Sophie got sick, then Canada Changed

Two weeks ago I began self-isolation. It isn’t complete though, Attila must still go to work, he is not completely self-isolated, so neither am I. On the job he is near hundreds of different people every day, what are the chances he will come in contact with COVID-19? Just a matter of time really, so I really want him to stay home! Sigh. That is not possible. Hopefully, since he is in a high-risk category, the powers-that-be will allow him to self-isolate with some sort of financial support, but I doubt very much they are thinking that far ahead for the daily challenges of the little people. Nero comes to mind. Or things might get to the point that they did in Italy, and everyone will be confined to their dwellings, how we pay for food if that happens, I do not know. Time will tell.

So far the isolation is not stressful, but it does narrow an aspect of the view. We were not out and about much anyway, only to buy groceries and supplies, so not much has changed. With the weather warming up, soon we will be busy right here at Mist Cottage, preparing for the garden, planting it, then tending it. At least we have a yard, we are so very, very lucky in that way. Counting our blessings.

Our local grocery store, a NoFrills, has just announced grocery pickup at no charge, at regular store prices. The other local stores are charging for delivery, higher prices, no pickup. Our choice is obvious. Kudos to NoFrills in Canada! That will save Attila having to walk up and down the crowded aisles, reducing at least some exposure.

Last week, on Attila’s very last visit to the grocery store, the day before Sophie Trudeau was diagnosed with COVID-19 and suddenly the world changed, he picked up 4 pounds of Jalapeno peppers. On Saturday we spent the day making yet another double batch of Cowboy Candy. Attila loves it! I like the syrup for making salad dressing and as a sauce for vegetable and rice lunches. It is one of the more intensive canning projects, because it involves cutting all those hot peppers into rings, and the cooking process is multi-stepped. But so worth the trouble.

Yesterday I needed to bake bread, but had no flour left. The morning was spent milling flour, and the afternoon was spent baking it into five loaves. Also on the to-do list yesterday was a double batch of Switchel, which Attila loves for his lunches.

This week homemade yogurt, and two batches of muffins, are on the to-do list. New routines are beginning to form, as Canada changes rapidly and suddenly around us.

Actually, the last few weeks have seemed unsettled and chaotic, as Attila and I finalized our strategies for survival, just in time. So I am just now catching my breath and settling in for a long period of isolation, after waiting for months in disbelief at the casualness of our species, for the rest of the world to wake-up. Waiting for Canada to act as if COVID-19 would indeed have something to do with us. Attila and I have done all we can now, and a period of adjustment and tweaking is upon us.

This morning a big hydro truck pulled up just across the street, using a boom lift to take a significant number of branches from a young healthy maple tree in the neighbour’s yard. They left enough of the tree that it might survive, I have my finger’s crossed.

I’ve been enjoying oatmeal for my breakfast for the last few weeks. I love making it with: 1/4 cup oatmeal, 4 chopped dates, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons of whole flax seed, and 3/4 cup of milk with two drops of liquid stevia. It is all placed in a bowl, stirred, and cooked for 1 minute on high in the microwave, stirred, then 30 seconds more, then stir, then 30 second more, then stir, and in a few minutes it is ready to eat.

I am still listening to audio books, and am enjoying Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen, at the moment.

Today I watched a video, posted yesterday, put out by a young couple (they look under 40) who are travelling all over Europe, have just returned to the UK, then travelled to Ireland, and are planning on touring Canada. It hasn’t seemed to occur to them that they might be carrying the virus around and gifting it to all the wonderful places they visit, the BandB in Ireland where they are staying, for example. If they get sick here, should Canadians have to compete with them if the health care system is overtaxed? Why is Canada allowing the possibilitie of such a scenario. This is no time for vacationing in foreign lands.



Date: 3:00 PM EDT Monday 16 March 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.6°C
Dew point: -10.8°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: S 10 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 – 1860

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Stubblejumpers Cafe

My oatmeal porridge is pretty bland compared to your morning fare! Half a cup of slow-cooking oats, 1 cup of water, simmered for 10 minutes et voila! That’s it. I don’t even add milk or honey or any kind of sweetener. Strange, isn’t it, for a gal with a sweet tooth. -Kate


Canada has closed the country to anyone trying to come in, except citizens, permanent residents, and – for now – Americans.

You’ll be glad you grind your own flour, when we went shopping on Saturday all the flour, and even the sugar, were gone.


Numerous stores are now setting aside hours in the morning for only the “elderly” to shop. They allow you to bring a family member or children/grandchildren, so you and Attila could go during that time and not worry too much about exposure.


No problem! Over here at the cottage the local store went bare-shelved on Sunday, someone I knew posted pictures. But today someone else said they were restocked by Monday, so ‘so far, so good’.