Picnic

Today I am rethinking my crochet project. The cover-up top is not turning out quite the way I had envisioned it. The original concept was to create two mesh panels and join them at one end to create shoulders and an opening for the neck, a very simple design. The opening is bunched and will be uncomfortable, not to mention unattractive, the design is flawed. The front panel is complete, the back panel about a third of the way done, and the yarn is almost completely gone. It is decision time. Shall more yarn be purchased to complete the project as envisioned, or will the project be partially or totally frogged, either redesigned or abandoned. When trying something experimental, these are the kinds of decisions that arise.

It is time to get back into the health care treadmill again. Today it is a blood test, which will need a followup appointment in the city. There are a few questions to be asked, and further appointments to schedule. Dental care is also on my list of things to research today. It has yet to be determined if I am covered under Attila’s plan where he works, so cost is a major issue.

This evening we plan to picnic at the Rideau Camp. Attila has a list of items he wants to transport to the Camp, so a short weekday visit is in order. Now that we have some storage space in Grace The Trailer, there are items we will leave at the Camp, such as the cushion for the lounge chair. The lounge chair has been with us since 1999, as has the cushion, but thus far we have seldom used them, so that they are in very good condition. We have seen, over the last ten years or so, the exact same chair at dumps, many times actually, discarded due to lack of style, not due to lack of function.

The weather is turning warm, with daily highs in the high-twenties. This would be lovely, but the humidity transforms this into a humidex reading in the mid-thirties, which is not comfortable. This means I will suffer in the outdoors. My hands and feet will swell significantly, and I will feel lethargic and distressed much of the time. Our visits to the Rideau Camp now will see me resting in the shade through the heat of the afternoons, drinking lots of water. There will be no burning of dead wood or brush through the heat of the day, no projects. As I grow older the heat and humidity of the summers has a greater impact on my health. This slows me down, but it doesn’t stop me.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 11:09 AM EDT Wednesday 12 July 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.9°C
Dew point: 20.1°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SSE 10 km/h
Humidex: 32
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.”
David Brin
1950 –

The Quiet Week

Saturday evening our neighbour dropped by with a hand delivered Christmas Card, and an invitation to visit. We were delighted, and were ringing their doorbell thirty minutes later. The visit was so much fun! We talked and talked and talked. At last Attila asked the time, it was after 1:30 a.m.! I am usually asleep by 10:00 p.m., so this was really “going wild”. The time had flown by, for all of us.

We were up early on Sunday morning. Attila wanted to leave early, so that he could begin recharging the masonry heater during the afternoon, and turn off the electric heaters that had been turned on during our absence.

Things have been quiet here at the little house in the city since Attila drove away early on Sunday morning. He arrived safely at the country house in the early afternoon, having made a few stops to shop along the way.

Mist and I have been keeping each other company. On Sunday Terra stopped by for a short visit. She works out at the gym in town, and visited after her workout, then dressed for work here, and off she went to work the night shift.

I have been puttering about, reorganizing the little things, putting up a string of lights, cleaning the kitty litter box. Attila usually cleans the kitty litter box, so this is an assumed duty on my part. If Mist feels the kitty litter box needs immediate cleaning, she will find the responsible human, and throw up in their presence. This afternoon she wandered into the kitchen as I was eating my lunch, and announced in her special way that the kitty litter needed cleaning, immediately. I will need to keep a closer eye on that kitty litter box! Or at least check it before I sit down to eat a meal.

This Christmas Attila and I bought full fledged Christmas gifts for the Grandbabies. Until now we had been buying disposable type items at the dollar store, which were colourful and fun. This year, we decided to spend all of our Christmas funds on the Grandbabies. It was fun. Last week I wrapped the gifts, as well as carefully chosen gifts for Terra and Lares, and Luna and Janus. They sit in the corner of the living room, by the window, under the new cafe curtains. They are such a cheerful sight! Next weekend we will celebrate Christmas at Terra’s house. Then the Christmas presents, that sit cheerfully in the corner, will be gone to their new homes. I always find that things look bare when all the decorations have come down after Christmas!

