Ice Storm

It is Friday night and here in Eastern Ontario we are heading into a weekend of severe weather conditions, including freezing rain with accumulations, and snow. It is spring, but winter just does not want to let go.

I managed to get to two Tai Chi classes this week, it won’t be long until my membership runs out and must be renewed, so I am taking advantage of the opportunity to attend classes while it lasts.

I continue to use the elliptical machine most days, at least five days out of a seven day week, which for me is pretty good. I have been active indoors this last month, the moving of furniture has begun a process of reorganization that will be ongoing for quite some time.

Because we might lose power this weekend, I will be preparing quite a bit of food for the cooler, so that if a prolonged period without hydro occurs, it will be easy to heat things up on the propane camp stove, out on the back porch. Attila has filled the gas can, so that during a power outage the furnace can be run from time to time to keep the house relatively warm. I have candles, and battery powered lanterns, so we should be good for light. Although reading by that light would be difficult, a rousing game of mahjong, or scrabble, or cribbage, could fill the dark evening hours.

The new windows are still noticeably wonderful, every room is not only more comfortable, but brighter and cheerier as well, even during the overcast chilly spring days that dominate the weather.

I continue to crochet, still working on my second blanket. It is taking form ever so slowly, and I enjoy having it here beside me, ready to occupy my hands if they get restless. Currently two books are on the end table, Kristen Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset, and
The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters.

A lot of my time is consumed with cooking and baking from scratch, and the endless cleanup that goes with such activities. My days consist of a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, taken up in between culinary processes in the kitchen. The days spent at home pass quickly.

All spring the “better weather” has been only two weeks away, according to the weather predictions, and so it is today, two weeks away. Those two weeks have taken a tedious few months to pass.

Our domestic holding pattern is holding. My anguish over the recent events has diminished significantly. That is not to say I am happy with things as they are. I am actively working on adjusting to this new reality, which seems to take up a lot of my time, at least for now. It is time well spent.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Friday 13 April 2018
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.8°C
Dew point: 3.3°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: NE 15 km/h
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”
Henri-Frédéric Amiel

You Can Give Up Now

I play mahjong on the computer.

It just occurred to me that the program I prefer has a feature that I love. It ends the game and tells me when it is hopeless to go on. Oh, if only life offered such surety! To know when to give up, what a boon that would be. I don’t give up. I will probably never give up. I know how to cut my losses, which is a completely different kettle of fish than giving up.

I remember when I chose my kids over my career. It was a choice forced upon me by circumstances beyond my control. A person can put themselves at risk to accomplish a goal, but it is quite another thing to put innocent children at risk for the same. I had stayed the course until the last few disastrous months, where others had fallen by the wayside. Then a cluster of events piled on me like a head on collision with a freight train, and my children were at risk. The choice was clear to me, I chose my kids. Not that the children knew or cared, they didn’t, they still don’t. Would I make the same choice again, sure I would. Would I like it, hell no.

When the disastrous circumstances were crashing through my door, I was told by a few people to “not give up”, referring to my career. What on earth were they thinking! (That is not a real question, their mindset is not one I want to spend any time trying to understand. I didn’t respect them then, and I don’t respect them now.) There was nothing on earth that was worth sacrificing my children for, nothing.

But wouldn’t it have been wonderful if I had known before investing 14 years of hard work and sacrifice, that it would come down to a simple, sudden choice. Also, success and failure are not black and white or binary, they are prone to grey scale and to parallax.

My children survived, and now thrive.

Sometimes I think a kind and reliable “you can give up now fairy” would have come in handy. Ah, but would I have listened? Very likely not.

I really enjoy this mahjong game.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Saturday 7 April 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.0°C
Dew point: -10.7°C
Humidity: 39%
Wind: SW 25 gust 38 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“For you to be successful, sacrifices must be made. It’s better that they are made by others but failing that, you’ll have to make them yourself.”
Rita Mae Brown
Movie, Ghost

Another Monday

What kind of a program makes statements about the human condition like, “war is the only thing we understand”. I tried watching Altered Carbon, a series on Netflix, focused on violence, portraying violence as the only way of the world. That violence exists I do not argue, but it is not all, and I doubt it ever will be. I do see though, that for some humans, it is all they see, or want to see. Why are there so many fatalistic themes in entertainment at this juncture in human history. Is someone(s) trying to bring the acceptance of violence into the lives of the young? Television and movies began to change in the 90s, when I first began to notice the theme of intolerance, contempt for others, and violence seeping into media entertainment. Now much of what is on offer on Netflix and Prime Video is either violent, or portrays ruthless ambition, almost glorifying these aspects of human nature. It is disturbing.

I guess the thinking is, what is the harm in it, it is only entertainment. Until you start thinking about the escalation of mass shootings in the US, by young people, and then it is difficult to believe there is no connection at all, between the portrayals of reality, and the reality that is developing.

I will be watching something other than Altered Carbon.

The morning began with bright sunshine streaming through the windows. Soon after daylight had established itself, the clouds rolled in. Late in the morning, snowflakes fell. There weren’t enough of them to accumulate, they all melted as soon as they reached the earth. The clouds continue to track the sky, allowing the sun to peek through from time to time.

