Yesterday was full of activity. Attila and I went grocery shopping, visited the dump to drop off the old broken freezer, dropped in at the bank, and made a flying visit to Terra and Lares’ place. Sunny and Sky are pink and bright eyed, and very healthy looking. They are so very different, their personalities are already quite distinct. I had a chance to feed Sunny, and to cuddle with her. There is nothing in my life so purely pleasurable as holding my grandchildren. Sky was sleeping when we arrived, but soon he was a awake and full of smiles, Lares even had him laughing out loud. Attila got a chance to feed Sky, in his own unique way, with Sky sitting upright, which looked a little bit awkward, but seemed to work very well, there was less spitting up after the meal than usual. Off we went home, as Terra and her family headed out to have the babies picture taken with Santa. Later in the evening, I received a second response to a request I had put on the internet for a VCR, as ours had died during the process of digitizing home VHS videos. I had already received a VCR from a kind person near our town, which we went to pick up yesterday. But when a second one was offered I decided that I would collect it as well, just in case the first gifted VCR quit on me before the job was finished. So off we went, it was a about a 45 minute drive, to pick up a very high quality VCR, which works really well. I give items away all the time, but this time it was my turn to be the recipient of generosity and good will.

One of the VHS tapes included a television clip of a dear friend performing on City TV Breakfast Television in Toronto, on November 12, 1991. I wonder that I had the wherewithal to actually accomplish recording the performance! At the time I was a very busy single Mom, working on my PhD, with very little free time. Those were the busiest, best, and close to the worst years of my life.

Here is Steve-Paul Simms, performing one of his own songs, on November 12, 1991, in Toronto. Since this is taped from a television program, I am not sure how long it will be allowed, but for now here it is. The commercials are there because I am busy with other things and haven’t the time to edit out the ads, the music starts around minute 3:38.

Attila is tackling the garage today, and I am cooking and baking. Already Attila has a huge pile of debris (wood debris, thanks Cathy for pointing out that this is best specified!), to be burned, we will probably try to get that transported to the Rideau Camp before it is completely snowed in, but we shall see.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EST Sunday 27 November 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.4°C
Dew point: -2.2°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: N 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
John Banville
1945 –
Quote from “The Sea”


  1. Wow, you actually have a VCR that works! Lucky you! The VCR issue went off the rails for me a few years ago, when I tried to play a tape of an important event, and couldn’t. I didn’t have the heart to pursue it then, but I know I will have to solve it eventually. The years roar by, and automation often leaves us in the ditch. I can’t help but be sad about the precious clips I may never be able to view again!

  2. You mentioned burning rubbish in a previous post and now you mention it again. Does it not bother you to do all that burning ? I know you live ‘in the back of beyond’ but aren’t there any bylaws against polluting the atmosphere in that area.

    I mean no harm by asking this question – I’m sure you have a good reason for doing it – it just goes against everything we believe is good practice these days.
    Take care

  3. Cathy, that is a very good question. We burn wood, unpainted, untreated wood, which is legal here. We have been renovating for years here, and the bits and pieces of lumber have piled up around us. As well, Attila worked around lumber and had collected quite a bit of it that was being discarded. We burn it at the Rideau Camp as firewood, we cook our food over the flames.

    Anything that isn’t wood is either taken for recycling, or taken to the dump. We compost all kitchen scraps that are not meat or fat, and compost almost all the yard waste as well.

    There are strict laws here in Ontario about burning, and burning actual garbage is not allowed. Burning wood is strictly regulated, and we have a permit, which we applied for, to burn wood in a camp fire. We burn only wood in the camp fire.

  4. Diane, with a device such as this video converter, a VCR, and a computer, you can digitize those VHS tapes. We had an old VCR which broke down in the middle of the job. The two that were given to me were requested through freecycle and, they are old and the people who gave them to us would have taken them to an electronics recycling center, but luckily I intercepted the units. Perhaps there is a group near you where you could request a VCR and digitize your tapes. It works in real time, so a 6 hour home video will take 6 hours to play, it gets very time consuming, but worth it I think.

  5. Teri

    Oh, wow! Something to transfer VHS to a computer. Have you got timing, or what?! I just bought DH a Christmas present of a converter for LP records to computer, and now you’ve found another great present for me to get him that costs very little! Thanks for the great tip, Maggie, as our VHS could be giving up the ghost any time now and I know that DH treasures some of the tapes he has, tapes you probably can’t find on the market anymore.

    So glad to hear you two spent some lovely quality time with Sunny and Sky! Sounds like they’re already moving ahead well. So glad!

    Over here we’re moving ahead a little, too. We received a video the other day of youngest granddaughter finally having her walking recorded for posterity. She took her first steps just before she turned 10 months old! We were amazed. In a couple more days she’ll turn 11 months old.

    We’re still working on decorating for Christmas. We had a failure putting the lights in the windows. As we have new windows, we hadn’t wanted to screw into them like we did with the very old windows before this. We tried some hooks that attached with adhesive but as we feared the adhesive wasn’t strong enough and the lights kept falling to the floor. Drove poor DH to distraction. So looks like now we’ll be trying tea cup hooks, which are quite small and won’t leave too much of a mark on the wood. *sigh*

  6. Teri, we had made quite an investment in VHS tapes during the years when Terra lived at home and couldn’t be left alone, so all entertainment had to be home entertainment, there was no money for babysitters. Most of the movies we had are readily available in places like iTunes, so no need to digitize our purchased copies. But the home movies, and some of the snippets of friends on television, those are priceless to us, and we couldn’t obtain them anywhere else for love nor money.

    How wonderful about your granddaughter and her first steps. It is such a milestone, mobility.

    That sounds so frustrating, the Christmas lights falling down. Our old house here has solid hooks screwed into the ceiling joists, from which we hang lights. I tried to remove those hooks, and they wouldn’t budge with all the strength I could muster. So, after six years they are still there, and we are still using them. Eventually we will be facing the same dilemma as you describe, when we get new windows. I hope you find a good solution before I need one!

  7. Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

    Wow. Time travel. There’s Dave Nichol, the Loblaws guy, and David Onley who later became Lt. Governor of Ontario. And yes, Maggie, I look exactly the same! Thanks for posting.

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