Cookies Gone Wrong

Who makes cookies and forgets to add the sugar! I mean, what use is a cookie without any sugar? Apparently I made cookies without adding any sugar! And you know what, they taste good anyway. I’m not sure just how that manages to be true, but it is. They are Turmeric Breakfast Cookies. I will say though, that even though I will eat all of them, the next time I make these cookies I will strive to remember to add the called for sugar to the recipe. I’d say that I’d learned my lesson and this wouldn’t happen again, but it has happened before, and I am sure it will happen again… I have an avoidance thing about sugar; only because I like it so much, and it is not good for me.

The kitchen is a busy place at Mist Cottage today. The weather can be thanked for that. Blowing snow and rain, and the temperature is hovering just above freezing. The roads are covered in slush and ice, and the wind is wicked. Home is the best place to be when weather like this comes to visit. And what better to do, on windy, wet and cold day, than bake cookies, and muffins (sugar was added), and cook garbanzo beans in the Instant Pot. Attila will make a large batch of Hummus this evening, which I love to eat for my breakfast or lunch, and he loves to eat for his lunch.

Things are quiet and peaceful today, and the house smells amazing.

Attila just brought in a plate, on which he stacked the silicone muffin cups to dry after they were washed. He brought the stacked cups in to show me that the three colours (four each) are stacked without two cups of the same colour touching. He knows how to have fun in the kitchen!

Soon it will be time to turn the oven on for dinner preparations. The menu for this evening is Roast Chicken Breasts, with Oven Roasted Potatoes, and Green Beans. Comfort food.

Yesterday was sunny all day, and a little bit chilly. Attila and I took advantage of the nice weather, and clear sidewalks downtown, to do a little walking tour. It was lovely to be out and walking about. I still needed my parka, boots, and gloves though!

Worldly

Weather

Date: 3:00 PM EDT Sunday 10 March 2019
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 1.3°C
Dew point: 1.3°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: S 24 gust 36 km/h
Visibility: 6 km

Quote

“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
1882 – 1945

I think the erratic and extreme weather has humans tying knots all over the planet! Hang on!

Daily Bread

Years ago I baked all of our bread, all of the time. Then we moved to the country house, and my job demanded my time for almost all my waking hours, and the bread baking just wasn’t possible. Then the job disappeared, and I began taking on a series of truly horrid, very low paying, local jobs with either long hours, or on-call short notice jobs that chopped up my time so that I couldn’t really expect to have open ended hours for bread baking. Bread baking became more and more difficult to undertake, and eventually I just gave it up.

Then we moved to Mist Cottage. Living in the tunnels-through-the-boxes in this tiny house, and working on downsizing, took years. There were also significant renovations going on the whole time. Then, just as the physical environment was stabilizing, Attila had a “midlife crisis”, and life upended in a different way.

Attila’s crisis has eased, 2018 was survived, life at Mist Cottage has stabilized, and I am able to return to baking all of our bread.

Years ago, before we moved to the country house, I purchased 50 pounds of whole wheat flour. If life had not had other plans for me, and my bread baking had continued, the flour would have been easily consumed before its shelf life had expired. But life did have other plans for me. The flour was not consumed. Some of it spent time in the cupboard. Some of it spent time in a 6 gallon bucket. Some of it spent time in the freezer.

The flour that spent time in the cupboard was thrown away a few months ago, when I began to organize the basement and finally checked it, after the garage roof project was completed. It was rancid.

The flour that spend time in the 6 gallon bucket was edible, not fresh exactly, but edible, and it has provided us with bread for the last month. I am glad it is gone, I did not enjoy baking with it.

The flour in the freezer was checked yesterday, it was fresh, not off at all, and so it will be used for bread baking until it is gone.

When all of the old whole wheat flour has been consumed, I will begin to mill my own flour, in small batches, from whole grains. Whole grains keep much longer than milled flour. The whole grains will be kept in the freezer, then thawed in small quantities, to be milled for our daily bread.

