The Little Red Fox

Friday, August 25, 2017, Mist Cottage

Sitting here this morning looking for information about hooking up a 30 amp RV electrical system to a generator. It isn’t straightforward. I found a connector that looks like it will work, but I can’t run to the local Canadian Tire to pick it up, it is in stock, because Tank is at the garage having an issue with the brakes fixed. It is too far to walk to the Canadian Tire store. The same item is available at Amazon.ca for a lower price, we have Prime, so delivery is two day and free.

So it occurs to me that Amazon Prime almost replaces the need for a vehicle to do the shopping. Vehicles cost a small fortune to keep on the road, considering the initial cost, maintenance, licensing, fuel, insurance… Amazon Prime costs less than $100.

Our vehicles are used for much more than shopping of course, so this is pure conjecture, it wouldn’t work for our present lifestyle. But were we housebound this could work for us.

I will hold off my purchase of an RV connector until Tank is back on the road, or Attila comes home from work with the car. The advantage to the local Canadian Tire is that if the connector is not the product we need, we can return it easily. Also, I like the staff at the local Canadian Tire, every interaction there has been pleasant over the years, not always smooth, but always pleasant.

Which puts me in mind of a recent purchase we made at the local Shopper’s Drug Mart. This is the second truly unpleasant experience we have had there, and I suspect it is due to the management. People who aren’t treated well can’t help but pass that along to the customers.

We have spent a lot of time at the Rideau Camp this summer, and have been loving it! Our first season at our Camp was just last year. We didn’t camp there as often as we have been this summer, which means that meal planning for our stays has become more complex. I can no longer eat the wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches cooked over an open fire, the sodium in bread and cheese is unacceptable. Quick canned items, like soup, or beans, don’t work, again the sodium levels are unacceptable. When I was younger camping meant a trip to the grocery store for easy to prepare items, but all that has changed, as now I must carefully watch my intake of sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and my allergen.

Experiments with quick and easy foods is an ongoing project now. Overnight oatmeal sounds interesting, and to that end one minute oats were on the grocery list this week. Since peaches are in season, two Giant Oven Pancakes were baked last night, sectioned, and stored in the refrigerator for quick suppers for me over the next few days. I love Giant Oven Pancake smothered in fresh sliced peaches, no sugar added.

Recovery from the dental work has been taking some time, still requiring that I eat soft foods. Of all the health issues I have encountered in my life, problems in my mouth are the most exhausting. The fatigue that was plaguing me has subsided, but my face still hurts if I talk a lot. Fortunately, I can type a lot instead. As Attila pointed out, when you have an issue with something in your head, it is very hard to ignore it. Thank goodness my issue is temporary. Hugs to anyone dealing with chronic issues in the mouth or head!

Saturday, August 26, Rideau Camp

Tank needed a visit to the garage, so on Wednesday night we both drove to the garage, dropped her off, and drove home in the car. She had a leaking axle seal, which had leaked oil on our trip to the Traditional Camp, which burned and smoked. So in she went. We picked her up yesterday afternoon, the part was $20, the labour was $220, which we considered to be fair. We really like this mechanic!

Our departure for the Rideau Camp was somewhat delayed by Tank’s absence, and the need to go and get her. We took our time packing, and arrived at the Camp at about 8:30 p.m.. Usually at that hour of the evening the mosquitoes are at their peak, but there were none. We unpacked, played a game of Cribbage, turned out the lights and turned in for the night.

Last summer’s vacation was not pleasant. It was our first week long vacation in over 20 years. This year we plan on spending a week in the autumn at the Rideau Camp. Since there are no extra expenses involved, as there would be if we were to camp in Iris in camp grounds for a week, or even more extravagantly stay in motels or at a resort, we decided to indulge in a luxury. We purchased a small, portable, quiet, generator. This will allow us to use the computer while camping, at either the Rideau Camp or the Traditional Camp. It will allow us to run all of the features in Grace The Trailer, except the air conditioning, which would require a second small generator connected to the first small generator for extra power. We don’t anticipate needing air conditioning for our short summer stays in Grace The Trailer, so we did not purchase the second small generator.

I am typing this entry on the computer. My laptop no longer has a functioning battery, which died about a year ago. The MacBook Air will only operate when connected to an electrical outlet, so that it could not be used while camping. The generator enables me to use the computer while camping, which is a very big bonus in my opinion. We don’t use cell phones, so that all of my data is stored locally on my computer, I don’t use the Cloud for serious storage. Now that the computer will work while camping, I can save the information related to the local areas around our Camps, so that we have a directory of the businesses, and local places of interest, at our fingertips.

