First Day Of Spring

Happy Spring Equinox!

It is cloudy out there today. Last evening I went for a walk, it being the last hours of winter and all. The streets were empty, I could count the number of vehicles that traveled past me on one hand. The air was amazing. The fresh scents of the coming spring were heavenly.

We arise early, 5:00 a.m. This morning I decided to bake Banana Muffins, as I had two over ripe bananas, and hydro was half price. They made a wonderful breakfast.

I have a few tasks I could be doing today, filing for one. I have a stack of papers that have accumulated over the past month, and they need to be stowed away. There are usual things of course, making the bed, doing the dishes, cooking, the little daily things that make for a comfortable life. I have a few larger projects in mind, so much to choose from. Humming and hawing over what to tackle next is almost as much fun as getting going on a project.

It is supposed to be sunny on the weekend, cold, but sunny. I think that is when I will take my first garden tour of the season, in our yard. It is fun to see the plants beginning to take an interest in the world. The Lungwort usually begins activity before any of the other plants, with its lovely dark green leaves.

I found this on the Internet, can’t remember where.

Worldly

Weather

6°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Thursday 19 March 2020
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.8°C
Dew point: 0.5°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NE 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I love you the more that I believe you have liked me for my own sake and for nothing else.”
John Keats
1795 – 1821

Rain and March Wind

Does anyone else remember the images of children with umbrellas, struggling with the wind, as symbols for the month of March. My elementary school classrooms sported these images at this time of year, and it seems the weather this year is picture perfect.

Another quiet day here at Mist Cottage.

Attila’s last grocery run was Friday, and we will avoid the grocery stores as long as we can from now on. I drink lactose free milk, and there was none in the stores last week, so whatever I have in the refrigerator will have to last as long as possible. So I will stop making yogurt for now, and perhaps freeze some of the existing milk supply, two cartons, to be used sparingly in the weeks and months to come. Of course, I might be able to get some again when we start ordering groceries to be picked up, but we will wait as long as we can before trying to obtain more food. The fewer exposures to other humans in close proximity, the better.

Our current supplies allow us to eat healthy food until our attempt to order for pick up. NoFrills, our local store, is offering free orders for pick up, at store prices, which is a really smart strategy, as there are quite a few people who won’t forget how this food chain stepped up to the plate when it was needed. No seniors hours there yet. They will have our custom for as long as we shop here for groceries. The free service might attract new customers, who could get very comfortable with ordering for pick up, so that when all this has passed, the chain may have a larger customer base. Of course, not having attempted it yet, experience may relieve me of my optimism, it might not work out quite the way it is described by the company.

I’ve decided to begin making a written list of projects, large and small. Right now, with my concerns about Attila being out there every day, I find it difficult to focus on physical activities. The written to-do list will be like training wheels for keeping active. It is too easy to sink into the hole of checking the continually blasting information, and to worry. Some attention needs to be paid to how things are unfolding of course, but only in small doses.

Where Attila works there have now been two executives arriving within the last few days from traveling abroad, who have not self-isolated, and have come in to the facility to work. They have not been tested, so we don’t know if they have the virus, yet, but the next two weeks should tell all. There is no protection from these awful people, employees are stuck with this kind of endangerment. We pray Attila hasn’t been exposed. And another local case, a hospital worker, should have known better, who has tested positive, and as far as I can tell went back to work, because they are trying to contact other empolyees, so the person must of have gone back to work. There is a claim that no patients were exposed, but it seems other employees might have been.