I will be experimenting with all kinds of grains, and hope to try Rye, Kamut, Spelt, Red Fife Wheat, and Einkorn Wheat. Currently I am searching for reasonable suppliers. Shipping is the real issue with grains, because they are very heavy, so that the cost of shipping is around the same as the cost of the grain itself. So far I’ve found only a few Ontario suppliers, who cater almost exclusively to the well off, and quite a few fantastic suppliers from the prairies. I”ve even found suppliers from the USA, with free shipping, and their products would be cheaper to import than products purchased locally, or in Canada. Decisions, decisions!

Worldly

Weather

-9°C (-19C last night!)
Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 8 March 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -8.7°C
Dew point: -14.2°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: SW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km

Note: The predicted temperatures going forward are getting warmer, so that our Heat Pump will be taking over the heating from the forced air furnace, most of the time. The low humidity and static problems will subside. Heat Pump heating requires a different kind of wardrobe during the day. It circulates room temperature air, so that the thermal mass in the house does not heat to a higher temperature as it does with the heat from the forced air furnace, which blasts warmer than room temperature air. This means that objects, like the chair I sit on, will be room temperature, and cooler to the touch, thus cooling the body on contact. So, my autumn/spring wardrobe will be adopted. I will need slightly heavier clothing to keep comfortable.

Quote

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman
1819 – 1892


Where Virtue Lives

Well here it is, March! At last! We awoke to a winter wonderland, a few inches of snow fell over the course of the night, to sparkle this morning in the sunlight. We had thought to go out for a walk today, but opted for a day of food preparation instead, so as to avoid any possible ice underfoot.

Bread baking and Split Pea Soup making passed the hours pleasantly.

Yesterday was spent moving furniture around. This provided an opportunity to sort through some belongings, clothes in particular. If a piece of clothing holds together and fits comfortably, it stays. A few items went into the trash, they were well past any hope of being useful to humans. A full grocery bag of lightly worn, no-longer-fit clothes, was gleaned from the cupboards, and it will go to the women’s shelter.

Virtue: conformity to a standard of right : morality.

Source: Mirriam-Webster

The keyword, in my opinion, in this definition, is the word “right”, as in correct. Who is to say what is right? How does one know what is right? Who sets this standard by which the virtuous establish their claim to virtue?

Two possible standard bearers are external, or internal standards.

There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of external individuals and groups claiming the right to define right for themselves and others. A lot of people rely on them as guides.

Many people rely on internal beacons of what is right to guide their path in life.

And then there are people who rely on both, simultaneously or sequentially.

Personally, I find the concept of virtue is of limited value, it can take up shop just about anywhere. I think Hitler believed himself to be quite virtuous, and he seemed very sure that his definition of right… was right.

The human characteristics that I find valuable are things like kindness, compassion, honesty, and similar recipient-oriented attributes.

Worldly

Weather

-5°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 3 March 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -4.8°C
Dew point: -7.5°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Virtue is choked with foul ambition.”
William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616
Henry VI, Part II, Act III, sc. 1

[Ambition of the external arbiter of virtue, or an internal virtue rooted in ambition.]



Garage Door

Now that the new windows are installed, and the furniture has been rearranged, I am moving on to organize all the stuff that was stored in the furniture. This is a job of monumental proportions, in terms of my time, and the challenge to find a place for everything I want to keep.

Attila is spending a lot of time getting the basement organized, in preparation for the upcoming garage roof project.

It is Good Friday, a statutory holiday in Ontario, which means there are three consecutive days to work on these projects, where I can make changes that involve heavy lifting, because Attila will help with that if called upon. My first project for the weekend is to apply adhesive backed window film to the window panes of the garage door window. The door is question is the “man door” into the garage, not the big garage door, the windows in it are painted over and let no light in. I have wanted to do this since 2010, when Mist Cottage was purchased! First though, the glass and the door must be cleaned, and THAT is a daunting task, it is one very filthy door!

Attila is cooking a turkey dinner today, which we will both enjoy. On the weekends his cooking efforts are usually focused on foods I cannot or will not eat. So a weekend turkey dinner is a treat from my point of view, because I will be eating it too.

