Morning

Yesterday morning I arose early, 4:30 a.m., because that is when I awoke. I’m at my absolute best when I first wake up in the morning. My mind is instantly active, my ideas racing and my focus intense. So I took all that and organized my email account so that I can easily access critical messages that must be dealt with in a timely manner. That done, I copied important messages to the new mailbox and dealt with each one consecutively.

My desk was piled high with bills and all sorts of unopened mail from my week away. As soon as the email account had been organized I tackled the desktop, not the virtual desktop on the computer, but the real desktop in front me. Hours later I had opened the mail, sorted bills, filed important documents, entered important dates onto the calendar and set aside a few of the larger projects for Saturday, which is today.

Attila eventually emerged from the bedroom made coffee, built a fire in the masonry heater and we shared a quiet cupa in front of the fire; Mist on Attila’s lap. We ate a leisurely breakfast.

Then we sprang in to action. Attila attended to firewood for the next fire, I jumped into the shower. We changed into presentable clothing and then jumped into the car and headed for Helena’s house for an Easter dinner. It is a three hour drive to Helena’s place, the roads were good and we had a pleasant journey. It was great to see Helena, Caitrìona, Harriet and the younger generation, all assembled for a delicious turkey dinner. I overindulged.

We arrived home by midnight and still managed to get a good night’s sleep.

This morning we are both off to work; me to my old part-time job and Attila to his full-time job.

I accidentally published this entry before completing it! I had intended on attending to the entry when I returned from work today, but the universe has intervened and here it is, such that it is.

Japan Nuclear Catastrophe

“The authorities’ chief concern is the accumulation of radioactivity in areas near the plant, where livestock have been left to die and the contaminated bodies of an estimated 1,000 people remain uncollected.

Last week, the government added five locations outside the evacuation zone to the list of areas that could pose a long-term threat to health.

“The plant is not stable,” Edano said. “We have been asking residents not to enter the area as there is a huge risk to their safety…”
Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0421/Japan-officially-declares-no-go-zone-around-Fukushima

“The large-scale dumping of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant has now stopped, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), but for Todokoro and many other fishermen, the damage is done.

“The government has set the safe level for fish at 500 becquerels per kilogram. The kounago [an eel-like fish known in English as the young sand launce] that I catch are registering 580 becquerels,” says Todokoro.

“The catch is being tested every other day but the truth is that even if they are declared safe, nobody will buy fish from Ibaraki now,” he says. “Who knows how long it will be before people will want to eat fish from around here again…”
Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0414/Long-path-to-recovery-for-fishermen-in-Japan-s-northeast

“Under the order, which goes into effect at midnight local time, people living within a 12-mile (20km) radius of the atomic plant will be given up to two hours to enter the area to collect belongings.

The move came amid concern over the long-term health risks posed by high levels of accumulated radiation, despite signs of progress in bringing the stricken facility under control.

The 245 workers battling to stabilise Fukushima have fallen ill due to the harsh conditions inside the plant, experts warned.

Some are suffering from insomnia, dehydration and high blood pressure, and risk developing depression or heart trouble, Takeshi Tanigawa, chairman of the public health department at Ehime University’s medical school, told Associated Press.

The government has also extended the evacuation zone to several locations outside the 12-mile zone, including areas in which as many as 130,000 people had initially been asked to leave voluntarily or stay indoors. Residents in those areas will be given a month to evacuate.

The government’s chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, urged people living inside the no-entry zone to abide by the order for the sake of their health.

“The plant is not stable,” he told reporters. “We have been asking residents not to enter the area as there is a huge risk to their safety. We beg the understanding of residents…”
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/21/japan-declares-fukushima-no-go-zone

“While the levels of radioactivity in the evacuated area have been quite low, the government wants to keep people away out of concerns that long-term exposure can be dangerous.

As of Thursday night, about 40 people remained in the area, many of them dairy farmers who are refusing to leave their cattle, and elderly people who cannot move, the government said. Local officials were working to persuade them to leave, rather than punishing them, according to Kenji Kawasaki of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

About 3,400 cows, 31,000 pigs and 630,000 chickens were left in the zone, according to government figures, though most were assumed to have died by now…”
Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=13423601

“More than 130,000 people are living in school gymnasiums and other shelters more than a month after the March 11 quake and tsunami that left some 28,000 dead or missing.

“HOW DO YOU THINK WE FEEL?”

“Are you leaving?” one man shouted as Kan and his entourage headed for the door at a Fukushima evacuation center. “We are evacuees. Are you just going to ignore us?”

Kan turned back and apologized, only to be berated again.

“You should bring cabinet ministers here and let them try living here themselves. How do you think we feel? We want you to somehow get the nuclear plant under control,” one woman said.

Later, Kan told reporters he had been out of touch with the needs of those who had lost their homes…”
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/21/us-japan-idUSTRE72A0SS20110421

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: 3.7°C
Humidity: 98 %
Wind: SE 30 gust 42 km/h

Quote

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Thomas Jefferson
1743 – 1826
[let it be true for all of us, let it be true for all of us, let it be true for all of us!]

