Relief

After feeling very tired all day yesterday, I slept deeply all through the night last night. What a relief!

Another lovely day here, just above freezing and the sun was shining brightly. I got out for my daily walk in the morning. The road was dry and I got away with wearing my walking shoes.

We have been waiting with bated breath to see what Attila’s pay check would bring this week, and good news, it was enough to pay all of the bills! What a relief! Both of us had been experiencing low level stress about the possible size of the pay check, relative to the bills that needed paying. This morning, after the good news, I was able to pay all of the backlogged bills. It felt very good.

We received a message from our Doctor’s office, near the country house, checking to see if I had managed to find someone to give me my flu shot. I called them back right away to give them the details. I admit that I was completely and very pleasantly surprised by their concern. To be honest, I am extremely grateful for their concern.

Attila was very keen to have Cherry Squares for his lunch, so when the hydro was a bit cheaper this afternoon, I baked up a batch. I couldn’t resist them though, and had a slice for my afternoon snack.

Attila has to go in to work an hour early tonight, to attend a seminar on the company’s benefits package. Time well spent! We are not eligible for the benefits package until well into February, so we have our fingers crossed that we won’t need any medications, or medical extras, until after he qualifies.

I had to pay cash to get my last prescriptions filled, and was charged almost $24 in additional fees to have them filled. Ouch! That was on top of the cost of the medications. That medication bill has now been paid!

I am thinking about my Mom today. Hi Mom! xoxoxo

This is our new “kitchen cabinet” that we bought on sale before Christmas. It fits perfectly into the space between the refrigerator and the range, it has a lot of storage space, a wooden countertop, is very sturdy, is easy to keep clean, and it is on wheels, so we can move it easily when it comes time to install the new floor. As you can see, it is a workshop cabinet, meant for a garage, but it works perfectly in our kitchen. Oh yes, it is also stainless steel and therefore fireproof!
DSCF7793

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 4:00 PM EST Thursday 7 January 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 1.8°C
Dewpoint: -2.0°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: ESE 4 km/h

Quote

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
Dr. Seuss
1904 – 1991

Hallowe’en

Friday, October 30, 2015

October is drawing to a close, and the warm weather is leaving with it. What a glorious month is has been! We experienced high winds for the last two days, but since the temperature was above 10C, when the sun was shining it was grand to be out of doors.

It has been a busy week.

I finally, after two weeks of dead end telephone calls, found a way to get a flu shot. Anaphylaxis is not an easy condition to live with. There are local free flu shot clinics, and many drug stores offer the shot for free. I cannot get a flu shot at these readily available sites, they refuse me for good reason. Now that my family doctor is so many miles away, a six hour drive, I cannot go to the doctors office to get my annual flu shot. This proved to be an almost insurmountable problem. As the weeks went by, my frustration levels began to rise; and it became more and more difficult to remain calm and friendly as I met dead end after dead end. The solution came from Shopper’s Drug Mart, who accepted a written confirmation from my Family Doctor’s office, that I could be safely given one type of flu shot, which luckily, was the one that Shopper’s Drug Mart was offering. It seems simple enough, now that it is resolved, but it took two weeks of upset to finally find a way to make it all work. I had my flu shot on Wednesday morning, with no complications.

All this while I was also searching for FOBT kits. These things are extremely difficult to come by. Dozens of telephone calls later, to entities that are supposed to assist people with these things, like the Colon Cancer Check people themselves, met with rejection. Good grief, if you find yourself deviating from the “written norm” of a bureaucratic process, you instantly become a “non person”, there is no help for you. Finally, after a week and a half of frustration, and a LOT of telephone calls, I found the kits at a local drug store, and snapped them up.

And then, through sheer silliness, I decided I wanted a faster internet connection. Right now the fastest speed we can get, ADSL, is less than 200 kB/s, and for this we pay $55.95 a month. The temptation to move to a cable service that offers 30 Mbps for $41.95 a month was just too much for me. The installation technician was scheduled for Wednesday. We had a bad storm on Wednesday and Thursday, with extremely high winds, and lots of rain, particularly on Wednesday. I did not expect things to go smoothly. The fellow arrived as promised, surveyed the situation, and rescheduled the installation to Friday, today, between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sure enough, around 1:00 p.m. he arrived to do the deed.

