Snow is very amusing.

<whinge session>

The weather report is still forecasting very cold overnight temperatures for the weekend. $%^*#$I&*  It looks like grocery shopping in the nearest town may be the only recreational activity we manage for the month of January!  I think that a trip to the little house in the city is mandatory during February, we will need to MAKE it happen despite weather conditions.

I think living in the country would be quite pleasant if one had affordable access to transportation, central heating and adequate time and funds to travel the distances required to make desirable social contact when the weather allowed.  Just a theory.

Harriet and I were talking about how difficult it must have been for rural ancestors who heated with wood stoves.  Then I realized that in those days most rural dwellings did not have indoor plumbing.  If the temperature inside the house dipped below freezing there were no pipes to freeze.  One could leave the building for extended periods of time with impunity; attending local church and social functions was viable and common.

The idea of eliminating indoor plumbing to facilitate winter travel is not appealing.

Glad to get that off my chest.

</whinge session>

Today’s to-do list is long and arduous.  Telephone calls to banks and lawyers are worse than dentist appointments to my way of thinking.  One of my favorite things about childhood was that somebody else worried about mortgage payments, taxes, car payments, insurance payments, heating bills, grocery shopping etc.  Oh, the bliss and innocence of being provided for!  Thanks Mom!

Interesting Things To Do in the Bush During the Winter

  1. Lie in the snow and stare up at the sky.
  2. Make snow angels in the snow.
  3. Get exercise by walking through deep snow.
  4. Roll down hills in the snow.
  5. Eat white snow; avoid yellow snow.
  6. Make snowmen- locally not considered sane behavior unless children are in residence.
  7. Throw a snowball at Attila – don’t try this, not a good idea, trust me.
  8. Stand at the window and watch the snow fall.
  9. Stand at the window and watch the snow sparkle in the sun.
  10. Melt snow on the wood stove for water when the power goes out and the pump doesn’t work.
  11. Clear the snow off the wood pile before bringing in the wood.
  12. Shovel the snow from the drive.
  13. Shovel the huge pile of snow from the end of the driveway when the snowplow goes by.
  14. Shovel the snow from the deck, after all the snow on the roof falls on the deck.
  15. Brush all the snow off the car, then scrape the ice off the windshield before travel.
  16. Watch the snow fall off tall tress when the wind blows.
  17. Stay home when it is cold, snows hard and the wind blows, bad roads and visibility.

I could go on.  Snow is very amusing.

It is possible my whinge delimiters were misplaced.

Worldly Distractions


-3 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 4 km
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dewpoint: -3.3°C
Humidity: 98 %
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -8


“There must be more to life than having everything.”
Maurice Sendak (1928 – )

Tens of thousands of people…

I woke up stiff this morning.  It does not happen all that often, but this morning I could barely make it into and out of the easy chair in front of the fire.  Nothing for it but to stand up and do some stretching exercises and take some painkillers before breakfast!  A half hour later things felt much better; ready for a morning of hard physical labour.

The ball-bearings in my pull out keyboard tray are not just falling out, they are flying out and ricocheting off me, the lamp and the filing cabinet.  At first Attila and I thought they were being fired by the ceiling fan, which would have been very bad news indeed because it would have to be replaced.  However, the pull out try for the keyboard is not something we would bother to replace.  In fact, the desk here is far too large and cumbersome for the space we live in and if it had to be replaced neither Attila or I would grieve the loss.  I anticipate that the keyboard tray will function indefinitely without it’s ball-bearings.

The weather report for the week indicates that there is another cold snap coming next weekend.  That would mean another postponement of the visit to our little house in the city.  The combination of one day off work a week and winter weather conspire to create significant isolation.  I find myself feeling angry that our visit may have to be postponed two weekends in a row!  Who is there to be angry with, well no one!  That is what makes it so frustrating.

The food labeling “write-in” continues and all support is appreciated:  I have to admit that I am shocked that there are not tens of thousands of people supporting this, it is so basic and obvious that we all need to know what is in the food we eat.  And example of this is a notice I received:

“Circle City Marketing and Distributing doing business as Candy Dynamics, Indianapolis, IN, is issuing a voluntary recall of all Toxic Waste® brand Nuclear Sludge® Chew Bars, all flavors, Net wt. 0.7 oz (20 g) package. The product is imported from Pakistan.

A recent test performed by the California Department of Public Health has indicated that a lot (#8288A) of the cherry flavor of the above-listed product contains elevated levels of lead (0.24 parts per million; the U.S. FDA tolerance is 0.1 ppm) that potentially could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women.”


Thank goodness the California Department of Public Health is watching out for us up here in Canada!

Worldly Distractions


-22 °C
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -22.0°C
Dewpoint: -24.4°C
Humidity: 81 %
Wind: SE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -29


“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”
Robert Maynard Hutchins

Food, glorious food!

Sun and cold, Attila figures the two are inseparable.  It is currently -17C, with a bit of a breeze.  Could be colder, and will be tonight.