Note

Thomas Jefferson

“…third President of the United States (1801–1809) and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776). An influential Founding Father, Jefferson envisioned America as a great “Empire of Liberty” that would promote republicanism…

“The third of ten children, Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 into the Randolph family that linked him to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia…

Historians have disagreed on how to interpret Thomas Jefferson’s public and private positions on slavery. He opposed slavery as an institution and said he wanted it to end, but he depended on enslaved labor to support his household and plantations…

Jefferson did not believe that African Americans could live in American society as free people together with whites. For a long-term solution, he thought that slaves should be freed after reaching maturity and having repaid their owner’s investment; afterward, he thought they should be sent to African colonies in what he considered “repatriation”, despite their being American-born. Otherwise, he thought the presence of free blacks would encourage a violent uprising by slaves’ looking for freedom…”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson

Rare

There are rare days in life, when things seem to fall into place easily. I’ve had a few of these days, for which I’ll always be grateful. Yesterday was one of those days.

After driving home from the little house in the city on Thursday, I slept soundly and deeply, Attila at my side. I arose early, expecting a busy day, but I did not know just how busy it would be.

When Terra and I were traveling to visit Luna and family, I received a phone call from Attila, to relay to me a message. In December I’d attended a job interview, not heard back from them and ceased to think about it. On Wednesday they called and left a message for me to get in touch. So, sitting in the car, at a rest stop along the way to visit Luna, I returned the call. They offered me a job interview, a second one, on Thursday morning. I accepted.

That was yesterday morning.

While readying myself for the interview, I received a telephone call in regards to another interview I’d attended last January. They offered me a temporary position, part-time, flexible hours, which I accepted immediately. So when I headed into the scheduled interview on Thursday, I already had a new part-time job.

The interview went well, better than I’d hoped, and I was offered the job on the spot. A full-time job. Which I accepted. I start Monday morning.

Now I have a full-time job, a part-time job (where I just attained a relocation) and a new temporary part-time job. Three jobs. When it rains it pours. I think I can handle all three, I hope I can handle all three. I will be very busy for the duration of the temporary part-time job, then things will calm down as I will only have two jobs, one full-time and one part-time.

Hooray! Our bills will be paid!!!!

I am so glad I took my little excursion to the little house in the city, it will be quite a while before another opportunity of a week away. That worked out rather well.

There is also a delightful side effect to all these events. I was scheduled to work three days with the negative coworker, although that is not my office, these hours had been scheduled before the relocation. With shameful pleasure I called yesterday to inform her that I could not work those days. This is of benefit to the new employee who replaced me, as she will pick up those hours. It works well for everyone.

Thank you universe!!!

To celebrate, Attila and I immediately ordered firewood to heat our house next winter. What a relief, I was very worried about where the money for heating fuel would come from; that worry is gone.

Attila has promised to remind me of my present state of relief, if there are times when juggling three jobs gets a little overwhelming!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-3 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dewpoint: -3.2°C
Humidity: 99 %
Wind: calm

Quote

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.”
W. Somerset Maugham
1874 – 1965

Note

W. Somerset Maugham

“The death of his mother left Maugham traumatized for life; subsequently he kept his mother’s photograph by his bedside for the rest of his life. Two years after Edith’s death, Maugham’s father died of cancer. Maugham was sent back to England to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. The move was catastrophic as Henry proved cold and emotionally cruel. The King’s School, Canterbury, where Maugham was a boarder during school terms, proved merely another version of purgatory, where he was teased for his bad English (French had been his first language) and his short stature, which he inherited from his father. It was at this time that Maugham developed the stammer that would stay with him all his life, although it was sporadic and subject to mood and circumstance.
Maugham was miserable both at the vicarage and at school. As a result, he developed a talent for making wounding remarks to those who displeased him. This ability is sometimes reflected in Maugham’s literary characters. At sixteen, Maugham refused to continue at The King’s School, and his uncle allowed him to travel to Germany, where he studied literature, philosophy and German at Heidelberg University. During his year in Heidelberg, Maugham met and had a sexual affair with John Ellingham Brooks, an Englishman ten years his senior. He also wrote his first book there, a biography of opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer…”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Somerset_Maugham

Home Again

This morning I rose early, 5:15 a.m. and began to pack, load the car and close up the little house in the city. It was time to come home. By 6:45 a.m. the car was speeding along the highway, headlights beaming. At 11:15 a.m. the car pulled into our driveway. Home again.

I arrived home to a snow covered landscape. Snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Spring is taking its own sweet time this year!

Yesterday Terra and I drove out to visit Luna, Janus and the grandbabies. It was a long drive, 2 and 1/2 hours each way, 5 hours on the highway, but well worth the trip. Tink made a bit shy at first, not having seen us for quite some time, but she came round. Imp and Elf arrived home from school, did their homework with Luna’s help and then we all had pizza for dinner.

There is a house rule at Luna’s place that I did not know about. Well, I do now! To maintain the peace, the rule is that no one takes food from another person’s plate. It makes sense.

