Oodles of Rain

We have had oodles of rain. Everything is green, green green. The dragonflies are everywhere at our country house. Not only are they beautiful, they eat mosquitoes and black flies. I LOVE dragonflies; and bats, because bats eat mosquitoes too.

Attila is working today, I am not. No complaint from me!

We have plans for short trips this weekend, and a weekend is only one day long at our house. We hope to see Luna and Janus and the Grandbabies. We hope to see my Mom, and this is really important because I missed seeing her on her 80th birthday and on Mother’s Day. I had to work that day, and boy-oh-boy did I resent it.

Of course there is the week’s laundry to do over the weekend, Attila and I each need to attend to our laundry. It is imperative that it be done over the weekend, to avoid the doubled price of electricity during the week.

I am noticing a distinct shortage of breath coming up the stairs. This comes of working at a desk job for the last six weeks. Walking in the mosquito enhanced outdoors of an evening is just not going to happen. I try to pick up the mail in the mornings on my way into work, which is a short walk from the car, and to shop for things like milk and lettuce after work before I head back into the bush. Not enough exercise I fear, but certainly better than none at all. There is no place to walk at work, except to deliver paperwork, not exactly a workout.

Attila and I have been hoping that there has been rainfall at our little house in the city; our newly planted garden is on its own until we visit again, usually every two or three weeks. We have our fingers crossed.

The load limits have just come off the roads, so our firewood and the bill for the firewood should arrive soon. We are ready. Attila is ready to spend his evenings stacking wood in the woodshed and I am ready with my pen to write a cheque that will not bounce. It is all good.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

13 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 13.0°C
Dewpoint: 11.4°C
Humidity: 90 %
Wind: SSE 15 gust 30 km/h

Quote 

“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
Anatole France
1844 – 1924

Note

Anatole France

“François-Anatole Thibault, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature…”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatole_France

“During the Franco-Prussian War, France served briefly in the army, and witnessed the bloodbath at the Paris Commune in 1871…

In 1877 France married Valérie Guérin de Sauville. The marriage ended in divorce in 1893, several years after France’s liaison with Mme Arman de Caillavet (Leontine Lippmann), a patron of arts and the great love of the author…

The last fifteen years of France’s life were shadowed by personal difficulties, some of which he created himself. His daughter Suzanne died in 1917, his mistress Mme Arman, whom he started to deceive with other women as early as 1904, became seriously ill and died in 1910. He deceived his housekeeper, Emma Laprevotte, whom he later married, and an American woman whom he had deserted, killed herself in 1911.”
Source: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/afrance.htm

Brief Visit

I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle, for life to coalesce into some kind of routine, or at the very least to make a little bit of sense. It isn’t happening. Not now. Probably not anytime soon.

Working full time is very interesting. I like the people I work with. I like the work. I am still learning, and making lots of mistakes. I’m told that once I know what I’m doing I will be bored. I don’t think so. You see, it isn’t procedures and computer programs that I find particularly challenging, those are things you learn and eventually navigate mindlessly. What I find endlessly fascinating are people and how they interact with each other and the world around them. There is no shortage of people power where I work. I shan’t be bored.

Last Saturday Attila and I headed down to our little house in the city. It rained again. Attila cut the lawn again. Attila raked up clods of wet grass cuttings again. I went shopping!

I first went to Canadian Tire and used the gift card that Attila got for Christmas to purchase potting plants for the front planters. Our little house is old. In the front yard we have two charming up-cycled old tire planters. These tires were craftily cut so that little bits curl around the top edges. One of the planters has a post with electrical wiring in it. When the tree branch came down in the wind storm this spring, it fell directly on this planter, knocked the pole slantwise and dug up the planter a bit. Attila managed to bundle all the wood from the fallen branch, for curbside collection, and to section the rest into logs which we will bring home for firewood. Apple wood burns hot and long, great for the dead-of-winter burnings.

The other planter just sits aimlessly out in the middle of the front lawn.

Both planters were filled with weeds. After using a spade to turn over the soil, I spent several hours removing all the weeds and prepared the soil for planting. Petunias. I planted petunias. Not exciting, but hopefully they will fare well without much attention.

After leaving Canadian Tire I drove to WalMart. I drove into a parking lot filled with motorcycles. I drove in, and I drove out. I was very afraid I’d hit one of those motorcycles, they were everywhere. Next I tried the Home Hardware nursery. They didn’t have flats of tomato plants, but the friendly woman who worked there gave me a tip on a nursery just outside of town where I could find them. So I headed up the highway to find a delightful nursery filled with a huge variety of very healthy plants. I bought 16 tomato plants, 12 zucchini plants and twelve portulaca plants.