The list of things I wanted to get done today was apparently too ambitious for reality. One of the projects involves setting up the sewing machine. Mist cottage is small, there is one table, it is the only working surface. In order to setup the sewing machine I will need to completely clear off the table. Th items on the table need to be moved. The place, where the items on the table will be moved to, needed to be cleared. And so on, and so on. After getting to the point where I could clear the table, so much time had elapsed that it seemed a waste of time to setup the sewing machine for only an hour or so. It would be better to begin again in the morning, leaving the whole day to work on the project itself.

The rest of the day consisted of small chores, like unloading the dishwasher. Who could complain about unloading a dishwasher! Not I. The dishwasher is a much appreciated appliance around here, particularly since there is very limited counter space here at Mist Cottage.

And that is Monday, as another week begins.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 2 April 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.0°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: S 26 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.”
Samuel Butler
1835 – 1902

Happy Easter

I hope everyone is having a peaceful and enjoyable Easter Weekend! And that April Fool’s day hasn’t been unkind to you. And that the full moon is not disrupting any aspects of your life! What a weekend!

I am happy to report a quiet weekend here at Mist Cottage. It is cold outside, so I am spending the weekend organizing stuff, after the big furniture moving extravaganza. Attila spent Friday preparing a turkey dinner and puttering with his garage project. On Saturday he kindly created a wall rack for me in my room, to hang my clothes, and today he has kindly built an enclosure at the top of my closet, which was just an open space that allowed a lot of dust to settle, no more.

Diane, of Still The Lucky Few, posted a link to a personality test, which looked like fun, so I tried it. It seemed pretty accurate to me, and right in line with any formal testing I’ve been exposed to.

The category I fit into is the INTJ, Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. The descriptions pretty accurately describe me, although I will say that age has provided me with the experience needed to appreciate the emotional elements in the human equation, more than I did in my youth. It seems that Attila is the personality type most suited to my personality type, which is how I saw things until December 31, 2017, due to the terrible, terrible mistake. It is fairly obvious to me that context plays a big part in how things play out in the world. My story is still being written, so I’ve drawn no other conclusions.

What strikes me most though, about such categories, is the rainbow of personality types, and contexts, that make the world such an endlessly interesting place to exist.

Well, the next week looks like it is going to include the opportunity to explore the variety and uniqueness of snowflakes! Spring is slow this year, in making herself felt.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Sunday 1 April 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.5°C
Dew point: -10.6°C
Humidity: 37%
Wind: WSW 27 gust 40 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955

Yard Waste Pickup

The morning brought the sunshine, and it was a welcome sight. It was 5C this morning, when I opened the kitchen curtains to peer out at the thermometer. The day slowly warmed, and by mid afternoon it was quite pleasant.

The municipality where we live conducts a spring yard waste pickup. It will take place this week. During the winter a large branch of the Crabapple Tree in the front yard snapped off and lay suspended in the remaining tree branches. Today Attila took his tree saw and removed branches from it, until it fell to the ground. Then the cleanup began, which took all morning. Finally all the branches were bundled, the twigs gathered up and bagged in paper yard waste bags, and it was all piled at the end of the driveway, ready for yard waste pickup.

Looking out into the sunny back yard this morning, hundreds and hundreds of bright yellow dandelion blooms smiled right back at me. We have neighbours on three sides of us, and they don’t have dandelions in their lawns, which means they are using chemicals of some kind. I don’t want to use chemicals on our lawn. We have had the place for almost six years now, and not a drop of chemical fertilizer, insecticide, or herbicide, has come anywhere near our yard. That means that whatever grows in our yard is for practical purposes organically grown. Why destroy that for the sake of getting rid of a few dandelions. I do spray Wild Parsnip with the vinegar/epsom salt/dawn detergent mixture, so there have been three or four small spots that have been sprayed. But we don’t consider that mixture to be toxic to the environment, or to us.

This is the branch of the Crabapple tree that broke off last winter. Until this morning it hung suspended about 15 feet off the ground. Attila removed smaller branches from it until it came crashing down. It took hours to clean it up, and a chain saw was needed to cut the thick wood into logs. It is all by the curb now, ready for yard waste pickup.
Crabapple branch down
Not all pictures portray the best of me. I have my doubts that this particular selfie will attract a wide range of admirers. Giant Maggie in May, it is interesting how shadows can show us a completely different side to ourselves.
Giant maggie in may
The needles on the Tamarack in the back yard are bursting out, but still dwarfed by the seed cones. I love Tamaracks. We didn’t have any Tamaracks on our tender fruit farm, so I was late in becoming familiar with them. They shed their needles in the fall, the same as deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall.
The first time I had seen them was around 1970, spotted during a drive to visit my Granny and Grandpa. I remember commenting to my Grandpa that there were a lot of dead coniferous trees along the road. He thought that was hilarious! Of course, they were Tamaracks. He teased me about dead coniferous trees for years, and I’ve never forgotten that Tamaracks shed their needles.
Tamarack

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 3 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.4°C
Dewpoint: 3.7°C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: ESE 18 km/h

Quote

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”
Milan Kundera
1929 –
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1975)