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.

A Winter Day


Another day dawns.  It is very cold at night.  Attila’s efforts last night with the fire downstairs warmed the second floor to a comfortable temperature.  Downstairs it has cooled down again, but remains above freezing.

This morning Attila forgot to open the damper on the masonry fireplace, during the morning firing.  It did not become apparent until the smell came to my attention.  I think it was the lower chimney pipe super heating, probably the painted finish off-gassing.  The problem was remedied immediately when Attila opened the damper.  Luckily we opted for a partial damper, which allows some heat and gas to escape even when the damper is closed.  We have been running the air cleaners this morning.  Small things can escalate, one must be diligent.  We have been heating with this masonry heater for about six years now, in northern Ontario where it is can get very cold in the winter.

Healthy Houseplant in the North West Window

Healthy Houseplant in the North West Window

It is beautifully cold.  When it is this cold, the snow glitters in the headlights, as Attila leaves for work, predawn.

That’s it for the morning, off to work!

P. M.

For some reason I had a craving for eggs at lunch time.  So, lunch consisted of two eggs fried in olive oil, served on a piece of toasted whole wheat bread, spread with dressing and a slice of fat free cheese.  Why the craving for eggs?  No idea, but I felt much better for having eaten eggs for lunch.

Mist and I spent a quiet afternoon curled up, me on the easy chair with my Kobo and Mist in her wicker basket in front of the fireplace.  She slept soundly, I nodded off from time to time.



Last night, I received a missive that put my own small troubles into perspective.  A friend wrote that her husband, also a friend, has entered palliative care.  He has been battling cancer since the summer months.  Attila and I are thinking of them both.

Attila and I are getting ready for work.  We have had our coffee and cuddle with Mist in front of the morning’s fire.  Time to get down to the business of breakfast, shower, making lunch, getting dressed and gathering all the paraphernalia needed for a day away from home.  Attila has cleared the snow from my car, and warmed it up for me; such a nice perk in the morning!

In theory I’ll be home to watch a midday firing of the masonry heater.  This is needed as the temperature is now dipping below -15C at night on a regular basis.  Mist will be waiting for me, I know, sitting strategically in front of the fireplace with a enquiring look on her face.

Morning Inspiration


Cold!  The house is getting chilly.  Attila is out chopping wood to build a fire in the little wood stove downstairs, and for the third firing of the masonry fireplace upstairs.  When I came home at lunch time Mist came and sat down beside and yelled her concerns.  Mist is deaf you see, she yells as loud as she can and apart from the vibration of her own voice, I don’t think she can fathom the decibels.

This afternoon I received a call in regards to one of the resumes I sent out last week.  The call came as a shock, I can tell you.  At first I was pleasant, polite and very confused.  Recovering quickly I responded to questions and arranged to write a test and attend an interview later this week.  This is temporary employment, evenings and weekends, not ideal, but it might work out.  In reality anything that pays the bills might be considered as “working out”.

All in all, a very good day at our house.