Our Christmas Tree stays up until the last week of January. We like the lights, the scent of pine, the colours, the sparkle of tinsel. Once Christmas itself has passed, the tree takes on a completely different feel. The branches and needles become a natural presence in the room.
Our Christmas Tree, after it moves from the house to the back yard at the end of the month, will become base material for a hugelkulture raised garden bed in the spring.
My crocheted blanket is coming along again. With the wintry weather the house feels cooler, so that it is possible to comfortably sit with the blanket draped across my lap as I work on it.
The book I am reading is a slow read. Kristen Lavransdatter is a very intense book. It describes medieval Norway, and during that period of time the Church was a dominant force on the social and physical landscape. I find organized religion a plodding affair, so that the philosophical challenges faced by some of the characters are shrouded by the paradigms of the times. I learn new things as I lumber from page to page, so I continue to find it interesting.
Over the last few months I have taken to purchasing marked down organic bananas. Although their outward appearance is questionable, almost all offer unblemished fruit. I remove the peels, place them on cookie sheets, freeze them, remove them from the cookie sheets, place them in plastic bags, seal the bags, and freeze them in the chest freezer.
In the mornings I have been enjoying a breakfast of toast and peanut butter, and a banana smoothie made with lactose free milk. I had been making my way to the basement every morning, to fetch a frozen banana. For convenience, I decided to put one of the bags of frozen bananas in the freezer section of the refrigerator in the kitchen. To my surprise they have not kept all that well in the refrigerator freezer. It isn’t cold enough I think. They are frozen, but browning over time, and slimy to the touch.
The banana situation brought my attention to the quality of the refrigerator. It does the job, and has done since 2014 when it was purchased. We did not live at Mist Cottage then, it was a second property, so the chosen appliance was the least expensive available on the market at the time. It has its challenges, we don’t love it, but it does the job. We will use it for as long as it keeps working. But, when the time comes to replace it, as that time must come, I have an additional criteria to use for choosing a new refrigerator: a refrigerator freezer with temperature control if possible, or one that has a reputation for having a great freezer compartment.
I am going back to storing my frozen bananas in the chest freezer in the basement, and will make the morning trip up and down the stairs to fetch a satisfactorily frozen banana.
Given the state of current events in the big wide world, I choose to focus on the things I can do something about. There are sometimes assumptions made about this kind of choice. “Head in the sand”, comes to mind. I have been subjected to criticism at times, for not being actively and continuously outraged and reactive to the machinations of the powerful. I act when opportunities for effective action arise. I do not find these opportunities, I am merely open to their existence, receptive to the possibilities, and they find me. I contribute when my energy will further what I consider to be progress towards a better world. What I consider to be progress towards a better world is informed by a lifetime of observations, a LOT of experience, and a LOT of education. When I do act, it is largely invisible to the world around me, which is the way I like it. I know I have made a difference. I don’t have to prove it to anyone, and I don’t need an audience.
My advice to all is, “be the butterfly“.
Date: 8:00 AM EST Friday 11 January 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Dew point: -22.1°C
Wind: NW 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -26
Visibility: 24 km
“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000