The Christmas corner at the little house in the city. There are Christmas lights at the window, and the gifts for our daughters, their husbands, and the grandbabies are piled joyfully in the corner. This does it for me!
Those are our living room chairs, purchased recently for next to nothing. We have two other chairs, both worn out relics that we brought to the little house when we bought it. That gives us four chairs, which we need when company comes calling.
Chrstimasgifts2014

Yesterday, Tuesday, began with a glass of water, a chat with Attila, and a visit to the health lab. Time for a blood test, a routine blood test. Attila went last week, as there is a lab close by, at the little house in the city. I went this morning, as this seemed like a convenient time to fast, as my blood test required fasting. At the country house the health lab is an hour away by high speed highway. It is time consuming and expensive (fuel) to have a blood test there, while here at the little house it is a short trip, simple and inexpensive.

In the last few years my stomach has become very demanding. I need to eat a little a lot of times a day, to keep it happy. Fasting is, quite literally, painful. Since I rise early, 5:40 a.m. this morning, it is a long wait until 8:00 a.m. when the health lab opens its doors for business. The last half hour or so of waiting was unpleasant, unpleasant enough that I tend to procrastinate on getting my blood work done.

After spending all day Monday in the house with Mist, today it felt good to get out and about. After the blood test I came home for coffee and breakfast.

And that leads to today, Wednesday. It is still dreary out of doors, the snow has melted away in the rain, and I am grateful for that! It was an errand day. Tank needed fuel, and I checked that off the list. Milk and Rice Crispies were needed, and I checked them off the list. Disposable baking pans were needed, and I checked them off the list. A small gift for Attila was also purchased. Our Christmas gift to each other this year was Attila’s time off work, which was an unpaid vacation, so we went without an income for a week. It was an expensive gift, but one we both enjoyed and were glad of. Still, I will wrap a few small stocking stuffer type gifts for Attila, things I know he will enjoy.

I had an odd experience yesterday. There is a human being who became obsessed with me at one point in my life. This was not a healthy interest, nor was it welcome. This person’s actions had devastating effects on my financial path in life. I only recently mentioned him to someone, which is something I haven’t done for twenty years or more. And then yesterday, as I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting for my blood test, there he was. I did not recognize him, but he recognized me. He stared, and stared, and stared at me, rudely, wanting me to look at him, to acknowledge him. Since I did not recognize him, I thought him merely a strange and creepy old man, possibly a disabled man, I ignored his rude stares, and did not acknowledge him. And then, the receptionist called his name, and I knew why he was staring at me, he recognized me. I had hoped never to see him again in this life. Such was not to be. It was the coincidence of having mentioned him, and then running into him after twenty years, that bothered me. Was this a version of the “evil eye”?

I am back working on my genealogy book. Goodness, distractions abound with this book! I have found numerous spelling errors, typographical errors, bits of information that were erroneously included and should not have been, and bits of information I wish I had! I stop to search for those bits of information I do not have, but there is a good reason I do not have them, no primary records are currently available.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 5:00 PM EST Wednesday 17 December 2014
Condition: Light Rain and Drizzle
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 2.4°C
Dewpoint: 1.5°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: WSW 23 gust 35 km/h

Quote

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

Sunbeams

Tuesday a.m.

This morning I am sitting in sunbeams. I can close my eyes and feel the light; how glorious it is. Having the blinds open comes with a price this morning though, as it is -25C on the other side of the glass and the room is noticeably and quickly cooling. It is worth bundling up for though, to have sunbeams playing on my face. Sunshine is rare this winter, and it comes at a high price, cold snaps.

Attila heard the trees snapping in the deep freeze last night. I had already turned in for the night, and he stayed up to wait for, then dampen, the spent fire.

