Sunny!

I am feeling rather flat these days, not unhappy, just flat. The uncertainty of the future is very wearing, but there is nothing to be done about it at present. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, I keep telling myself.

Today the sun shone! I had to run errands today, so off I went, and it was beautiful out there! The snow, the new snow that we received in the last few days, is melting, melting, melting. Apparently there is cold weather on the way this weekend, hopefully it will be the last of the seriously cold weather!

Today was also bill paying day, and doing some spring cleaning on the computers, they are quite a mess! Soon the weather will be nice and I won’t feel much like doing anything on the computer.

Last weekend when we did the grocery shopping, I spied some very nice looking avocados, but they were very, very green. Today they are ripe, perfect! Tonight’s dinner consists of Guacamole and corn chips for Attila, and Guacamole and low sodium crackers for me. I love Guacamole. I make it by mashing the avocado, then adding salsa to the desired consistency and taste, it is oh so simple and oh so good. The next meal I cook will probably be next Monday, I am so looking forward to trying out Bex’s dish!

There are a few jobs that need doing before the big window installation. The red pine flooring still hasn’t been moved out of the basement, Attila wanted to wait for warmer weather, as it was decided it would come out through a window. Since the window installation isn’t expected until April, there is still a large window of time within which to accomplish this.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Thursday 15 March 2018
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.6C
Dew point: -7.4C
Humidity: 48%
Wind: WNW 15 gust 27 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.”
Jane Austen
1775 – 1817

Tryin’ It Out

A weekday, my turn to cook!

So, today I rummaged through the cupboard and found part of a package of rice/quinoa pasta. I cooked it according to the package directions. That was a start. What next? I found a tin of low-sodium, low-cholesterol cream of mushroom soup, hanging around in the cupboard. I also rummaged up a can of flaked tuna, preserved in water. At the back of a bottom cupboard I dragged out the slow cooker. The pasta was drained and added, the cans were opened and added. Feeling lazy, I added garlic granules, dehydrated onion flakes, lemon juice, and a little bit of brown sugar. When it was all mixed together, on went the lid, and tonight I’ll find out how it turns out. The worst that can happen is that Attila hates it, and will only eat it for one meal, which would mean I would be eating the leftovers myself. This is a possibility I keep in mind when I am making up recipes.

Attila does not like deviation from “traditional” recipes. He would not consider today’s offering as a Tuna Noodle Casserole. I will rename the effort, calling it Quinoa Casserole, hopefully eliminating the expectations that the title Tuna Noodle Casserole evokes.

Attila eats at least two meals every evening. He eats about five times more than I do, sometimes more. If he doesn’t consume that much food, he begins to lose weight. Eating my meagre rations, if I eat even a little bit more, I gain weight. If I eat a lot less, my weight is maintained. If I eat less than would sustain health, I lose a little bit of weight, very slowly. My BMI is not what is should be, so I try to eat as little as possible and still maintain health… it is tricky, and I’ve been unsuccessful in losing the stubborn 15-20 pounds that really need to come off. I think I would appreciate this metabolic efficiency during a famine, but it isn’t doing me any favours under present conditions.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Wednesday 14 March 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.4°C
Dew point: -1.8°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: NW 19 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 2 km

Quote

“No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar.”
Donald Foster

The Young Man And The White Laundry Basket

When just don’t know what to do with myself, I write.

The day was sunny. That was nice. The day was above freezing. That was nice. All the snow is gone. That is nice.

It is bug season here at Mist Cottage. Bug season is a precursor of spring, which as it happens, arrives on Tuesday of this coming week. Not a moment too soon.

I took Friday as a “sick day”. I stayed in my pyjamas all day. I curled up in my chair, with my crocheted blanket wrapped around me. I read, I ate, I sipped tea, I gazed out the window at the trees and the sky, I dozed off. The computers remained unused and silent all day long. The telephones did not ring, nor did I call anyone. It was good to spend a day contemplating life, the universe, and everything. The funny part of it was, I assumed that because I dozed off and on, that I would have a difficult time sleeping on Friday night. Such was not the case. I retired at my usual time, and immediately fell into a restful sleep, awaking at 4:00 a.m., which now, with my altered sleep patterns, I consider sleeping in.

On Friday, during the day, I happened to be looking out the living room window, when I spied an unknown young man, he could have been a teenager, he might have been 25, I can’t tell anymore, walking up the street from the scarred land that is being cleared at the end of the street. He was carrying a white laundry basket. It contained unidentified items, none of which were fabric. I didn’t recognize him, which is still of some relevance, as this is still a short dead end street. By this time next year the street will be full of strangers, more than 50 new families in rental units, all the foot traffic and all the vehicles, needing this narrow little street to reach, or to leave, their homes.

Back to the young man with the laundry basket. I wonder where he came from, and where he was going. Did he have some sort of secret place in the woods, where he kept “stuff”, which he wanted to remove before the rest of the trees were felled? Was he crossing the chewed up land as a short cut, moving some sort of gear from one house to another? He does not live in this neighbourhood, I know that much.