The biggest bonus of the generator though, at this point, is the lights. We don’t mind the small, inexpensive, low lumen lighting that we use while camping. But now that we have experienced staying in Iris with an electrical service, we are spoiled. Having lights at night is wonderful, it makes a terrific difference. We can use the lights at night as well, on battery power, knowing that during the day we can recharge the battery using the generator.

In my dreams, we install a pump in the deep well at the Rideau Camp, and the generator would supply the power needed to pump the water, and to use it in Grace The Trailer. This is something we won’t be doing in the short term though. If we live to enjoy retirement together, we might want to spend our summers at our Camps, then the investment in a working well would make sense. For now we fill containers with water at home, and take the empty containers back with us, when we are staying at our off-grid camps.

Today Attila is removing three large stumps that prevent us from easily turning Tank around in the open area of the Camp. Until now Attila has been backing Tank out the driveway. After today he will turn Tank around in the clearing, ready to be packed when it is time to go home.

I wrote the words below with a pen on a scrap of paper this morning, before the sun rose, while Attila was sleeping.

A little red fox ran towards the trailer this morning, coming up the drive at a steady pace. She veered around the trailer, the side closest to the bush, and was lost to sight. I would not have seen her at all, had I not just turned to look out the back window, as I was pouring the boiling water over my tea bag. It was 6 a.m.. The sun had not yet risen. She was a small fox, her red fur almost glowed with good health. Although she was running, she did not appear to be in distress.

After she had passed, I finished making my tea, and carried my cup to the chair beside the back window, where I intended to do a bit of reading, as the light was quickening, and the words were taking form on the page before me. A movement caught my eye, something on the drive again. A large black dog, with long unkempt fur, loped up the driveway in pursuit of the fox. He was having fun, hunting, redundantly hunting. His slack expression denoted a lack of intensity, and a lack of cunning. This hunt was entertainment, for if he had been truly hungry and in need of a kill to survive, it would have been written in his face and body.

He followed the fox’s path and was soon out of sight. Five minutes later the dog was back. He walked a weaving path at a slow trot. There was no sign of a kill around his muzzle. At one point, near Grace The Trailer, he lifted his leg and peed on a pine sapling, then slowly strolled down the drive and out of sight.

He wore a dog collar.

Much earlier than the visits from the fox and the dog, in the morning just after I had awakened, the chorus from a murder of crows filled the air, heralding dawn.

A little later than the visits from the fox and the dog, a partridge clumsily passed across the drive, at some distance from Grace The Trailer, stumbling and flapping along by turns.

How important these living beings seem in the absence of human company.

Monday, August 28, 2017

I am back home and writing from Mist Cottage. The weather is much cooler now, and the humidity is not high. This is ideal weather in my book, a view not shared universally. We need neither air conditioning, nor heating, so our electricity bill will benefit from this weather.

On Sunday I took a trip to a country market, a farm that sells local produce, and was shocked at the prices. $3 for a quart of green beans. The rest of the produce was similarly priced. People living without healthy pensions, and those living at minimum wage levels are not going to be buying local food, it isn’t in the cards. The artisanal food movement is offensive, in that the entrepreneurs are constantly whining about needing people to buy locally, while they insist on selling things that only the affluent can afford to buy.

I bought one item though, because I wanted to try Red Fife Wheat Flour. The one kilogram bag of flour was $8.00 plus tax. It will have to be a one-off purchase. I made peach muffins with it this morning, and they are outstanding. Much research is needed to find an affordable source of this basic food ingredient.

Attila just brought in a pound of freshly harvested Scarlet Runner beans. At that country store this would have cost $6.00 plus tax. We love our garden! He also harvested two beautiful tomatoes, and oregano and dill, which we will dry.

I continue to work on my crocheted top. The back was difficult to design, I worked on a design for a day, decided I didn’t like it, tore it out, and would start on another design the next day. This process went on for weeks! Finally a design that worked was finished today. There are loose ends and a few alterations to yet to do. The shoulder straps were too long, I failed to take stretching into account, crochet work stretches. The way I constructed the straps meant they could not be torn out and reworked, so a method of shortening them after the fact must be devised.

