Decorative Totem

Next week I am scheduled to work with the “negative coworker”, every morning for five days running.  I thought I was doing very well, putting all thoughts of the impending experience aside.  However, my body has quietly and firmly informed me that this is a foolish and ineffective tactic.  My stomach pain has been building over the last few days; a gut feeling if there ever was one.  Yesterday I broke down and started taking the stomach medication my doctor prescribed for me, to be used when needed.  It is now needed.  I’ll continue with the medication for the next week and continue into the following week, when relief from negativity will do its magic and my stomach will stop sending out the alarm.

Everything in my being shouts “get out” when it comes to dealing with this workplace situation. And I am listening to the call. Universe, if you do tend towards balance, there is a little issue over in this corner that needs some attention! I am doing everything I can think of to assist you Universe.

One of the positive things I picked up, during my December attendance at a program for older wanna-be workers, was an extended vision of volunteer work.  I’ve been running web sites for over ten years.  Some of them are actually commercial entities, others are pipe dream experiments.  They actually serve their purposes well.  The unfortunate thing is, their purpose was never primarily to make money.  Of course, I’d hoped they would make money.  Of course they did/do not.  The new concept, at least new to me, is that these projects could be viewed as volunteer work.

Often people have asked me, why don’t you do volunteer work if you can’t find work.  The short answer is that I NEED to earn an income.  Expanding on that, many of the volunteer opportunities where I live involve a considerable investment in a CAR, FUEL and other various tangible expenses.  I need to earn money, not give it away.  I have to admit that when someone suggests volunteer work to me, I automatically regard them as extremely myopic.

However, with this new concept I can now state emphatically that volunteer work fills my days!  Since my projects are a source of great interest and satisfaction for me, I will be able to project bright enthusiasm.  This will allow me to avoid exploring meaningful communication with those who prefer psychic nearsightedness.

Since I am tragically forthright, it is a lot of work trying to communicate with people who want to live in a panacean state.  What I need is a single phrase of appeasement and dismissal, triggered by an automatic “bullshit-o-meter” hung about my neck as a decorative totem.

Meanwhile, back in the real world…

Yesterday, for the evening meal, I fried fish in olive oil, with chopped garlic.  Attila prepared some rice and green peas, in the microwave oven, to accompany the fish.  I had my doubts about the fish.  Usually I pan fry fresh fish, that is, fresh Canadian fish  However, this was frozen cod from China, and produced a completely different result when pan fried.  It was not pretty, but it was delicious.

Lately I’ve been having trouble finding fish from Canada; everything in the grocery store is from China.  Same thing with garlic.  I HATE having to buy food from China.  Attila and I really will have to take up fishing recreationally, out of necessity to obtain fresh Canadian fish.  Attila has also decided that we are going to grow garlic, tomatoes and squash at the little house this summer. There is adequate sunlight there, and the soil is excellent.  Our country house is in the forest, not good for gardening of any kind, so we are really looking forward to having a viable garden.

Talking about food, it is snack time!  Today it will be a handful of roasted almonds and a vegetable/fruit juice spritzer.

Worldly Distractions


-10 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.4°C
Humidity: 83 %
Wind: E 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -14


“The mind can assert anything and pretend it has proved it. My beliefs I test on my body, on my intuitional consciousness, and when I get a response there, then I accept.”
D. H. Lawrence
1885 – 1930


Black and white and grey out there this morning, with intermittent heavy snowfall.

A list of what is bright and shiny around here:

  • success in downloading library books to the Kobo!
  • success in gaining access to a respectable reference library via the Internet
  • while reading my Kobo I can pace the house, much needed exercise in isolation
  • bills are paid to date, although more whoppers on the way
  • talked to Terra about the wonderful meals she has been preparing
  • heard from Harriet, who is on the beach in Florida this week
  • applied for five jobs yesterday, without angst over results
  • reduced desk clutter and may have desk cleared by the end of the day
  • stood at the window in the sun yesterday, soaking it up

More to come! What an exciting life I lead; suits me, it does.

Since I’m working near the country house next week, Attila and I will not be able to get to our little house in the city until later in January.  Already we have a great pile of clean towels and household objects to transport on our next visit.  We will also bring along some of the flooring given to us by Harriet and Hogan, and a set of saloon doors that we hope will fit the stairs to the basement.

The stairs to the basement at the little house need to be closed to kids and cats and dogs.  The basement is not ready for prime time yet.  I’ve still to complete bleaching the dried mildew on some of the surfaces, and then need to sterilize the floors.  When I have rid the basement of all vestiges of mildew, Attila will paint the exposed overhead surfaces and the floor.  Bleaching the mildew takes time.  For that job I have to don a set of cloths and a hat set aside for that task only, and wear my breathing mask.  I like to have a good few hours to devote to the project at any one time, because a lot of time is used up gearing up.

Today I am tackling the clutter here.  Since I am not a talented “Clutter Queen”, our home is actually more fun to look at when the clutter is removed.  And after that, well after that I’ll be sitting in front of a roaring fire with a Kobo in my lap, reading, snoozing, reading…

Worldly Distractions


-8 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 99.3 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -8.0°C
Dewpoint: -9.4°C
Humidity: 90 %
Wind: SSW 11 km/h


“…lawyers, who, like mercenaries, are profiteers of discord.”
Six Moon Dance by Sherri S. Tepper


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