Double Entry

We headed for our little house in the city on Friday night. There is no Internet connection there, no television and only a cell phone for communication. I wrote an entry on my laptop, but couldn’t post it with no access to the Internet. So here it is below, making this a double entry.

We arrived home late last night to thundershowers, a fantastic show of lightening and a very annoyed feline. From the second Mist laid eyes on me she began to yowl at the top of her voice. It was cool in the house, 14C, which isn’t that bad. Mist had assessed the situation otherwise though, she was monumentally unimpressed by our bad behavior, or lack of it due to our absence.

We still have lots of snow in the bush. The yard is brown, so wonderful. But there is still a lot of white around us. It is melting faster and faster. Go snow, go.

After working for two days scraping paint from the exterior siding of the little house in the city, I am stiff this morning! A condition well earned, I might add. The front of the house is almost entirely scraped. I had to stop however, because I couldn’t reach the last bit from the ground, and the ladder we have is far too long to fit under the eves. We are going to need a stepladder! Yard sales are starting, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for a ladder.

I am considering a lone visit to the little house in the city. The thing is, once I have become isolated I experience fear and anxiety about travel and contact with people. I hate that, but these reactions evolve naturally from isolation. So, to get back into being active I must experience discomfort. The thought of travel and staying on my own at the little house causes me anxiety. I know I’ll enjoy it, both the drive and the stay at the little house. It is just a matter of facing the initial anxiety and overcoming the inertia that anxiety imposes.

The only thing that might possibly deter my plans is an offer of work. That would be most inopportune at this point, but not entirely unlikely. The future will unfold as it will.

Saturday, April 9, 2010

7:00 a.m.

A hazy morning, the sun has yet to make a strong appearance this morning. From my seat I can see over the rooftop of the garage to the street, which is quiet at this time of day. Three enterprising starlings fly back and forth, across my line of vision, seeking who knows what. I am sitting at the kitchen table at the little house in the city, it is 7 a.m. Attila sleeps, this is one of his rare weekends off work.

4:30 p.m.

The sun came out and the birds sang. What a day!

The first thing we did after our morning coffee was head for the grocery store for supplies. We intended to purchase just a few little things, a short list. It was a good plan. We didn’t follow it.

We walked out of the grocery store with a goodly number of items not on our list. For instance, we bought ten 454g bags of almonds, because they were less than half the price we would pay at home. We also bought enough coffee for one month, since we won’t be shopping again for many weeks. After we left the grocery store, we decided to head for a frozen food discount store. Well, we found 2 kg bags of frozen mixed vegetables, on sale at half the price we would pay at home. We bought three bags of those vegetables. Then we found that cheese was on sale, so we bought enough cheese to last a month. Frozen fish was priced so well we couldn’t resist stocking up on fish as well, 8 lbs. of fish. Ground beef was on sale at a reasonable price, so we stocked up on ground beef. And that wasn’t all…

Over the winter we became accustomed to not being able to shop for food on a regular basis, the weather, the roads, the distance; there are many barriers to regular shopping living in the country. This is the first time since last Christmas we were able to shop at stores that offer more reasonable prices for food. We reacted rather strongly and shopped as if we wouldn’t see another store for a month.

Our shopping trip lasted but a short time. We returned home, stashed the food in the freezer and cupboards, had a quick bite of breakfast and headed outside.

Paint Peeling Exterior Little House In The City, April 2011
Paint Peeling Exterior Little House In The City, April 2011
Paint Scraped Exterior Little House In The City, April 2011
Paint Scraped Exterior Little House In The City, April 2011

The siding on our little house in the city is in relatively good condition. The paint that covers the siding is not in good condition. The paint was peeling when we bought the house, and over the past winter great wafers of paint curled up to cling vicariously to the side of the house. It looks terrible.

I actually enjoyed myself. With a putty knife I removed the peeling paint from the front of the house, as high as I could reach standing on the porch and on the ground. We both feel it looks much better, but it still looks pretty bad. There is much more to do before the siding will be ready to receive a fresh coat of paint.

While I removed peeling paint, Attila plugged a hole the chipmunks created at the foundation of the house, to gain access once more. Tricky little devils these chipmunks. Attila used a length of board to cover their new entry way; which can be seen in my Paint Scraped photo above. Then he raked the front lawn and pruned the flowering crabapple tree and fir tree in the front yard. As well, Attila transplanted a clematis from behind the front shrubbery, where it was barely alive, to a sunny location along the fence in the back yard.

While we were out in the yard doing our chores, our neighbour across the street came over to offer assistance with managing the bags of leaves. We had a lovely chat. Later our neighbour next door came over for a chat and offered further assistance with managing our bags of leaves. He and Attila had a nice long chat. Our little house in the city is in a very agreeable neighbourhood.

I have written this entry, but cannot post it, there is no Internet connecction at our little house in the city.

Nuclear Affects Chernobyl

A map showing the wide ranging and long-term effects of a nuclear catastrophe not caused by a natural disaster as in Japan, but by human errors.

Some Chernobyl Information

“The 30-km “exclusion” zone remains `out-of-bounds’ to the public, although official visits can be arranged and suitable radiation protection precautions will and should be carried out…


In summary, the recommendations that could be considered are as follows:

Inhabitants and workers in Kiev and Minsk need take no special precautions about radiation exposure or commercially available foodstuffs, although some ‘wild’ foods found on the ‘black market’ can sometimes exceed the state imposed restrictions.

Special radiation protection conditions pertain to visits to the 30-km exclusion zone.

In some of the contaminated areas, special advice may be available locally that will vary from district to district. Nevertheless, there is certainly no significant hazard for short casual or tourist visits.

Local advice and results of site monitoring are advisable for entrepreneurs and companies wishing to set up joint ventures and/or businesses in the contaminated areas.”

Worldly Distractions


13 °C
Condition: Partial Cloud
Pressure: 99.3 kPa
Temperature: 13.0°C
Dewpoint: 12.5°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: ESE 9 km/h


“Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.
55 AD – 135 AD



“a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life…

To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty to care for all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness and peace of mind…”