Midwinter, not so bleak today!

Eleven months, and one day, since I began self-isolation. During that time I have entered a wholesale building to order and pickup my wheat berries for milling, entered a building to have an ultrasound performed on the tumors in my finger, entered the medical clinic to receive a flu shot and a Shingrix shot, and yesterday attended a specialist’s appointment at his hospital clinic to assess the tumors in my finger. That is the only mask-to-mask, pseudo face-to-face, contact I have had with humans other than Attila for the last eleven months and one day. I don’t anticipate any safe opportunities for contact with others for quite some time to come.

The last time I experienced face-to-face conversation with anyone other than Attila was a year ago last Christmas, so it has been over a year since I’ve seen anyone I know, other than Attila.

So, how am I doing with this extreme isolation? Pretty good I’d say. My physical and mental health are “top drawer”, although like everyone else, I am looking forward to a time when life offers more safe opportunities for face-to-face contact with other humans.

I have my “down days” of course, that is part of being “top drawer”. The reality is that this self-isolation, and the constant knowledge that if Attila brings home this virus he, or I, or both of us, may not live to see many more days. There is also the concern for my friends and family. This isn’t a benign situation, and it isn’t a happy circumstance. Humans feel, and being human I feel, so I have the odd day here and there where I allow myself space to feel a whole range of emotions connected to the Pandemic, and to the lack of government support to allow Attila and I safe passage through these interesting times. We must risk our lives so that Attila can create wealth for the wealthy, well, I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about that. Who would?

Most days are good days, some days are great days, and the odd day is one of reckoning with the emotional challenges of the Pandemic.

This morning I was standing in the kitchen, gazing out of the window into the snowy back yard. I was thinking I hadn’t really “done anything” today. Then I caught myself. Who says I haven’t done anything today? Me! Get real! I baked bread this morning. I paid a bill this morning. I transcribed some family history from a history book into my database and created a reference for the information this morning. I sanitized all the items that entered the hospital environment during my recent visit. I sanitized the mail that needs to be dealt with. I’ve done plenty so far today, and I have more things on my to-do list.

There are two tumors on my finger. The Orthopedic Surgeon does now know what they are, but he stated emphatically that they are not cancer. Well fella, if you don’t know what they are, how do you know they aren’t cancer? Just because it is rare does not mean it doesn’t happen. So I am no further ahead with this lack of diagnosis.

He can remove the tumors, but I will lose sensation in my finger as a result. I will not make a decision on this until I have had a Covid-19 vaccination, and it is safer to venture into health care facilities. If this is cancer, I hope that it does not metastasize while I wait for a Covid-19 vaccination. I hope the Doctor is right, and that these are benign tumors of mystery.

I did not enjoy going into the hospital one bit, workers there were doing the bare minimum required for safety measures, in my opinion. I had to back away from staff several times to maintain a two meter distance, which was not well received. I observed staff standing right next to each other talking. Then there were the elevators! All that risk for an “I don’t know what it is.” By next week I’ll know if I caught anything while I was there.

Today the sky is a beautiful Robin’s Egg Blue, and it is cold out there! I can hear the cold as the exterior walls “crack”, warmed a wee bit by the sun. The next few nights the temperature is to drop to -20C or below. This may be the coldest weather this winter. It is so wonderful in Mist Cottage. With the new windows, and front door, and insulated basement, there are few drafts. The living room where I sit is warm, cozy, and full of sunshine. Just wonderful!

Last weekend I used a new recipe to bake muffins. I found it on the Crosby’s Molasses web site, Healthy Gingerbread Muffins. Wow! We loved these muffins. I’ve had a craving for Gingerbread Cookies since Christmas, and these muffins really hit the spot. I enjoyed one, then two, because I could not stop at one. Strangely, I experienced a serious “sugar crash” after eating these muffins. I tried eating just one, with the same result. I am going to need to fiddle with the recipe to greatly reduce the sugar content, if I am going to eat them. Attila though, has had no such issues with the muffins. They are safely packaged, and in the freezer, to take in his lunchbox.

This morning I spied an Asian Beetle on the ceiling in the kitchen. I wonder that, when the weather is so very cold, an insect has appeared in the house. They are common in the spring, when I find myself battling their numbers. Perhaps spring weather is just around the corner! February will arrive on Monday. Then it is a short sprint of four weeks until March, and with it signs of spring.

Well, I am looking at the clock and it will soon be time for lunch. Meals have been such a source of pleasure during this “quiet time/year” at home. Keeping meals healthy is of utmost importance to us, as we know that our bodies need to be as healthy as possible at this time. I try to eat vegetables at every meal except breakfast. Today’s lunch menu features Mongolian Chicken with Rice and Mixed Vegetables. I use the ingredients for this recipe, add them to the Instant Pot, add two to three cups of frozen mixed vegetables, a cup of broth and a cup of dried rice, stir and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, letting it release naturally. This is one of our favourite Instant Pot meals. Instead of chicken (very expensive), I make this dish using leftover diced turkey. When we roast a turkey it provides at least a dozen meals for two, so economical, so delicious.

Stay safe dear friends!



Date: 11:00 AM EST Thursday 28 January 2021
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -11.6°C
Dew point: -17.5°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: NNW 23 km/h
Wind Chill: -20
Visibility: 24 km


“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
John Kenneth Galbraith
1908 – 2006

My all-time favourite economist! To take measure of the man as a human, not just a scholar, have a look at his book “The Scotch“.

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Joan Lansberry

Meal times are a high point of the day in the Lansberry household, too. Most mornings, it is yogurt (usually “Noosa” brand) and a snack of some sort. This morning it is blueberry Noosa, with organic mini dark chocolate coated rice cakes, (Sprouts brand (store here)). Big meal will have left over pork loin, potatoes, some kind of veggies (green beans?) and some kind of beans, maybe the spicy ‘Dr Pepper’ ones? I hope and pray the finger trouble is benign and not too annoying (and easily removable if need be). Stay safe, stay well!

Joan Lansberry

The ‘Dr Pepper’ beans are by a company called “Serious Beans”. And I just learned about Noosa when Walmart didn’t have our usual yogurt brand available. Now it is a favorite. I did change mind about the veggie, and went with fresh carrots, that were steamed with the taters. It’s all happily digesting now, 🙂

Thank you!