Ladybugs and Bills

Friday, March 6, 2015, Little House in the City

With the new warmth there is a soft falling snow. The cold snap is over, and the sunny skies, that were frozen into place at dawn this morning, have yielded to a soft greying of the day.

This morning I paid a few bills, and Attila and I pondered over our “cash flow”. The purchase of the camp lot, and a new used vehicle, Tank, last year has caught up with us. In addition, Attila is having some rather costly dental work performed. It is long overdue, the dental work, and cannot be postponed any longer. It is touch and go, whether we can manage to pay all the bills now that the crunch has arrived. If we can’t, well then we will borrow from Peter to pay Paul, as we have in the past. We have our fingers crossed that it will not come to that, and our income will stretch far enough to break even by the end of April. It is a good thing I am canning beans, as we will be eating a lot of them! Not a hardship in our book.

I continue to kill ladybugs in the dining area of the kitchen. Every day there are at least a half a dozen of them, crawling on the window, the dining table, the ceiling. Sometimes I see them, and sometimes Diesel finds them. I always know he has a line on a bug, as he sits quietly on the floor, alert and staring at the floor. He doesn’t seem to mind at all that I come along and remove the bug. We are a good team when it comes to hunting bugs.

Mist is doing very well at the country house. Attila brings her to the computer screen where I wave at her and say hello. She is stone deaf and cannot hear me talking to her, she just sees me waving and smiling. She stares at me for a few seconds, then looks down, and wants down! On this end, Diesel can hear her meowing, and he runs around looking for her. He will not look at the computer screen, which he regards as his arch rival. If I am interacting with Attila on the computer, you will be sure to find Diesel ensconced on my lap, front legs extended up my chest, paws on either side of my face, gently meowing for attention.

Attila is planning a visit to the little house in the city. The weather looks passable, so he may arrive tonight. It will be wonderful to see him! We were last together on Family Day, February 16, 2015. He has one of his rare Saturdays off tomorrow, so he is taking advantage of it. We have no idea when his next Saturday off will come along, but we know it won’t be soon.

Monday, March 9, 2015, Little House in the City

There it is, the sunshine! It is 7:53 a.m. and those sunbeams are lighting up the curtains on the south side of the house. How cheerful it is, this diffusion of gold.

The weather is suddenly much warmer. The temperatures that are predicted do not fall below -10C. What a welcome change this is. With the warmer weather, and more reliable road conditions, our mobility will increase dramatically. Also, with warmer weather Attila’s task of keeping the hearth fires burning is dramatically reduced. The danger of freezing pipes, and a cold kitty, become non-existent. He is free to travel without winterizing the house, or paying huge hydro bills to heat it while he is away and unable to keep the masonry heater charged. Oh happy day.

Since mobility has increased, I might also be travelling between our three properties more often. So I have decided to indicate my writing location with each entry. This will keep a record for me, at the very least, of when I have been where.

Attila and I celebrated our wedding Anniversary on Saturday. It wasn’t the exact date, but Saturday was as close as we were going to get. For our anniversary Attila whipped up a box of cherry centred chocolates, my favourite. My waistline suspects that Attila has acquired an unfortunate talent. We celebrated our anniversary with pizza and a movie, an inexpensive night in. The advantage was that Diesel got to share it with us, although the pizza was off limits to him, much to his disapproval.

Sunday was the usual “we me weepy” day. I don’t even try not to cry! Attila left early in the afternoon, as he had a long drive ahead of him, followed by wood chopping and hearth fire burning. And of course, Mist would be needing a lot of consoling when he arrived home.

After Attila leaves I try to keep busy doing housework; the house is small, this takes very little time. Then I watch a youtube movie, to keep my mind off the hole left when Attila leaves. By the time the movie is over, I have subconsciously adapted to the “me” of the house, my inner self has begun to walk around that hole, and all is well.

Today is paperwork day! I have a stack of mail, brought to me by Attila, which includes all kinds of bills to be paid, correspondence to attend to, and filing.

I am also working on updating two of my sites, which is a big, big, big job. I am learning a few new skills, like using Google APIs.

