Music

This morning I’ve decided to resume muffin baking. To that end a tub of frozen pureed squash has been fetched from the freezer in the basement, and is thawing on the kitchen counter.

I love live music. This is something I discovered in my thirties, after my first marriage ended, and my own likes and dislikes were allowed to bloom. Living in downtown Toronto, I was able to enjoy live music everywhere I went, bars, cafes, walking down the street, open stages, musical get togethers with musical friends, and in many more ways. At that time I wrote a lot of poetry, and read my work at open stages, and sometimes in bars (where I found a surprisingly appreciative audience, if I got on stage before the serious drinking started). All that was a lifetime ago, and since then there has been no other social activity that has held the same appeal.

Attila and I have decided that we will explore music venues within driving distance of Mist Cottage. Last night we drove for about 40 minutes to listen to a band at a bar, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The band was friendly, the staff at the bar were friendly, the other patrons were friendly, no one really cared who we were, they were just happy to have us there… it was a social-engineer-free zone. We will be exploring other venues in the weeks to come, and in the years to come. Who knows, I might start writing again, and do a reading here and there, or maybe not, it depends on how I feel at any given moment.

Up until last night every evening musical event Attila and I have attended, in the last fifteen years or so, has been “stiff”, with the performers feeling too special, too focused on building a “fan” base, to genuinely connect with the people in the audience, the hosting individuals feeling too excited about their own importance to be genuinely present to anyone but the performers they are so enamoured with. This kind of atmosphere is not appealing to me, or to Attila. No performer is so special that being genuine with people is beneath their dignity. The most talented people are usually “over themselves” very early on in the game. Part of the magic of creativity is in its openness, absent in the performer/adoring-fan binary cage.

It is very cold today! I was only out of doors for a short time. Every year a Christmas card arrives in our mailbox, addressed to our neighbour at our address. Every year I bundle up, walk over the neighbour’s house, and pop it into their mailbox. Today was delivery day.

This isn’t the jolliest Christmas I’ve ever experienced. Without realizing it, I’ve been listening to canned playlists of Christmas music, instead of my cherished collection of Christmas music on CDs. Why? I find I don’t want to associate the the disoriented feelings I have this year with the music I love. I want to listen to that music in future years and enjoy it without triggering the sad feelings I have this year. If the universe allows, these sad feelings will fade, and their existence used as a tool, but not revisited as part of Christmas memories. One pass through these feelings will be enough. There are lots of good feelings floating around at Mist Cottage this Christmas, making good will and hope the order of every day. That in itself is a wonderful thing.

In the colder weather Mist Cottage switches automatically from heating with the air source heat pump to the oil furnace. When that happens the air dries out, everything dries out, and the humidity in the house plummets. Today soaked washcloths are draped in front of every heat register, where they dry in less an hour, at which time they are carted over the sink, soaked again, and placed back in front of the registers. The humidity level is being maintained in this way, but no gains are being made, it is holding steady at 28%.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-20°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Thursday 14 December 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -20.1°C
Dew point: -23.3°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: NNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -27
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
Helen Keller
1880 – 1968

Three Days

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The arrival of winter has been confirmed, I had my first nosebleed this morning. It didn’t take much to get it going, I gently blew my nose this morning and the deed was done. Luckily I managed to get it under control in about ten minutes. Nosebleeds are very intrusive!

The temperature dipped to -7C or below last night, which means our source of heat switched to the oil furnace, which results in a significant fall in humidity inside the house. The weather forecast calls for temperatures above -7C for the next few weeks, so I will have a reprieve period before the serious days of interior aridity settle in. When we need a new furnace, we will purchase one with a humidifying feature, and an air cleaning feature as well. With any luck, that eventuality is years away.

Attila obligingly set a load of his laundry to wash before he left for work this morning, so that I may hang the wet laundry to dry on the racks, and increase the humidity in the house.

Increasingly my eyes are worn out by evening. My eyes water, they sting, and my vision blurs. I spend many hours a day reading, the computer screen, and books. Last night I decided to amuse myself with an audio book that I found on youtube. I wanted something comforting, an antidote to the madness in the world, so I chose an audio version of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson. It is a children’s story, and is quite delightful. I thank my Mom for reading to us every night at bedtime during my childhood, an experience so wonderful that we did not realize at the time how very special it was, and how very lucky we were.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The mystery of me can be quite perplexing. For instance, sitting in my easy chair this morning, after spending a frustrating few hours rummaging through the house for the container of picture hanging hardware, something I used to be able to locate at the country house, I am feeling chilly, and puzzled, and euphoric. Euphoric? Well I don’t know, do I, why that particular feeling is welling up inside me, and sitting comfortably with me, on this snowy, cloudy, cold wintry day. It is a mystery.

