Memory, a tricky subject.

Science and medicine know some things about human brains. After reading a half dozen scientific papers about memory, I’m not convinced that, through the parameters of science, we know all that much.

Memory has always been a source of fascination. I am a very lucky woman, I have and still do interact with some very brilliant and exceptional minds. From my perspective, each of these minds is/was unique; unique in the way that they approach/approached input, process and output. As far as I’m concerned there is no one kind of genius.

As for myself, my own memory is like a quirky, impish and fiecely loyal friend. Deep in my mind decisions, based on that stored material, are made. Decisions that guide me, decisions that do not reach consciousness.

How do I know that those unconscious decisions exist? Usually I become aware of them as my thoughts and behaviors form patterns. Sometimes, when environmental conditions are conducive, I can actually catch glimpses of that deep place that is the foundation of my existence.

The book I am currently reading is all about memory, science and what science does not know. Dementia is one of the larger themes in the book; the loss of memory is explored. But mostly the book is about what role memory plays in human, and non-human, connections.

Drying Laundry in the Winter

Drying Laundry in the Winter

I have little experience with dementia. I think my paternal Grandmother may have briefly suffered from dementia, but I don’t really know as once she was hospitalized for heart trouble I never saw her again. My maternal Grandparents were entirely themselves until they passed away, as were my paternal and maternal Aunts and Uncles.

Sometimes I worry about my own memory. I mean, how would you know if you had a problem with your memory when your sitting alone in the bush for days on end? Attila laughs.

When I think about it rationally though, I am still able to juggle working at six differing locations for a corporation, run three small enterprises and this journal. As far as I know nothing is really slipping. Feedback from external sources indicate that nothing is really slipping.

If I do lose my memory, I hope the bad goes first and that I am surrounded by positive and caring people. I have the positive and caring people part in my life now.

Today I am remembering to do laundry!

Worldly Distractions


-9 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -9.0°C
Dewpoint: -10.1°C
Humidity: 92 %
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


“We all make excuses rather than deal with what we don’t want to see – even if it is right in front of our noses… we minimize symptoms despite a preponderance of evidence. We acquit the victim and avoid the obvious.”
Source: Making the Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat
David Dosa M.D.

Preaching to the Converted

I’ve been writing in this journal for over a decade now. I’ve presented myself honestly; although not entirely, given the broad nature of the media. I’ve always felt stranded on a small psychic island, with a few special people, in a sea of mediocrity and denial.

My recurring childhood nightmare was one where particular familiar people physically transformed into horrifying blobby creatures, as they began to deny obvious truths, adopted falseness and attempted to enforce social wrongs. My first Sunday School teacher comes to mind immediately.

What makes my fellow islanders special is only that they are themselves, fully human, flawed, beautiful; they see me, I see them. My “whole hearted” list is a source of pure joy. You know who you are, and if you think you are on my list, or would be if we met, then you must be. I hope I am on your list.

I choose this journal to express what I know about being human. This lecture is interesting, as Ms. Brown uses an academic approach, one I am well familiar with, to describe the very simple concept of being human.

Clutter Queens

Attila and I discussed a trip to the village this morning, a trip I would take.  It snowed all night and it is still snowing.  I can hear snow blowers in the distance, as people clear their drives.  Soon the plows will be clearing the roads.  Perhaps tomorrow would be a better day for a trip.  The errands can wait a day or two or three.  Attila has returned to work and the days of being cocooned in a snowy wonderland have begun in earnest.

January this morning.

January this morning.

WordPress has a new security upgrade that needed installing.  The task was tackled this morning, and completed.  For some reason the automatic update does not work for on this system, it stalls and it fails, every time.  After trying the automatic update once again, this morning, I reverted to a manual install.  All went well and it took less than half an hour, start to finish.

Reflecting on style, I’ve been a minimalist all my life.  Growing up on a farm gave me an acute sense of function.  In addition, my Grandfather had no admiration, and much contempt, for “doo-dads”.  Little wonder my focus is function.

However, I sometimes envy what I regard as the “clutter queens”.  Clutter queens are people who, with a sense for appeal, create very busy objects and spaces that largely serve no purpose at all except that they are fun to look at.  I’ve tried this approach, and the upshot is truly unnerving, for myself or anyone else who has to expose themselves to the resulting object or space.  This is on my mind because I’ve been reading blogs, some of them are full of appealing, visual fluff.  If I don’t stop to look at the fluff in detail, I enjoy the web page and the content of the actual entry.  Once I begin to pay attention to content of the fluff, the joy withers on the vine.

I’ve plans for my Kobo this morning!  Helena sent me an eGift of Kobo credits, just because she says, so I can select a few more books to read!  What a treat.  It seems too, that it might be possible to download library books to the Kobo through my local library services.  Well, I have my reservations about that, services are limited here, the Township does not have Inter-library Loan services, even within the Township!  I’m game to give the digital download a try though, I’ve nothing to lose except a bit of patience and a little of my time.

Worldly Distractions


-3 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dewpoint: -3.3°C
Humidity: 98 %
Wind: SSW 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -7


“Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.”
638 BC – 559 BC

Are we there yet?

Last night when we went to bed it was raining.  This morning everything out there is frozen solid and snow flakes are dancing out of the sky, eventually resting lightly to form a gauzy blanket over hard, hard world.

Yesterday, the first day of 2011, Attila and I did a lot of puttering about.  As we puttered we watched movies, off and on, as we passed the set.  Let’s see, we watched Gunga Din (1939), Music and Lyrics (2007) and Mamma Mia! (2008) (great fun for Abba fans!).  It was with sad relief that I ate the last of my stash of cookies and salted nuts!  Holiday food is one of our greatest joys, and we indulged ourselves thoroughly this year.  I’ve gained some weight, enjoyed every minute of it, and now it is time to get back to normal.  So, last night for dinner we ate a very healthy meal, Attila’s Turkey Soup, made with our Christmas Day turkey.  Attila’s Turkey Soup is healthy, low sodium, low fat, lots of vegetables.  The absolute best thing about it though, is that it tastes great!

One of the tasks Attila took on yesterday was to shovel the snow off the deck.  There was quite a bit there, it had slid off the roof onto the deck in a great rain-sodden mass.  The deck was clear when we went to bed last night.

Since the weather has turned colder today, Attila is busy splitting firewood for the third firing of the masonry heater that we will need today.

In my fantasy life, our deck protrudes from the peak side of the building, where no snow from the roof will ever fall on it, and Attila will never have to shovel it off.  In my fantasy life we have a central heating system that runs on a thermostat, so that the temperature is set and then heat just happens.  This would add hours to Attila’s days, and provide us with a lot more freedom of movement.  These are expensive fantasies!  Perhaps this year the house will sell and we will move into a home where these luxuries already exist!

Having enjoyed Mamma Mia! yesterday on the television, we watched it again tonight.  Actually, I enjoyed it in a different way on second viewing; we watched the film with closed captioning!  Although I didn’t miss much during the first viewing, a few points of plot became much clearer with the second viewing.

Attila has lit the third fire of the day, Mist is settling into her basket for yet another nap and I am about to snuggle up on the easy chair with my Kobo and see what is happening in pre-Rome Italy, via Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin.

It seems that we are indeed here.

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!