We are going to take a week at the Rideau Camp this autumn, and I only have one book that I am looking forward to reading, it is about Gavin Maxwell, written by Dan Boothby, entitled Island of Dreams. The book was a gift from a friend, and I have been especially saving it to read while on vacation at the Rideau Camp. I anticipate that I will want to read more than one book though, so I am looking into borrowing books for my Kobo, from the Ontario Library Service. I like my Kobo, but every time I want to use it the instructions on how to load items into it has to be reviewed. It is wifi capable, but since no books are purchased, the cables work well for loading borrowed books, via Adobe Digital Editions.

Grasshopper DSCF1104 Grasshopper on our back step at Mist Cottage. We also saw one of these out at the Rideau Camp last weekend. I believe this is a Katydid.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Saturday, August 26, 2017, I’ve no idea what the weather report is for today, we have no internet connection, which I have come to rely on for such information. It was cold this morning, so much so that I sat on my clothes for a long time, until they were warm, before changing into them. The sun is out now, it is almost noon, and I am still wearing my sweater. It is a lovely day.

Quote

“But, if I must afflicted be, To suit some wise design,
Then man my soul with firm resolve, To bear and not repine!”

Robert Burns, Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, Prayer, Under The Pressure Of Violent Anguish

Pain: The Alarm System

On Wednesday I had some intense dental work, it has been painful since then.

I am a human who can tune out all but very intense pain. If I feel it, if it makes it past my defence of denial, it is bad. I am always surprised when doctors think I am complaining about the actual pain, because that is seldom the case when I take myself to see a Doctor because I am in pain. I take myself to see a Doctor because I know that pain is an alarm system, but not an early warning system in my case, and if I can feel pain, my alarm systems are screaming to get my attention… I’d best pay attention.

Yesterday, while we were at the Rideau Camp, I became extremely fatigued, so very tired. I felt as if I was coming down with a bad flu bug. But I knew just what it was; pain. Being in pain from Wednesday to Saturday had worn my body out, to the point where at last I was feeling ill. I took two Ibuprofen, sat with my feet up, and within an hour I was feeling much, much better. I wish I noticed the pain BEFORE it wore my body down, not after it wears me out.

I have had this “ability” since I was a small child. When I was pregnant with Terra, I had an infection underneath my big toe nail, the doctor had to drill through the centre of the toe nail into the bed, using a drill, to treat the infection. Since I was pregnant, and it was a very difficult pregnancy, he refused to freeze the toe, or provide any pain medications. I felt it, I was aware that there was pain, but I sat perfectly quiet and still through the entire procedure. The Doctor was dismayed, and confused that I reacted in this way. Another example was when I had my bad fall here at Mist Cottage in June of 2015. After breaking my tailbone, and sporting a huge sacral hematoma, I skimped on pain killers and kept up a very active pace. After a few days I ended up passing out from the pain, and was taken to the Emergency Department. Although I knew the pain was there, I wasn’t willing to feel it, but it was still having a big impact on my body. I learned well the power of pain, and now understand that it is best to heed it, and to take pain medications on medical advice, even when I am not feeling my pain.

Hopefully the pain will diminish over time, and my energy levels with return to normal. In the meantime, I will prescribe myself painkillers and rest.

I enjoyed the weekend though, pain or no pain.

On Saturday evening Attila and I sat around the camp fire at the Rideau Camp. Suddenly we heard loud thrashing noises high in the trees, very near where we were sitting. Something large, larger than a crow and an owl, was up there. Finally Attila caught sight of the culprits. Wild Turkeys, finding their roosting positions for the night, high in the tree tops. It must have been the rafter of turkeys that we saw a few weeks ago, several adults with 21 poults.

I listened for those Wild Turkeys this morning, when I awoke at the Rideau Camp. Not a sound. They must have left at the crack of dawn, before we awoke. They must have left silently, as our windows were open, and if they had been as noisy leaving, as they had been arriving last evening, we would have been awakened.

