Let It Snow

Driving can be fun, it all depends on the context.  Lately the roads have been bad, and I’ve needed to arrive in places on time.  This morning the roads were snow packed, packed down into sheets of white ice that is.  Driving was very, very slow. In addition to icy roads were snow squalls, which reduce visibility considerably.  I arrived safely, but it took me almost an hour and a half to get there.

The trip home had me worried.  My day was spent at a course to obtain my CPR and First Aid Certificates.  The drive to the course was not much fun, as I’ve described, and the snow kept billowing out of the sky during much of the morning and afternoon.  As four o’clock neared I began to fidget, I just couldn’t stop worrying about having to drive after dark on those icy roads with poor visibility.  I wanted to go home.  At 3:45 the instructor dismissed the class early, much to my relief.  The drive home was very, very bad for about 20 km and then gradually the roads improved and the snow diminished and then stopped altogether.  I arrived home safely just as it was beginning to get dark, around five o’clock.

Tomorrow the weather will be much less severe, if the weather reports are accurate.

On Saturday I am working in the morning at a new location.  This is a big deal, because there are a lot of new procedures I have to learn and employ in the three hours I’ll be there.  Still, it is a very positive atmosphere at that location and I am looking forward to it very much.  I’ll get three hours this Saturday and three hours next Saturday, and that is all the work on offer for this month.

Comfort food is very welcome this time of year.  Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, and tonight it was the perfect solution to a long day.

Attila has the fire lit, Mist is sleeping in her basket and I am entering some family history information into my database.  A perfect evening so far.

Worldly Distractions


Snow Squall Watch In Effect
-1 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.4°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: SW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -4


“The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.”
620 BC – 560 BC


Where did November go!?!

Other than my negative co-worker, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people who work for the same company.  One of them told me about a program for older workers, which I investigated and signed up for.  I attend the program full time, it is very rigorous.  There is even a small amount of remuneration, which is going to “save our bacon”.

There is always something new to learn.  I’ve written resumes for years and years and have been searching for work for almost two decades.  The program covers all of these topics and more, from a new and interesting perspective.  I feel invigorated by the experience and truly welcome the opportunity to meet other older workers who are also actively looking for new employment opportunities.

The program keeps me busy Monday to Friday and I’ve been working Saturday mornings for the company.  That is six days a week for me right now, busier than I’ve been in a while.  At least twice a month Attila and I head down to our little house in the city.  That leaves two days off work during the month where we are at home.  There isn’t a lot of downtime right now.

Harriet and Hogan stopped by for a visit on Saturday, it was wonderful to see them.  They were up in our neck of the woods to do some winterizing at their cottage.  They had purchased laminate flooring for their cottage, and subsequently decided upon different flooring.  It is our good fortune that they have given us the laminate flooring for our little house!  Christmas in November!  This kind of generosity is typical of Harriet and Hogan, they are just like that.

Luna and Janus and Imp and Elf and Tink and Benny and Bim are on their way to their new home.  Well not directly on their way, they are spending a week at Janus’ sister’s home, taking care of their niece and nephew while the parents take a holiday.  Soot the cat did not go with them, nor did their house plants.  Soot and the house plants have taken up residence at our little house in the city, to join Luna and the gang later, at the new house.

Apparently Tink took a tumble and now has stitches across the bridge of her nose.  Now this is interesting, because when I was a little tyke I too took a tumble and required stitches across the bridge of my nose.  I have a scar to prove it, perhaps Tink will too!

Terra and Lares are missing their nieces and nephew already!  Terra and Lares are really family oriented, which delights me no end.

This time of year, at the cusp of winter, the weather is unpredictable.  Last Friday I drove 125 kilometers round trip, through white-outs and snow-packed icy roads.  I passed four accidents on the return trip, all caused by drivers who refused to acknowledge the dangerous driving conditions.  Luckily there were no personal injuries as a result of these accidents.  When the roads are bad it is the other drivers that terrify me, not the driving conditions.

I am home a little early this evening.  As soon as I came in the door, after my long drive, I changed into my pajamas, concocted a juice spritzer and put my feet up!  Ah, home sweet home.

