Clogged Ink

The month of December has seen me attending a program for old workers.  As result I am not home during the day.  That means we have only two fires in the masonry heater (fireplace) each day.  Nights have been cold, below -15C, for quite a while now.  We need a third fire during the day, from time to time, to keep the house reasonably comfortable.  This has not been happening.

I am working from home today.  It is 17C near the masonry heater, the temperature falls as you move toward the perimeter of the house.   It was when the ink refused to flow from the pen that the cold became an issue.  One pen after another refused to give up its ink.  The pens must be warmed by the fireplace before they will work.

There is a silver lining to this chilly cloud; sleep conditions are optimized.  The eiderdown makes for cozy, deep slumber in the cold bedroom.

The old workers program did not find any work placement for the two old women who participated.  Even temporary subsidized positions are non-existent in this area, at least for the two old women in the program.  This does not feel good.  The bright side is that resumes are polished and interview skills are honed, so that if any positions materialize, one might apply for them.  However, nepotism is probably the main (perhaps the only) method of attaining positions capable of sustaining life.  All in all, the program “giveth and taketh” away.  It gave me better resumes and interview skills, it took away almost any hope I had of using the interview skills or gaining any kind of regular employment.  I am still sending out applications.

I feel downhearted about the results of the old workers program; only because I allowed myself to buy into their enthusiasm and premise that  having a great resume and doing well in interviews might solve the non-employment problem.  More employment opportunities would solve the non-employment problem.  Unemployment in Canada only means recently without work and still receiving a steady government insurance income.  Attila and I have both been there and appreciated the income when we were both out of work in 2005.  Non-employment means that one has no income at all when the government income runs its course and ceases.  I would not be surprised if the non-employed outnumber the unemployed significantly.  The Canadian government ignores people who are non-employed, interested only in the unemployed when it comes to keeping statistics to use in drafting economic policy.

Well, enough about that!  My time was not wasted and I survived financially for one more month.  Small mercies.

It is snowing again today and, since I don’t have to commute, I am enjoying the beauty of slowly drifting snowflakes.  I like working at home, beautiful scenery, familiar tools, nearby food and washroom, no interruptions and I can burn that third midday fire to make the house cosier.

Southwestern Ontario was hit by serious snow storms this past week, closed highways, military rescue units removing people from closed roads, icy, slushy, zero visibility conditions on most highways and roads… we feel lucky by comparison.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dewpoint: -10.8°C
Humidity: 94 %
Wind: SSE 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -13

Quote

“We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment, if only for a moment.”
May Sarton

Psychic Iodine

Attila and I have been talking about supportive and non-supportive environments.  It is always nice to have someone to confide in when things are not going well, or we are experiencing pain.

Attila and I have both noted that some people have an aversion to knowing anything about other people’s feelings.  We both agree they have their reasons.

Every summer when I was a little girl visiting my Grandparents, I would play at the beach and cut my foot on a clam shell at least once.  It had to be a pretty bad cut for me to actually tell my Grandparents about it.  The reason was the cure was almost worse than the ailment.  My Grandfather kept a bottle of Iodine at the ready in the medicine cabinet.  One peep of complaint about a cut or scrape and that iodine would be applied.  Iodine is very painful when applied to an open wound.  We seldom complained about any minor injuries.

This morning as Attila and I were exploring the topic support networks and confiding in others, Attila described a common response as psychic iodine.  Psychic iodine is when a confidence is met with stinging criticism, personal attack or suggestions for resolution that would explode on impact.

There is too much psychic iodine in the world today.  Maybe there always was.

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

Weather

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

Quote

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