First Snow

First Snow

Opening the kitchen curtain, it was a surprise to see snow in the back yard! Time is flying by.

On Saturday last Attila harvested what we think will be the last of the Swiss Chard and the Kale. The Kale is cooked in the Instant Pot, cooled, stored in reused plastic bags, sealed, and frozen. The Swiss Chard is blanched for two minutes, drained, cooled, stored in reused plastic bags, sealed, and frozen. There were two packages of Kale, and two packages of Swiss Chard, which is enough for four casseroles or soups. More and more our cooking experimentation focuses on tasty ways to eat available vegetables. As a friend recently said, “meat is a condiment”. This is true at Mist Cottage.

On Sunday Attila harvested some of the Brussels Sprouts, and they were delicious. Cruciferous vegetables are sweeter tasting if they are harvested after they freeze.

It was another busy weekend, and very relaxing at the same time.

Attila is beginning to move things around in the basement so that he can repair the floor joist under the kitchen, the big project for the winter months. I continue to find a place for things that have accumulated all over the house since last spring. Bit by bit I am making room for our Christmas Tree. A few weeks ago I made my first visit to a retail outlet since February, 2020. It was a big adventure, inspired by the decision to purchase an artificial Christmas Tree. We didn’t catch Covd-19, no symptoms anyway, although it is spreading rapidly in our area. Last year we did not risk a visit to purchase a live Christmas Tree, which we prefer, and had to make do with our little $5 3′ high artificial tree. It was certainly better than nothing, but I wanted a full size tree this year. And it is a good thing that purchase was made, as a news article came out this past week, describing how there will be a shortage of real Christmas Trees, which would have made it virtually impossible for us to obtain one. But whether real or artificial, floor space will be needed to put the tree up.

Attila and I, over the last few years, have taken to buying a practical joint purchase for Christmas, rather than exchange gifts with one another. This year, after a particularly prolific tomato harvest, we settled on a Tomato Mill. We found one on sale that was made completely from metal, so we splurged on that, and were pleased that it came with a meat grinder as well. We have thought often of making our own sausage, without the nitrites and sodium, so I think we will have fun giving that a try in the years to come.

I admit to visiting the SPCA, and similar sites, to look at the cats and kittens up for adoption. I would love to have a cat again. But when I view the hoops one has to jump through to adopt an animal, it becomes clear that too many financial expectations are tagged onto the animals for our budget. Signing a paper allowing the workers into my home to check on us, and committing to expensive veterinarian visits, are just two of the intrusive and expensive requirements to offer a needy animal a loving home. But the biggest barrier is the Pandemic. I would not want to adopt an animal without meeting him/her to see if we are compatible. When I visited Mist before adopting her, she and I experienced an immediate connection with each other. Until visiting in indoor settings is completely safe, no such meeting can take place.

A temporary diversion of my energies has come up. After updating my operating system, I discovered that the process overwrote and destroyed my password database. Yikes! This will take weeks, possibly months, to rectify. I do not use cloud services of any kind, I don’t trust them, although almost everyone else does. The frustrating thing about it is that I had just backed up the computer, and the needed backup file is missing. I’ve written to the software company, they might have something helpful to suggest, but I am not hopeful in that regard.

And so we are quietly slipping toward winter, with shorter days, longer nights, and cooling temperatures.

Worldly

Weather

Updated on Mon, Nov 15, 12:05 PM
4 °C
FEELS LIKE 0
Partly cloudy
Wind 13 NW km/h
Humidity 81 %
Visibility 24 km
Sunrise 7:03 AM
Wind gust 20 km/h
Pressure 100.8 kPa
Ceiling 700 m
Sunset 4:41 PM

Quote

“Your best shot at happiness, self-worth and personal satisfaction – the things that constitute real success – is not in earning as much as you can but in performing as well as you can something that you consider worthwhile.”
William Raspberry

