March Is A Two Pizza Month

March! It is my least favourite month of the year.

My Granny passed away in March of 1976, I still tear up when I think about how much I miss her. My very dear friend and lover Pat Logier passed away in March of 1996, a very sad time in my life. March is when winter weather can seem like it will never, ever, ever end. March brings the spring season, but not necessarily spring weather. March, even when the weather is lovely, holds no promises that winter’s worst will not return for a star performance.

I don’t like March much. But, I am having comparatively grand March this year. Living at Mist Cottage means that we see the snow melt away in March, we are reminded that milder weather will come. This year March is stirring our longing to be out at the Rideau Camp; we are beginning to think about being there, what we will take with us for our picnics, what little projects we want to work on, how wonderful it will be to sit under the trees in the shade on hot days, and to sit under the stars around our campfire on clear nights. Yes, we are having a pretty good month of March this year.

Our wedding anniversary is in March. For our anniversary this year we made ourselves a pizza, and bought a movie from iTunes. It was lovely. But it seems that we need another little boost just now, as another weekend greets us with cloudy skies, a nippy wind, and the threat of freezing rain. Time for another pizza! March is a two pizza month! We purchased some CD movies on sale from iTunes some time ago, one of them will provide us with an enjoyable “pizza and a movie” night in.

When I was a single Mom going to Grad School, my special time with Terra was treating ourselves to a Friday night pizza, and watching Star Trek on the television. By that time Luna was well into her teenage years and had no interest in spending time with either Terra or myself, preferring her friends. Terra and I both remember those Friday nights with fondness.

After not having had a family Doctor for some years now, I am finding that the Doctor at the walk-in clinic has taken an interest in providing me with good care. I had chest pains last year, and he has been following up on that quite diligently. I don’t have any significant problems with my heart, which is good news. I will be tested further for my high blood pressure though, and I have a related appointment with a cardiologist. The walk in clinic doctor is also arranging for testing on several other health concerns I have described, which will involve a few more non-intrusive tests. We discussed cholesterol, and my levels are a bit high, which I take quite seriously because of the slight problem with the valves in my heart. He wanted me to try a new medication, so I agreed, because you just never know, and began to take it today. There is no noticeable side effect after the first dosage.

The pills were shocking. When the druggist opened up the prescription bag to go over the details with me, I could hardly believe my eyes. The pills are humungous! I was so disoriented by the size of the pills, and the fact that I am to take six of them every day, that I walked out of the drug store in a daze, forgetting to pay for the medication. I realized it after I got home, and called them to arrange going in to pay the bill next week. They hadn’t realized that the bill was unpaid, and probably wouldn’t have caught it. I am glad I caught it though, and called them, karma is a powerful thing.

New medication The small bottle of medication in front is two months worth of my old medication, which I have been taking for years, and which works well in some ways and not quite good enough in others. The two large bottles of medication are one month’s worth of the new medication. I am to take three pills in the morning and three pills in the afternoon. Quite a contrast in volume. We shall see if there is an overall improvement, or any side effects. The new medication won’t work as well where the old medication was very effective. The new medication will have to do a great job to earn its place on my shelf.

Tonight I will be baking sourdough breads. I will make one loaf of 100% whole wheat bread, and one loaf of Finnish Pulla bread. The sourdoughs are fed and proofing on the top of the refrigerator where it is nice and warm. I will also be baking oatmeal bread and Pineapple Coconut Muffins. Time to get busy with the baking because I am running out of snacks to eat!

I am wearing my beanie today and enjoying it very much. The next project will be learning the double crochet stitch, by making a washcloth using it. There is an excellent learning tool on one of the crochet groups on FaceBook (thanks Bex for pointing me in their direction)! I have been learning from videos, which work well for me when I already know how to do something, but are really challenging when first learning. Using videos to learn requires constantly taking my focus off the task at hand to fiddle with the video controls, so that a confusing demonstration can be repeated, or the video can be paused while I catch up. The site I discovered is one that demonstrates using animated gifs for every little step in the process. It is easy to see what the crocheter is doing, and the gif repeats over and over, so that I can try it, tear it out if I need to, and try it again without ever having to adjust the screen.