Clearing Things Up

Last weekend’s project was cleaning out my filing cabinets.  Unbelievable!  The stack of material to be burned was about three feet high, and I hadn’t sorted everything.  I did find a cheque made out to me, for the amount of $186.15.  I had suspected the company, that I worked for many years ago, of pulling a fast one on the insurance company, and so filed the cheque, to investigate at a later date.  I forgot about it.  No surprise there!  I gave the insurance company a call and explained the situation; they will trace the check and reissue it if that is appropriate.

At work, last Friday, a senior management person appeared at the workplace.  I got my wish, she came sooner rather than later, a great relief.  She held a conference with the negative coworker and myself.  The outcome of that discussion is uncertain, but the manager did offer to return if one of us felt the need of her guidance, and I will take her up on that if I need to.  She encouraged me to “speak up”.  I’ve taken her advice to heart.  My speaking up has not been well received.  Feathers are ruffled.  Better her than me.  Perhaps that is what the senior management person anticipated, because I feel better for it, not good, but better.

I talked with Caitrìona last Saturday.  She was having a quiet day, we chatted about the weather, teenagers cooking pasta and the ins and outs of purchasing a new vehicle.  Caitrìona purchased a new vehicle in September and is still waiting for it to be delivered to the dealer.  She is planning a visit once the new vehicle arrives, I am very much looking forward to it.

Today was cloudy, and bit chilly.  Still, the weather is relatively mild for this time of year.  That means that Attila can keep the house warm and toasty with a minimum of effort.

Mist enjoys the fires.  I’ve set out a basket for her to sleep in, over by the hearth.  It has become one of her favorite sleeping spots.  Attila and I have come to the conclusion that our Mist is totally deaf.  Poor old girl.  She doesn’t seem to mind though, and it hasn’t really changed her life very much.  We just have to be careful to let her know we are in the room, so as not to startle our old girl.

Mist In Her Basket

Mist In Her Basket

I have heard through the grapevine that my employer is cutting staff hours, in all the offices.  This means that after next week I will not be getting much work, perhaps no work for the next month or so.  An acquaintance tipped me off about a program for older workers in economically depressed areas, I qualify on all counts.  I’ve an appointment with the program delivery people tomorrow.  It is a long commute, an hours drive, one way.  If I can find enough work to cover the gas money and some of the cost of the car payment it will be time well spent.  I may or may not qualify though, this appointment is just to establish my eligibility.

It is only 5:15 p.m., and daylight has already faded away.  Atilla will arrive home soon, and our evening will begin.  We will make dinner, Attila will chop firewood and build a fire, we will sit in front of the crackling fire and plan our next visit to the little house in the city.  An evening to look forward to.

Worldly Distractions


1 °C
Condition: Light Snowshower
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.0°C
Dewpoint: 0.6°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: WSW 9 km/h


“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”
Henry Miller

Honouring the Past

Yesterday was Remembrance Day.  Terra and I were talking on the phone and together observed a minute of silence, not at the appropriate time, we missed that.  My thoughts, during our short tribute to those who faced and face the horrors of war, focused on the WWI, which my grandfather fought in Europe and returned home to us, WW2, which ended before I was born but is remembered vividly by my parent’s generation, the Korean War, the war in VietNam, the poem In Flanders Field and those who survived war impartially: physically, emotionally, mentally.

Those who do the fighting in wars are not those who create them. I feel one can honour those who sacrifice, without supporting that war is necessary.

Yesterday was a day full of memories of every kind.  Terra and I had a real heart to heart talk, exploring the feelings of today and how they are affected by events of the past.  Intense territory for both of us, and very heartening to explore our territory with honesty and integrity.

After some correspondence, yesterday I met a local artist at my Grandparent’s house and gave her a tour of the interior, talked about my memories and listened to her experiences exploring other historic properties with their owners.  She was a lovely person, so that I doubt we will regret granting her access to our beloved house.  She will also interview my Mother, who grew up in the house  and lived through many changes during and since the Great Depression.

Sunny Morning at the Little House in the City

Sunny Morning at the Little House in the City

As usual, after having visited my Grandparents house, I am longing for my Grandparents.  The emotion is irrational, intense, mixed with joy and sorrow.