12 Comments

  1. Eileen Barton

    Hi Maggie,

    I was wondering lately if you ever thought of getting another kitten. 🙂 It would be wonderful if it were super easy to get one since there are so very many homeless animals in the shelters and out on the streets. I do understand shelters wanting to make sure the animals they adopt out are going to good homes and to people who have and are willing to spend the money on vet fees and whatever else is needed and also to make sure the animals is not going to be used as dog fighting bait. The shelters also need money to provide for the animals’ food, shelter, vet bills, medicines. I know you know all this. 🙂 I see so many cats and dogs dumped and others used as bait for pit bull fighting. When my two kitties passed on I went looking for two more after a while. Saw many cute ones but I just felt that I would know when I saw “my” kitties. One day my daughter and I walked into a pet store during adoption day and there were my two kitties and in the same cage!! Jasper and Jackson bring me so much joy! I hope one day you are able to adopt “your” kitty or that it even shows up on your doorstep one day. 🙂

  2. I’m glad that animal shelters undertake extensive vetting before allowing dogs and cats to be adopted, but they go so far sometimes that it means some stay a lot longer in the shelter than they otherwise would. My sister, a lover of dogs and a dog-fosterer/rescuer at times, was once refused an adoption to her acreage home because she doesn’t have her property fenced. A friend of hers took the shelter to task over that, telling them that the dog would have one of the best homes ever if it got to live with my sister, fence or no fence. They capitulated and she’s now had that little hound, happy and healthy, for quite a few years.
    Here on the farm, when we were looking for a dog, they wouldn’t let us adopt because our dog would be an outdoor dog, not a house dog. It didn’t matter that it would have an insulated dog house with a heated floor mat, or that we would always let it into the house if the temperature got anywhere near 20-below, and that we don’t live near a busy road with much traffic, and that every farm dog either of our families ever had gave good homes to dogs that seemed to take their jobs — guarding the farmyard, warning off wild animals, alerting us to their presence, announcing human visitors — quite seriously, and didn’t often want to come indoors — anyway, the shelter preferred to keep the dog we offered to rehome in a kennel for god knows how much longer instead of letting it come to a home where it would have had freedom and been as loved as it wanted. Some of these shelter rule-makers have tunnel vision. I understand it when one sees a dog stuck outside in pen in a back yard in a town, but otherwise … they have stupid rules. There’s even a long article in this week’s local newspaper about how abusive it is to leave a dog outside instead of letting it have the run of your house. A farm dog is an abused dog? I don’t think so. -Kate

  3. Teri

    Hi, Maggie! We also had our first snow yesterday. It was a light snow all day long that never accumulated until nightfall, and then 2 hours later it started raining and that was the end of our snow.

    DH and I are also doing more practical presents, though we don’t do just one present for the 2 of us very often. This year I’m getting him a sound bar to enhance our TV sound and any music he wants to play. And a small present, LED collars for the dogs so they can be seen when he’s walking them at night.

    You might check your local page of kijiji.ca for kittens. I saw some on there for $50 to $200.

    I also find some of these requirements more than intrusive. When we got our new Sheltie puppy, Loki, we were supposed to give them our address and show that we had fencing for him. Well, at the old house we did. Now, we do not. But he gets walked some 4 miles a day a day, right now.

    When we got Loki we met his mother and his breeders outdoors. In an over-abundance of caution, at that time, we all wore masks. But outdoors, if you maintain a little distance, it’s not really necessary. Think of the virus as very tiny snowflakes and imagine what a breeze does to the snowflakes. They’re swirled all around so that basically no large concentration of them (more than 1000 needed) can reach you.

    Sorry to hear of your password mishap! Are you still doing websites for customers? That would be very upsetting, losing all those passwords!

    As it helps me to have confirmation of dark days not lasting long, I went to look and our evenings start getting lighter on Dec 12th. It’ll take a while to see a big difference but at least it won’t be too long. I think you gain your first minute back on the 11th. 😀

  4. I looked at your tomato mill, with all the canning you do, that should be real helpful.
    I checked our sunsets, after Dec 11th, they start arriving one minute later. But no snow… At least we no longer need the AC, 😀

    Maybe someday, a kitty will find its way to you!

  5. Eileen,
    Very good points! Jasper and Jackson sound wonderful! So much fun with two. I think you are right, when it is time a feline will enter our lives, we need to keep our eyes and ears open. In another year or so it might be easier to be out and about, and then it will be more likely that a match with a cat can happen. I’ve met some wonderful cats in life!