One of the sites to be redesigned was created fourteen years ago. It is still getting a lot of hits, and generating a lot of interaction, serving its purpose… but, it is not a good design for cell phones and tablets, so back to work. The other site is only about eleven years old, and it needs the same sort of redesign. I have my work cut out for me with these two sites. And of course, I continue to work on my genealogy book.

Lots to keep me busy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
-20°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -19.9°C
Dewpoint: -24.2°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -27

-1°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -1.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.6°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -5

Country House
-30°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -29.8°C
Dewpoint: -32.8°C
Humidity:76%
Wind: calm

-4°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dewpoint: -6.5°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: WNW 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -10

Quote

“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”
J. K. Rowling

Love, belonging, kindness, compassion… they happen even when and where there is poverty. If the poor want to romanticize their lives based on these kinds of parameters, that are right to do so, in my opinion.

We live in a world where there aren’t enough lifeboats available for all to climb out of poverty, and increasingly the affluent are pushing others off the lifeboats that do exist, to make themselves more comfortable, ensure their own “rightful” place in the sun. And people at the bottom tier still find ways to attain balance and grace, in a way the very affluent, and the rich, cannot.

My opinions aren’t new at all, they go right back to biblical times, and I suspect were common wisdom long before that.

14 Comments

  1. Bex

    This being apart thing with you and Attila is really severe! Almost a month apart this last time? I am looking forward to the time (soon!) when you pack up Tank and head to the country and can be WITH your darling husband finally for more than a day every month or so. Such sacrifice you both are making, and I know you are “good” with it but still, it can’t be easy. So happy you’ve had Diesel (what a funny name) for good company, too. And, of course, there are the children, etc… but still, it will be good to be home again… wherever “home” is for you! ((((hugs))))

  2. Bex, you are so right, it is not easy. It is just a little bit better than the situation where I spent the winter confined to the house in the bush, a little bit. This winter, staying at the little house in the city, I only experienced a whiff of cabin fever, on one day, and it evaporated by the very next morning.

    Home for me is wherever Attila is hanging his hat. I can make myself comfortable when I am living alone. I can feel contentment and peace when I am living alone. I do not feel at home when I am living alone. I will say though, that I am developing some real skills in spending time by myself. I have developed a feel for when to go out and spend time amongst the living, at the grocery store, or the my yoga class, so that I avoid becoming “house bound”. At the little house in the city I have the opportunities I need to balance the private time with the social time. This cannot be achieved in the bush, at the country house.

    Attila will be spending the next few weeks preparing the country house to be put up for sale again. We are not optimistic that it will sell, but we must try!

    Diesel acquired his name due to his very distinct, loud purring. At times he can sound like a diesel engine. 🙂

  3. I think my winter has been much like your winter was last year with too much isolation and limited activity. Though I’m a person who often enjoys extreme solitude, I’ve had difficult moments feeling too disconnected. Because of my illness, spontaneity has vanished from my life, which has made the isolation even more severe at times.

    One of my closest friends ever ever moved into the lower apartment yesterday afternoon. I’ll be posting photos & more later. We are perfectly matched as companions. Perfectly! She would’ve moved in much sooner but had to be in San Antonio, TX for a couple of months. It’s been worth the wait. We are both giddy! She prepared a delicious dinner last night and we watched a portion of Cranford (BBC) before saying our *goodnights*. This morning we shared coffee and conversation then she retreated to her apartment to read, while I headed for my office to write.

    I pinch myself for my good fortune.

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Happy Anniversary to you and Attila!!! I’m so glad you were able to be together and even have a date night. The weather is getting better, soon you’ll be able to spend much more time together.

    Bouncing between “making it” and “robbing from Peter to pay Paul” is no easy thing, but it’s better than being unable to do either. I hope you have enough to balance well until you catch up to April. That’s hopefully doable, the end of April isn’t that far off, thank goodness.

    And I hope that the Spring weather makes the country house beautiful to some capable buyer. Perhaps there is some kind of incentive you can offer a buyer to sweeten the pot? Not sure what it might be, helping to cover a down payment or some such? A stretch, I know, but it might move you forward. You might ask your realtor about it.

