Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…

Attila and I are still busy working out a decent recipe for dishwashing liquid. Lots of people on the net claim to offer a great recipe, I beg to differ with all I’ve tried so far. Tonight I mixed up a new batch, using a new recipe. I have my fingers crossed. I am prepared to continue with this project until we get it right. Right for us at least.

I find it more and more difficult to connect with myself as I spend more time at my place of employment. I cannot afford to feel much there.

I have to be endlessly pleasant, to customers, to the other employees, to my boss. The boss is similar to an oversized infant with verbal skills. He is not an evil man. He is not a particularly mean man. He is not a nice man. There is nothing about him that I find admirable. There isn’t anything about him I find acceptable, if truth be told. Still, I smile and I get along. I feel nothing when I am at work.

The numbness of work can be overcome, but it takes time. Most evenings I am falling asleep just as my emotions begin to thaw.

So I haven’t been writing. And I miss it.

Not much new going on around here.

The weather is unusually mild, it is raining right now. All the snow has melted and the world is dripping grey. According to the weather report that will all change tomorrow, when the wind will freeze and the water will turn white and fall to the ground.

We have a garland of Christmas lights around the front window. How I love the colour! Also, on our coffee table a small three foot high artificial Christmas tree is showing off a set of white Christmas lights. We aren’t buying presents this year, not even for each other. We have everything we need, except time and decent company. We are saving our money to buy time with each other; to take a few days off work during the winter.

We took a quick trip to the little house in the city recently All was well there, with one exception. In our absence a mouse came to visit, left a few small black calling cards. There was no sign of him during our visit, but we did set a few mouse traps in the basement before we left for home.

I am continuing to clear off my desk, what a challenge! I’ve purchased a few ziplock bags. I am storing electrical cables and such like in them, labeling the bags and storing them in a carry case.

Attila is just emerging from the bath. He loves a hot bath! We are so different, because I hate a hot bath; I cannot stand the heat. He loves the sauna, whereas as far as I am concerned it is an instrument of torture.

It is amazing how different people can be; it is fascinating.

Worldly Distractions


5 °C
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.2 kPa
Visibility: 11 km
Temperature: 4.6°C
Dewpoint: 4.0°C
Humidity: 96 %
Wind: WNW 17 gust 33 km/h


“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
Helen Keller
1880 – 1968

Makin’ Our Own

I just have to start, just start, writing again!

The working world is swallowing my energy whole!

There, there, I’m telling myself, I’m still here. I am writing, am I not?

Attila and I have been working, working, working and little else.

Every evening after dinner I attempt to clean off my desk, and after several weeks of daily effort I can actually see the bare surface, or some of the bare surface to be more accurate. My goal is to clear my large desk and then move to a smaller desk and dismantle the large desk. The smaller desk has been assembled, and is sitting beside the larger desk. So, in order to save space by using a smaller desk, I now have two desks in the middle of the living room, one large, semi-cluttered desk and one smaller, completely uncluttered desk sitting beside it. I think this could be the one step backward, after the two steps forward.

Attila and I both worked this morning, and then went to town for supplies right after lunch. Finally, before heading to the last store on our list, we looked at one another, nodded, got in the car and drove directly home. Enough is enough!

I’ve made a shocking discovery this week. Palmolive Dish Washing Liquid contains my allergen! Actually I am very grateful to Colgate for making this information available to the public. I tried to obtain the ingredients for other brands of dish washing liquid, with no luck.

Now I have to be careful of the dishes I eat from as well. When I eat out I almost always have to bring my own food, now I have to bring my own dishes!!! The words that come to mind are impolite, so I will not share them.

I have not read a label on dish washing liquid before, so on our shopping trip this afternoon I started. Shock. Every brand that I picked up had warnings to keep it out of the reach of children, and that it should not be used with bleach products. I do not want this chemical in my house. Where are the MSDS sheets for dish washing liquids!

Attila and I are going to attempt to make our own dish washing liquid. This may take some research and development. The project is not optional at our house. The recipe I found, and will try first, asks for glycerin, which we purchased on our shopping trip today. It also calls for essential oils, which were not offered for sale at any of the stores within reach. So, in addition to making our own dish washing liquid, we are going to make our own essential oil. Seems simple enough, but we shall see.

Worldly Distractions


3 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 2.6°C
Dewpoint: 0.6°C
Humidity: 87 %


“We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.”
Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 – 1860

First Snow

I’ve known people to attempt escape from the unsavory aspects of life, retreating into alcohol, drugs, overeating, obsessive exercise and many other types of obsessions.

Writing (and music, and other creative expression) I think is an opposite approach, an attempt to change the unsavory aspects of life, or at least to put them into proper perspective.

There is a reason that the stories and music and images I love best address the noble potentials of the human species.

Dawn arrived this morning frosted with white. Our first snow for the season. There was still a dusting of white on the evergreens as darkness fell tonight.