We have very interesting “guests” at the Rideau Camp. But I suppose it is more accurate to say that the local occupants at the Rideau Camp are interesting, and tolerant. They certainly do not seem to find us very intrusive, or intimidating.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C °F
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 20 August 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 20.0°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: SSW 20 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“We only know of one duty, and that is to love.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

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 –

Never Alone

During this spring stay at the little house in the city, I have not been alone. Because I am organizing, the house is in a state of chaos, I have exterior doors open frequently as I am in and out constantly, so I have not had Diesel here to visit. I have other company. Grackles. After I caught the squirrel in the live trap and offered her a new and improved environment in which to raise a family, the grackles moved in. Mama grackle produced a nest full of baby grackles, right inside our roof. They are hatched now, but won’t leave home. They are in and out of the roof all day long. This provides me with constant awareness of other, so that I do not feel alone, although they take no notice of me whatsoever.

The grackles and robins have eaten my wild strawberries! When I last mowed the lawn I was amazed at how many wild strawberries were ripening. I gave them a day or two to finish ripening, then headed out to pick them. They were gone. Those baby grackles gobbled them right up, with the odd robin hopping in for a snack on occasion.

I have discovered that dental work wears me out. Odd, because I have not been in a lot of pain. Since my dental challenge began on Thursday last I have been feeling drained, and sleeping deeply. I like the sleeping part of the equation.

The antique dresser is staring me down, defeating my efforts to move forward in organizing the little house in the city, for another load of belongings that Attila will bring with him on his next visit, later in the month. I cannot lift the dresser myself, or even help another person to lift it, it is too big and too heavy. Attila cannot lift or move it by himself, it is too big and too heavy. It is a lovely piece of furniture, solid hardwood, dovetail drawer fronts, a new mirror in the original frame. It is just too big for such a little house.

Another beautiful day is dawning. The temperature was 5C when I looked out the kitchen window at 6:00 a.m., and it was about 17C in the house. I felt a little chilly, but the sun, streaming in through the windows, brought warmth with it.

My genealogy book is coming along nicely now. I have just added a bibliography of the 342 references that provided me with data for the book. The bibliography needs work. When I started researching the book in 1995, there were few online sources, and there were very few standards for entering references from new forms of reference material. Over the years I used a variety of conventions, which wasn’t a good idea, because now I have a list of 342 references in a variety of formats. This will take a while to sort through, or I may decide to just leave it, as it is, a mish-mash of formats, providing invaluable references. The information is all there, and is easy to understand.

I did not include inline citations, because they are so numerous that in some cases they occupy two lines. This destroys the flow of the text, making it virtually unreadable.

I have been enjoying my walks, here at the little house in the city. Although there are mosquitoes here, they are a mere irritation, so few are their number. On the other hand, at the country house, they are in full bloom, and Attila tells me they are fierce and many. I would not enjoy going for a walk there, without chemical enhancements to provide protection from the hordes.

Speaking of the country house, there is another showing today. Two weeks ago I was excited by every showing, dreaming of the possible desired sale. Slowly that hope has dulled, so that now it is just another showing, nothing other than a slight inconvenience for Attila. My feelings about the showings have no bearing on their outcome, thank goodness.

I am off now, to go for my walk, wearing my super walking shoes, on this beautiful sunny day.

Taken in the garden this morning. I can see these Lilies from the kitchen window. I frequently pause there, looking out at the trees, and the flowers. This makes me happy.
2015lily7June
The last of the Irises. They bloom next to the Lilies in the garden.
2015irisJune7
This Columbine grows out of the roots of the Lilies in the garden. A welcome addition, I am glad this plant snuck in there.
2015Columbine7June

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Sunday 7 June 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dewpoint: 9.2°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: S 20 km/h

Quote

“he serves his party best who serves his country best.”
U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes
Inaugural Address, 1877

[A part of my extended family history.]

Ladybugs and Bills

Friday, March 6, 2015, Little House in the City

With the new warmth there is a soft falling snow. The cold snap is over, and the sunny skies, that were frozen into place at dawn this morning, have yielded to a soft greying of the day.

This morning I paid a few bills, and Attila and I pondered over our “cash flow”. The purchase of the camp lot, and a new used vehicle, Tank, last year has caught up with us. In addition, Attila is having some rather costly dental work performed. It is long overdue, the dental work, and cannot be postponed any longer. It is touch and go, whether we can manage to pay all the bills now that the crunch has arrived. If we can’t, well then we will borrow from Peter to pay Paul, as we have in the past. We have our fingers crossed that it will not come to that, and our income will stretch far enough to break even by the end of April. It is a good thing I am canning beans, as we will be eating a lot of them! Not a hardship in our book.

