Hallowe’en

Friday, October 30, 2015

October is drawing to a close, and the warm weather is leaving with it. What a glorious month is has been! We experienced high winds for the last two days, but since the temperature was above 10C, when the sun was shining it was grand to be out of doors.

It has been a busy week.

I finally, after two weeks of dead end telephone calls, found a way to get a flu shot. Anaphylaxis is not an easy condition to live with. There are local free flu shot clinics, and many drug stores offer the shot for free. I cannot get a flu shot at these readily available sites, they refuse me for good reason. Now that my family doctor is so many miles away, a six hour drive, I cannot go to the doctors office to get my annual flu shot. This proved to be an almost insurmountable problem. As the weeks went by, my frustration levels began to rise; and it became more and more difficult to remain calm and friendly as I met dead end after dead end. The solution came from Shopper’s Drug Mart, who accepted a written confirmation from my Family Doctor’s office, that I could be safely given one type of flu shot, which luckily, was the one that Shopper’s Drug Mart was offering. It seems simple enough, now that it is resolved, but it took two weeks of upset to finally find a way to make it all work. I had my flu shot on Wednesday morning, with no complications.

All this while I was also searching for FOBT kits. These things are extremely difficult to come by. Dozens of telephone calls later, to entities that are supposed to assist people with these things, like the Colon Cancer Check people themselves, met with rejection. Good grief, if you find yourself deviating from the “written norm” of a bureaucratic process, you instantly become a “non person”, there is no help for you. Finally, after a week and a half of frustration, and a LOT of telephone calls, I found the kits at a local drug store, and snapped them up.

And then, through sheer silliness, I decided I wanted a faster internet connection. Right now the fastest speed we can get, ADSL, is less than 200 kB/s, and for this we pay $55.95 a month. The temptation to move to a cable service that offers 30 Mbps for $41.95 a month was just too much for me. The installation technician was scheduled for Wednesday. We had a bad storm on Wednesday and Thursday, with extremely high winds, and lots of rain, particularly on Wednesday. I did not expect things to go smoothly. The fellow arrived as promised, surveyed the situation, and rescheduled the installation to Friday, today, between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sure enough, around 1:00 p.m. he arrived to do the deed.

Attila is working overtime this weekend. This is the first time he has been asked to work overtime on the weekend, it is mandatory. What I find interesting, is that even working an extra shift on the weekend, he still has more time off work on the weekend, than he did at his job near the country house. Attila is a new man with these reasonable hours of work. He is more rested, more relaxed, and able to develop a personal life, allowing him to attain an internal balance. The bonus for me is that he now “lives” at home, and not at his job.

While I lived here alone last spring, I moved our beds and furniture into the front bedroom of the house. Attila only slept here occasionally, usually just for one night. Things have changed, we live here now. Attila’s bed is just above the electrical panel in the basement, which we want to change. To that end we are moving our bedroom furniture to the bedroom at the back of the house. This is a BIG job, as both rooms are packed with boxes and furniture. The bookcases, four floor to ceiling units, are full of books in the back bedroom, and they will be very challenging to move.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, we have been blessed with a relentless fruit fly population, not large, but constant. They came in with the Coronation Grapes we purchased weeks ago, and have been with us ever since. I have been losing the battle, killing them with a fly swatter. It is difficult to kill tiny fruit flies with a fly swatter, and I was constantly swatting at the same fruit fly over and over again.

At last I decided to peruse the internet, to see what other people were doing about fruit flies, and I found what appears to be an easy solution. The advice was to mix apple cider vinegar, about a quarter cup of it, with a teaspoon of dish detergent mixed into it, placed in a plastic cup, with saran over the top, with some holes punched into the saran as entry points. I tried this first with dish soap, and it was a failure. The fat separated out of the soap, coagulated in a glob, which sank to the bottom of the cup. Detergent works, it mixes into the vinegar without issue.

I set out my fruit fly trap before going to bed last night. This morning it had three dead fruit flies in it, and one more was “buzzing” the cup. I haven’t seen any flying around this morning, so I regard the trap as a success.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I have not been sleeping soundly, for the most part, since we began the process of moving at the end of August. Last night though, after Attila left for work, I decided to take some quiet time just before retiring, to see if it helped me rest. Turning off all the lights, I sat in the living room, gazing out at the moon. It was lovely. And I slept for seven hours straight last night. Perhaps my quiet time worked, who knows.

