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

Year of the Golden Tiger

Well, here we are at the end of another year.  This past year, 2010, was supposedly, according to soothsayers, the high point of my existence here on planet earth.  I am a Tiger.  The Year of the Golden Tiger ends February 2, 2011, when we enter the Year of the Rabbit.  Although this past year certainly has not panned out according to plan, it was a very good year.  Still, who knows what additional good fortune may find me before February 2!

Here is a short list of my personal good fortune in 2010:

Everyone I love is healthy.
Attila has a full time job, we survive financially.
We purchased a wonderful little house in the city, near our kids and grand-kids.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, as a rule.  I know that I will continue to do my best at everything I put my hand to, and to treat others with respect and dignity.  That is all I expect of myself in the New Year; that others treat me in the same way is all that I hope for in the New Year.

I worked today.  Attila worked today.  We are home together now, having driven home through the fog and rain.  Warm and dry, with a hot dinner before us and an evening of good and quiet company, we will welcome in the New Year.

Happy New Year’s Eve to all!


Attila and I set forth on Friday last for our little house in the city.  We arrived Christmas Eve day, after an uneventful drive on bare, dry roads.

As we drove up to the little house, a smiling metal sculpted snowman smiled at us from the front porch.  Terra and Lares had been busy acting as Christmas Elves and had completely decorated our little house!  The tree was up in the corner, lights festooned the entire perimeter of the living room, snowmen smiled from almost every corner of the house.  There were bright Christmas tins, candle holders and an audacious snowman fruit bowl that ended up being a huge hit with Tink.

Terra and Lares joined us Christmas Eve, and how wonderful it was to have them with us.  Christmas Day Terra had to work, and she and Lares arrived in the early evening to share a turkey dinner with us.

Luna arrived Christmas Day with Imp and Elf and Tink and Benny and Bim.  Janus had to work, and we did miss him.  Luckily Attila had the second bedroom painted adequately, so that the room was transformed with cots and sleeping mattresses for Luna and the grandbabies.

What a wonderful time we all had.  I can’t remember that we did anything that was particularly special, or spectacular…  The time flew by us as we were busy just being together.

Imp and Elf and Tink are wonderful children! How we love them. Imp is tall and independent, Elf is wiry and full of smiles and giggles and Tink is a no-nonsense little girl with a melting grin that shows off her two new front teeth.

Terra and Luna got together for my gift, which was generous beyond the actual cost.  They conspired to give me a kobo.  I am in love!  I have read the entire Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole, and I’ve made my first book purchase. It took me hours to choose, so many wonderful books to read! In the end, Ursula Leguin’s Lavinia caught my fancy. I love having a good book to curl up with!

This means no more 40 kilometer round trips to the nearest full service library; no more worrying about gas money; no more worries about traveling on treacherous roads in treacherous weather; no more worrying about due dates and fines. I now have to purchase books, but I can also receive gift certificates for eBooks. Suddenly I am a very easy person to buy gifts for!

I’ve been like a small child with a security blanket; clutching my kobo as I travel from house to car, car to house… The kobo will fit in my backpack and can be read while waiting in lines, waiting in waiting rooms, while traveling as a passenger… sigh, how wonderful.

Food! My how we have enjoyed the holiday food this year! Turkey dinner, apple pie, mincemeat squares, Luna’s shortbread and chocolate chip cookies, Attila’s chocolate chip cookies, nuts, clementines, chocolates… Chocolates are last but certainly not least!

Attila has been chopping wood since we arrived home. The indoor temperature is rising and soon I’ll be able to remove my parka. The electric heaters kept the house well above freezing while we were away, which is a relief, at least until the next electric bill arrives in the mail, LOL!

I am working New Year’s Eve Day, but not too late. Attila returns to work tomorrow morning.

Our New Year celebration will be a quiet one. We will sit in front of the fire and enjoy remembering the very good times we have had over the past year, and all the truly wonderful things that have happened for the people we love.

Lunar Eclipse falls on the Solstice, 1638, 1703 and 2010

At 2:41 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, December 21, 2010 a lunar eclipse  started. December 21 is also the Solstice.  What was the world like, centuries ago, when this phenomena occurred in the past?

I could copy and paste a list of the large political events that occurred in specific areas in 1638 and 1703.  However, certain of the larger events caught my interest.

In the 1630s

The great migration from England to New England occurred in the 1630s, the first settlers were a mixed company of fortune seekers and Puritans.

New England Earth Quake

Anne Hutchinsonin 1638, the First Church in Boston conducted a religious trial, accusing Hutchinson of blasphemy.

In 1703

The city of Saint Petersburg is founded in Russia.

The Great Storm of 1703, an Atlantic hurricane, ravages southern England and the English Channel, killing nearly 8,000, mostly at sea.

Poet Chiyo born, haiku poet of the classical period, became a Buddhist nun which gave her freedom to travel the country.

After both working today, Attila and I are busy with our Christmas preparations. Wrapping our modest presents, baking and beginning to tidy things up around the house. As we putter along, A Christmas Carol entertains us, starring Alastair Sim. This movie was released the during my early childhood, I’ve been watching it every Christmas for most of my life. I have never tired of it.

After all, “mankind” is our business.

Wishing every one a very peaceful holiday. Remember a smile is the greatest gift you can give.