This past week, the first week of 2021, has been taxing. The Pandemic, the lack of availability of vaccines, the debt of a new vehicle, on a larger scale American political chaos, and on an even larger scale the political corruption and conflicts around the world… all of these things seemed overwhelming.

I need to write!!!

The wreckers came with a flatbed truck today, to pick up our old car. It gave us 10 years of service, and I felt a bit sad to see it go. It was purchased around the same time we bought Mist Cottage, and commuted weekly from the Country House to Mist Cottage to work on renovations. What a decade, so much has happened, so much has changed. Some of the changes were an extremely difficult passage, losing my younger brother, Attila deciding to leave me, then reconciling, those were truly distressing times. But time moves along, one learns how to navigate the wounds, the holes in the universe, and travel forward. In an odd way, seeing the old car leave has provided a bit of closure on the difficult bits of the last ten years. It seems it has served as a requiem for what has been lost but not forgotten, diverting all energy to the forward gaze.

The first week of 2021 has been momentous, in so very many ways. The Pandemic rages around the world, so many lost, so much fear and conflict. The political unrest in the country to the south of us, the shocking attack on the nations Capitol, by its own citizens. The slow trickle of vaccines coming into Canada, totally inadequate for the challenge, and the ceaseless conflicts between our political parties as our nation attempts to deal with the threat of Covid-19. Those are events that are close to home, and the around the world there have been many more.

On a microcosmic scale, there are the events in my life during this first week of 2021. The unwilling and unwanted purchase of a new car was a huge financial and logistical undertaking. Quite frightening really, with our financial future in such a fragile state. It was quite an entry into 2021.

We were reminded in 2020, when Attila had a medical issue and was off work, what it was like to be without any income at all. The short term disability insurance company approached his medically-advised time away from work in a punitive fashion. Not only had we no income, we had daily upset while contesting the denial of benefits with a less than friendly “case worker”. It was torment. We fought through it and won, but received no compensation until long after Attila returned to work. We are well aware now of just how vulnerable we are to severe financial consequences. Of course, this makes the purchase of a new vehicle seem extremely risky.

So 2021 has arrived with a bang as far as I am concerned.

Luckily, I’ve been able to focus on things I can do something about!

The new car needed a car seat cover for Attila to use when travelling to and from work in his soiled clothing. Two days of intense work, and an old sheet and blanket were transformed into a washable seat cover. A whole day was spent emptying the refrigerator freezer, then the refrigerator, to clean and reorganize. Cleaning food storage always reveals a few items that need to be used sooner rather than later, so time has been spent finding tasty recipes using those ingredients. Yesterday I milled flour, baked bread, and washed a load of laundry to hang on the folding racks setup in the living room. Small domestic things happily fill my days.

I do some pro bono technical support for a small family enterprise that I feel deserves friendly support. Years ago they hired me to get them setup, a friendship developed, and I haven’t charged them for years for followup support. Through my life, until living with Attila, I had worked, and given domestic support, to people who were unappreciative. It is such a pleasure to spend time and effort doing something for people who sincerely appreciate my efforts. It is priceless.

A surprising amount of paperwork has also been sorted, most of it dealt with, and most of it filed.

It seems to me 2021 could have some really steep challenges waiting for Attila and I. We will do our best to meet them. We will focus on every single bit of good fortune we do enjoy. We will find as much to celebrate about our lives as we can as we move forward. As doors close we will search for open windows. With a little bit of luck we will survive the pandemic, the financial challenges, and any other formidable mountains that rise from the mists of the future.

Stay safe dear friends!



Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 8 January 2021
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.4°C
Dew point: -12.2°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -16
Visibility: 24 km


“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

Some observations seem timeless.

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I love your positive attitude, Maggie and I hope it pays off ten times over!!! 🙂


Joan Lansberry

A productive new year, so far, for you. Julia and I made a grocery run. It had been three weeks since the last run. I was getting very tired of rice, and missing taters. Wow, I’m pooped, and it’s not all put away, yet. Twain’s quote, hah! Stay safe!


And you have Spring ……plus a new growing season….to look forward to.
Happy New Year Maggie (and Attila)


I love your positive attitude too, Maggie. The New Year hasn’t been terribly good for me so far. But I’m inspired to make some sort of positive outcome in y situation. Happy New Year to all! Sandy


Dearest Maggie, and all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2021 has to be an improvement of 2020. Things here are so distressing that Mike and I have placed ourselves on a “news blackout.”
I listen to one local station for COVID updates and the weather forecast. I simply cannot believe the state of our country. And, we are both almost certain that events are going to get progressively worse. Your new car…well, 5 years ago, Mike bought me my first and only luxury car…a Lincoln MKX. It had everything on it…including heated and AC SEATS, and a heated steering wheel. More electronic gadgets that I never mastered. A couple of weeks ago, Mike accidentally hit a poorly marked curb, and ruined the front passenger side wheel/tire. We found out that to repair/replace was going to be over $1500.00. For one tire/rim. And please know….we had our final payment on this car just a few months ago. It had less than 27,000miles on it. So he was able to get a fabulous trade in, we purchased a dual cab Ford 150 pickup. No interest on the loan, and the payments are not going to be an issue for us. We used to have a truck, and many times, have wished we still had one. So now, we have a beautiful new truck, and Mike still has his 3wheeled CAN AM
Spider for fun. The cab in the truck is actually roomier than the Lincoln was. Plus, he bought the extended 7 year warranty. Our insurance went down by half. So we feel win-win on this.
I took a crash fall in the bathroom the other night….not sure if it was balance or dizziness. But, I ended up with only 3 fractured ribs, bruised right shoulder. The shoulder hit first, and my right arm hit the ribs. Not fun.
My older sister and her family that live in Omaha…all have/had COVID. Most worried about her husband. He has been on dialysis for 4 years, and has a lot of comorbidites. They aren’t sure where they picked it up. Worrying and praying for them all.
We had a quiet Christmas. On the Sunday after Christmas, it was 70 degrees here….we went to Jeremy’s and Natalie’s house, but stayed in their garage, masks on. It was the first time I had seen Carson and Ryder since March 9th. Then when we left, I cried all the way home. I continue to count my blessings, but on some days, it is very hard to do. I do not like January…on the 23rd, Jason will have been dead for 3 years. If my health was better, and COVID wasn’t raging as it is, I would go to Alabama to be with his twin sister. But, her husband tested positive last week. So I can’t.
I just read my post….sorry it is so depressing. xxoo m

Stubblejumpers Cafe

I’ve taken some excerpts from your inspiring first passage and posted them on my own blog with a link to your entry. It’s here:
P.S. what kind of brand new vehicle did you have that only lasted 10 years?