Never Alone

Never Alone

During this spring stay at the little house in the city, I have not been alone. Because I am organizing, the house is in a state of chaos, I have exterior doors open frequently as I am in and out constantly, so I have not had Diesel here to visit. I have other company. Grackles. After I caught the squirrel in the live trap and offered her a new and improved environment in which to raise a family, the grackles moved in. Mama grackle produced a nest full of baby grackles, right inside our roof. They are hatched now, but won’t leave home. They are in and out of the roof all day long. This provides me with constant awareness of other, so that I do not feel alone, although they take no notice of me whatsoever.

The grackles and robins have eaten my wild strawberries! When I last mowed the lawn I was amazed at how many wild strawberries were ripening. I gave them a day or two to finish ripening, then headed out to pick them. They were gone. Those baby grackles gobbled them right up, with the odd robin hopping in for a snack on occasion.

I have discovered that dental work wears me out. Odd, because I have not been in a lot of pain. Since my dental challenge began on Thursday last I have been feeling drained, and sleeping deeply. I like the sleeping part of the equation.

The antique dresser is staring me down, defeating my efforts to move forward in organizing the little house in the city, for another load of belongings that Attila will bring with him on his next visit, later in the month. I cannot lift the dresser myself, or even help another person to lift it, it is too big and too heavy. Attila cannot lift or move it by himself, it is too big and too heavy. It is a lovely piece of furniture, solid hardwood, dovetail drawer fronts, a new mirror in the original frame. It is just too big for such a little house.

Another beautiful day is dawning. The temperature was 5C when I looked out the kitchen window at 6:00 a.m., and it was about 17C in the house. I felt a little chilly, but the sun, streaming in through the windows, brought warmth with it.

My genealogy book is coming along nicely now. I have just added a bibliography of the 342 references that provided me with data for the book. The bibliography needs work. When I started researching the book in 1995, there were few online sources, and there were very few standards for entering references from new forms of reference material. Over the years I used a variety of conventions, which wasn’t a good idea, because now I have a list of 342 references in a variety of formats. This will take a while to sort through, or I may decide to just leave it, as it is, a mish-mash of formats, providing invaluable references. The information is all there, and is easy to understand.

I did not include inline citations, because they are so numerous that in some cases they occupy two lines. This destroys the flow of the text, making it virtually unreadable.

I have been enjoying my walks, here at the little house in the city. Although there are mosquitoes here, they are a mere irritation, so few are their number. On the other hand, at the country house, they are in full bloom, and Attila tells me they are fierce and many. I would not enjoy going for a walk there, without chemical enhancements to provide protection from the hordes.

Speaking of the country house, there is another showing today. Two weeks ago I was excited by every showing, dreaming of the possible desired sale. Slowly that hope has dulled, so that now it is just another showing, nothing other than a slight inconvenience for Attila. My feelings about the showings have no bearing on their outcome, thank goodness.

I am off now, to go for my walk, wearing my super walking shoes, on this beautiful sunny day.

Taken in the garden this morning. I can see these Lilies from the kitchen window. I frequently pause there, looking out at the trees, and the flowers. This makes me happy.
The last of the Irises. They bloom next to the Lilies in the garden.
This Columbine grows out of the roots of the Lilies in the garden. A welcome addition, I am glad this plant snuck in there.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Sunday 7 June 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dewpoint: 9.2°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: S 20 km/h


“he serves his party best who serves his country best.”
U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes
Inaugural Address, 1877

[A part of my extended family history.]


  1. Has Attila been able to take advantage of that old real estate cheat, baking or cooking something right before a showing? Bread, they say, is a scent that encourages buyers to see themselves living there. For me, one time, the former owners had had roast beef for supper. Maybe he could leave something cooking in the slow cooker when he leaves in the morning?

  2. Kate, that is a great idea.

    I think if I make one more suggestion to Attila about what he could be doing, well… it would be a good thing that I am so far away, as we would likely want to throttle me. He barely has time to eat right now, with his two jobs. 🙂

    I think though, that when I go back north, that your suggestion will work for me. I can make sure there are yummy food smells in the house. And, Attila would be able to eat the results, win/win!

