A few months ago our streaming service, Prime Video, started to freeze the whole computer system, relatively frequently. The computer is an older refurbished model, 2015, so I thought that it might be nearing the end of its days. The thought of the expense of new computer just now was distressing. I began by testing the hard drive, reinstalling the OS, the browser, adjusting the cache… After weeks of fooling around with the system, finding no significant issues, the problem persisted. It was time to poke around on the internet to see what other people might have to say about such an issue. I tried a few additional fixes, none of which worked. Then I spied a random comment describing switching to the browser Opera. Worth a try. That worked like a charm, problem solved.

higgledy-piggledy: “in confusion or disorder”

That would describe Mist Cottage at this very moment. I began on Monday to “dust” in the kitchen. The plan is to “dust” the whole house, top to bottom. The kitchen is a good place to start because it is used all day, every day. It could use a little bit of reorganization, along with the “dusting”.

The “dusting” strategy involves wiping items down with a damp cloth, to capture the dust, to rinse it down the drain, rather than have it recirculate throughout the house and through the forced air heating system. Since our new heating system has already reduced the dust in the house, it is time to refresh every exposed surface with a damp cloth, to maximize the benefits.

Kitchen “dusting” began with the windows. Bugs make the windows a hot spot for dirt. Bugs are attracted to the light, and the illusion that they can fly away into the outdoors. They live out their lives by the glass, and the dead bugs accumulate in the workings of the windows. The interior glass was cleaned, as was the frame. As of this morning the completed “dusting” includes the windows, the ceiling fans, the top of the cabinet that acted as a catch all during the canning season, the shelves of spices and herbs, the shelves with jars of dry goods, and the floor in that area. All that took two whole days to accomplish.

One of the things that slowed down the “dusting” of the shelves of spices and herbs, was taking the opportunity to organize them. The jars and lids were wiped clean, then the contents of each was labelled on the lid. To label jars a roll of painters tape and a sharpie were used. The jars were already labelled on their sides, but that is not always visible. The jars were also sorted, and returned to the shelves organized by frequency of use. The decision this year to dehydrate our kale, and other greens, has added a significant volume of jars to our shelves. Additional shelving is needed, but for now the jars are sorted, which will aid in designing additional shelving. There are some jars of home dehydrated medicinal herbs as well, that were mixed in with the food jars, so they have been sorted out to be stored elsewhere.

This morning the project was again taken up, beginning with the top of the refrigerator. That is another catch all surface. The dirt there is a bit greasy, so it takes soap, water, and scrubbing to clean it properly. My plan is to work my way from the window end of the kitchen to the door at the other end of the room.

I noticed that something is waking me up at about 3:00 a.m., repeatedly. I’ve ruled out the usual suspects: Ginger, Attila, and the weather. Next to be ruled out is light. It is quite possible that motor vehicle lights are flashing into the bedroom at that time, as many people who live around us work shift work. To explore the possibility that light may be interfering with my sleep, I’ve purchased some blackout curtains for the bedroom. I finally found a pair on sale for half price. The curtains presently on the window were purchased at a discount store, very inexpensive, and their packaging claimed there were black out curtains. That was a false claim. Hopefully the new curtains, arriving today from Amazon, with be true blackout curtains. If not, I’ll double them up with the existing curtains, to see if that works.

If it turns out that light is not the problem, then my next suspicion is sound. That is a bigger issue to address. Since there is no exterior insulation in the walls, that would be the logical place to start. Sound proofing the walls would involve tearing out the drywall, rewiring while the studs are exposed, insulating, and installing and finishing new drywall. I am not keen on that project, at least not right now. I will poke around on the internet to see if I can find temporary fixes for intrusive street sounds.

We have had a relatively mild winter thus far, with only one very bad storm at Christmas. It seems that today winter will begin to bite, with snow arriving almost every day for the next week, and overnight temperatures as low as -16C. For Attila and I, -16C does not seem extreme, as at the country house it was not unusual to experience daytime lows of -20C, nighttime lows as low as -37C. The thing about weather here at Mist Cottage, is not how extreme it is, but how the roads and driving are affected. Attila still has to travel almost an hour to work and back, which means he is out on the roads even when they are busy and treacherous, as they often are in this part of Ontario.

The predicted snowfall has already begun, at first just a few flakes drifting down, now intensifying rather quickly. Time to get out the lanterns, put essentials into the cooler, and plan a dinner that can be heated with a tea light!



Updated on Wed, Jan 25, 10:45 AM
-3 °C
Wind 12 E km/h
Humidity 83 %
Visibility 19 km
Sunrise 7:33 AM
Wind gust 18 km/h
Pressure 102.1 kPa
Ceiling 400 m
Sunset 5:07 PM

Significant snowfall beginning early this afternoon.
Total snowfall accumulations 15 to 20 cm.
Reduced visibility in heavy snow.
Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult.
Isolated power outages are possible.


“You’re dealing with the demon of external validation. You can’t beat external validation. You want to know why? Because it feels sooo good.”
Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Gran Prix, 1994

I believe I’ve shared this quote before. I remember viewing this episode of Northern Exposure and loving this statement made by Ed’s Little Green Man. Sorting out what is a healthy connection to other humans, and what is an addictive external validation, is much more challenging in today’s social structures. I often wonder how humans organized themselves as organic communities, how they lived, before “history” started shaping our perceptions by telling the story of us for us.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joan Lansberry

Stay safe and I hope the power doesn’t go out in your area!

Eileen Barton

Stay warm and safe! My area in N.J. got rain but I pray for everyone who is dealing with snow storms. Hope you find out the source of what is causing you to wake up so early. As strange as it sounds I had problems sleeping with a brightly lit digital clock on my nightstand. I switched to a little travel clock that is not lit unless you press a button to activate a light on it. Problem solved for me.


Our snow here is about to end. The powers that be had also forecast 10 to 15 cm for us but it looks like we may have slightly less than the lower number. Good!

If you have any further issues with streaming, you might consider a Smart TV rather than a new computer. We have a Samsung Smart TV and it streams Prime, and also Disney+, Crave, and Netflix from an internal set-up, if you decide to get any of those accounts. The TVs cost less than a new computer.


Maggie if the problem is sound try earplugs. I use the squishy styrofoam ones that expand and cut off any sounds. They work and are economical too. Stay warm!