I have not heard loons calling, at the country house, for many years. Wednesday morning the distant call of a loon drifted through the fog and the open window. I love loons, and have had the opportunity to observe them all of my life; first on the farm, that my Grandparents owned, from the lakeshore hayfield. Then, during my first marriage, my ex-husband and I built and owned a cottage near Algonquin Park in Ontario, where the loons always seemed to be about. Later, at a park just north of Kingston, Ontario, which I was visiting with other academic conference attendees, I had a wonderful experience with a loon. I was lying on a deserted dock, all alone, with my head over the edge of the dock, letting my long hair drift in the water. I was meditating, recovering from the intense pressure of presenting an academic paper. To my great surprise and delight, a loon surfaced within a few feet of my drifting hair, and made eye contact. The loon remained still and calm, as did I, as we gazed at one another for several minutes. Then the spell was broken, as it quickly disappeared below the surface of the water, at the first sound of my colleagues coming along the path towards the lake. That was a memorable and cherished experience in my life. The universe reaching out to me, bringing me home, showing me my place in the scheme of things.

Wednesday morning I baked bread and prepared a salad. When not busy in the kitchen, I decided to review one of my forums. There has been an increased number of false registration attempts made by spammers. I took a look to see what is going on and realized I had not kept the forum server software up to date! Updating the server software took a few hours, mostly because I forget the small details of unpacking .tar files, and just where directories have to be in order for the processes to work as they should. It is done now.

The next discovery was the presence of around 15,000 unactivated spammer registrations in the archives. It took another hour to delete all of these from the server. Then I closed the forum to new registrations, so that only I will be posting on it for now. It gets a lot of hits through search engine searches, because the information is relevant, a public service, and from legitimate sources; this makes the forum worthwhile. I don’t really want erroneous information posted on that forum, so the registration process will not be missed, and if the registration is closed the spammers will be out of luck.

Before going to work Thursday morning, I decided to delve into the spelling autocorrect that keeps causing extreme errors in my prose, as it changes the words as I type. Often I do not watch the screen as I type, but focus on other things, looking at my surrounding environment. Because of this I do not notice when the computer changes the word I am trying to type, to something completely different and inappropriate. I knew this was happening, but until this morning had not taken the time to research the remedy.

Turning off the autocorrect function was as simple as opening a control panel, clicking on a tab, and then unchecking the autocorrect box. The trick was in knowing where to find that little box, it was buried deep enough that I had not bumped into it in previous explorations of the operating system. It is all as it should be now, and I am hoping that the errors, that I originally attributed to senior moments and my fingers, will disappear.

I worked again today, and will work, gasp, four days next week! I am working with a very pleasant woman, allowing me to relax and begin to flow with the demands of the job. It is much easier to work effectively when I do not have to contend with relentless interruption, criticism, and correction, most of which is redundant and/or unjustified. I have turned down the work offered in that negative atmosphere, and plan to keep turning it down. I have accepted all offers to work in positive environments, and the universe has rewarded me by giving me almost a whole week of work next week, in a positive environment!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.1°C
Dewpoint: 2.6°C
Humidity: 27%
Wind: NNW 17 km/h


“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.”
George Eliot
1819 – 1880

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Thank you for sharing your close personal experience with the loon. What a moving story.

Joan Lansberry

I too enjoyed your adventures with the loons. I’m glad your work experiences are more pleasant now.


I’d love to hear loons here. We have the constant cries of seagulls overhead, even though we’re about a mile from the sea at our home. I love seagulls, too, even though they seem to be quite dirty scroungy birds. I’ve often envisioned myself as one in another life.


reconnecting with the universe, via the natural world, is a memorable experience, even when shared vicariously. thank you!

you seem to have gone mano-a-mano with the electronic world and emerged the winner. congratulations.

lovely to hear that you’re going to be in a pleasant working environment. life is too short to engage with negativity IMHO

hope your day is beautiful and bright


Thank you Wendy and Joan and Bex and Sarah, for your words!