The weekend has been quiet and uneventful. Uneventful is as good as it gets these days, and considering the state of the world, it behoves me to be grateful for finding myself in such a context, even if it isn’t what I would like it to be.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Sunday 11 March 2018
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.7°C
Dew point: -4.5°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SSW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -7
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.”
Robert Lynd
1879 – 1949

Doing Its Thing

March is doing its thing. The morning light brought a vision of white, snow had fallen silently while I slept. More snow is predicted today, and again tomorrow. The blanket is thin, it will easily yield itself completely to a sunny day. There are sunny days ahead.

Today is International Women’s Day. Yay women. Yay men who value women as people. Yay the “us” that comes of all those sentient beings who get it.

My life continues to clunk along, here at Mist Cottage. I think it is clunking for Attila too. The holding pattern has settled into a comfortable state of everyday life. Surprisingly, Attila and I have introduced a few new shared activities into the mix, which we both enjoy, a pleasant development. For me, it is the internal adjustments necessary to cope with the changes, that offer the biggest challenge.

I am determined to continue to develop interests in the outside world. I am looking at courses to attend, and perhaps, as was suggested, I might volunteer somewhere. Really, the only activity that I’ve tried thus far, that I think will stick, is the Tai Chi. For now the Tai Chi is something I perceive as difficult, because the method of teaching doesn’t really suit the way I learn, not a good fit, and the expected pace of achievement is far beyond my capabilities. But even considering all of that, I think that eventually I will learn, and when that has taken place I will enjoy spending a few silent hours with the graceful and comforting movements, in the presence of others who are doing the same thing. That is what attracts me to Tai Chi, the silent sharing, people unified by a mere 108 movements, performed simultaneously. It is the closest human’s get to a murmur of starlings.

I often wonder what humans were up to before written history distorted, perhaps even invented, the past. Yes, we have scholars telling us about what happened, based on archeological evidence. But the degree of speculation in this kind of “science” is seldom acknowledged. How much of lived human life can be reduced to a pot shard, a skeleton, a pyramid… the conflation of human life experience to artifacts is not easily reconstituted into an understanding of lived experience, or reveal the complexity of human interactions. For instance, what will the plastic in the oceans say about us, if anyone in the distance future is here to take an interest?

Thoughts for a snowy March morning.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Thursday 8 March 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.7C
Dew point: -1.3C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: NW 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -2
Visibility: 13 km

Quote

“You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep. You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin. You deserve a lover who wants to dance with you, who goes to paradise every time he looks into your eyes and never gets tired of studying your expressions. You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall. You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”
Frida Kahlo
1957 – 1954
Correction 1907 – 1954

Now wouldn’t that be lovely!

The Purple Ball

Last summer we had a serious wind storm. During that storm, a large purple ball blew into our fenced yard. It would have been quite a feat, jumping that fence, the ball must really have wanted to live here. I’ve been watching that ball, it blows around the yard with every passing breeze. I never know where I’ll see the ball, sometimes it is out of sight altogether, hiding near the back porch, or behind the shed. Most of the time it is resting comfortably somewhere in the yard, against a fence, on the compost heap, beside the ash tree, near the cloths line pole… I’ve grown quite fond of peeking out the kitchen window every morning, just to see where the purple ball has gotten to.

I have to get back to the bank again this week, how tedious! Also, the car has to go in for servicing, which isn’t a big deal, but things have to be scheduled around the event, as it leaves us with one vehicle.

I have decided that this week I will not attend Tai Chi, it is too hard to fit it in. However, if I am honest, there are factors acting as deterrents in my Tai Chi attendance this week. I didn’t want to attend the class with Little Miss Bossy this week. I was going to attend the next day’s class, but it was cancelled for an “intensive” Tai Chi event, which several people were adamant I should attend, which I did not want to attend, and there was a pot luck dinner after the event, Russian Roulette, no thanks, and I didn’t feel up to trying to explain about my allergy, and why I won’t attend the pot luck dinners, which in my experience is regarded as an antisocial act… avoidance seemed the best choice. Then two extra tasks needing a vehicle came up for later in the week, so that is that, no Tai Chi this week. I will be back at it next week. My knee is feeling better every day, so I should be in good form for it.

I have been enjoying hot breakfast cereal every morning over the last few months. I have taken to those offered by Bob’s Red Mill, Whole Wheat Cream of Wheat (discontinued), 6 Grain Cereal, High Fibre Cereal, and one called Mighty Tasty Cereal, a mixture of rice, corn, sorghum and buckwheat. The same method of preparation seems to work for all of them, 1/4 cup cereal, 1 tablespoon of flax seed, 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut, 4 dates chopped, and 3/4 cup of lactose free milk, or almond milk, depending on my whim. I microwave this mixture for 1 minute, then stir, microwave for 30 seconds more, then stir, and if needed microwave for 30 more seconds, then stir. My adjusted palate finds this mixture dessert-for-breakfast sweet. I find that left to my own devices, I tend to eat the same foods every day. This habit developed as my interest in food dwindled, as more and more foods contained my allergen, and my choices dwindled. So it is quite pleasant to have these four different breakfast cereals, plus regular oatmeal, awaiting my pleasure each morning, choice without danger!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3C
Date: 4:00 PM EST Tuesday 6 March 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.8C
Dew point: -5.3C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: ENE 20 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”
Madeleine L’Engle
1918 – 2007