Attila and I went for a walk today. It was surprisingly cold out there. The temperature is above freezing, but with the brisk wind, and the dampness, it felt a lot colder than that! Still, it was nice to be out under the sky for a little while.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Saturday 25 March 2017
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.2°C
Dew point: -1.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: NNE 22 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
Lord Byron
1788 – 1824

First Robin Sited

Gloxinia Pink
Gloxinia petals web

Yesterday I sighted my first Robin of the season. It was rummaging through leaves on the exposed forest floor, and finding something tasty to eat, though I don’t know what that was. Attila and I spotted another one this morning. There are two Robin’s nests built right under the floor of our second storey deck. Every spring we hear a chorus of hungry hatchlings, just outside our windows.

The snow is retreating in earnest now. This morning there are streaks of brown running through the snow covered scenery. We expect that by this evening there will be streaks of white running through the brown and leafy forest floor.

Looking out the window today, at first glance, one notices the retreat of the snow in the yard. After a few minutes though, if I continue to gaze in the direction of the yard, there is a bloom of movement. Blue Jays flit from high branches to the ground to grab tasty morsels. Two Robins are hopping about, enjoying a meal. A dozen or more Chickadees are darting from one patch of bare earth to another in search of newly available food. There was another unidentified bird enjoying the bounty; black with a bit of red at the wing joint, a small beak, smaller in size than the Robin, larger than the Chickadee. The yard is alive with activity, a virtual bird cafeteria.

Attila and I moved into this house nine years ago today, an anniversary. That year all the snow was gone by moving day, it was an earlier spring. I had been living in a spare bedroom, at the home of my employers, for several months, when we finally took possession of our own house. We had been married in our old house, where Attila was still living, just weeks before. There were only three houses available in this area at that time: one on a private road that was not ploughed by the local authorities, no thank you, another within a few yards of an active rail line, no thank you, and this house, which was empty due to a marriage break up and in very, very questionable condition. This house came with a ploughed road, a bit of property and a lot of privacy, so the decision was made and here we are today.

The thing I remember most about the house, when I shoved the key into the lock, opened the door and entered, was the smell. The ground floor was musty and smelled of dead, rotting mice. I found the dead mice in glue traps under the stairwell. That was the first thing I did in our new home, I gathered the dead mice and the traps and disposed of them.

The objectionable smell on the second storey of the house was a different matter altogether. The previous owner had owned a dog, who used the corner of the living room as a latrine. The dog was also frequently locked in one of the back bedrooms, where he did his business on the carpets. It took quite a while to conquer the smell on the second storey of the house. We cleaned the bedroom carpet constantly, and eventually, over the course of a year or so, removed most of the urine smell from that room. In the living room though, no amount of cleaning would remove the smell from the wood subfloor. We ended up having to apply KILLZ to the subfloor, to seal in the smell. Then we tiled the floor. That did the trick.

Those were the first of many “home horror” adventures in this house. The leaking roof, the broken hot water tank, the squealing UV system, the mouse infestation, the damaged window frames and doors, the mosquitoes in the house, the carpenter ants, the heating issues… The list is long, and the issues have been conquered in order of urgency, over the course of the last nine years.

There is much more that could be done, but nothing that has to be done. A wonderful situation to find ourselves in.

We thought to move away from this area three years ago. We put this house up for sale, began sending out resumes and looking for work, and purchased the little house in the city as the first step in our relocation plans. The economy is against us. There is no work for us near the little house in the city, making a move impossible. In the meantime we continue to renovate that little house, bringing it up to an acceptable living standard.