Sometimes mysteries are most pleasant!

The snow has accumulated. When I stepped out the front door yesterday to head out on my walk, the snow on the front porch was four inches deep. I was wearing my running shoes, so it felt quite chilly. But the road was clear, even dry in spots, although icy in others, so that I could walk briskly, which kept my feet warm. Not so today, it snowed overnight, is still snowing this morning, and there is a layer of snow on the road, which can conceal slippery spots. This is enough to deter me from going for my walk. If I slip, even slightly, my knee will be injured, requiring weeks of pain and babying, preventing me from walking any distance, even on flat surfaces like the floor of the grocery store. I don’t want to risk that! It is likely that all this snow will melt away by the end of the week, perhaps even by tomorrow afternoon, and if it does I can resume my daily walk.

Today I unpacked another box from the move, a year ago September. We are getting down to the last boxes now! This box was marked “fragile”, and held various pieces of artwork. I decided to hang the art, five pieces in all, on the wall in the living room. Thus, I was looking for picture hanging hardware, which I know we have, but I don’t know where it ended up after we moved. I didn’t find it. After juggling with the idea of running out to the store to buy more, I decided to wait until Attila comes home from work, and see if he has any idea where it might have ended up. It is worth a try.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Today is dump day.

When we purchased Mist Cottage, just over six years ago, we were using a cooler, and a hot plate, as there was no refrigerator or range. We used the laundromat when our laundry needed washing, and hung it out to dry on a rope tied across the beams under the front porch. At that time our neighbour wanted to get rid of a little apartment sized freezer that they no longer used, so we accepted it when he offered to give it to us. It served us well until last autumn. Just after we moved here in September it gave up the ghost, and has been sitting empty in the basement ever since. We are now at a point of progress in our organization that we are ready to transport it to the dump, where we will pay a fee to dispose of it. Slowly but surely we are settling in here at Mist Cottage.

The snow stayed with us until yesterday evening. The weather was cloudy and chill when we entered the grocery store, but had transformed to a thick, stinking fog by the time we emerged with our purchases. This morning the fog is gone and so is most of the snow. We can start again later with a fresh batch of snow, not to worry.

I decided that this year we are going to have an actual Christmas tree at Mist Cottage, and put up some outdoor decorations. Last year our little 24 inch pre-lit Christmas tree was a far as we got with Christmas cheer here. Yesterday I downloaded Christmas music from librevox.com, and set up the iMac to play it continuously. I also did an internet search for Christmas images, which I downloaded into a dedicated folder, and had the screensaver display while the Christmas music played. I have an old photo of myself and my brothers and sisters around the Christmas tree in the mid to late 50s, I will scan that and it will go in the Christmas image folder, as well as pictures of all the relatives in our immediate family. That way we can have them here with us as we spend our quiet Christmas’s, just the two of us.

The Christmas music from librevox.org is interesting. Anyone can create the audio files and upload them, so that there is a rainbow of offerings, from the profoundly tone deaf attempts to the some truly beautiful gifts. I like all of it, the less talented offerings are like having real people around, sharing the good will of the season.

Well, we are about to leave the house and make our way to the dump. Attila has the freezer loaded into Tank, along with a large load of cardboard for recycling. The sun is shining, and it isn’t snowing, it is a beautiful day!!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-8°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Wednesday 23 November 2016
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -6.7°C
Dew point: -9.3°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km

-2°C
Date: 9:00 AM EST Thursday 24 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -1.5°C
Dew point: -2.8°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: NE 18 km/h
Wind Chill: -7
Visibility: 19 km

2°C
Date: 9:00 AM EST Saturday 26 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 1.8°C
Dew point: 0.9°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: NNW 7 km/h
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“A task left undone remains undone in two places — at the actual location of the task, and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscience.”
Brahma Kumaris
[This reflects my approach to life.]

“Eventually, time takes care of everything. The trouble with procrastination is that people give up on it too soon.”
Robert Brault
[I have trouble with this!]