Worldly

Weather

2°C
Date: 9:00 PM EDT Tuesday 17 March 2020
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.2°C
Dew point: -6.2°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: W 15 gust 31 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Our Grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.”
Michael Miller, March 17, 2020

Sophie got sick, then Canada Changed

Two weeks ago I began self-isolation. It isn’t complete though, Attila must still go to work, he is not completely self-isolated, so neither am I. On the job he is near hundreds of different people every day, what are the chances he will come in contact with COVID-19? Just a matter of time really, so I really want him to stay home! Sigh. That is not possible. Hopefully, since he is in a high-risk category, the powers-that-be will allow him to self-isolate with some sort of financial support, but I doubt very much they are thinking that far ahead for the daily challenges of the little people. Nero comes to mind. Or things might get to the point that they did in Italy, and everyone will be confined to their dwellings, how we pay for food if that happens, I do not know. Time will tell.

So far the isolation is not stressful, but it does narrow an aspect of the view. We were not out and about much anyway, only to buy groceries and supplies, so not much has changed. With the weather warming up, soon we will be busy right here at Mist Cottage, preparing for the garden, planting it, then tending it. At least we have a yard, we are so very, very lucky in that way. Counting our blessings.

Our local grocery store, a NoFrills, has just announced grocery pickup at no charge, at regular store prices. The other local stores are charging for delivery, higher prices, no pickup. Our choice is obvious. Kudos to NoFrills in Canada! That will save Attila having to walk up and down the crowded aisles, reducing at least some exposure.

Last week, on Attila’s very last visit to the grocery store, the day before Sophie Trudeau was diagnosed with COVID-19 and suddenly the world changed, he picked up 4 pounds of Jalapeno peppers. On Saturday we spent the day making yet another double batch of Cowboy Candy. Attila loves it! I like the syrup for making salad dressing and as a sauce for vegetable and rice lunches. It is one of the more intensive canning projects, because it involves cutting all those hot peppers into rings, and the cooking process is multi-stepped. But so worth the trouble.

Yesterday I needed to bake bread, but had no flour left. The morning was spent milling flour, and the afternoon was spent baking it into five loaves. Also on the to-do list yesterday was a double batch of Switchel, which Attila loves for his lunches.

This week homemade yogurt, and two batches of muffins, are on the to-do list. New routines are beginning to form, as Canada changes rapidly and suddenly around us.

Actually, the last few weeks have seemed unsettled and chaotic, as Attila and I finalized our strategies for survival, just in time. So I am just now catching my breath and settling in for a long period of isolation, after waiting for months in disbelief at the casualness of our species, for the rest of the world to wake-up. Waiting for Canada to act as if COVID-19 would indeed have something to do with us. Attila and I have done all we can now, and a period of adjustment and tweaking is upon us.

This morning a big hydro truck pulled up just across the street, using a boom lift to take a significant number of branches from a young healthy maple tree in the neighbour’s yard. They left enough of the tree that it might survive, I have my finger’s crossed.

I’ve been enjoying oatmeal for my breakfast for the last few weeks. I love making it with: 1/4 cup oatmeal, 4 chopped dates, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons of whole flax seed, and 3/4 cup of milk with two drops of liquid stevia. It is all placed in a bowl, stirred, and cooked for 1 minute on high in the microwave, stirred, then 30 seconds more, then stir, then 30 second more, then stir, and in a few minutes it is ready to eat.

I am still listening to audio books, and am enjoying Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, at the moment.

Today I watched a video, posted yesterday, put out by a young couple (they look under 40) who are travelling all over Europe, have just returned to the UK, then travelled to Ireland, and are planning on touring Canada. It hasn’t seemed to occur to them that they might be carrying the virus around and gifting it to all the wonderful places they visit, the BandB in Ireland where they are staying, for example. If they get sick here, should Canadians have to compete with them if the health care system is overtaxed? Why is Canada allowing the possibilitie of such a scenario. This is no time for vacationing in foreign lands.

Worldly

Weather

1°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Monday 16 March 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.6°C
Dew point: -10.8°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: S 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 – 1860

Decisions on High: Too Little, Too Late

Attila will have to return to work on Monday, and as the pandemic intensifies here, I find I don’t want him to go. He has no choice of course, he has to go. But if we could manage to survive financially, we both agree, he would stay home and we would self-isolate. Both of us are in the high risk-for-complications category.

