New Website Design

Today I am presenting a newly designed web site here, although not much has changed on the surface, much has changed behind the scenes. For one thing, this design should be more easily read on mobile devices. Hopefully the changes will not disrupt anything! I have not quite finished the design but it is functional and has gone live. I am having fun!

Friday, March 13, 2015, Little House in the City

The batteries in my camera died last month. Did I change the batteries? No. Why not? Good question, who knows. Sometimes inertia gets the better of me. There are so many interesting things to do!!

This morning, for instance, I am still sitting here at the computer, well after breakfast time. That was not my plan! I meant to jump up and have a shower the minute it was light enough outside. There is a window above the tub. I don’t like to shower in the dark, and I also do not like to shower with a light on in the bathroom, when it is dark outside and I would be standing beside a window that faces the street. I wait until it is light outside, and shower by the light provided through the window. Often this means my get-up-and-go has already got-up-and-gone before the light of dawn arrives. So it was this morning.

I did manage to get the blue box, filled with cardboard, out to the curb this morning. I can do that by throwing my parka on over my pyjamas, which I am still wearing because I don’t like to put on clean clothes until after I have showered. I think you can see how my days get away from me, so many things to consider, its ridiculous, and hilarious, and I am don’t mind one bit.

My real objective for the morning is to get to a drug store. After taking Tylenol for one month, as advised by the Orthopaedic surgeon, yesterday was the day I was advised to switch to taking Ibuprofen. I took my pills religiously in the morning, with food, in the afternoon, with food, and in the evening, with food. I got away with this in the morning, and in the afternoon, but not in the evening. Within an hour my stomach was hurting. I took an antacid, it did not help. I drank milk, it did not help. It was then that I realized that taking Ibuprofen daily for an entire month is not in the cards for me. So, the alternative is to purchase an anti-inflammatory cream to rub on my knee, and see if I can tolerate that. I want to talk to the druggist about this, see what she/he recommends.

But first, the dawn, then the shower, then drying the hair before venturing into freezing weather, then finally to the drug store. This could take all morning!

Saturday, March 14, 2015, Little House in the City

It was a grey day out there today, and it rained all day. The silver lining in the clouds was that a lot of the snow melted. Here at the little house in the city there are tufts of grass showing here and there in the yard, and the driveway is clear and dry.

Attila is not so lucky at the country house! Today he shovelled the snow off the deck on the south side of the house, and shovelled out his path to the wood shed, which was blocked yesterday when the snow load from the south facing roof fell to the ground. The snow is melting at the country house too, but it will be three, perhaps four, weeks before any sign of mother earth peeks through the deep blanket of snow.

Yesterday I managed to get out for my twenty minute walk. It isn’t far, not nearly so far as I was walking before my knee flared up, but it is so much better than not going for walks. I find the benefit of a walk is much more than just the activity. I am outside, I can hear the birds, feel the weather, and watch the small changes in the landscape, which I find endlessly fascinating.

I also managed to make my way to the drug store, where I purchased Voltaren gel, an anti-inflammatory gel. I tried it last night on my knee, and it does relieve the pain for a short time. It remains to be seen if the topical application upsets my stomach, which has not completely recovered from the three tablets of Ibuprofen I took on Thursday.

Since this knee business indicates a chronic pain that is not ever going to go away, I took it upon myself to look into the kinds of things a person can do to deal with osteoarthritis. The Mayo Clinic has an online “report” on arthritis, which I found helpful. As well, concerning diet and anti-inflammatory foods, this article from the Mayo Clinic on inflammation is of interest. Everything I have been reading about diet and inflammation indicates that I am already following an optimum diet, and lifestyle. However, this has not always been the case over the last twenty years, as my diet altered significantly when Attila and I began to live together, and my winter lifestyle over the last decade was nothing short of atrocious, until this winter, which was spent at the little house in the city. Chronic pain inspires me now to eat according to my own predispositions, even if it means eating entirely different meals than Attila. I have no intention of willingly spending another winter at the country house.

I enjoyed a quiet day with Diesel, working on this web site, researching medications and strategies for chronic arthritis pain, doing the daily exercises suggested by the physiotherapist, and getting out for a twenty minute walk between rain showers. After a quick supper consisting of “veggie wieners”, served with a slice of rye break, I decided that I need to spend another day cooking and freezing dinners. So much to choose from! I’ll be spending my evening looking at recipes and making plans for a day in the kitchen tomorrow!

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City
Date: 4:24 PM EDT Saturday 14 March 2015
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 2.4°C
Dewpoint: 2.0°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: ESE 11 km/h

Country House
Date: 4:47 PM EDT Saturday 14 March 2015
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: 0.4°C
Dewpoint: 0.0°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: W 18 gust 32 km/h


“The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.”
Paul Valery
1871 – 1945

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Irene Bean

The new format is lovely. Initially I was quite surprised and certain I’d wandered into the wrong neighborhood.

You are ever industrious!

Gray skies have been our norm all winter – and they continued today with the addition of fog.

Having Linda move in has been life changing. She is the best companion ever. She does all the cooking – thank goodness she always prefers healthy foods and as much fresh fruits and veggies as possible. I completely understand your preference with the city house, but am sorry for you long stretches without Attila. xo

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I too was startled by the change in your page. I like it, for the most part, though I find I have a tendency to want to pull the text areas to the right as the left margin is only about an inch wide while the right margin for me is about 3 inches wide. That might be because I use such a large screen.

I’m hoping that Attila’s snow melts a bit faster than expected. I know ours had gone down dramatically in the last week. We even have bare spots in our backyard, now.

Sorry to hear that ibuprofen causes you stomach problems, Maggie. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones as it never seems to bother me, though it does sometimes bother DH.

I’m trying to remember if a torn meniscus was the problem with your knee. That’s what happened to me, given the symptoms, and though it took a long time I find that most of the time I don’t have pain from my knee anymore. If it gives out on me it hurts, but other than that I don’t really have pain – though I do have discomfort when the knee won’t straighten out.


I too have the 1 inch border at left, with 3 inches space at right. I have the 1600 x 900 pixel wide monitor with text set to 150%. (Remember the old 800 x 600 pixel monitors?) I hope your knee feels better soon without tummy damage.


I like the format. I have a wide screen on both laptops and without my reading glasses I adjust font size to 125%. With either 100 or 125 it looks great, and the light background is also nice.


What you did to the page after my last comment makes it look nice, indeed! Some times I have a dark background on a page, but that is more often when the image (usually a large photo) is the main center of interest, and the text is just commentary about the photo. If text is the main interest, or it’s a light colored photo, then I go light.

Bex Crowell

I like your page and if I enlarge the screen to “full” it isn’t quite centered but almost… and if I put it at 100% – but I normally keep it at 125% due to elder-eyes. It looks fine anyway… xoxox

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Here’s what your site looks like on my screen, Maggie.
Maggie’s site

Figuring out which table to center can be a real pain. And I know with my old HTML knowledge that I’ve ended up putting “center” on almost every table just to make it work out right.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Ah, excellent point! I guess by the time I’d finished reading I didn’t twig to the gray column having items in it at the top. My mistake!