Attila dug up a little plot in the back yard and planted the tomatoes and zucchini. I dug up the little garden at the side of the drive, that gets full sun all day, and planted the portulaca plants there.

Terra and Lares stopped by to see us on Saturday night for a short while, and then again on Sunday after Terra got home from work. It was great to see them.

We left at sunset for the long drive home; and back to another work week.

Here it is Thursday, the time has flown.

My Internet connection is suffering some sort of summer stroke. For days now the signal has been week and intermittent. I find it very aggravating, but soon lose interest and wander away from the computer to do other things.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

13 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 13.0°C
Dewpoint: 5.0°C
Humidity: 58 %
Wind: WNW 17 gust 28 km/h

Quote 

“The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.”
Joan Rivers
1935 –

Sunshine by Proxy

Attila and I have had a busy week. We both worked as paid labour every day, which is a necessary evil in modern life, one we are fortunate to experience only because the alternative is destitution.

Attila is working today. During the winter he works only part of Saturday, but when spring arrives, bringing with it the seasonal residents, he works almost the whole day Saturday. We have now entered long-Saturday season.

On Thursday and Friday a fellow brought loads of wood with brush attached, from trees he felled on his urban back yard. Attila spent both evenings, after work and until it was dark, removing the branches and burning them, and sectioning the wood for this winter’s fuel supply. It was a nice mixture of pine and maple. The pine makes excellent kindling and the maple excellent firewood. We have ordered next winter’s firewood, and it will be delivered when the load limits come off the township roads. It feels soooo good to know there will be enough fuel to keep our masonry heater going strong all next winter.

I spent the evening last night catching up with bills and bringing order to chaos on my desk. I am doing all the little things that get passed by when one is too busy to pay attention to day-to-day life, like recharge my Kobo.

This morning there is laundry in the washing machine, in the dryer and on the bed neatly folded as I work my way through several weeks worth of neglected domestic duties. There are dishes to wash, floors to sweep and surfaces with my name written on them that are in dire need of dusting. I mean that quite literally, my name is written in the dust. And then there is the issue that the removable drive that stores my daily files is full, which means I really need to move everything on there to a removable drive with more memory. The files are important so this must be done with care, I’m not sure I’m feeling quite careful enough today!

My emotions are beginning to return to a conscious level as I adjust to having some time off work, like today. My emotional state goes underground when I must appease adversarial, unbalanced humans; my feelings return to the surface only when the pressure has passed.

This go round, the emotions that are popping up are primarily pleasurable. I find I am enjoying my friends and loved ones, the colour of the spring foliage, the antics of the birds perched on the deck railing and just about anything that catches my eye or my ear, with renewed intensity. Despite the constant rain I am experiencing sunshine by proxy. How cool is that!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

13 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 13.0°C
Dewpoint: 12.5°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: SSE 15 km/h

Quote

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;”
Alexander Pope
1688 – 1744

Note

Eloise to Abelard

“Published in 1717, Eloisa to Abelard is a poem by Alexander Pope (1688–1744). It is an Ovidian heroic epistle inspired by the 12th-century story of Héloïse’s illicit love for, and secret marriage to, her teacher Pierre Abélard, perhaps the most popular teacher and philosopher in Paris, and the brutal vengeance her family exacts when they castrate him, even though the lovers had married.
After the assault, and even though they have a child, Abélard enters a monastery and bids Eloisa do the same. She is tortured by the separation, and by her unwilling vow of silence — arguably a symbolic castration — a vow she takes with her eyes fixed on Abélard instead of on the Christian cross.
Years later, she reads Abélard’s Historia Calamitatum (History of my Misfortunes), originally a letter of consolation sent to a friend, and her passion for him reawakens. This leads to the exchange of four letters between them, in which they explore the nature of human and divine love in an effort to make sense of their personal tragedy, their incompatible male and female perspectives making the dialogue painful for both.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eloisa_to_Abelard

Spring at Last

Spring has arrived in full force! The leaves have burst out over the last week or so and are growing larger and larger, day by day. There are wonderful smells in the forest, as green things spring to life. The wild cherry blossoms have a particularly lovely scent. The black flies are atrocious and the mosquitoes thick and hungry.

On Saturday last I was out on my temporary part-time job and walked about 30 km or perhaps more. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, warm… I was drenched in deet to protect myself from the hordes of black flies and mosquitoes. I completed my list of things I was instructed to do, in ten and a three quarter hours of constant walking, no breaks, 15 minutes for lunch. I was exhausted. Enough was enough. I resigned the next morning.

So, now I have one full-time job and one part-time job. Quite enough!

