Cold Out There

Last night was a bit colder than expected, -29C at six this morning. Attila’s diligent attention to the hearth fires yesterday has succeeded in keeping the house reasonably comfortable. There is just a touch of chill in the air, in the house, this morning. I must dress warmly to stay comfortable. If I dress warmly I am comfortable. Today is the last day of January, thank goodness. This morning when Attila left for work there was enough light in the sky that we could actually see one another clearly to wave goodbye, facial expressions and all. The distant horizon was pink and silver behind him, and now, an hour or so later, the tips of the tree tops are blazing in the sunshine. Yesterday we made a quick dash to the village to buy some bread, and other supplies. There is a small store about five miles from here, but it only sells bread contaminated with my allergen, and prices are much higher there than in the village. The drive into the village was beautiful: sparkling snow, white frosted evergreens, blue, blue sky. It was great to get out for a few hours. Attila is also coming down with cabin … Continue reading

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

Sunday morning 6:00 a.m. and I’ve been awake for what seems like hours. Attila is sleeping, the windows are spaces coloured black. With cabin fever one cannot afford to lie in bed for too long, black thoughts eventually outrun you. So here I am at the keyboard, at six on a Sunday morning, by lamplight. “Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.” My inner voice has all sorts of sayings and phrases from my childhood. I hardly notice them and seldom verbalize them. This morning they are keeping me company. Funny, the phrase “ain’t nobody here but us chickens” has always been a part of my world. I never thought about the origin until this morning, and it does make sense. It is possible that I listened to the Decca release of this song as a child, or perhaps just heard the adults around me use the phrase. My grandparents had a windup gramophone and we delighted in playing “old” records; which were actually relatively recent releases in those days, but since they belonged to my grandparents we thought of them as “old”. My favorite song as a child was Side by Side by Harry Woods, although I don’t know who … Continue reading

Cabin Fever

Suddenly we have cabin fever here; I have cabin fever.  Curses! Besides the now ongoing challenge of cabin fever, life is pretty good. As often happens, the universe conspires to delight me in small ways.  For instance, as I was glumly driving to work yesterday morning the sun suddenly illuminated a panorama of beauty, right in front of me.  Although it is all private property, this beautiful landscape, the trees and clouds and snow and sunshine do not for one minute acknowledge the hubris of entitlement.  The universe reminds me that it is real, more real than any rapacity the powerful minority of humans can muster.  This scenery, this natural force, is that to which I will return.  I find that beautiful. And then of course, there is chocolate cake!  My birthday has come and gone, and it was a good one.  It went according to plan; I talked/corresponded with loved ones, had my pizza and chocolate cake and watched a good movie with Attila. Kobo customer service continues to disappoint.  I still cannot access the book I purchased, nor have I received my discount coupon promised at time of purchase.  What they seem to be doing is to answer … Continue reading

Warming

The house is once again cozy and warm.  The weather outside has warmed considerably and the thermal mass in the house is warming as well. We signed up for a free month of Netflix, and I’ve been hard at work making the most of the service while we have it.  I’ve been checking out programs that must run on channels we never get on television, like Drop Dead Diva and Huff.  There are a lot of older excellent movies we have not seen yet, out here in the bush.  We watched “A Beautiful Mind”, about the life of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Funny thing though, Mr. Nash doesn’t look a bit like Russell Crowe, who gave an entirely sympathetic performance as the troubled economist. The Kobo continues to delight me.  However, they have not addressed the issue that a book I purchased from them is not available for download onto the Kobo, as it should be.  I’ll have to send them yet another email about this.  How long should this take!  They’ve got my money, I’ve got no book! Tomorrow I am back at work, thank goodness. I become extremely inactive when confined to the … Continue reading

Food Labeling

Sometimes things shock me, that shouldn’t really shock me at all. One of them is the limited response to the Allergic Living “write-in“, a citizen’s opportunity to let the government know that accurate and thorough food labeling is important to Canadians.  My interest in and knowledge about food labels developed in response to my condition of anaphylaxis.  When I last checked this morning, only 1,545 individuals felt the issue important enough to let their voice be heard. Thanks to anyone out there who has already participated. Where are the rest of my fellow Canadians, the other 33,738,355 Canadians, to be exact? Where is the media coverage that would bring this serious issue to the attention of Canadians? Why exactly is this issue not receiving the public recognition it merits? Whose interests are being served? I can think of several examples where people have assumed that food or beverage were safe. They were wrong and people died. The Franklin Expedition, for example, assumed that the canned goods they ate were safe, and never knew that they had been poisoned by lead, which affected their cognitive functioning and compromised their ability to survive the other hardships they faced. Another, more recent, example … Continue reading