Cold Snap

It is 6:30 a.m., I’ve been up and about for several hours. Attila left for work half an hour ago. It is a lovely time of day, at this time of year. The coloured lights on the Christmas Tree cast twinkling colour on the tinsel, as the forced air heating sets the airwaves in motion on either side of the room. My old hand made lamp casts a soft light from the far corner. It is warm inside these walls, and very cold just a few feet away, beyond the border of shelter.

The light is beginning to creep into the sky. My coffee cup sits empty beside me. Soon it will be time to rise from this comfortable chair, to prepare breakfast, and then to begin the day’s activities. I linger in the soft light, just a little while longer.

Attila and I are continuing to “try”, a complex shared activity that seems to be progressing slowly but surely (I think!).

Here I am writing again as the day begins to close. It is very cold outside, but Mist Cottage is warm and cozy, thanks to our most marvellous thermostat. My day passed quietly, crochet hook in hand, sitting in the warm sun, comfortable in my easy chair. Yesterday shovelling snow was my exercise for the day, today it was the elliptical machine for thirty minutes. I have slowly worked my way up to a half an hour on the machine, having started at fifteen minutes. So far it is very easy on my arthritic knees.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-13°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Wednesday 13 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -12.6°C
Dew point: -16.9°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: NW 21 km/h
Wind Chill: -21
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne
1804 – 1864

Last Day

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn hot, and stay that way for a week or so. Go figure, the nicest weather we had on our vacation was the the first day and the last day. The first day led to false hope, the last day let us know what we had missed.

Two projects are consuming the day here at Mist Cottage. The current antivirus software will not work on three computers. There are three computers here that need protection. The current antivirus software license expires in the next few months. A new antivirus software that will protect three computers for one price was purchased this morning, Bitdefender Antivirus. So far it has found viruses and trojans that Intego antivirus software had ignored, probably because they are Windows based viruses and trojans. Since files are sometimes shared with others, all three computers were cleaned of the Windows viruses and trojans. Installing the new software, scanning, and cleaning up all three computers took all morning.

The second task was inspired by a link Kate put on her blog, regarding cleaning dishcloths properly. The web site recommended boiling dishcloths for five minutes to kill all bacteria. Almost all of the dishcloths, and facecloths, are now adequately boiled. They will be laundered, hung out to dry, and then we shall see how effective this boiling method is for destinkifying the fabric.

Wouldn’t it be great if boiling politicians could destinkify politics! It doesn’t work though, similar techniques have been tried throughout history, and the majority of politicians still stink.

Note: My new not-a-real-word of the day, destinkify/ing, I like it!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The morning of the last day of our vacation dawned with a cloudless sky, it was the nicest weather we have had over the last nine days. The predicted low temperature, of our last night here at the Rideau Camp, was 3C, which was not very warm. We were comfortable last night until bedtime, wearing sweaters and jackets, then retired to sleep under a combination of comforters and wool blankets with the blinds at the windows closed tight to retain as much heat as possible. We awoke to a very chilly room, after having slept soundly through the night. The temperature in Grace The Trailer this morning at 6:30 a.m. was 12C (54F)). We have slept at the country house, that first autumn when we had no heat, at 5C (41F), and found that to be too chilly for comfort, without wearing toques while we slept.

This morning I dressed hurriedly, checked the thermostat, then switched on the heat. We have a propane furnace, which requires electricity to run, which is supplied by the attached battery, or an attached generator. The generator is not left out overnight, because it should not be out in inclement weather, and because theft is always a possibility. This morning the only option was to use the battery to run the furnace. Within ten minutes Grace The Trailer was feeling a lot more comfortable.

Attila has spread almost all of the crushed stone, and it has been quite a job! He used a shovel and a wheel barrow. I would have felt it hard labour to spend my time shovelling and pushing wheel barrows full of crushed stone, but he feels differently about it… he feels he has had a very relaxing vacation.

My time was spent sitting in the sun when it peeked out from behind the clouds, a rare event, reading my book, and working to transcribe the material obtained at the Middleville Museum into my database on the computer.

One of the things that has been interesting is how bad the mosquitoes are this September. Last September there were no mosquitoes here at the Rideau Camp, but this year they abound, a small and sneaky strain of them. This has made sitting out of doors on cloudy days unpleasant. When the sun shines they retreat into the shadows, and one can sit out and enjoy the outdoors… only three days have offered weather suitable for relief from the mosquitoes, the Saturday we arrived, yesterday when it was quite chilly, and today. The weather is magnificent today.

