Cold Outside

December 15, 2016

Listening to a piano version of “O Come All Ye Faithful”, I was suddenly transported to my Grade 5 classroom, sitting up straight on the hard wooden seat of my desk, arms extended, hands clasped together and resting peacefully beside a closed scribbler and a sharpened pencil, where the teacher played Christmas carols on the piano, and we sang along. Singing along to the piano, with voices raised in unison all around, was one of those rare occasions during childhood, in which the wonder of good will wrapped us all in a warm blanket of inclusion and belonging. I seldom feel that kind of wonder in my life these days, but oh the memory is sweet.

Storms continue to rage around our country house, which is no longer ours, nor are the storms. My gratitude for Mist Cottage is amplified by the severity of the distant storm. It is cold here, the wind is strong and bitter, and yet we are still able to travel to a store, or the the hospital if we needed care. I think only someone who has been oppressed by the limitations of extreme winter weather can regard a -22C (-7.6F) wind chill as relatively tropical, the wind chill is predicted to reach -27C (-16.6F) tonight. We are to receive more snow through Friday and Saturday, but it doesn’t sound as if it will be anything near as extreme as it is in Parry Sound / Muskoka.

Terra dropped by today with Sunny and Sky, to pick up the vintage Mac Software that will be donated to a collector. She will carry those boxes to Luna’s house, and the collector will pick them up there. Two boxes gone, and a little visit with Sunny and Sky, a lovely afternoon! Sky slept through the visit, but Sunny was wide awake and having a great time looking at the all the colours on the Christmas tree and the decorations hanging in the front windows. Sunny and Sky are very appealing little people!

Our evening is winding down. Attila is preparing a green salad, after which we will enjoy Tuna Melts, a new dish to us. We have divided the tuna into two bowls, as Attila will use far more of the salty mayonnaise than I am allowed, and also add other condiments to his portion. My serving of cheese to top the open faced sandwich will be carefully weighed on my new kitchen scale (an early Christmas gift from Attila), so that I can ensure that my portion of cheese does not take me over my daily limit for sodium, or cholesterol. We don’t have many meals figured out that are suitably low in sodium: roast chicken with rice and vegetables; macaroni and cheese with vegetables; and coconut lime baked fish with rice and vegetables. If the Tuna Melts work out, it will be a fourth reliable dish we can prepare for our dinners.

My blood pressure is still borderline high, sometimes even higher, and sometimes lower. I am not sure the low sodium, low sugar, low cholesterol diet makes any difference at all. I continue to take the apple cider vinegar and honey before my meals. My weight has fallen a little, but that hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference to my blood pressure readings. Still, a healthy diet, weight loss, and exercise can’t hurt me, even if they aren’t helping me.

Our Christmas tree is beautiful. I am so glad Attila talked me into having this real tree. It takes up a lot of room, but that is a temporary situation, so although it is a little crowded in here, it seems quite cozy.

Our Christmas Tree

Christmas tree 2016

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Thursday 15 December 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -11.7°C
Dew point: -23.4°C
Humidity: 38%
Wind: NW 29 gust 53 km/h
Wind Chill: -22
Visibility: 24 km


“The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy – I mean that if you are happy you will be good.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

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Blondi Blathers

Tree looks good!


Your tree is lovely!


Wow that is a beautiful tree!

Still the Lucky few

I’m so glad you have found some dishes that will satisfy your sodium restrictions.You are working so hard at this. Admirable! I love the tree. We are not able to have natural trees in our condo complex, but I do remember the fragrance! BTW, I remember clasped hands stretched out on the desks. I always thought it was too restrictive and when I taught little children, I didn’t demand that sort of obedience. Today’s children would not have a minute of it!


Hi Maggie,

Gosh, it sounds so cold where you are. Each year I age I seem to be more and more bothered by the cold. It’s in the 30s here and I am cold even with the heat on and the faux fireplace. Hard to heat this big room. I guess being a Canadian you are used to the cold and can handle it better than I can .

The tree looks great. Nice job. Glad you are so happy about it. Our holiday things are packed and will stay that way. Fingers crossed we can move in April and be on our way. I’ve been packing since last June because it takes me so much longer now and like you I have to make decisions on what gets donated, sold or given away to friends. Sometimes not easy decisions.

Keep warm and cozy!

Bex Crowell

The good part about having the real tree is that when you are done with it IN the house, you can stick it out in the yard somewhere (if snow, stick it in a snowpile, or if not, prop it up somewhere)… and the birds will love having it there. You can put birdseed hangers in its branches and they will sing your praises all winter long.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

You settled in nicely to so many things you missed and, I think, needed: warmth, comfort, family visits. You’re both back to having real lives instead of just marking time to when to chop more wood.

My bp was 134/93 this morning. Yesterday was 142/99. I have an especially hard time getting that bottom number down.

Very pretty tree!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I’ll have to remember that about the open hand and try it. My tendency is to lay my palm facedown on my thigh.

How much time do you have between your readings, Maggie?


Yes, it’s funny about all kinds of things the doctors do when taking blood pressure readings, like having you hop up onto their table and then immediately taking the reading. Or keeping the arm at your side. Or having an animated conversation with you just before taking the reading.

And they wonder why the reading is higher…