Attila is working overtime this weekend. This is the first time he has been asked to work overtime on the weekend, it is mandatory. What I find interesting, is that even working an extra shift on the weekend, he still has more time off work on the weekend, than he did at his job near the country house. Attila is a new man with these reasonable hours of work. He is more rested, more relaxed, and able to develop a personal life, allowing him to attain an internal balance. The bonus for me is that he now “lives” at home, and not at his job.

While I lived here alone last spring, I moved our beds and furniture into the front bedroom of the house. Attila only slept here occasionally, usually just for one night. Things have changed, we live here now. Attila’s bed is just above the electrical panel in the basement, which we want to change. To that end we are moving our bedroom furniture to the bedroom at the back of the house. This is a BIG job, as both rooms are packed with boxes and furniture. The bookcases, four floor to ceiling units, are full of books in the back bedroom, and they will be very challenging to move.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, we have been blessed with a relentless fruit fly population, not large, but constant. They came in with the Coronation Grapes we purchased weeks ago, and have been with us ever since. I have been losing the battle, killing them with a fly swatter. It is difficult to kill tiny fruit flies with a fly swatter, and I was constantly swatting at the same fruit fly over and over again.

At last I decided to peruse the internet, to see what other people were doing about fruit flies, and I found what appears to be an easy solution. The advice was to mix apple cider vinegar, about a quarter cup of it, with a teaspoon of dish detergent mixed into it, placed in a plastic cup, with saran over the top, with some holes punched into the saran as entry points. I tried this first with dish soap, and it was a failure. The fat separated out of the soap, coagulated in a glob, which sank to the bottom of the cup. Detergent works, it mixes into the vinegar without issue.

I set out my fruit fly trap before going to bed last night. This morning it had three dead fruit flies in it, and one more was “buzzing” the cup. I haven’t seen any flying around this morning, so I regard the trap as a success.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I have not been sleeping soundly, for the most part, since we began the process of moving at the end of August. Last night though, after Attila left for work, I decided to take some quiet time just before retiring, to see if it helped me rest. Turning off all the lights, I sat in the living room, gazing out at the moon. It was lovely. And I slept for seven hours straight last night. Perhaps my quiet time worked, who knows.

Attila arrived home from work looking very tired. He went almost directly to bed, slept for thirty minutes, and then was up and at it. He is looking forward to accomplishing a lot today and tomorrow!

The squash was plentiful this year, from our garden. A very large specimen is baking in the oven this morning, to be eaten over the next week. The unripe squash that were harvested, before the killing frost last week, are ripening. The estimate is that the garden yielded over 50 pounds of squash, from four little seeds collected two years ago, from a roadside vegetable stand.

Tonight is Hallowe’en night. It has been 12 years since we enjoyed children coming to our door on Hallowe’en eve. We have our candy ready, a fresh pumpkin for a Jack O’ Lantern, and a Jack O’ Lantern garland for the door. We hope to see the neighbours two young boys, they are such nice boys, very active, very good natured. Last week, when Attila was working on the yard, they came over to give him a hug.

Yesterday more forms to be filled in arrived in the mail. My eyes are crossing, there is so much officious paperwork required by the governments, all levels. Perhaps I will tackle that next week and concentrate on switching the bedrooms this weekend.

My book has gone to print. The third draft was good, and that copy is ready to be sent to Library and Archives Canada, as required. I have yet to determine how much postage is required to ship the book. I did not find the Postal employee all that helpful at first, she wanted $16 to ship the book, and I balked. After some discussion she checked alternatives that were much more reasonable. I think I will go to the Post Office in the city, to make sure I am getting the best possible shipping prices. I should not have to balk at a price in order to be informed of the alternatives, so I am not happy with the service I received here.

Fifteen little goblins came to our door Trick or Treating this evening. It was fun, and of course too much candy was purchased, which will inform next years supply of candy for the big night.

Happy Hallowe’en to all!