I continue to do the cooking during the week, a light task, as it turns out. After moving out on my own as a teenager, and until I met Attila, I did all the food preparation. Planning and preparing meals is a familiar and pleasant part of the day.

It has been raining for the last few days, and the temperature has risen above freezing each day; the result is that the landscape is tinged with a hint of green. The birds are plentiful, as our trees offer shelter for those displaced by the destruction of the wetland forest at the end of the street. Since the new windows were installed, I have to step out of doors to hear the birds singing! At least, I will have to step out of doors to hear the concert, until the warm weather arrives and the windows can be opened.

My knee and my back have been rather troublesome the last few weeks, which meant that last week I did not attend Tai Chi. The week before last I stayed home while the new windows were being installed. That is quite a long break from Tai Chi. This learning process is going slowly. But that is what suits me, to attend when I can, and not worry about it when something else comes up. Ideally Tai Chi was to be something I could attend and participate in whenever it suited me. I used to watch groups of people doing Tai Chi together on Saturday mornings in the local parks, and always wished back then, that I had time for such things. I am a long way from achieving that goal, as I am a shockingly slow learner. I am surprised by how slow I am to pick this up, as I used to be quite athletic in my youth, and picked things up quickly. Apparently that skill has rusted a bit from disuse.

I have been using my elliptical machine though, as I can manage it without having to overcome much in the way of inertia. I watch half hour sitcom episodes while I walk on the elliptical machine, the time passes more easily that way. My favourite form of recreation is going for walks, and soon the weather will be perfect for it.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 30 March 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 7.3°C
Dew point: 2.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NW 23 gust 33 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

LOL, no danger here! No offers.

Good Tired

Today the sun shone brightly all day long. It lifts my spirits, a day so full of sunshine!

Attila and I have been making plans to rearrange the house, what little of it there is, to accommodate our new living arrangement. Furniture needed to be moved, belongings needed to be sorted, and everything needed to be reorganized.

Saturday morning we began the odyssey. Attila did most of the heavy lifting, I was in constant motion moving things around, which was vital, to make enough space available to actually move an object. Things are packed very tightly in this little house. Sunday morning was a day of the same, constant motion. By Sunday night the beds were where they needed to be, which was the goal for the weekend, sound sleep is needed during the work week.

Today I was busy all day long organizing, and the job is far from complete.

I am tired, physically tired, and it feels right.

A big part of this realigned living arrangement is books. Thousands of books. Books to be moved, stacked, reshelved, and reorganized. The books are all back on the shelves, but not on the shelves where I want them to reside. I will be moving books around for a few weeks to come.

There are three items that I am willing to give up, so far. A yoga mat, my days of getting down on the floor to do exercises are over. A pair of memory foam slippers, that don’t fit and haven’t been worn over the last decade, they are like new. A pair of black dress shoes, my favourite shoes in the world; but alas they no longer fit well, and I am old and unwilling to submit myself to discomfort for any reason other than necessity. Not much of a list after three days of organizing and purging!

The new basement windows were covered with newspaper held up with painter’s tape. That was an immediate and temporary solution, meant to maintain privacy. This morning three pressure rods were fed into three white cafe curtains, which were then hung over the basement windows. They are perfect! These are the cafe curtains that hung over the old windows in the living room.

The bottom of the clothes closet, the only clothes closet in the house, was dirty, not having been cleaned since 2010. It took a few hours to empty the closet, vacuum, wash the floor, dry the floor, and then store things away again.

The charging station needed a new home. To that end a set of tall drawers in the living room were pulled away from the wall, and a power bar plugged into the outlet behind it. Once the dresser was pushed back into place the dresser top became the new charging station.

There were dozens of other little tasks that kept me busy all day long.

So here it is, the light outside the window is dimming, and I am sitting in my easy chair, tuckered right out. It is a good tired.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Monday 26 March 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 5.0°C
Dew point: -8.1°C
Humidity: 38%
Wind: SW 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955