Contemplating Change

The summer season is not yet in full swing, as far a seasonal residents are concerned. Although there is talk in the media of an economic recovery in Canada, all we can see from our little perch is that the wealthy continue to build monuments to their own comfort, and there is a LOT of activity in that sector of the economy, while everyone else cuts back trying to survive the times.

Ontario Wetland

Ontario Wetland

The corporation where I am on six-day-a-week call, is busy cutting positions and hours.  This creates tension in the work force.  I am really noticing it, being at the very bottom of the pecking order.  A call came in on Tuesday afternoon, asking me to work for 3 hours on Wednesday morning.  I accepted.  My fellow worker spent the first two hours trying to persuade me to find another job, within the corporation of course.  Then she went for lunch.  All this pressure was exerted under the guise of “looking out for me”.  Transparent.  No one looks out for anyone but themselves, in the culture this organization has created.

She didn’t give up until I grumbled about my lack of hours and stated that I was looking for something else.  She wants me out of there because there aren’t enough hours for both of us, well, there aren’t even enough hours for one of us.  I blame the corporation and the union, but I don’t blame her.  The employees at the corporation are being squeezed, and they react.  I react.

This morning it is quite cool and the sun is shining.  We have had a lot of rain lately, so our little winged friends are numerous and hungry.  The weather report predicts a high of 27C today.  Hot weather diminishes the mosquito population.  Relief.

The house needs a good dusting and straightening, which it will get today. I’ve made a good start this morning and will divide my time between the keyboard and the chores.

The scent of change is in the air.  The thing about change is that you never really know where it will take you.  I’m not sure what it is I’m detecting, on an organic level, but it does seem positive.  Of course, I find all change frightening, exhilarating and exhausting.  Whatever it is though, there is nothing for it but to follow my nose and hope for the best.

Worldly Distractions

Quote
“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”
Aesop
(620 BC – 560 BC)

Weather
16 °C
Condition:Sunny
Pressure:101.8 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:16.0°C
Dewpoint:11.0°C
Humidity:72 %
Wind:NNW 21 km/h

Time

This morning I had to take the car in for a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment. It is a one hour drive there and a one hour drive back. My mind tends to take off on tangents when I’m driving for any length of time; today the tangent was all about time.

Two Feet and a Geranium

Two Feet and a Geranium

I was thinking that all life really consists of is: what was, what is, and what will be. All of these aspects of time are subject to perception, perspective and interpretation. However, the only aspect that we can influence is “what is”, the present, the fleeting moment of consciousness that we experience as the now.

Sometimes my “what is” is saturated with “what was”. There are moments that come to me from the past, rich in emotion. These moments can capture me completely, so much so that I long to return to that place and time, to wrap myself in its warmth and certainty.

At other times the “what will be” will crowd out the present, sometimes with uncertainty, sometimes with anticipation.

Only the present moment offers the opportunity for redemption. It is often difficult to remain loyal to the “what is”, with all its terrors and treasures. It is the most difficult aspect of time to subjugate, susceptible to the vagaries of chaos. One can write/rewrite history. One can predict the future. But the moment of “what is” cannot be gathered into words and power so easily, it slips into what “has been” before we can fully grasp its meaning or wield its power.

The world around me focuses primarily on the writing and rewriting of the “what was”, with what seems like the sole purpose of dictating the “what will be”, to a vested interest. Perhaps the world needs a little more of the “what is”.

Worldly Distractions

Quote
“One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.”
George Eliot (1819 – 1880)

Weather
24 °C
Condition:Mainly Sunny
Pressure:102.0 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:24.0°C
Dewpoint:1.2°C
Humidity:22 %
Wind:SE 5 km/h

Curious George

9:00 a.m.

Learning something new is always of interest to an information pack-rat, which might describe me.  I’m off this morning to the first (and probably final) session of training on my own time and at my own expense.  I will confess that the primary reason I’ve not called them to cancel is that I wonder what the job entails.  Always intrigued by new learning opportunities, I just have to find out what it is all about.  I don’t trust assumptions, so I’ll suspend disbelief for the morning and see what I find.

And thinking of exploration, Attila and I have decided to go on a road tour late in the autumn. We will pack a tent and some sleeping bags, load up our cooler and our propane stove and head out.  I’ll take a break from waiting for calls to work, and Attila will take a break from his six day a week grind.  This is the plan.  Now that we have a plan we can safely assume that fate will step in to show us who is in charge of the universe; not us I think.

Attila finished the under-the-stair-landing project, so the closet contents can be returned to their proper place.  Yesterday Attila also painted one quarter of the soffit and fascia. Rather than climb to the top of a ladder to the top of the second story of the house, Attila bought an extension pole and created two attachments in addition to the roller attachment that came with the pole.  One attachment was made from a roller attachment, a BBQ scraper and duct tape; this he used to remove the flaking paint before priming.  The other attachment Attila created was made from a roller attachment, a paint brush and duct tape; he used this to paint the small spaces that could not be reached with a roller attachment.  Very ingenious and it worked very well indeed.

I’ve been busy with the transition of this site to a WordPress format.  I’ll leave it in its present state for now, see how it works before putting any more time into it.

6:00 p.m.

The training session confirmed that the corporation is not willing to provide adequate recompense for the work they want done, at least in my opinion.  Too bad, because I really enjoyed the work today, and really liked the woman I would have been working with.  If I didn’t need to pay bills and support myself, if I only needed to while away my hours, I definitely would have enjoyed spending time at this job.  I turned it down.

I received a letter about the resume I dropped off the other day.  They are going to call me to setup an interview in the next few weeks.  Maybe this interview is just another learning experience, or maybe it will offer more, we shall see.

