Honouring the Past

Yesterday was Remembrance Day.  Terra and I were talking on the phone and together observed a minute of silence, not at the appropriate time, we missed that.  My thoughts, during our short tribute to those who faced and face the horrors of war, focused on the WWI, which my grandfather fought in Europe and returned home to us, WW2, which ended before I was born but is remembered vividly by my parent’s generation, the Korean War, the war in VietNam, the poem In Flanders Field and those who survived war impartially: physically, emotionally, mentally.

Those who do the fighting in wars are not those who create them. I feel one can honour those who sacrifice, without supporting that war is necessary.

Yesterday was a day full of memories of every kind.  Terra and I had a real heart to heart talk, exploring the feelings of today and how they are affected by events of the past.  Intense territory for both of us, and very heartening to explore our territory with honesty and integrity.

After some correspondence, yesterday I met a local artist at my Grandparent’s house and gave her a tour of the interior, talked about my memories and listened to her experiences exploring other historic properties with their owners.  She was a lovely person, so that I doubt we will regret granting her access to our beloved house.  She will also interview my Mother, who grew up in the house  and lived through many changes during and since the Great Depression.

Sunny Morning at the Little House in the City

Sunny Morning at the Little House in the City

As usual, after having visited my Grandparents house, I am longing for my Grandparents.  The emotion is irrational, intense, mixed with joy and sorrow.

We just received the assessment papers for our little house in the city.  It was built in 1958 and is 718 square feet.  A wonderful size for two people!  Oh, yes, two people and cat!  Sorry Mist!

I am working this morning.  I am dreading it.  It is very, very hard labour, to remain calm while contemplating the situation.  I’ve been very good, for the most part, at blocking it from my mind.  Nothing for it but to lift my head high, smile and carry on.

This afternoon I have a whole list of things that have to be done.  This is fortunate, the tonic of real day-to-day life after a difficult experience.

Food is a comfort.  I did manage to make my apple crisp, and have been enjoying it for snacks and at breakfast.  Attila is preparing his Turkey Soup, which takes days and days to complete.  Another comfort food that we have indulged in is homemade Macaroni and Cheese, always a favorite.

Time now to close the dampers, the fire has expired in the hearth.  Bring on the day!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.0°C
Dewpoint: -4.0°C
Humidity: 100 %
Wind: 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
Anna Lappe

Reclamation

Attila and I visited the little house over the past weekend, we had Saturday off work, and Attila had one day of his holiday time left, which was taken on Monday.  That allowed us to stay two nights and three days in our little house.  Our stay was a tonic, a reclamation of purpose, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and each other.

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard Before

Kitchen Cupboard Before

We accomplished much during our stay at the little house.  Attila lined the bottom kitchen cupboards with cedar, and I immediately began to fill them with our kitchen equipment.  Attila prepared the floor of the second bedroom for painting, and applied the floor paint just before we left, the fumes were potent!  We tackled the basement situation.  I applied a soap and bleach solution to the mildewed cement blocks and some of the overhead joists and boards.  That is a big, smelly, messy, disgusting job and I’ll be glad when I have it completed!  Attila removed nails, excess boards and bits of the former studs and drywall.  We ran the air cleaner continuously throughout the weekend.

During our stay at the little house we got to visit with Terra and Lares.  The two of them work, work, work!  Terra works variable shifts on an on-call basis, and Lares holds down a day job and is on call in the evenings and during the night.  You have to admire the way these two are working hard to create the life they want.

We also managed a brief visit to Luna’s house, which soon will not be her house.  She will be moving in a matter of weeks!  They will be relocating temporarily about a two hour drive from the little house.  That is a six or seven hour drive from our country house, one way, so it is unlikely we can make it that far there and back in a 24 hours period, which is what we have to work with because of Attila usually works six days a week.  What this will mean ultimately is that we will see them less.  It is all temporary though, we might move to the little house, they might move again… who knows!

The grandchildren are changing by leaps and bounds now, the twins are in school and Tink has just begun to walk.  We spent a wonderful hour playing with the grand-kids before we had to leave for our long drive home to our country house.

When we arrived home at the country house, the atmosphere was chilly.  The temperature in the house was a respectable 15 C, not bad after three days with no heat source.  However, Mist was totally unimpressed with the temperature, and with us.  She was volubly indignant for quite a while, but calmed considerably once Attila had a roaring fire going in the masonry heater.  Today she seems much recovered and is friendly again.

Caitrìona and Harriet stopped by for a cup of tea yesterday, on their way home from Harriet’s cottage.  We had a lovely chat and Attila was even home for lunch while they were here and got to visit with them as well.

The tension at work seems more intense, I got a call from the manager while Caitrìona and Harriet were here.  This situation is uncomfortable for everyone involved and I do hope it is resolved equitably. I am hoping that the people who mediate this situation are skilled and humane, and that the situation is addressed sooner rather than later, this is the optimistic view.

Errands await me.  I have filing to do.  I have to visit the bank and process the paperwork they require.  There are bills to pay.  There are resumes to send out.  There are telephone calls that must be made.  I’ve been craving apple crisp again, so I’d like to bake today.  Laundry needs doing again.  It is not an exciting or even interesting list of tasks.  Still, accomplishing a series of little things that need doing does offer some level of satisfaction.

The weather is beautiful!  It is mild for this time of year, and the sky is very blue above the sun drenched treetops.  A day to enjoy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.0°C
Humidity: 75 %
Wind: E 8 km/h

Quote

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)

Life is a bore they say.

I experience life in layers. I was made acutely aware of the fact this morning. I’m going in to work this morning for a few hours; the telephone rang with the offer yesterday afternoon while I was vacuuming the rug. I have been away from that environment since last Saturday; a much needed break. Apparently, on some level I don’t want to go back; I dread going back.