Attila arrived home from work looking very tired. He went almost directly to bed, slept for thirty minutes, and then was up and at it. He is looking forward to accomplishing a lot today and tomorrow!

The squash was plentiful this year, from our garden. A very large specimen is baking in the oven this morning, to be eaten over the next week. The unripe squash that were harvested, before the killing frost last week, are ripening. The estimate is that the garden yielded over 50 pounds of squash, from four little seeds collected two years ago, from a roadside vegetable stand.

Tonight is Hallowe’en night. It has been 12 years since we enjoyed children coming to our door on Hallowe’en eve. We have our candy ready, a fresh pumpkin for a Jack O’ Lantern, and a Jack O’ Lantern garland for the door. We hope to see the neighbours two young boys, they are such nice boys, very active, very good natured. Last week, when Attila was working on the yard, they came over to give him a hug.

Yesterday more forms to be filled in arrived in the mail. My eyes are crossing, there is so much officious paperwork required by the governments, all levels. Perhaps I will tackle that next week and concentrate on switching the bedrooms this weekend.

My book has gone to print. The third draft was good, and that copy is ready to be sent to Library and Archives Canada, as required. I have yet to determine how much postage is required to ship the book. I did not find the Postal employee all that helpful at first, she wanted $16 to ship the book, and I balked. After some discussion she checked alternatives that were much more reasonable. I think I will go to the Post Office in the city, to make sure I am getting the best possible shipping prices. I should not have to balk at a price in order to be informed of the alternatives, so I am not happy with the service I received here.

Fifteen little goblins came to our door Trick or Treating this evening. It was fun, and of course too much candy was purchased, which will inform next years supply of candy for the big night.

Happy Hallowe’en to all!

Boo!! Our pumpkin, lit by battery operated tea lights.
Jackolantern2015

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Friday 30 October 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: -0.4°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: WNW 12 km/h

Quote

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”
Michel de Montaigne
1533 – 1592

8 Comments

  1. Kate, I like your recipe much better, one drop versus one teaspoon! As long as it works. We don’t have wine around our house, most of it contains preservatives, to which I am allergic; plus I am not a fan of wine. Banana, that is a great idea. I put a bottle trap out on the back clothes line with cider vinegar in it, I will have to check over the next few days and see if I caught anything. The one in the house is catching quite a few flies.

  2. I was going to suggest that exact fruit fly catcher, I’d read it online too. I thought a little honey in there would attract them too. This past early summer we had flies about… out front on the porch, they were always buzzing us, so I found a fly catcher which consisted of a large plastic clear bottle with a cover on it that let the flies enter but harder to leave, and a packet of very stinky stuff that you mixed with water, that went into the bottom of the bottle, We hung it from under one front window near the front porch and wow, it caught hundreds of those buggers! I couldn’t stand the smell it emitted as I sat out there with the dogs, so we finally got rid of it, but it did work.

  3. Bex, those fly catchers really do work, thanks for the link. I had a couple of those, pretty pricey here in Ontario, Canada, but they broke very easily. Now I am using a similar screw on lid for a plastic pop bottle and it works very well. We caught wasps with grape juice, and now it is hanging on the back veranda catching fruit flies with apple cider vinegar and dish soap. I put it out yesterday, Attila says that there are dozens of fruit flies in it already.

  4. NORA

    Hi Maggie,
    I’ve never heard of a FOBT kit.

    Attila a new man with these new hours. How wonderful!

    Since Attila’s bed is just above the basement electrical unit you want to move it. Is that because of the EMFs? I know they are a danger to the body and we all are surrounded by them. I try to keep them down to a dull roar.

    I had relentless fruit flies here too I imported over a month ago when I purchased those 2 pounds of fresh figs from Trader Joe’s. I just put some fruit juice in a jigger and it helped kill them off.

    50 pounds of squash from four seeds! WOW! I have been collecting seeds for years (not so much now that I am not really gardening but I have a large box of them). I started collecting heirloom but gave them to a friend who gardens as a living this spring. Hopefully our next nest will allow me to garden. I want to do heirlooms and miniatures. What will you do with all that squash?

    No one scaled our three flights here for Halloween. I think it’s cute you had 15 goblins stop by.

    Congratulations on the book. It must feel very rewarding!

    Nice photo of your lite pumpkin.

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