Yesterday was the last full day of our vacation, and the second day of sunny weather. We went for a picnic at a park in a local village, then visited the library. On Friday we visited the Township office to obtain a copy of our tax bill, so that a library card could be obtained. I had forgotten to bring a copy of our tax bill with us. The library near the township office issued me a library card. The libraries are staffed by lovely people, pleasant and helpful. A library card provides me with access to the library WiFi system. I borrowed a book on Friday, on the history of the area, and returned it yesterday at a connected library in another local village, where we had our picnic. Being at the Rideau Camp during the week allows us to explore the local area, and to start making connections with the surrounding infrastructures.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Cloudless sky and very cold in the morning, but no frost. A day that warmed with the sun.

20°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 15 September 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Steady
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dew point: 19.5°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 8 km

Quote

“Now I must close this rambling account of your mother’s people around here, forgive my blunders and bad writing, and write soon and let us know how you all are. I hope your talk of coming to see us will prove true. We will all be glad to see you.”

A letter written in 1888, from my GGG Uncle Peter in Middleville, Ontario, to his niece Rowena, my first cousin four times removed, in the USA, either in Champion, New York, or Clyde, Ohio, I am not sure of the date that Rowena moved from New York to Ohio.

Fairy Book

Attila and I are regaining our balance after the fraught first days of the new regime under President Donald Trump. We restrict our exposure to the madness to a few hours a day, to stay current, and alert as to how things are playing out in the world around us. I mention it here only as an acknowledgement in my memoirs, that we are indeed aware and concerned about the current state of affairs in North America. I won’t be engaging in any discussion about it here, and restrict interaction about these current events to my Facebook timeline, and even there I don’t participate in discussions about politics.

I will not be responding to political comments here.

Attila and I had a quiet weekend. We caught up on cooking. Attila made a large pot of split pea soup. I made oatmeal bread, which tastes heavenly, but the crumb is not right, it is so crumbly that it has to be sliced thick, and so it is not good for the sandwiches Attila takes in his lunch. I baked banana pineapple muffins. We made croutons for our luxurious daily green salads. We read, we talked, we went for a walk.

The sun is shining this morning, and yet there are fine snowflakes falling from the sky. Yesterday the sun shone brightly all day long, and I did get out for a walk. I had to make myself go for the walk though, internally I was very, very resistant. Once out under the trees, staring into the blue sky, I was glad I had forced myself out the door.

Recently I purchased two used books as gifts to myself. The first was the book On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman, 1st Edition (October 17, 2006). It was only in good condition, but it was being sold at a price I could afford. It will arrive before the end of February. I want to read this to each of my Grandbabies, because I think it provides a feeling that life is a gift, and that the arrival of each of my Grandbabies was a gift to the world, not just to their own family. All babies are gifts of life.

The second book I purchased was again a book I would like to read to my Grandbabies. The book was the Flower Fairies Of The Wayside, by Cicely Mary Barker, Hardcover. It is a book of flowers, with a poem for each and an illustration for each that features children interacting with the flower. In an ideal world I would be able to spend time with my Grandbabies going for walks, and exploring some of the plants that are featured. I doubt that will happen, we do not see them often, and do not get to go on outings of our choosing with them. I hope to be able to read these books to them though, that will probably happen. If not, perhaps someday they will read this journal, find the books for themselves, and read with my memory and love beside them.

The winter has been very mild, until yesterday, which was comparatively cold. It seems like winter weather is just beginning. Tomorrow it will be February, 47 days until spring. Attila and I saw dozens of robins flitting about in the trees, when we were out for a walk on Sunday. I saw them again yesterday. They look fat and happy. This is unusual, as we they usually return to this area only in the spring, or at least that is what they used to do. Something has changed.

I would like to finish my book by spring, but I fear I will not achieve this, my motivation to sit sorting through pictures is so very low. I try to make myself do it, but alas, I succeed for only a few hours each week.

Another project that I should, oh how that word should annoys me, get to this winter is to sew bias tape over the cuffs of my old winter parka. The cuff edges are fraying, the coat has been worn every winter since 1992/3, and this is the first sign of aging it has experienced. I bought the bias tape yesterday at the local Walmart, but getting the sewing machine out from under the piles of stuff, finding a flat surface to set it up on, and getting the job done, is something I fear I may not get around to. So many small impediments to the project. Really, I need to take it in stages, get the sewing machine out from under one day. Rearrange the kitchen table (the only table) the next day. Setup the sewing machine and sew the next day. Eventually I will do it, because I love that parka. Getting started is the challenge.