IF we ever buy another house, I would like it to be in good repair and “move in” ready!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 9.3°C
Dewpoint: 8.6°C
Humidity: 95 %
Wind: S 11 km/h

Quote

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

Patterns

I am a lover of beautiful visual patterns and borders. My Grandmother’s children’s books were illustrated with warmth and affection, the images surrounded by ever varying and beautiful borders. To this day my eyes will rest contented on such an image, and always stop to investigate an interesting border.

So, it is little wonder that patterns and borders will appear in my dreams. They take many forms. Sometimes I dream of visual patterns, landscape details, well formed game pieces, even things like clusters of cherries hanging full and red on trees. Sometimes I dream of conceptual patterns, numbers, personality traits, events. I seldom remember my dreams, and only know that they exist when I am awakened as they are occurring.

Both Attila and I had a restless night last night, waking frequently. My dreams were of patterns disturbed, in need of care and attention. The sudden and dramatic return of winter may have been the cause of our interrupted night’s sleep, who knows. It will all be forgotten soon enough.

The sun is sneaking into the house through the blinds this morning. It is cold out there, but if the weather people are correct, the temperature will rise to above freezing today. I hope it does! Under such conditions in March the sun is strong enough to melt snow.

This week we are celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary. This spring we will celebrate having lived together for twenty years. Time slips quietly along, flowing towards the place where we began our journey, the unknown where we all came from, and where we are all going.

Attila and I have a wonderful life, in our time and place. We count ourselves lucky. Our small complaints are just that, small complaints. Even cabin fever is a minor ailment when put into the context of the wider world.

We are grateful for what we are experiencing in our lives right now. It is precious. Our vision of the world includes an active acknowledgement of the existence of evil. “Lest we forget” is a part of our everyday life. We do not forget. We do not obsess. We do not hate. We judge only the acting out of the small or mean of spirit; and even then we are conscious that people need to maintain their personal dignity to grow. When it is appropriate to remember, to acknowledge, and honour what is horrendous in the world, we remember, acknowledge and honour it, in our own way. Today I am thinking of others, and how their experiences fit into the world as I know it.

I read this article about someone, Sonia Reich, who witnessed the worst our species has to offer the world, with great interest. The article deals with the issue of people who have experienced extremely traumatic events, and how it affects their lives. The article is based on an extreme example, extreme in several ways. The trauma was extreme in that it was jarringly horrendous, life threatening, people believed they might die at any moment, and it was true, they might have, most did. The trauma was also extreme in another sense, it was extreme in that it was systemic, widespread, it encompassed their known universe and was supported by the social institutions under which they lived. It was extreme also in the way that seemingly “good” people pretended that the traumatic events were not happening at the time, a stance that was maintained after the events and threats to personal safety were long past. Another way that this was extreme is in the fact that the survivors escaped to a world where almost all traces of the experience disappeared from their day-to-day lives. They came out of the experience to exist in a world that did not have the respect, tolerance, or patience to integrate what the traumatized people had seen and known into their lives. Their day-to-day lives did not offer any real opportunities for “healing,” the “safe” environment offered no way to acknowledge and honour the existence of human depravity. They spent the remainder of their lives “protecting” their families from their experiences, from themselves. They carried our collective burden.

What strikes me as salient is that these individuals were forced to face overwhelming social issues as their own issues; when in reality the issues were and are systemic, and that need to be addressed by our whole society. These individuals bear the burden of our collective denial.

Of course, there are exceptions. There are movies and books and societies that take up these issues and bring them to our attention. That seems right and proper. But it isn’t enough, not nearly enough. What we need is to demonstrate, in our day-to-day lives, compassion, tolerance and respect for other people’s experiences. We need to leave behind our collective denial and openly listen to, accept, and integrate reality into our social dealings, on a day-to-day basis.

The day beckons! The tire rim for the car will be repaired today. I will run a few errands in the town while I am there. The sunshine will bring joy with it. I will respond appropriately!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-12 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -11.8°C
Dewpoint: -14.9°C
Humidity: 78 %
Wind: NW 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -19

Quote

“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
Helen Keller
1880 – 1968