I continue to kill ladybugs in the dining area of the kitchen. Every day there are at least a half a dozen of them, crawling on the window, the dining table, the ceiling. Sometimes I see them, and sometimes Diesel finds them. I always know he has a line on a bug, as he sits quietly on the floor, alert and staring at the floor. He doesn’t seem to mind at all that I come along and remove the bug. We are a good team when it comes to hunting bugs.

Mist is doing very well at the country house. Attila brings her to the computer screen where I wave at her and say hello. She is stone deaf and cannot hear me talking to her, she just sees me waving and smiling. She stares at me for a few seconds, then looks down, and wants down! On this end, Diesel can hear her meowing, and he runs around looking for her. He will not look at the computer screen, which he regards as his arch rival. If I am interacting with Attila on the computer, you will be sure to find Diesel ensconced on my lap, front legs extended up my chest, paws on either side of my face, gently meowing for attention.

Attila is planning a visit to the little house in the city. The weather looks passable, so he may arrive tonight. It will be wonderful to see him! We were last together on Family Day, February 16, 2015. He has one of his rare Saturdays off tomorrow, so he is taking advantage of it. We have no idea when his next Saturday off will come along, but we know it won’t be soon.

Monday, March 9, 2015, Little House in the City

There it is, the sunshine! It is 7:53 a.m. and those sunbeams are lighting up the curtains on the south side of the house. How cheerful it is, this diffusion of gold.

The weather is suddenly much warmer. The temperatures that are predicted do not fall below -10C. What a welcome change this is. With the warmer weather, and more reliable road conditions, our mobility will increase dramatically. Also, with warmer weather Attila’s task of keeping the hearth fires burning is dramatically reduced. The danger of freezing pipes, and a cold kitty, become non-existent. He is free to travel without winterizing the house, or paying huge hydro bills to heat it while he is away and unable to keep the masonry heater charged. Oh happy day.

Since mobility has increased, I might also be travelling between our three properties more often. So I have decided to indicate my writing location with each entry. This will keep a record for me, at the very least, of when I have been where.

Attila and I celebrated our wedding Anniversary on Saturday. It wasn’t the exact date, but Saturday was as close as we were going to get. For our anniversary Attila whipped up a box of cherry centred chocolates, my favourite. My waistline suspects that Attila has acquired an unfortunate talent. We celebrated our anniversary with pizza and a movie, an inexpensive night in. The advantage was that Diesel got to share it with us, although the pizza was off limits to him, much to his disapproval.

Sunday was the usual “we me weepy” day. I don’t even try not to cry! Attila left early in the afternoon, as he had a long drive ahead of him, followed by wood chopping and hearth fire burning. And of course, Mist would be needing a lot of consoling when he arrived home.

After Attila leaves I try to keep busy doing housework; the house is small, this takes very little time. Then I watch a youtube movie, to keep my mind off the hole left when Attila leaves. By the time the movie is over, I have subconsciously adapted to the “me” of the house, my inner self has begun to walk around that hole, and all is well.

Today is paperwork day! I have a stack of mail, brought to me by Attila, which includes all kinds of bills to be paid, correspondence to attend to, and filing.

I am also working on updating two of my sites, which is a big, big, big job. I am learning a few new skills, like using Google APIs.

One of the sites to be redesigned was created fourteen years ago. It is still getting a lot of hits, and generating a lot of interaction, serving its purpose… but, it is not a good design for cell phones and tablets, so back to work. The other site is only about eleven years old, and it needs the same sort of redesign. I have my work cut out for me with these two sites. And of course, I continue to work on my genealogy book.

Lots to keep me busy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
-20°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -19.9°C
Dewpoint: -24.2°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -27

-1°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -1.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.6°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -5

Country House
-30°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -29.8°C
Dewpoint: -32.8°C
Humidity:76%
Wind: calm

-4°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dewpoint: -6.5°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: WNW 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -10

Quote

“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”
J. K. Rowling

Love, belonging, kindness, compassion… they happen even when and where there is poverty. If the poor want to romanticize their lives based on these kinds of parameters, that are right to do so, in my opinion.

We live in a world where there aren’t enough lifeboats available for all to climb out of poverty, and increasingly the affluent are pushing others off the lifeboats that do exist, to make themselves more comfortable, ensure their own “rightful” place in the sun. And people at the bottom tier still find ways to attain balance and grace, in a way the very affluent, and the rich, cannot.

My opinions aren’t new at all, they go right back to biblical times, and I suspect were common wisdom long before that.