This winter is either colder than last, or my aging body has reached some sort of threshold. At night my shoulders can get uncomfortably cold, this is new. Also, the back of my head can get cold, again something new. I think I will consider a night cap, and fold down the comforter to double thickness, before I tuck it in around my shoulders at night. It is quite cold in the bedroom, and I sleep near the north wall, so during the coldest of nights, -30C and below, that area gets cold, but is still above freezing. We are experiencing our second, or is it our third, serious cold snap.

Eventually I may consider abandoning the bedrooms in the winter, and setup a sleeping arrangement near the masonry heater; I am not there yet though.

There are electric heaters in the house, but they are extremely expensive to use, and beyond our financial means as a source of heat, except for special occasions, like a few days at Christmas. The cost of hydro has doubled since we moved here, our income is lower.

Were I to design a house for this climate, it would have a central core of plumbing and heating, well away from exterior walls. The exterior doors would not open under the drip line of the roof. “Summer rooms” would surround the periphery of the floor plan, rooms to close down during the winter heating months. There are no houses designed in this way, although there may be a few architect designed seasonal homes that come close, built for the elite who really do not need to concern themselves with the cost of heating. Conventional floor plans, the ones used by builders for almost all of the housing in Canada, fail to adapt to local conditions in significant ways.

I would love to design a home adapted to the climate here!

Attila’s Mom just arrived home from a trip to the Southern USA. What a shock the weather had in store for her, back at home in Northern Michigan. She had a lovely trip by all accounts, visiting with her older sister, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. She and her sister both celebrate birthdays in the early part of January, so they were able to celebrate together this year. Terra shares the same birthday as Attila’s Mom, and Terra turned 30! Lares treated her to a weekend away at the same place they spent their honeymoon. Luna and Janus went along to share in the fun. They had a great time, by all accounts.

My winter trips to warmer climes involve moving my chair closer to the masonry heater, LOL!

Terra’s new puppy is called Maci. I can hear her yipping and jumping and playing in the background when we talk on the phone. I even got to see her when Terra and I spoke on Facetime.

Tuesday p.m.

Since the sun was shining and the roads were good today, Attila took three hours off work, left early, picked me up, and drove to the lab for his blood test. We hit the high spots, the grocery store and Home Depot, buying a few supplies and an extension cord. Things are tight right now, because all the Christmas bills are paid, including the extra heating bills, and that has emptied the coffers. We can’t complain about that, but we can’t spend much money either.

Our coffee machine, ordered from Sears using points, finally arrived at the Sears outlet. We picked it up during our excursion to the lab, which saved us an extra trip. Tomorrow morning it will be put the test!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT
-28°C: Low -32C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 21 January 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -28.4°C
Dewpoint: -31.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -33 rising to Wind chill -40C

Quote

“It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.”
Charles Baudelaire
1821 – 1867

Retired to the County Gaol

After much investigation, I found GGG Grandaunt Bella’s Death Registration record. The record was obscured by a faulty transcription: a misspelling of her surname. She lived to be 88 years old, and spent the last years of her life at the County Gaol. She is listed as a vagrant, although that seems a bit harsh, as a description of someone who cared for her father till he died, and then supported herself as a seamstress, eventually buying a small plot of land that I assume she lived on. She is buried on her father’s farm. She was probably institutionalized because she was old and needed care herself, and not because she was shiftless or had committed any crime. It seems sad, but who knows what kind of a place it was. Surely there were other honest, hard working people there, who faced similar circumstances, allowing people to at least offer each other some understanding and perhaps even camaraderie.

Things have changed. But I am not convinced they have changed for the better. Older women make up a significant proportion of those living in poverty in Canada, and they are also well represented in the homeless population. I don’t trust professional Feminist appraisals of the quality of life for Canadian women. Professional Feminists make a career out of advocacy. I have trouble with the need for advocates. The advocates get to have a career helping others, are usually well paid and middle class, and although they do help a few people, they seldom, if ever, make any significant change to the issues causing the disparity, which are structural and institutionalized.

