Summer Cold

The only outing I had last week was to have a mammogram at the hospital. Two days later, a sudden onset of cold symptoms began, that was Sunday afternoon. All week the cough, sore throat, headache, and more recently a runny nose as well, have been annoying. During the night last night, annoying became painful. Swallowing was downright painful, painful enough to awaken me. I sucked on lozenges for a long time, and finally fell asleep again. This morning the throat is less painful, but the voice is almost gone, only a rasping gasping simile of words emerge. And it hurts, to talk, to cough. Still, no fever.

I had a few plans for today, but instead I’ll be sitting in my favourite chair, or out on the porch, wrapped warmly, sipping lemon and honey.

The heat wave is over, it is 16C this morning. The garden has perked right up, due to yesterday’s heavy rain.

The tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, oregano, rhubarb, borage, onions and garlic are all doing well after the big refresh yesterday.

The Scarlet Runner Beans, Climbing Snap Peas, and Climbing Pod Peas are all doing well, beginning to grope their way towards the fence. The rabbits haven’t been able to get into the fenced in area of the yard to decimate them. Something did eat the emergent leaves from three of the Scarlet Runner Beans, leaving just stumps of stems behind. My guess is squirrels! I think they should make mesh plant cages, about a foot high, completely enclosed with mesh, similar to the tomato cage idea, to keep the nibblers away from vulnerable new plants. I might devise something of my own at some point.

The blooms on the Crabapple Tree, and the Lungwort, are spent. They are now in full leaf. At the moment we have Columbine, two varieties of Wild Geranium, and Irises blooming. Soon the Yellow Day Lillies will bloom soon, not quite yet.

I would like to get a hanging plant to live just outside the kitchen window. Something that flowers all season. Remembering to water plants is one of my weaknesses, I have good intentions, the plants do not thrive on good intentions. Recently I found a package of two clay waterers, that allow that attachment of a plastic coke bottle full of water to trickle slowly into the soil. I tried this with the Chrysanthemum purchased last winter, and it is thriving! When I went back to the dollar store to look for more, they were sold out. Luckily, Attila found a package of them, that had been removed from the shelf and placed in a cart with a cardboard box over it. He grabbed it, and now there are three of these unused handy little devices, and one of them is slated for a hanging basket outside the kitchen window.

Sometimes I wander aimlessly around the internet, looking at a wide variety of things that I find of passing interest. I watched a video about a fellow who was renting a condo in downtown Vancouver for $3500 a month, emphasizing how cheaply he was living. I doubt that half of the population of Canada could afford that kind of cheap lifestyle.

To affirm that I was looking at a situation that does not represent the majority of Canadians, I looked for some statistics. Then I checked out the median income for Canadians, closest I found was 2015, $80,940 annual family income, before taxes and deductions.. I find the median income more interesting than the average, because it less skewed by the very rich, and the very poor. My personal poverty is much less significant using the median income figures.

Half of the 2015 population had a family income below $80,940. My income falls at the very bottom of the bottom half… Attila’s income is much higher than mine at the moment, so although we have not managed to escape the 25th percentile, it means that living together I fare much better than I would on my own, and so does Attila for a variety of reasons. If we are living together when Attila retires, we will sink close to the bottom of the scale. We know this.

I always find it ironic when younger people target “boomers” as having it all, when that is only true for a certain percentage of the boomers. That would be another statistic to look up, but not today. I ignore the young who think that because I am old my tiny pension makes me wealthy, by definition. I also ignore the judgemental, often condescending, types, of any age, who feel I just didn’t work hard enough… go back to your ignorance-is-bliss bubbles. These are all people I do not want to spend time with. If fate brings them outside their bubbles, I don’t want to be around to hear them whining. No one knows what the future holds.

I found the video of the Millennial guy paying $3500 a month rent interesting, and actually watched it right through to the end. He takes his source of high income for granted, feels it is “normal”, feeling his parent’s generation had it better than he does. Just one affluent family’s experience, valid as an experience, not representative of the population though. Sometimes I wonder if that is how the majority of the population of the rest of the world sees us, as the society of affluence and ease seen in the images portraying the higher income people in the country. Possibly.

I could not afford a parking space, let alone a dwelling of any kind, in Vancouver, or Toronto, or any of the larger cities in Canada; no matter how much I might want to live there, it isn’t in the cards.

So back to bouncing around looking at videos about the different ways people live in Canada. Variety is the spice of life, and that we have in Canada.

I am feeling like crap today! I’ve been lucky that I do not experience this degree of illness very often. I’m drinking lots of fluids, and taking it easy today, postponing any of the projects I was thinking about. Not a hardship, I love sitting on the back porch with a cup of tea, my book, my computer, with my feet up, watching the robins watching me. I feel very lucky today, recuperating in a place I love.

Hawkweed June 2018 DSCF2157 Hawkweed in the back yard. Attila mowed the lawn a few days ago, but at my request he left two round sections long, where the Hawkweed grows. The Hawkweed is blooming!! After it goes to seed, then those patches can be mowed. The Hawkweed blooms are not big or showy, I love their long stems, and enjoy the delicate yellow flowers dotting the yard!

Wild geranium dolumbine june 2018 Here are the oh so subtle Wild Geraniums. Small and delicate and very beautiful, they grow close to where I sit on the back porch. There are two varieties, the tall with darker coloured blooms, and leaves that are purple in the centre and green at the edges. The shorter variety has larger blooms, does not grow as tall as the other, and have leaves that are a solid green colour. To the left of the wild geranium is a purple Columbine. Attila transplanted it here this spring, it was growing in the footpath by the back porch, having invited itself there.

Clay plant waterer mum DSCF2147 The Chrysanthemum from early spring, an indoor plant, and the clay watering device that keeps it watered while it sits in the heat on the back porch. The devices I have are cheaper than these ones at Amazon, but they work well.

DSCF2150 It is just me and my companions, the Robins, staring into the distance, enjoying the day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16°C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Friday 1 June 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 16.2°C
Dew point: 15.6°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: SSW 8 km/h

Quote

“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
James M. Barrie
1860 – 1937

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.]