Here is what happened. We had pizza for dinner. Tink loaded her plate with two extra wedges of pizza, which she did not touch. She left the table. I spied the abandoned pizza, and decided to eat one of the wedges. NOT A GOOD IDEA! Tink was incensed! The rules! Tink is 19 months old and already has a healthy respect for the rules. She glared at me, then began to tell me NO! In frustration she thunked both hands onto the table and glared at me again. NO! I know I shouldn’t have, but I did, I laughed. But I did return the pizza to it’s rightful place on Tink’s plate. After all, house rules are house rules.

A short time later Tink noticed that I had another wedge of pizza. Outrage! Hands thunking, NO! I had to get Janus to show her the plate she had abandoned with her pizza wedges still upon it. Peace was restored. Hilarious!

After dinner we all headed for the gymnastics gym where Imp and Elf had their gymnastics class. They loved it, and it was a lot of fun to see them jumping and tumbling and doing somersaults. In the viewing area Tink was doing her own exercises with Luna, just for fun. After many kisses goodbye at the vehicles, Terra and I headed back to the little house in the city, arriving home ready for a good night’s sleep.

That was yesterday. Today I drove home. Tired and happy, I am tired and happy.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1 °C
Observed at: Muskoka Airport
Date: 5:43 PM EDT Wednesday 20 April 2011
Condition: Light Freezing Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 4 km
Temperature: 1.0°C
Dewpoint: 1.0°C
Humidity: 100 %

Quote

“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”
Barry Switzer
1937 –

Note

Barry Switzer

“Born in Crossett, Arkansas, Switzer’s father Frank was a bootlegger who was arrested at the family house. His mother Mary Louise raised Barry and his brother Donnie, but on August 26, 1959 she shot herself.
Barry accepted an athletic scholarship and played football at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, he did a brief stint in the U.S. Army and then returned to Arkansas as an assistant coach…”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Switzer

Alone

What is striking me today is that if my mind is not engaged in an activity, I am instantly aware of being alone. The awareness of the absence of another presence is a constant, always there to greet me whenever I pause to think or relax. This is relatively new to me. I’ve either been responsible for others, or living happily with Attila. Aside from the three months I lived alone in Toronto when I first attended college, I’ve never lived alone, without another presence to take into account.

I did go camping by myself for a week once, when the children took their only holiday with their father, my ex-husband. I stayed in a beautiful campground, in a tent. The week passed slowly, quietly and was almost uneventful. Two small incidences punctuated the experience. The first was the arrival of two pickup trucks full of party guys. When I saw them coming I hid my beer and pretended to be a tea-totaller and very disapproving. They avoided me forewith, the desired outcome. The second incident was on a quiet night, black dark. I was asleep and awakened to heavy breathing near my head but outside the tent. I froze. I determined it was a bear looking for food. Not moving, knowing I had no food in the tent, I tensely waited until the animal moved on to a more lucrative location. Eventually I went back to sleep. I don’t remember being particularly conscious of being alone though. Perhaps it was because I lived out of doors for the duration and there were other campers at the campsite.

Yesterday it rained all day. Today is overcast with a fierce wind blowing. During the night I heard banging near the bedroom window; I also heard the wind. I concluded that it was the lawn chair, which had been sitting on the back deck, blowing about. Sure enough, when I checked out the window this morning, the lawn chair was capsized and sitting out in the yard. I’ll fetch it in later this morning.

The hot water heater was turned on at 7:00 a.m. this morning, in anticipation of a much welcomed shower. The hydro is cheaper during the weekend, so this is the time to shower. Later in the week, if I want to shower, I must wait until after 9:00 p.m. to turn on the hot water heater and then wait for a few hours after that to let the water heat thoroughly. Friends of Terra and Lares were telling us that the on demand hot water heaters are great. However it would be a great exspense. The gas service would need to be hooked up and the initial outlay for the hot water heater would represent a considerable investment. We are just managing to pay the regular bills at the moment, there won’t be any new investments in the next few years. After that though, who knows!

Well, I waited till 9:00 a.m. and then jumped into the shower. Too soon! I got out, with my hair washed and rinsed, just as the water turned icy.

The wind is significant still. We are getting some snow, which is melting immediately.

I spoke with Attila earlier today. He is busy splitting firewood after work and over the weekend, making great progress by all accounts. It is cold enough that he continues to fire the masonry heater. Hopefully warmer weather will arrive by the time I head home.

I am just now visiting Terra, which gives me the chance to post this entry.

Arrival

The trip took almost five hours, was totally uneventful and successful. I arrived at the little house in the city in time for lunch. I even arrived in time to get the blue box material out to the curb before the truck came by, first time.

I am using Terra’s internet account to write this entry. After unpacking the car and doing a bit of this and a bit of that around the house, I headed out on foot to meet Terra as she walked to our house after her shift at work. On the way I stopped to talk with a few of our neighbours, Cathy and Hilda and respective canine pals. Terra joined us and we had a nice chat, standing in the sunshine, enjoying a warm breeze.

Then we were off to Terra’s so that I could visit the nearby bank, and use the Internet connection. I’ll head out from here to the grocery store and then head home again. I’ll putter around a bit, sit on the back porch for a bit, do a bit of transcription and read a little bit too. Oh yes, somewhere in there I’ll prepare a meal. Before turning in I’ll talk a little with Attila.