Sunday, March 17, 2013
Attila and I are sitting in front of a roaring fire, drinking our coffee and having a good chat. The subject of conversation usually involves, at some point, the weather report. Snow predicted every day of the week to come. Tiresome, we are truly very tired of the white stuff. But it is March on the Canadian Shield, and March is winter.
We are looking forward to April.
Today is our big day off work! The sun is shining, which is as good as a smile from the universe. We enjoyed a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, using the wild blueberries we picked and froze several years ago.
Attila ventured out into the bush at the back of our property to bring down and section a tree that fell over, roots and all. It is still suspended mid air by the branches of the neighbouring trees. He uses a chain saw, so I stay alert until he back safe and sound. That tree will heat our home for a few months next winter. Lots of work though, for Attila.
Yesterday Attila wanted to make a snack from sunflower seeds. We buy sunflower seeds in 11 kg bags. I found a recipe that called for boiling the seeds in saltwater (about 2 tsp salt in about 2 1/2 cups of water) for an hour or more, then air drying them, then roasting them (at 350 F for 20 minutes). The preparation is simple as can be, and wow they are good! Attila tried the same process with almonds, roasting them (at 350 F for 30 minutes). For dinner we will have a green salad, followed by coconut/lime baked fish and mixed vegetables. I sprinkled my salad with the roasted sunflower seeds and almonds, lovely!
I haven’t been sleeping all that well lately. The loss of a baby in the family, the weather, the winter, the isolation, the job that isn’t a job, it could be any or all or none of these things that make my nights restless. I wish I knew.
Mist, on the other hand, has honed the skill of sleeping to a fine art. She seems to love her kitty basket bed, where she curls up and slumbers. The bed is in the sunshine this morning, making it a warm and cozy place to sleep.
We are always amazed at how suddenly agile Mist can be, considering that she lies around sleeping most of the time. She is very quick when she decides to run about, particularly up and down the stairs. It is very impressive for a seventeen year old cat.
I will be working on my genealogy project as much as I can over the next while. I hesitate to make any concrete plans though, because I am on call every day but Sunday, without compensation unless I receive a call, and with the usual penalties against me if I do not answer a call. I worked yesterday, and have no booked hours in the future, at this point. This can change at a moments notice.
The two overwhelming bureaucratic issues I have been dealing with have settled somewhat. One is “over” but the outcome, which proved me right, will be held against me in perpetuity at my non-job. The other has been resolved with one of the three government agencies involved, again I was proved right. However, with the second issue there are two more government agencies to interact with to rectify the errors made in the first place, the errors I had to fight to correct. All of these things literally take up days and days of my time. I am exhausted. What a world!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Writing the date for yesterday and the date for today has a certain appeal. March is moving slowly, but surely, towards April.
We have just had a couple of relatively cold nights, below -15C. The masonry heater keeps up with that sort of temperature with only two firings a day. The weather predictions are for much warmer temperatures starting today. Still, it will be below freezing out there, and any snow that falls will linger; but the heating work load will diminish significantly, and soon snow shovelling will be a novelty event, until November anyway.
The stress of being on-call six days a week is significant.
I slept very well last night, breaking my recent, short run of insomnia. A good night’s sleep is such a satisfying experience. It always leaves me optimistic in the morning, with a slight fuzzy euphoria that is unique to the experience. What a difference it makes!
I took some very pleasant pictures during our visit with Emmi, Otto, and the Grandbabies Lilt and Skipper. Today was completely taken over with transforming the images into a web gallery, uploading it the server, and setting up password protection. Now Attila can send the link to Emmi and they can enjoy the pictures at their leisure, and share them with whoever they choose.
Well, the evening is getting away on me here, and there is a blizzard out there. We are going to get at least 10 cm of snow tonight. Oh joy! LOL
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Humidity: 56 %
Wind: ESE 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -17
“Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn toward it.”
Harry Emerson Fosdick
1878 – 1969
“Fear is a basic emotion, part of our native equipment, and like all normal emotions has a positive function to perform. Comforting formulas for getting rid of anxiety may be just the wrong thing. Books about peace of mind can be bad medicine. To be afraid when one should be afraid is good sense”.
1913 – 1997
I agree, a good night’s sleep makes such a difference. I’ve had some insomnia, too, lately. If I get mad about it, it’s that much more difficult to get to sleep. But I slept well last night.
I hope your snowstorm isn’t too severe.
(I like the Fosdick quotes.)
Oh, yes, a good, sound night’s sleep does make all the difference. I know what you mean about that slightly euphoric feeling. We could feel that good all the time if only we could get a good sleep every night. ::sigh::
I worked most of my career in a governmental agency and one sad fact I learned is that if you get into a situation, even if you are proved right, the supervisors get it fixed in their so-called minds that you are trouble, you are associated with difficulty, and, even if it is not done consciously, they hold it against you.
The pinch is that sometimes you just have to speak up, to set things straight. And so the fallout can be lasting.
And being on call 6 days a week is very, very difficult. Never knowing when you have to drop everything and respond. Do you have set hours, or is it 6/24? No wonder you feel stressed! And then there was the crib death. Some times life is hard, even when it’s not your own personal trouble….
Fear, in my opinion, comes in two aspects. One is the authentic fear–watch out for that oncoming car! The other is an inauthentic, anxiety-driven fear–what if social security age changes to 70–something over which you have no control and is vague, distant, general.
I try to meditate, to recognize when a fear is an inauthentic one, and set it to one side, after having done whatever I can (if anything) to prepare for it. It is corrosive for me to keep worrying and fretting.
Joan, I agree, an emotional reaction to insomnia does make it much more difficult to achieve the goal of a good night’s sleep! Old age has allowed me to lie for hours, focused on pleasant thoughts, barely aware that I am awake. I get a little bit of rest that way, if not any sleep.
It is still snowing!!! Apparently all across Canada, on this first day of spring.
Sarah, the non-job involves no set hours, it is just 6/24 on-call. Some months I am offered no work at all, some months I am offered three hours of work, occasionally I am offered short hours three days a week. The cost of transportation brings the realized income for these short shifts down below minimum wage. Still, for the local residents in the area where we live, this is considered a “good” job; probably because the employer actually pays the wages owed. Not all jobs in this area are like that, collecting wages from employers can be a battle. Thankfully I do not have to deal with that at this point.
Fear. That old familiar feeling. What a good way to categorize fear, authentic versus anxiety-driven. What a difference it makes when one can recognize the difference, to identify anxiety-driven fear!
I too find fear a corrosive force. And, like you, I have to do what I can to prepare for eventualities before setting aside an issue that causes anxiety. I keep a journal of issues so that I need not keep any of the preparations I make, or any related information, in my mind. I can then truly forget about it entirely, until it comes up again in the real world, then I dig out my notes. If the issue doesn’t come up, I don’t think about it again.