  6. Kate,
    The knowledge of a working relationship that farm animals have with humans and animal residents on a farm seems to be fading for most of the population. Dogs love being out of doors, it is not a hardship unless they are chained in inappropriate places without adequate shelter, food, water, and companionship. Dogs are a pack animal.
    I love dogs, but the committment to their needs in an urban setting is not something I would willingly take up. Cats on the other hand are very independent beings, and are much better suited to living with my personality. Anthropomorphizing animals is disresptful, to them and to nature. They are a differnt species, and have a much closer affiliation with mother earth than humans do at this point in history. As far as vet bills are concerned, we can’t afford the health care we need, let alone the expense of veterinary services, barring emergencies for pets.

  7. Teri,
    When we go out for a walk in the evening we see dogs with flashing lights, they are such a good idea. We see people wearing them too! I think we will probably go back to buying each other modest gifts when we feel it is risk free to go shopping again, for now Covid is spreading rapidly where we live, so we don’t feel inclined to remain unmasked in the presence of others who are closer to us than 2 meters, even outside. Presents that suit the size of our home and budget are mostly needed consumables, they come and they go, so we focus on food at Christmas.
    Well, the password debacle! I spent all day today working on the issue, and eventually found a way to get the passwords back. I had already changed a few passwords this morning, to get into the programs and sites I needed to use. I am very happy to have rescued my records! Why updating the OS wiped the records clean is a mystery, and I don’t regard it as a “feature”, 🙂
    Longer days will be most welcome, looking forward to that minute!

  8. Joan, the tomato mill is a welcome addition to our kitchen! It will remove all the skins and seeds, which I dehydrate and powder to add to casseroles and soups. It will do applesauce as well. We have a small food mill, which is wonderful for small jobs, but when tackling bushels of tomatoes the labour involved is a little too wearing on these old joints. I think we are ready for next harvest season! 🙂
    Glad to hear you don’t have to run the AC, is it nice enough to keep windows open? Do you get snow where you live? I hadn’t imagined that you would get snow there.
    That would be the very best thing, if a kitty found her/his way to us!

  9. Sandy

    I hope you get a cat eventually. You’d give any pet a wonderful home. If you have an online local paper with classified ads, you might find kittens or cats listed there. One advantage to shelter cats is that they’re medically checked, neutered (if needed) and vaccinated. Because of vet bills for my previous cats I insured my current cat, Milo. He was 1-1/2 years old when I insured him. The current cost is $25 per month. That includes a $300 annual deductible, 90% reimbursement and $15 k er year reimbursement. The $25 premium will increase over time. We had our first snow last week but it melted quickly. Stay warm!

  10. Teri

    Glad to hear you got your passwords back!

    Lol! No, we’re not big on being within 2 meters of other people , either. We see quite a few of our neighbors every few days but we talk with them from a 2 meter or more distance. When we got the puppy we made a big effort to stay 2 meters apart, too.

    I’m not sure if I’ve given you this link or not, for the online COVID risk assessment tool. I started using it recently because I found myself concerned that I might actually be over-reacting when it came to meeting people. You sure won’t find us eating in a restaurant for a long while, can’t bring ourselves to do it. Turns out the tool has agreed with my opinion of what is risky and what isn’t, and we don’t do anything higher than low risk activities where we can control distancing.
    https://covidvisitrisk.com/riskscore-english.html

    We have our appointments for our booster shots, Dec 17th.

    And we put up our outside Christmas lights, today. Feels more festive, already.

  11. Teri, it was quite a relief to get the passwords back, it was quite a journey.
    Thanks for the link, assessing situations is tricky business. Since Attila has to go into work every day it keeps us on our toes, he is really, really diligent, it is very wearing for him, and for me by proxy.
    Congratulations on having appointments for booster shots!
    I love Christmas lights, so cheerful. When we braved the retail store a few weeks ago I bought a little set of battery powered lights that look like frosted pine cones, love them. I hope your tree is nice, if you have it now.

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