We are having a quick spaghetti supper before Attila gets out his extension pole and paint brush again.  The soffit and fascia already look better and the job is only partially completed!

Worldly Distractions

Quote

“I have you and even if we never meet or ever see each other, we have left our thumbprints in the thick, moist clay of each other’s lives.”
Hugh Elliott

Weather
20C
Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:20°C
Dewpoint:11.8°C
Humidity:59%
Wind:N 13  km/h

A Good Day

Here I am again.  This new venue is easier to post from and more difficult to post from.

Attila working under the stair landing.

Attila under the stairs.

It is easier to post from because the coding is already there, all I have to do is type and then click on Publish and the deed is done.

It is more difficult because it feels different, more distant, less my own.  That is because I have less control over this type of digital interface than I did with the hand-coded web site.  I don’t entirely trust this way of doing things, not in the long term.  That is because I have no intention of becoming a server software power user or a database/php guru.  If problems arise with those functions, I’ll be helpless to fix them myself.  My entries might be lost to me, forever.  I don’t trust database backups, because I don’t know how to restore the backup to its original glory.

This morning Attila and I sat over our morning coffee and discussed our game plan for the day.  I made a list of odd jobs I could accomplish, and suggested that he finish the job he started last week.  I wouldn’t normally press Attila on finishing a project, but this one involved emptying out a closet onto the family room floor.  I won’t be able to tolerate that mess for very long and it is in a high traffic area so it cannot remain “out of sight, out of mind”.  Nothing for it but to get the job done.

After a quick breakfast Attila and I tackled emptying the last shelf in the closet, so that he could crawl into the small space under the stair landing.  It is damp in there, and it smells musty.

The day I took possession of this house I found multiple mouse traps and dead mice in that little space under the landing.  The smell was intolerable.  We cleaned that out and haven’t looked at it since.  The mice are long gone, the bad smell a memory, but the mustiness remains.  Attila is adjusting the vapour barrier, the insulation and putting wallboard over the studs this morning.  He has already installed a grate in the stair riser so that fresh air will circulate and damp can escape.

Our 25 year old dehumidifier expired of old age a few weeks ago.  I bought a new one last week, one of the two left at the store.  It is doing its magic downstairs, removing the dampness from underneath the stair landing, slowly but surely.

We plan on packing up our Swede Saw and heading over to Caitrìona’s property later today. There is maple sapling, a very stubborn maple sapling, growing up under the side porch. Attila will crawl under the porch and remove the stump and most of the root.  We will also fetch water, as it is spring fed and makes excellent drinking water.

The sky is overcast this morning, but with any luck the sun will break through by this afternoon, making it a pleasant day for a drive.

Yesterday Harriet and I chatted over Skype.  Skype is not perfect, but it is so much more satisfying than email, chat, texting or telephone contact.  The biggest problem with Skype is that Harriet couldn’t share her dessert with me, and it did look good!

Worldly Distractions

Quote

“Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.”
Anatole France
(1844 – 1924)

Weather

16C
Cloudy
Pressure:101.5 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:16.0°C
Dewpoint:12.8°C
Humidity:81 %
Wind:NE 5 km/h

Adjusting My Set

I’m on my way!

Iris in June

Iris in the June Garden

I’ve added a few of my own graphics to the site design and am now beginning to experiment with submitting entries.  The archives will remain on my static web site, as will my recipes, list of people I refer to (Cast), poetry and photography: all listed in the column to the right of this entry, under Favorites.

I’ll be testing these functions and pondering on the boring details of how to get things done; at least for a while.

Yesterday, before the rain started, I took a little tour of the garden. From a distance, this iris is hardly noticed.  How glad I was to have taken a closer look!

Attila works today, we are both working next Saturday.  I don’t mind working on a Saturday when Attila is working on Saturday, why not!  However, when Attila has one of his few two-day weekends I intend to be here at home with him.  I think his next weekend off is in August, and we are both looking forward to it.

We are in need of supplies, so a jaunt to the grocery store is in order at some point this weekend. We can drive 35 km to a centre with a few retail outlets, or drive 60 km to a centre with all the retail outlets we need to visit.  Those are our choices.  In our part of the country shops and services are few and far between, so one must make an outing of every shopping trip, and make sure to make a list and attain everything on it.

Of course there are shops in the local village, closer to our home.  These shops are meant to serve the seasonal residents and the prices are well beyond our means.  We don’t actually need to buy the most expensive cuts of meat available in Canada, or “exotic” foods like fresh salmon, smoked trout and imported cheeses.  The market is small in this little village, for tough cuts of meat (the ones we can afford) or sale items such as you see in chain grocery stores.  The difference in the price of a bag of milk, between our little local grocery and the nearest chain store 35 km away, is enough to pay for the fuel to travel 35 km times two.

In the summer this outing to purchase food and supplies is a source of pleasure.  In the winter it is another matter altogether.

Yesterday, despite my better judgement, I delivered a resume to a local business advertising for an office manager.  Sigh.  I want to give up, but something in me just keeps on trying to survive!  It will only take one tiny bit of good luck, just one thin wafer of good fortune, to put us back on our feet. Funny old world!

Worldly Distractions

On The Screen

Antonia’s Line

The DVD was defective, so we watched this video in two parts.  The first part we watched via the DVD player on the television set.  Then we watched the remainer of the movie on my computer, because the computer software was able to detect and skip the damaged area of the DVD.

Quote

“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”

Andy Rooney 1919-

Weather

14C
Condition:Cloudy
Pressure:101.6 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:14.0°C
Dewpoint:13.0°C
Humidity:94 %
Wind:ESE 11 km/h