grocery shopping Attila stopped to look at sweets. Oh dear, I have been neglecting him! I mentioned to him that I could bake him something sweet, and he readily opted for the home baked goodies. This afternoon I baked Blueberry Squares, one of Attila’s favourites.

My diet altered when I received the false diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease, and I have to say it altered for the better. I now keep containers of cooked rice, macaroni, peas and corn, and beans and carrots in the refrigerator. I eat one cup of vegetables mixed with a half a cup of either rice or macaroni. To this mixture I add two teaspoons of olive oil and either two tablespoons of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, or two teaspoons of Roasted Garlic and Peppers herb mixture. I eat whatever combination suits my fancy for breakfast and lunch, so that I am eating two cups of vegetables every day, at a minimum. The olive oil is an important element of the dish, as it gives the meal lasting power, as fat digests slowly. Eventually I will try additional kinds of herbs or sauces. These ingredients make for quick and easy meals, and offer a lot of on-the-spot variations.

The Sweet Thai Chili Sauce that we have on hand contains Potassium Sorbate and glucose/fructose, both of which I have decided to avoid when possible. I have found a recipe to make my own Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, without any preservatives or glucose/fructose, and I am looking forward to giving it a try when the current supply is gone.

I love pastries, and the grocery store always has quite a selection. Attila and I were looking at the labels on the pastries today, they all contained glucose/fructose, paragraphs of chemicals, and the calorie count was shocking. I have decided that a Muesli bun, at 220 calories, with a little margarine and honey on it, will suit me just as well, be much lower in calories, have fewer chemicals in it, and be more nutritious than any of the pastries we saw in the store.

We are back to making our homemade pizza every once and a while, one large pizza will serve as two meals. I like to make the pizza for the night before we are to head for the Rideau Camp. The next evening, when we arrive home from the Camp, tired and ready for a meal, Attila makes a salad, and I heat up the pizza. Perfect.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:42 AM EDT Tuesday 26 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 11 km
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.9°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNE 31 gust 50 km/h
Wind Chill: -7


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin
1809 – 1882

Why the narrowness of greed might eventually die out in the human species, if we last long enough.


  1. This entry was certainly chock full of good idea… and things for me to look up and investigate. Especially the muesli bun? That’s a new one to me. Also, that chili sauce sounds interesting… Thanks!

  2. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Attila’s changes to your yard sound like they’ll make for a pleasant view with a lilac hedge. Lilacs are one of my favorite plants. Love the flowers and the scent!

    Maybe I’m mistaken but I thought you had a small vegetable garden at Mist cottage last year?

    We’re looking at putting in a small raised garden bed this year. We don’t have a real feel, however, for when it will be safe to plant so DH isn’t ready to pull things together, yet. We might have to order one of those large bags of a yard of soil soon, though. I mean – and I surprised myself in thinking this – it’s almost May!

    Your breakfast/lunch reminds me of one of my favorite lunches, pasta salad. I use cooked pasta and usually frozen veggies, adding in fresh veggies to extend the salad. I usually have that with a bottled Italian style or ranch dressing, depending on my taste that day.

    I realize you’re having problems with ingredients in your salad dressing. Have you looked at Newman’s Own salad dressings? They try pretty hard to keep preservatives out of most, though not all, of their foods. Their ingredient info is available online.

  3. Bex, the Muesli morning rounds are made by a Canadian company, and they also sell them in the US. Their web site is: http://ozerybakery.com I love these things, because I can eat them as a snack as is, right out of the bag, and they are good for me.

    The Sweet Thai Chili Sauce is a recent discovery for me, and I love it. The advantage to making it myself will be no chemicals, reduced sodium, and no glucose/fructose. I have found a bunch of recipes online for it, so it is something I am looking forward to. If you try making it before I do post your findings on your blog please, 🙂

  4. Teri, we did have a small vegetable garden at Mist Cottage last summer, but we didn’t live here then and it suffered from lack of attention. We did get a good crop of green string beans and squash though, despite our neglect. This year we aren’t expanding it too much, but will definitely be growing green beans again. My sister-the middle-girl gave us some garlic bulbs and seeds to plant. Attila put them in last fall and they are thriving. The bulbs will be ready this year and the seeds next year. The three surviving rhubarb plants are also thriving, we love our rhubarb.

    Raised beds are such a great idea! I like that it is easier to bend down to them for weeding etc. and that the weeds from the surrounding yard don’t get to grow right into them, as they can with ground level gardens. I had always heard that it isn’t wise to put plants in until after the danger of frost is past, after the 24th of May weekend is what we go by. The annuals just come up when they are ready, of course. Seeds can go in earlier depending on the estimated time that they will come up.

    Thanks for the tip on the Newman’s Own Salad Dressing, something to remember is someone else is shopping for a meal that they want me to be able to eat. I am extremely happy with my experimental salad dressing, and will stick with that, as it costs almost nothing to put together, the honey is the most expensive ingredient.

    May! Yep almost here. 🙂

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Something occurred to me this morning about your salad dressing, Maggie. I remember reading that people who take apple cider vinegar each day have to be careful due to it dissolving tooth enamel. You might want to look into that, in case you start using your recipe often.

  6. Teri, thanks for the heads up. From what I can decipher, all acids present the same problem, white vinegar, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. I guess the trick is not to brush your teeth right away. Since salad is eaten first at mealtime here, I think we are as safe as we can be eating salad dressing.

    From the Mayo Clinic:
    “When and how often should you brush your teeth?

    Answers from Alan Carr, D.M.D.
    The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day.

    When you brush your teeth, you help remove food and plaque — a sticky film that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria. After you eat a meal or snack that contains sugar, the bacteria can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can break down tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Plaque that isn’t removed also can harden into tartar, making it harder to keep teeth clean.

    In choosing when to brush your teeth, you might also consider your diet. If you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink, avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel. If you know you’re going to eat or drink something acidic, brush your teeth beforehand.

    In addition to brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association recommends that you:

    Floss daily
    Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks
    Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed”
    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193

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