I kept myself busy all of last evening, and all of this morning. I haven’t allowed myself to dwell on the issues at work. But alas, as I was editing some html code, my eye roved away from the monitor and up to the top of the swaying pines in the distance; and I burst into tears. It wasn’t that I was allowing myself to wallow in my aversion to the workplace; I was thinking about trees when the tears suddenly appeared.

Sigh. I guess it is best that I experience my feelings. Not much to be done about the situation in the short term. I’m working on change though, working, working, working on change.

Luna just sold her house, which is near our little house in the city. She will be moving away before we manage to move to the area. Can’t be helped, they need to live close to Janus’ job. Glad for them, sad for us. I wonder what the silver lining in this cloud will be!

Terra and Lares are looking into buying a house, near our little house in the city. That would be nice. We have our fingers crossed for them.

Attila and I are busy planning our next visit to the little house in the city. Attila plans to use his time there to line the kitchen cupboards with cedar boards. My job is to re-organize the pots and pans and dishes and such, when the job is complete. We have been trying to find a second hand rake to rake the yard there, but the season for yard sales is long over and I guess we will have to bring the one at the country house with us in the car; it is a very iffy fit. I will be keeping my eyes open for a used rake though, perhaps I’ll try a nearby ReStore, their stock varies week to week.

Mist thinks that her humans are making strides, learning at last to keep the house at a reasonable temperature. Ha! Little does she know that the next time we travel to the little house in the city all her hard work will vanish into thin chilly air. By the time we get back the country house will be chilly, and Mist will definitely be disappointed in our failure to learn our lesson! Still, she is a very forgiving cat.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4 °C
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: 3.6°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: SSE 9 km/h

Quote

“A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.”
Bert Leston Taylor

(Lies, like junk food, feel good in the short term!)

Sunny Days

Another beautiful day in our neck of the woods!

I called Em for a chat and we had a very satisfying chin wag. All is well in her world, as far as health and all things of true importance are concerned. We chatted about weather, the work of Rene M. Caisse, grandchildren and poker. Not a bad mix of topics really.

Finally, I’ve taken it upon myself to use the vacuum cleaner. Benny and Bim are wonderful dogs, we love having them for a visit. It isn’t their fault, but they do shed a lot, particularly Bim. I got most of it with the vacuum this morning, but I know that it will take a few more cleaning sessions before I get all of it.

I’ve been looking at Kobo. I cannot afford, nor do I particularly want, the device; I downloaded the Kobo desktop software for the Macintosh. It works quite well, there are some free books that one can read, about 100 of them I think. However, I’ve read almost all of them, and the ones I haven’t read are not on my list of “must reads”. I am rereading The Prince, which is an interesting experience because I was in my early twenties the last time I read it. Perspective is everything! I wonder if the concept of parallax has been applied to the concept of time; what would that be called?

The filing is under control again. It was a big job, as the bills and bits of this and that have been unattended since the beginning of September, when we left for our holiday at the little house in the city.

Mist is sitting in front of the fireplace waiting for Attila to come home. We didn’t have a fire last night and the house is coolish, but not chilly. However, Mist’s standards of warmth have obviously not been met!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 5.0°C
Dewpoint: -4.9°C
Humidity: 49 %
Wind: NW 11 km/h

Quote

“And of my loyalty none could doubt, because having always kept faith I could not now learn how to break it; for he who has been faithful and hontest, as I have, cannot change his nature; and my poverty is a witness to my honesty””
Souce: The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Translated by W. K. Marriott

I did it!

I did it! I’ve worked two consecutive six day weeks in a negative environment. There were many times when it was all I could do to keep smiling and keep working. And I did it. Ask Attila, it was a very hard go for both of us.

window view on an autumn morning

window view on an autumn morning

So, here I am today looking forward to a much needed break.

Attila is in the kitchen, preparing the stuffing for the turkey. We bought several frozen turkeys when they were on sale just before Thanksgiving. Roast turkey is a wonderful Sunday dinner, and will provide us with at least a week of quick leftover meals and then another week of turkey soup for our lunches.

I am adjusting my diet again. My cholesterol level is creeping up, it is an inherited trait. However, exercise and diet can help. I’ve been getting plenty of exercise, my job is very physically demanding. My diet could use some tweaking. Once again I am having oatmeal at breakfast, in the form of apple crisp. My daily snack is a quarter cup of roasted almonds. It is another year before I will have another blood test for cholesterol levels, and will then find out if there are any long term benefits to these tweaks.

Attila is boarding up the last few windows at the country house today. Heating season is about to begin in earnest, although we are hoping for another few weeks without snow!

My chores include laundry and filing. A recent request for two more copies of a book, that I published myself, are ready to go. I should give the purchaser a call and let them know that they can pick them up anytime.

There won’t be much work for me over the winter apparently, so I’m making plans to spend my time wisely. If I can manage to raise the funds for access to primary data, I’ll work on my families genealogy book. If not I’ll just putter along adding data from free sites online, which can provide useful information but isn’t an adequate source of reference for a publication. I enjoy both activities, so plans can be made regardless of financial circumstances.

As always I’ll be keeping my eye open for possible sources of income since my irregular job is going to go south for the winter. Not much hope of finding anything of course, as the sidewalks in this area have already been rolled up and put away; not much economic activity here in the winter months.

Although I completely exhausted after the last two weeks, I feel pretty good.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0 °C
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dewpoint: -0.4°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: NW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“Abuse a man unjustly, and you will make friends for him.”
Edgar Watson Howe (1853 – 1937)