We just received the assessment papers for our little house in the city.  It was built in 1958 and is 718 square feet.  A wonderful size for two people!  Oh, yes, two people and cat!  Sorry Mist!

I am working this morning.  I am dreading it.  It is very, very hard labour, to remain calm while contemplating the situation.  I’ve been very good, for the most part, at blocking it from my mind.  Nothing for it but to lift my head high, smile and carry on.

This afternoon I have a whole list of things that have to be done.  This is fortunate, the tonic of real day-to-day life after a difficult experience.

Food is a comfort.  I did manage to make my apple crisp, and have been enjoying it for snacks and at breakfast.  Attila is preparing his Turkey Soup, which takes days and days to complete.  Another comfort food that we have indulged in is homemade Macaroni and Cheese, always a favorite.

Time now to close the dampers, the fire has expired in the hearth.  Bring on the day!

Worldly Distractions


-4 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.0°C
Dewpoint: -4.0°C
Humidity: 100 %
Wind: 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -6


“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
Anna Lappe


Attila and I visited the little house over the past weekend, we had Saturday off work, and Attila had one day of his holiday time left, which was taken on Monday.  That allowed us to stay two nights and three days in our little house.  Our stay was a tonic, a reclamation of purpose, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and each other.

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard Before

Kitchen Cupboard Before

We accomplished much during our stay at the little house.  Attila lined the bottom kitchen cupboards with cedar, and I immediately began to fill them with our kitchen equipment.  Attila prepared the floor of the second bedroom for painting, and applied the floor paint just before we left, the fumes were potent!  We tackled the basement situation.  I applied a soap and bleach solution to the mildewed cement blocks and some of the overhead joists and boards.  That is a big, smelly, messy, disgusting job and I’ll be glad when I have it completed!  Attila removed nails, excess boards and bits of the former studs and drywall.  We ran the air cleaner continuously throughout the weekend.

During our stay at the little house we got to visit with Terra and Lares.  The two of them work, work, work!  Terra works variable shifts on an on-call basis, and Lares holds down a day job and is on call in the evenings and during the night.  You have to admire the way these two are working hard to create the life they want.

We also managed a brief visit to Luna’s house, which soon will not be her house.  She will be moving in a matter of weeks!  They will be relocating temporarily about a two hour drive from the little house.  That is a six or seven hour drive from our country house, one way, so it is unlikely we can make it that far there and back in a 24 hours period, which is what we have to work with because of Attila usually works six days a week.  What this will mean ultimately is that we will see them less.  It is all temporary though, we might move to the little house, they might move again… who knows!

The grandchildren are changing by leaps and bounds now, the twins are in school and Tink has just begun to walk.  We spent a wonderful hour playing with the grand-kids before we had to leave for our long drive home to our country house.

When we arrived home at the country house, the atmosphere was chilly.  The temperature in the house was a respectable 15 C, not bad after three days with no heat source.  However, Mist was totally unimpressed with the temperature, and with us.  She was volubly indignant for quite a while, but calmed considerably once Attila had a roaring fire going in the masonry heater.  Today she seems much recovered and is friendly again.

Caitrìona and Harriet stopped by for a cup of tea yesterday, on their way home from Harriet’s cottage.  We had a lovely chat and Attila was even home for lunch while they were here and got to visit with them as well.

The tension at work seems more intense, I got a call from the manager while Caitrìona and Harriet were here.  This situation is uncomfortable for everyone involved and I do hope it is resolved equitably. I am hoping that the people who mediate this situation are skilled and humane, and that the situation is addressed sooner rather than later, this is the optimistic view.

Errands await me.  I have filing to do.  I have to visit the bank and process the paperwork they require.  There are bills to pay.  There are resumes to send out.  There are telephone calls that must be made.  I’ve been craving apple crisp again, so I’d like to bake today.  Laundry needs doing again.  It is not an exciting or even interesting list of tasks.  Still, accomplishing a series of little things that need doing does offer some level of satisfaction.

The weather is beautiful!  It is mild for this time of year, and the sky is very blue above the sun drenched treetops.  A day to enjoy!

Worldly Distractions


3 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.0°C
Humidity: 75 %
Wind: E 8 km/h


“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)