I’ve spent my morning pondering wills, my own and Attila’s to be exact. I hate thinking about my own end, or Attila’s, but for the sake of other’s we need to consider these things now, while we still can. I’ll be irritable until this issue has been dealt with and can be forgotten.

Since we are stuck at home this weekend, Attila decided to make our time special by cooking some of our favorite meals. On Friday night he prepared sweet and sour chicken on rice. On Saturday he prepared a pizza with all our favorite toppings. Tonight he is preparing Coquille Saint Jacques, one of my all time favorites.

The chicken dish is made from a recipe I found on the Internet; it includes diced carrots and onions, vegetables! The pizza was made with a partially cooked crust I made last week. We weren’t all that pleased with the crust; the partial baking before it was frozen left it thick and lumpy and the toppings rolled off easily. The frozen pre-baked pizza dough technique needs tweaking. The scallop dish for tonight will be made from another recipe that I found on the Internet. Attila asked me for a recipe for Coquille Saint Jacques after learning how much I had liked it before the sudden onset of my allergy. I am very lucky that I can still eat some foods that I used to love, without having to cook all of them myself!

This afternoon we are watching Amélie, a movie we have seen before and enjoyed very much. It is an amusing tale about eccentric people.

Harriet and I had a nice chat this morning. We switched from the telephone to Skype at one point; face to face conversations are so much more satisfying than telephone conversations. All is well in Harriet’s world, all is well in our world. It is amazing how much we can talk when there is nothing exciting to talk about. We do not gossip, or try to generate excitement in any other artificial way.

The Kobo needed charging this afternoon, it takes hours when you let it run itself out. The blue light is on, time to read!

Worldly Distractions


-17 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: -17.0°C
Dewpoint: -22.1°C
Humidity: 65 %
Wind: WNW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -26


“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”
Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Work, winter and not much else…

Yesterday I received news that the gentleman who ran the shop where I used to work passed away.  He fell ill last summer with cancer.  He was only in his early fifties. I feel so sad for his wife, they were married less than two years ago and were so happy.  God speed my friend.

Work went well all week, much to my surprise and delight.  I work tomorrow morning, and again Monday and Tuesday.  I’m pretty tired these days, the kind of tired that feels good because it is well earned.

Attila and I were going to visit our little house in the city this Saturday, but the temperature is dipping so low at night, here in the country, that we need to stay close to home to keep the hearth fire burning.  Oh for central heating!

One of the nice things about the cold weather is that our bedroom becomes quite cool.  Whatever the reason, we both sleep soundly when it is quite cool in the bedroom.  We have an old “eiderdown” made of synthetic fibre that I’ve had for over thirty years.  It keeps us snug and warm when the temperature in our country house dips, during a cold snap.

My Kobo is a real source of enjoyment.  Currently I am reading Six Moon Dance by Sherri S. Tepper, which I borrowed from the library’s online service.  Many libraries access this single resource and much of the time the selection available for borrowing is limited.  Luckily I can put books on hold.  Another source for eBooks is the Gutenberg Project, which offers a large selection of books with expired copyrights.

The “write-in” for food labeling in Canada is still going strong,  I’ll keep linking to this campaign until it is completed, as the issue is such an important one in my life.

Worldly Distractions


-11 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -11.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.1°C
Humidity: 92 %
Wind: SE 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -13


“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Oscar Wilde
1854 – 1900

My life is worth more than their profits.

Here it is, Thursday already!  So far, so good at work; an unexpected and welcome turn of events.  If this continues I will have to rename my negative coworker!

The job interview and test went well yesterday afternoon.  I don’t expect to hear anything back from them for weeks and weeks; better to know this will happen than to wonder.  That possibility will go on the back burner until further notice.  A response to another application I sent out was bluntly rejected.  However, the fact that feedback was offered is something to be appreciated in this day and age.

It has been cold here, but not as cold as it has been in other parts of Canada.  We have snow here, but not as much snow as they have in other parts of Canada.  Attila is kept busy with splitting wood and building fires.  He is keeping Mist and I warm and comfortable.  My desk is near the outer wall of the house, well away from the masonry fireplace, so that I must bundle up well to sit for any length of time, as it is quite chilly.  I could move the furniture around, but have yet to envision a functional configuration.  Fortunately, I’ve lots of warm sweaters, socks and slippers to keep me snug.

Terra has a birthday this week, Happy Birthday Terra!  The past year has been a very good one for Terra, she accomplished a lot: she graduated and found a great job (although not perfect yet).

I need help from fellow Canadians.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have anaphylaxis.  Food labeling is a life or death issue for me, and others.  The new labeling laws in Canada have not been passed yet and I need help.  I will be submitting my views to Minister Stockwell Day, the President of the Treasury Board, and to Prime Minister Stephen Harper using this reliable and respectable web site:  The Finance Canada And Treasury Board Secretariat has already viewed this entry, very quick to monitor public reaction.  It would be great if other bloggers included this link for their readers.

Spread the word if you can.

As far as I can tell, it is the food industry that is lobbying against labeling laws.  My life is worth more than their profits.