The sun was shining this morning! All that white sparkled, and well it might at -17C. The wind was negligible, so the heat in the house is being retained easily. By noon snowflakes began to drift down, by 12:15 it was snowing hard. Tomorrow, it is supposed to rain. This is going to be some winter.

Packing for the trip has begun in earnest. Lists made over the last few weeks are being consulted, items ticked off.

I am by turns excited to be off to the little house, because I love it there, and feeling sad that I will be staying there without Attila’s company, as he must return to the country and to his job. I am usually distressed for a day or so before my lone visits, and then a day or so after I arrive; after that a routine sets in and comfort is restored.

To mediate the intermittent separations from Attila, I spent some time today setting up Facetime, which I am hoping Attila can adapt to without issue. Attila is gradually increasing his use of the computer, building his skill set as he goes. He has come a long way with it, particularly when his almost complete lack of free time is taken into consideration. It is a a good tool for communication between us, when we are staying at different places.

We have been using Skype, but the quality of the calls is less than ideal, and Attila often becomes frustrated with having to repeat himself, which makes for a less-than-ideal interaction. I don’t mind repeating myself nearly so much, probably because I spend all of my time alone, and conversation, no matter how stilted, is a novelty. Attila supervises people where he works, interaction is not a novelty for him. I am hoping Facetime will work for us! I still need Skype of course, as it will make telephone calls anywhere in North America, for one annual price, $30.00. The cell phone is for emergency situations only, as it is far too costly to use for friendly conversations.

Today I am thinking of Reenie, who had some bad news and some good news this week. Glad your there Reenie, keep enjoying breakfast, find yourself a live-in dancing boy, and Go Cleveland!!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 21 November 2014
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -17.3°C
Dewpoint: -18.6°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: NNW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -20


“The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.”
G. K. Chesterton
1874 – 1936


  1. We also had sunshine first thing this morning, which later segued into gray clouds but no snow. Thank goodness! We have somewhere around 6-8 inches of snow, now. Way too much, to my way of thinking! At least for so early in the season.

    Hope Facetime works well for you and Attila.

  2. Should I being worrying about you driving on the roads in your region? *sigh* My community shuts down with a dusting.

    Separations are hard but make the reunions so delicious. You are so lucky to have each other to miss – and I know you know this. 🙂

    Thanks for your kind words. Chase, my eldest, is flying in to make the initial meeting with the Hospice doctor. This is so good. I’ve had a great day. Generally, if given a bit of time, I bounce back – and that was true today.

    Please keep us posted on your travels. I worry. xoxo

  3. Teri, 6-8 inches is way too much for November, I think so too! It is still snowing here, but no wind, and it is supposed to let up overnight.

    Attila has agreed to practise using Facetime tonight. I will go into the back bedroom and shut the door. He will call me. I will answer. We will chat. Then we will hang up. I am optimistic that this will work.

    This afternoon I tested it, running back and forth between the back bedroom and the living room, talking to myself. Glad no one could see me, 🙂

  4. So glad you bounced back Reenie! Wonderful to hear that Chase is arriving to take stock of the troublesome details, leaving you to enjoy the love.

    We are lucky, Attila and I, to have each other to miss! Absence can smooth out the wrinkles, gets rid of all the little irritants that build up over time, gives us a fresh look at how much we have.

    Reenie, the drive should be safe as it can be, the storm has passed. It is snowing here, but not much is accumulating. We watch the road reports, and it looks good. As of this moment, the roads are snow covered on the first 55 km stretch of the drive, then the roads are clear and dry the rest of the way. By morning the roads could improve so that the first 55 km stretch might also clear and dry, or maybe clear and wet.

    Of course, IF the roads are bad, we will wait a day, we have left ourselves a margin of time for such an eventuality. Sunday is supposed to be above freezing, and raining, so the roads should all be good by then.

    When I return to the country house in a few weeks time, I will be watching the weather and road reports carefully, and choosing a day with sunshine and clear, dry roads.

  5. NORA

    Maggie, Like Reens I too worry about you driving. Glad you posted what you did to help alleviate my fears. I used to do things like this when I was younger and never even gave it much thought but being older is so different.

    Going to “Little House” that you love. That’s nice to look forward to. How long do you stay? Is there a reason that you go back and forth? Just curious.

    I found learning computer very difficult and I’m happy that Attila is moving along with it. It really helps to have a person’s guidance.

    Wow, Skype is reasonable! I have never used it but my sister does for her practice when she is out of state.

    I think the idea of Reens having a dancing boy as an assistant very merry!!!!