I am so removed from my own feelings these days that I seldom experience any at all. It is the work environment, I really cannot afford to express anything real in the workplace; so I feel nothing. The nothingness spreads like a black fog over all aspects of life.

For example, for the last two weeks a woman in her late eighties has been calling me because she has no heat in her living room and she is cold. The rest of her home is heated, but not the living room, she cannot use her living room. She is elderly and blind, her home is her world. Every few days I have to tell her that no, the part for her heater has not arrived, no heat in the living room today. I am at the mercy of our manager, who is “waiting” for the part from head office; the resolution is not my call. Today I had to call her and tell her, no part, no heat in the living room this weekend. I felt truly wretched for her, and expressed my concern and regret. When I got off the phone my manager contemptuously said, “I’d never say all that to a customer!” I did not apologize for my concern for an elderly customer in need. In my opinion the man is heartless. Go get him KARMA!!!!

So, this morning I was shocked and delighted that the sight of our first snow brought with it a dusting of joy. I still have a heart, deep down there somewhere, waiting in hope.

Attila has come down with my cold! His voice is deep and rasping and he says his throat is very sore. I do hope he manages to fight it off. So far I am feeling a little better every day, almost normal now but for a lingering dry cough when I try to talk.

Our new low-speed high-speed internet connection is very reliable. It is a DSL connection, coming in through the existing telephone lines and not as prone to interruptions due to weather. It is fast enough for NetFlix though, thank goodness.

NetFlix and our limited and cherished DVD collection are our only source of entertainment. This evening we watched a light and delightful film called Faintheart.

When I heard this song in the film I immediately fell in love with it.

Worldly Distractions


“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Ettiene De Grellet


Ettiene De Grellet

“a prominent French Quaker missionary.

He was born Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier in Limoges, the son to a counsellor of King Louis XVI. Raised as a Roman Catholic he was educated at the military College of Lyons, and at the age of seventeen he entered the body-guard of Louis XVI. During the French Revolution he was sentenced to be executed, but escaped and eventually fled Europe to the United States in 1795.

Impressed by the writings of William Penn, George Fox, and Quaker beliefs, in 1796 he joined the Society of Friends. He became involved in extensive missionary work across North America and most of the countries of Europe, in prisons and hospitals, and was respectfully granted meetings with many rulers and dignitaries, including Pope Pius VII, Czar Alexander I, and the Kings of Spain and Prussia. He encouraged many reforms in educational policies and in hospital and prison conditions.

In 1804 he married his wife, Rebecca, the daughter of the publisher Isaac Collins.

It is reputed that he was the last living person who could have identified the “Lost Dauphin” of France.

He died in Burlington, New Jersey on November 16, 1855 and his body was buried there behind the Quaker Meeting House at 340 High Street.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Grellet


The Road Ahead: Our October Vacation

The Road Ahead: Our October Vacation

I am feeling much better, after quite a run with that miserable cold. The cough is almost gone and I’ve been sleeping through the night every night, getting some much needed rest.

We drove to the doctor’s office for our flu shots on Monday evening, it is a two hour trip, one hour there, one hour back. With my allergy I need to trust whoever is injecting substances into my body, so I will not go to a public clinic as they are seldom prepared to answer my detailed questions about the shot ingredients. My doctor’s office is prepared for me. The real bonus is that Helen, the nurse who give the shot, is a real pro at giving needles. I didn’t even feel it!

The heating season has begun; Attila is out chopping firewood as I write. It is still relatively mild though, so he is able to keep the house cozy and warm with only one roaring fire each day.

I believe my bout of ill health is a direct result of three factors. One, the most significant I think, is sitting all day in a windowless room, then driving home to sit yet again in my cozy easy chair. Two, burning the candle at all ends working six days a week. And three, working for a selfish and lazy manager and under a very demanding off-site supervisor who is a cracker-jack worker and becomes frustrated with the problems caused by the lazy guy. I am caught in the middle.

So to address the first issue Attila and I are walking each evening, unless it rains and then I stay indoors so as not to risk getting sick all over again. To address the second issue I’ve decided to turn down Saturday work as of the second week in December, until after the New Year. Issue number three isn’t resolvable, but I figure if I can still sleep most nights I’ll get by; I just have to keep smiling while I am at work and forgetting those people the second I close the door behind me at the end of the day.

Attila and I had a little shock last week. I was vacuuming the carpet in our country house bedroom when I noticed black mildew all along the baseboard. By gum, the stuff had conquered about three feet of baseboard. What a smell! So Attila ripped out the baseboard, found the leak in the window that caused the water damage and fixed it, temporarily. I got out the bleach and cleaned the area thoroughly. We are going to need new windows in the bedroom as soon as possible, but will try to put it off until spring if we can. The window opening is about eight feet wide and six feet high; expensive windows to replace.

So all is well here as we settle into the cooler weather and enjoy our last snow-free days of the season.

Worldly Distractions


2 °C
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.7°C
Dewpoint: 0.0°C
Humidity: 89 %
Wind: SW 9 km/h


“Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1772 – 1834