  3. Reenie

    What full days you have! What a shame about your strawberries. If not mistaken, I believe Nina lost a lot of her crops to critters at the farmette.

    I’m on my phone and not good at typing here, but wanted to touch base. My studio is installed on my screened porch – so are some pesky mice. Johnny Ray is going to set traps for me. I was on my porch the other day and it was divine.

  4. Reenie, critters are wonderful, until they eat my food! Then the gloves are off, so to speak. I grew up on a farm, and I know that humans have to compete with critters for food, and that critters, like your mice, can contaminate food, and destroy property. There isn’t anything romantic about it. I hope Johnny Ray catches all those mice for you!

    Your studio sounds wonderful! I can just imagine you siting out there, enjoying the breezes as you paint, or read, or whatever strikes your fancy.

  5. NORA

    Hi Maggie,

    So you have opened a bed and breakfast!

    The antique dresser sounds very nice. What will happen with it? I remember years ago having to leave a beautiful breakfront behind due to a move. It was huge and heavy and didn’t make sense to drag it along. Still miss it though.

    How long have you been working on this book?

    The flowers are lovely and warming. One of the treasures of life.

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Grackles. Hopefully they won’t need the nest much longer and you can close up the opening(s) to the roof. Sorry they were quick to snap up your wild strawberries. (Wild strawberries can be so cute! Some I’ve seen are so tiny that they’re nothing but seeds, but they’re so fun to watch grow.)

    The last 3-4 days I’ve been sleeping deeply, too. Hopefully it’s just good weather leaving both of us this way.

    We’ve had the heat turned off in the house, too. Last night it got down to about 18C, which really didn’t feel that bad as I’m always warm at night. It’s nice to have the weather so comfortable that neither heat nor a/c is needed!

  7. Hi Nora, the dresser will be either given to Terra and Lares, or, if they don’t pick it up soon, sold to someone who will love it, and has a home big enough to do it justice. I won’t miss it, as I didn’t choose it, Attila brought it home one day because he got a bargain on it. We had room for it at the country house, but not at the little house in the city. It is impractical, and we have to be practical to live comfortably in a small space.

    Flowers, yes, they are such a pleasure. I imagine your feathered friends are another of life’s pleasures!

    I have been researching my family history since 1995. It was quite a few years before I traced the family back to the ship that brought them to Canada in 1820, and back to Scotland in the 1700s, from whence they came. Then it took many years to find primary documents to find the extended family. For instance, when my GGGG Grandfather died in 1868, he had 12 children, 45 Grandchildren, and 65 Great Grandchildren. My G Grandfather, another Great Grandchild of my GGGG Grandfather, was born several years after my GGGG Grandfather died.

    Finding information about the 12 children, 45 grandchildren, 65 great grandchildren, and many, many more GG Grandchildren, GGG Grandchildren, and GGGG Grandchildren (my generation), has taken a lot of time and effort. It is only now that I have exhausted the sources available to me, that I am compiling my data, writing, and publishing a book.

    My book will be “frozen in time”, and contains only a few links in the flowery chain of life to which I belong.

  8. I love wild strawberries Teri. I used to pick them every summer, I had spots where I knew they grew in abundance, and were not polluted. Having them as part of our “lawn” is great. Birds like fruit. I like birds, but I know that they will eat your food supply if you don’t take preventative measures. We grew grapes on our farm, as well as many other tender fruits, and birds were a menace to our livelihood, and food supply. In those days we used “bird scarers”, small devices that exploded periodically with a loud bang. It did scare the birds away, but they always came back. Those sharp pops of sound always remind me of summer!

    Here at the little house I am willing to give up my wild strawberries to the birds, and the black currants, which they also gobble up before they can be harvested. I notice those grackles are still flocking to our yard and eating something. I hope it is mosquitoes that they are eating!

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