  6. Nora, this trip I will stay for one to two weeks, then drive back to the country house with the new used vehicle. There is an office party to attend, so I am coming back to the country house to attend it. This winter, because cabin fever is annually such a problem for me, I will be staying for periods of time at the little house in the city. There I can go for a walk, go to the grocery store, go shopping in the nearby city, visit the archives at the university library where I want to do some research, visit with Terra and Lares, sew curtains, can beans… the list goes on. At the little house in the city I am active and I get about, I feel balanced, except for missing Attila.

    At the country house I am stuck in the living area for weeks at a time, without getting out even to a grocery store, seeing only Attila. Now, I love Attila dearly, but it puts a lot of strain on the relationship when he is the only human being I see for weeks on end.

    Skype is very reasonable, although the quality leaves a bit to be desired. I use it for long distance calls, and I must say it is handy to be able to call anywhere at no extra charge. Facetime is very limited, it is a Mac to Mac communication, with video. It is very high quality, but both parties have to be using either a Mac computer, an iPad, or an iPhone. I have used it with Terra and Luna when they had iPhones, but they are using other devices now. Actually, the video aspect of talking to someone has serious drawbacks in my opinion; one needs to change out of one’s pyjamas to appear presentable!

    Yes, I can see Reenie’s house filled with gaiety and laughter with a dancing boy as an assistant! What fellow wouldn’t find it easy to be gay and merry around Reenie!

  7. NORA

    How soon I forget! The new vehicle of course. Plus an office party. I hope you both have a nice time and the weather is decent. A party, now that sounds like fun.

    Thank you for explaining a more in depth view of the Little House. I can understand those reasons. My sister has a house here 7 miles away in a very quite neighborhood. When she is not staying there (she stays about 6 months out of the year) I will go over during good weather and just space out or bring something to do. It is just nice getting away to some place quite with especially good lighting. It helps create a balance for me like the Little House does for you.

    I also understand the strain on relationships. Hubby is the center of my world right now and has been for too long. Though we get a long well there are times when we need our own spaces. Luckily we understand that without taking offence. I need to make friends but have not even given that a try. Most people my age here are almost from another planet….

  8. Reenie! What a grand plan, my goodness, all this expert advice to tap, such enthusiasm; we would be fussy though I think, gotta be fun loving, gotta have charisma, gotta be uber competent, gotta be a good cook… oh yes Reenie, I think we could do you proud! 🙂

  9. Nora, your sister’s place sounds like a haven of peace.

    Isolation seems to be quite an issue in this day and age. I don’t think it is just mature women experiencing this either. Technology, and the anonymity of urban life have interrupted the natural development of human communities I think. It is hard to become involved anywhere without having to deal with competitive nastiness, even in volunteer positions. For the most part, people seem to have lost the ability to just spend time together, just for sake of spending time.

  10. Yes, you can add me in as one of those being isolated. Except for casual contact with a cashier for weekend grocery shopping, DH is about the only person I usually see.

    It use to be a bit different when SD was living here, because of course she was living here – and SS30 was coming over more often. But now he goes over to his mom’s once a week, basically to parent them both, and that takes up most of his time. We only see him about once ever 4-5 months instead of every other month or so.

    Like you though, Maggie, we do have a work party coming up at the beginning of December, so that gives us a little time out doing something different.

    Yes, I think we all need to spend some time pouring over the resumes for Reenie’s assistant. This should be fun!

  11. NORA

    Haven of peace…when she’s not there! 🙂 She’s very active and always has the TV on. I am not used to that. So, I like it best solo. But I do enjoy visiting with her. Her home is in a community of retirees. Very quiet but the homes are on top of each other. Something I guess older folks want.

    Spending time together almost seems like a lost art. There are so many distractions these days. I wish I had a circle of like minded friends like Reens does.

  12. Thank goodness for the internet, don’t you think Teri! I find it comforting that my experiences are not unique. I hope you enjoy the office party, they can be a lot of fun. I have to admit I have hated them for the most part, in the past, but where Attila works now the people are friendly and there is a lot of goodwill, so I am looking forward to it!

    We can be Rennie’s resume brigade!

  13. Reenie does have a lot of wonderful people around Nora! I have lived in places where that just happened naturally, people just gravitated towards one another. But I haven’t lived in that kind of a place for a very long time. I think they still exist, but I don’t know where!

    You like silence too! I spend my days listening to my house talk to me, and the environment around it chimes in from time to time. No radio, no television. My Granny was like that, she would not let us play the radio or watch television, I guess I picked up the habit from her.

  14. You too Teri! Interesting about the white noise, I discovered it one year when the air conditioner was running most of the night; and my insomnia disappeared completely during the heat waves.

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