We are both quite willing to self-isolate for the sake of our country, if means of financial survival were provided.

We live in a very small space, and will be unable to implement the recommendations for living with a COVID-19 patient, even though we would be quarantined here together.

I am not happy about this, and I feel the Canadian government, and employers, could do a lot better, on the ground, to set things up to protect seniors and health compromised people. Proactive prevention should be a priority at this stage in the game. Soon this window of opportunity will close also, just as the window of opportunity for containment closed before our governments caught on. Wise up.

I don’t feel confident though, that the government is savvy enough to get moving on things like this, allowing people who live with those over 65, or those with preexisting conditions, to choose to be “laid off work” for self-isolation. A little thing, but it could make a huge difference in spreading the contagion out so that the medical resources will be able to handle everyone, just not all at once. As far as I can determine, almost all serious complications occur in the age groups over 40 years of age, and that risks increase with age.

It just seems obvious to me, common sense. But where was common sense when our leader’s wife, in spite of the blatant warning signs around the world that trudged on till it was a pandemic, traveled to England, intermingled with thousands of people at an event, interacted in other settings, and came back home to test positive for COVID-19.

The next day the government, her husband, took it seriously. Why was she over there when this was going on in the world? In my opinion it was not a responsible choice. She has a mild case, at least there is that. And our Prime Minister is now in self-isolation at home with his family. Many leaders are self-isolating.

I seldom become political here, but this issue could cost me my life, or Attila’s life, or the life of someone else I know and care about, and surely the lives of other Canadians unknown to me, but whose lives are equally important. So it makes me a little angry that so little is being done on the ground to delay the spread and mediate the impact of this pandemic.

Attila wonders if all these delayed responses facilitated the movement of capital to investments with a new world future.

The decisions made by leaders all over the world beggar belief.

Worldly

Weather

4°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Saturday 14 March 2020
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 4.2°C
Dew point: -3.1°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Bill Gates
1955

“I got my story, my dream, from America. The hero I had is Forrest Gump… I like that guy. I’ve been watching that movie about 10 times. Every time I get frustrated, I watch the movie. I watched the movie before I came here again to New York. I watched the movie again telling me that no matter whatever changed, you are you.”
Jack Ma
1964

Sunshine

Another quiet day here at Mist Cottage. The sun is shining brightly, and the temperature is above freezing, extra nice day!

Attila has already finished off one of the five jars of Cowboy Candy, I think he would eat a half a jar a day, every day, if left to his own devices. It would take a lot of canning to keep him supplied at that rate. As it is, he will have to ration his consumption to a more reasonable level, perhaps a jar a week. I hope we will be able to get more Jalapeno peppers next month, so we can can another double batch!

I have been enjoying my re-fried beans, eating the last of them for lunch today. Attila prefers his own recipe, which includes salt, which he has cut down on, but still eats more than the recommended amount.

The snow is gone! Wally Ball is enjoying his new found freedom, and is dashing about the yard, inspecting for new shoots of green growth. Wally Ball is no longer round, having spent so much time out of doors, he is quite weathered. But still he manages to move around the yard, sometimes with great speed.

We have been visited by robins frequently over the last few days, i can hear them chirping even though the windows are closed. Soon it will be warm enough to open the windows, I am looking forward to that.

Attila and I are making a list of things we will need if we need to stay in the house for several weeks. I think vegetables might be what I would miss most, so I have frozen vegetables on my list. Attila’s list includes hot sauce, which he adds to a lot of different dishes. Our list isn’t very long, there are only the two of us. Our goal over the coming months is stay healthy enough to stay at home, and keep out of the hospital system.

Love and Good Health,
Maggie

Worldly

Weather

5°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 12 March 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.8°C
Dew point: -2.0°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: ESE 13 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”
Sir Winston Churchill
1874 – 1965