Yesterday the blood test did not take as long as I had feared. There were only about ten people in line before me. At this lab you have to take a number when you come in the door. I carefully hang on to that little tab of paper, as it represents a place in the queue. Lose it and you will have to go to the back of the line again. I am sporting a beauty of a bruise, but there is not pain.

I also managed to do all the trip-to-town errands that were on my list yesterday. Shopping is a dangerous activity. There are always bright and shiny things that, in the wonder of the moment, I think I might need. But if I keep walking around the store, by the time I cycle back to those appealing items, I realize I do not need them, nor do I really want them.

My Mom has a birthday this weekend, 82 years young. And young she is, what a spirit! Her father, my Grandpa, was a fine fellow, and he was active his whole life through, all 89 years, an example to all of his children and grandchildren. That is where my Mom gets her gumption, which she has in spades. Happy Birthday Mom, and wishing you many, many more!

Attila has been spending a few hours stacking fire wood every evening. I think that by the end of May he will have all of it stacked. Then we will be able to recover the lawn, which has been buried under the dumped load of fire wood. Of course, once this fire wood is stacked, Attila will be bringing in wood from the bush out back, from trees culled by the wind and weather.

We are having an all day rain! The landscape needed it, and since the floods have subsided, no harm done.

One of the lovely things about the leafy season is movement. The slightest breeze animates the world. It is difficult to resist becoming lost in reverie, watching the lilt and sway of newly unfurled greenery.

In reading various news reports this morning, I was struck by a contrast, which I will describe. I read quotes from two people who experienced the power of mother nature this spring. The first person quoted, I found admirable. The second person quoted, not so much.

The first quotation is from an interview with a man who had experienced serious property damage, done when ice blew off the lake next to his waterfront property. Ice was driven ashore with unusual force, by wind. The man lives in Alberta, and his comment is:
“Nature’s pretty powerful,” says Morrison. “I’m actually quite fortunate that that’s all it did.”
Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/542967/ice-blown-off-lake-damages-dozens-of-alberta-beach-properties/

The second, which I didn’t like nearly so much, quotes a letter from a Mayor, a seasonal resident in the Ontario area she represents; an area that experienced flooding in the spring of this year.

The flooding was caused by a combination of factors. The ground was saturated since last fall, and was still frozen when the area experienced heavy rain. The frozen ground was unable to mediate the effects of the unusually heavy rain, resulting in heavy run off, and thence flooding.

This is clearly an act of nature. It is something that scientists would regard as an infrequent, but not unexpected, occurrence.

“Murphy claims there was a “…lack of advance warning from the MNR to the municipalities.” This statement contradicts the MNR’s assertion that its first Flood Outlook warning was sent to all municipalities on April 16 (to identified emergency management coordinators including the Township’s Richard Hayes) and followed up the Flood Outlook with a Flood Watch (reported on Moose FM April 18) that was then upgraded to a Flood Warning (followed by more Flood Warnings specifying areas that could expect flooding). You can read the full letter that was sent by the Mayor to the Premier, various provincial cabinet ministers, the District…”
Source: http://muskokanewswatch.com/opensession/comments-by-muskoka-lakes-mayor-inaccurate-and-inappropriate-says-councillor/

What a contrast in attitudes!

There were floods where we live. I did not hear the Flood Outlook warnings, and I take responsibility for that. I don’t listen to the radio station that announced the warnings, although I could have, if I had been concerned. I live on higher ground and am not as concerned about flooding as I would be if I had waterfront property. I am not holding public office; I am not morally or legally obligated to monitor conditions for the general population of the area I live in, nor do I have the resources to do that.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7C
Condition: Heavy Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 3 km
Temperature: 7.0°C
Dewpoint: 6.0°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: ENE 11 km/h

Quote

“The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.”
Umberto Eco
1932 –