Getting started with bread making took me quite a while as well. I am eating the second loaf now, and will be baking my sodium-free bread for the foreseeable future. I really could have enjoyed sodium-free bread last fall when I first adopted this low-sodium diet, but it has taken me this long to get going on it.

Right now my routines include baking muffins for daily consumption, bread for my daily consumption, and all meals from scratch for both Attila and I. I try to go for a walk each day.

Now, if I could only motivate myself to get to my “should do” list!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Tuesday 31 January 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -3.9°C
Dew point: -10.6°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: E 22 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

A Little Bit Sick

It has been years since I was under the weather with a cold! On Sunday evening, after dinner, I thought I might have tried to swallow something I shouldn’t have, my throat felt as if something were stuck there. There wasn’t. By Monday morning I had an irritating cough. Yesterday the cough persisted. Last night I had a raging headache. This morning I am a bit congested and the cough is still with me. No fever though, thank goodness.

Because I was coughing so much during the night, Diesel decided to try to get some shut eye on my easy chair.

Today is my Yoga class and I have decided not to attend. There are other women there who would find this bug more than annoying, were they to catch it. I’ll hold fast here at home, and wait out the symptoms.

This morning I prepared myself a lemon drink, water, lemon, and wee bit of sweetener. That calmed the cough for a while, but it came back. I will just have to keep drinking!

I will still be going out for my walk, bundled up to the eyeballs so as not to catch a chill.

Lately, I have been fiddling about with recipes, making up some of my own. I wanted to assess the nutritional value of them, and came upon this site, Calorie Count. There are many sites that will analyze a recipe for nutritional value, but this one seems to be unique. It allows you to type in all the ingredients in one go, or copy and past them in from another digitized recipe. The other sites I found allow you to input one ingredient at a time, then click enter, then start again on the next ingredient, which is very time consuming.

While I was at the site above, I kept a record of my daily food intake, and was pleased with the results, based on a Mediterranean Diet. The results pointed out weaknesses though, too many of my calories came from fat, and too many from saturated fat. This occurred because I ate an avocado which put me over my limit for fats, and later in the day a cheese sauce, the cheese put me well over the limit for saturated fats. I did pretty well with the calories, the fibre, the sodium and the cholesterol though. According to the calculations on this web site, with the calories I am consuming on a daily basis, I should be losing weight. Nope, not happening. That does not matter to me though, as my focus is knowing I have a good nutritional balance with my daily food intake.

The Orthopaedic Surgeon did advise me to loose weight, to aid the maintenance of my knee. It isn’t that simple though. I have no intention of starving to lose weight at my age. If consuming the caloric intake advised to lose weight doesn’t do it for me, then it is not going to happen. I am slightly overweight, according to the calculations on the site. The ideal weight for me, that they propose, was one that I could only maintain on a strict diet (less than 900 calories a day, when I was much younger), which I am unwilling to do. If I eat more than 900 calories a day, I am going to be heavier than my “ideal” weight. I doubt very much indeed that my actual ideal weight resembles the calculations currently in use for such purposes. I plan on continuing to eat a balanced diet, and to walk daily, and if my weight goes down, then that is just a pleasant side effect, it is not my real goal.

The real challenge for me, in eating a balanced diet, is access to fresh vegetables. $$$ Fresh vegetables cost a lot more money than carbohydrates, so that they sometimes cost more than the budget will allow. Usually I can find something fresh on sale. One week it was spinach, another week it was broccoli. As far as fruit is concerned, I don’t even try to purchase fresh fruit in the winter, except as a treat. I settle instead for raisins, dates, dried cranberries, and our own frozen rhubarb and strawberries. I have splurged on a little box of clementines this winter, another treat!

We have just come through another cold spell, not as frigid as our February cold snap, but still below normal for this time of year. The sun is shining though, which adds untold cheer to the day. Even with the cold temperatures of the last few days, the sun was strong enough to melt snow.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
-10°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 March 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -9.6°C
Dewpoint: -11.1°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: NE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -14

Country House
-7°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 March 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -6.8°C
Dewpoint: -9.9°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: ESE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -12

Quote

“Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.”
Socrates
469 BC – 399 BC

[This seems the antithesis of the Machiavellian spirit.]