Life has been busy, with work, but we have also enjoyed a few visits with people we love to see and spend time with. After ending my short relationship with the people at the temporary part-time job, Attila and I headed over to Harriet and Hogan’s cottage to enjoy a beautiful day with them. Helena, her daughter and daughter’s boy friend were there, as well as a good friend of Hogan’s. We enjoyed an excellent meal, all seated in a row on the beach, feet in the water, watching the sun set slowly in the west. Perfect! Later Helena and I enjoyed a few games of cards with Helena’s daughter and daughter’s boyfriend, good fun!

Last night Attila and I headed to Toronto to attend the CD release of Restless Wind, songs written and performed by Derek Currie. We also caught performances by Steve Paul Simms and Sam Larkin and many others. It was great! I’ve been listening to Derek’s CD all evening. We left Toronto around midnight and arrived home sometime after 2 a.m. Attila was at work by 7 a.m. this morning and I was out of the house and on the road by 7:05 a.m. We are both a little “punky” today! I drank coffee with my lunch, which I never do, but when needs must exceptions are made. I was concerned that I would fall asleep on the drive home. No worries there, I’m still wide awake and it is after 9:30 p.m. now!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9 °C
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: 9.0°C
Dewpoint: 8.4°C
Humidity: 96 %
Wind: 13 km/h

Quote

“Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.”
Sir Arthur Eddington
1882 – 1944

Note

Sir Arthur Eddington

“British astrophysicist of the early 20th century. The Eddington limit, the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, or the radiation generated by accretion onto a compact object, is named in his honour.
He is famous for his work regarding the Theory of Relativity. Eddington wrote a number of articles which announced and explained Einstein’s theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. World War I severed many lines of scientific communication and new developments in German science were not well known in England. He also conducted an expedition to observe the Solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 that provided one of the earliest confirmations of relativity, and he became known for his popular expositions and interpretations of the theory…

The mind-stuff of the world is, of course, something more general than our individual conscious minds…. The mind-stuff is not spread in space and time; these are part of the cyclic scheme ultimately derived out of it…. It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness…. Consciousness is not sharply defined, but fades into subconsciousness; and beyond that we must postulate something indefinite but yet continuous with our mental nature…. It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny that mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience, and all else is remote inference.”
—Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 276-81.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Eddington

Not much exciting…

OK, I had a day off last week, Sunday. I spent it picking up sopping grass patties from the yard and nodding off while Attila drove to and from the little house in the city.

Here it is, the long weekend. The roads are packed with travelers coming to our neck of the woods. The stores are busy. The population here is about to swell one hundred fold. [Oops, I almost forgot to mention the private planes used by some of the cottage owners to ferry themselves back and forth from their other residences to their lakeside estates, one just noisily flew overhead, how could I forget them!]

I’ll be working. Attila will be working. I’ll be struggling to get as much work done as I can, so that I might get a day off by Monday. This is the last really big push at my new part-time job, then it will wind down slowly and end by the summer. May has been a crazy month.

The bills are paid.

Life is good.

I’m not aware of much these days, as I seldom come up for air, working, working, working.

Our world smells wonderful just now. It has been a sunny, warm day. Attila is taking advantage of it and is mowing the lawn here at the country house, for the first time this year. I do not envy him, as I suspect that he is stirring up the black flies as he goes. People say they are atrocious this year. I’ve a few whopping big bites to prove it!

The mosquitoes have arrived as well. When I stand near the sliding glass door, just on the other side of the screen there are a good many of those lightweights pressing their hopeful proboscises against the wire, praying for personal contact. A few have managed to find their way into the house, even into the bedroom. Soon we will be spending time at the end of each day hunting them down before we try to sleep.

A bit of luck has come our way. Attila found a used window for $20, which will replace the large basement window at our little house in the city. This is a blessing, as the present window is barely holding together and has no insulation value at all. In fact, the wind blows right through all its various cracks and fissures. The new window should help keep heating costs down next winter, and allow us to have an open window in the basement during the summer; it has a built in screen!

So, not much exciting going on here. We sleep, then we eat, then we go to work, then we come home, then we eat, then I work again and Attila tends to firewood and the yardwork, then we sleep… and on it goes.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23 °C
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.0°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 58 %
Wind: W 17 km/h
Humidex: 27

Quote 

“The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.”
Paul Tillich
1886 – 1965

Note

Paul Tillich

“a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century…

Tillich was a Professor of Theology at the University of Dresden and the University of Leipzig. He held the same post at the University of Frankfurt during 1929-33.
While at Frankfurt, Tillich gave public lectures and speeches throughout Germany that brought him into conflict with the Nazi movement. When Hitler became German Chancellor in 1933, Tillich was dismissed from his position…”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tillich