    I’m still working on updating my website, too. It’s a big change with the number of pages probably quadrupling as I split everything into themes, which I’m more able to do using the editor at Weebly than with my own limite HTML skills (no style sheet skills). I need to remember to add my tracking info for DMOZ and such into the invisible footers…

  5. Reenie, that is the such wonderful news, your friend moving into the apartment. Congratulations on such a wonderful event!! I feel for you, about the isolation, it is so harsh to be isolated. Of all the things I’ve suffered through in my life, it is one of the hardest things to deal with… and the easiest to leave behind and forget! Enjoy!

  6. Thanks Teri, we had a lovely time together! I don’t like going out to eat, because it always entails the possibility that I might die in the restaurant. It isn’t really much fun, eating out. We are big on great meals at home and picnics we prepare for ourselves. So pizza night was just up our alley.

    I anticipate that we will be doing the rob Peter to pay Paul thing, but as you point out, that is better than some of the other alternatives! And it isn’t as if we have nothing to show for our trouble, we have a beautiful camp and the versatile Tank.

    There are no buyers, so incentives for purchasers would be redundant. There is a lot of poverty where we live, there are the wealthy, the vacationers, and the low income people who make their dreams come true. We are in the dream maker category I am afraid, so there are no real buyers for our type of housing. Which is surprising really, because we have a beautiful home, and more than five acres of beautiful forest, including frontage on wetlands. If we both had good jobs, and family, in the area, we would have it made! That didn’t happen, despite my eleven year search for reasonably paid work, I did not find it, because it just wasn’t there. Attila’s job is a rare gem, not to be taken for granted!

    I like developing web sites, thank goodness. Weebly sounds pretty good. Right now I am working with wordpress, installed on my server, so it is a slow go, but worthwhile. DMOZ, wow, I had forgotten about them, since it was over a decade ago when I first added info. I even did volunteer work for them for a short period of time, but it was too time consuming considering it was unpaid work. I had to make time for paid employment!

  7. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Lol! Maggie, now you have me wondering if I’m hopelessly old fashioned with DMOZ. I’d forgotten about it too, until recently. I’d done a search on entering websites on search engines and they came up. Oh yeah, I thought, they’re the ones that enter a website on all the search engines for you. Hope that’s still true!

    *big sigh* at there being no buyers in your area. I hope your wrong. A part of me thinks about how some folks just let their property go back to the bank if they can’t sell it. Another part of me fights that idea tooth and nail, such an action feeling somehow improper compared to the way I’ve always done things.

  8. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I found myself wondering what folks do when they can’t sell their house. Heaven knows a lot of folks went thru that since 2008. So I asked the Google god what to do if you can’t sell your home. After reading a few pages the most reasonable alternative I noted was renting your home out as a vacation rental, promoting it on VRBO and social media.

    Being up in Muskoka, maybe that would work for you at least during cottage season?

  9. Teri, I think DMOZ is probably still a great idea, I would certainly setup any new site I created to be listed there.

    We think about the rental thing, and might possibly do that. We have our fingers crossed that someone in Toronto, retiring and selling their million dollar three bedroom bungalow, might want to retire off the water, with lower taxes, and a quieter life. The acreage should appeal to someone. The house is wonderful, but not for working people. Perhaps someone will want it as a cottage, the waterfront is literally across the road, and can be glimpsed from the front windows. Waterfront is like being on a freeway, the boats are so big, and so loud, and so many! It isn’t the quiet peaceful ideal we see in the media!!! We don’t hear any of the traffic on the water, and enjoy a lot of peace and quiet where we are.

  10. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    When you said you were hoping about someone in Toronto retiring and wanting to retire just off the water I found myself thinking “If they rented the place in the summer they’d have a chance to fall in love with it and want to buy it.”

    Okay, time to move on to new subjects. I’m always wary of sounding pushy when really I’m just exploring trains of thought.

  11. Your train of thought is appreciated Teri, and we have thought of this eventuality ourselves. It is one possibility of several we have considered.

    We have our fingers crossed that the market opens up this spring, at least a little bit. The people who wanted to buy our house last year, who couldn’t manage to qualify for financing, loved our place, and it was perfect for them. She was an artist, and the downstairs family room is perfect as an art studio, the light is wonderful in that room. The house itself has so much to offer people who don’t work away from home almost ALL waking hours, :).

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