Boo!! Our pumpkin, lit by battery operated tea lights.
Jackolantern2015

Worldly Distractions

Weather

4°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Friday 30 October 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: -0.4°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: WNW 12 km/h

Quote

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”
Michel de Montaigne
1533 – 1592

Forms!

Attila and I had a busy day. This time, it wasn’t about unpacking boxes, it was about filling in forms and applications, exploring possibilities, trying to peek over walls of bureaucracy.

We applied for prescription drug coverage, which we no longer have. We applied for a local family doctor, and are now on a very long waiting list. I sought assistance in getting a flu shot this year, things don’t look hopeful on that score. This kind of stuff has to be done, and we are always glad when it is done. I always feel out of sorts after wrestling with the machine of modern bureaucracy.

The weather was beautiful today. We were out and about together this morning, dropping more items off at the women’s shelter, buying milk, mailing forms. The sun shone, the breeze was warm and gentle, and the morning passed pleasantly. Attila left for work right after lunch, so I spent the rest of the day working on administrative things related to health care.

I just realized tonight that when Attila is working the afternoon shift, the feelings I had about living here alone last winter are affecting how I feel now. The evenings were the hardest, when we were living apart, and now the evenings without Attila are triggering some unwelcome feelings. Right now, when this dampened feeling comes over me, I think about Attila coming home in a few short hours, and the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Eventually my unconscious mind will figure out that Attila is coming home every night.

My book needed more edits than I had anticipated, so the second draft will be my copy of the book, as it is not suitable for Archives Canada, or for sale. There were a few things that I did not catch when I edited the book, things that were actual errors. However, some of the errors were the work of the autofill devil, like the word hand instead of and, things that the spell checker would not catch. And then, after reading the actual paper copy, I decided to add a section, a transcription of my GGG Grandfather’s letter home to Scotland, after the families first year in the wilderness.

There is something about a real paper book that is so much easier to interact with than a digital screen. Perhaps that is because I grew up with paper books, and so prefer them.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Monday 19 October 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 11.6°C
Dewpoint: 4.6°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SSW 36 gust 54 km/h

Quote

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
A.A. Milne
Winnie-the-Pooh

All Tucked In

After Attila arrived home from work on Saturday, we decided to make a trip into town to deposit a cheque, purchase fuel, and pick up some supplies.

At the grocery store we noticed that the Pharmacy had someone available to give flu shots. It would save a trip to have our shots then and there! Attila had his shot, which is the most important, because if he becomes ill and misses work our income disappears. I, on the other hand, did not get a flu shot. The Druggist was reticent. He knows me, and that I have anaphylaxis, and urged me to have the shot at the doctor’s office, where they would be prepared to deal with an allergic reaction. He made an excellent point I thought. So my flu shot will have to wait until I can make an appointment with the doctor.

We are all tucked in for winter! Well almost. We board up most of the windows to prevent heat loss during the winter, and are waiting until our house comes off the market next week to do that, it isn’t pretty, but it works. Today Attila worked at all the other tasks to ready for winter. He took down the eves trough (the snow would tear it off); he stapled plastic sheeting over the screens in the screened in porch to keep the snow and wind out; he removed all the leaves from the lawn, and there were oodles of them. About four years ago we purchased a leaf blower, so that the job only takes Attila half a day to accomplish, whereas with a rake it takes several days. We live in the bush.

Since Attila was removing leaves, I took the opportunity to sweep the big pile of fallen leaves from the deck, onto the ground, where Attila blew them away.

Most of my activity for the day was indoors though. Today I went through the filing cabinets and culled all the redundant paper work. Yikes, I took out a pile about three feet high! Since so much of it has our name written on it, we burned it outside with the brush from a felled tree.

The filing cabinets are still full. The difference is that now there is now enough room to file more papers. Out with the old, in with the new.

These are my favourite days, when Attila and I are home together. We get four of them every month! Unless of course I am away at the little house in the city on a Sunday, then there are fewer days together.

Painting by Dianne Dengel: Elderly couple with coffee… my favourite kind of day!
Elderly couple with coffee

Worldly Distractions

Weather

8°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Sunday 26 October 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 8.1°C
Dewpoint: 3.0°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: W 18 gust 34 km/h

Quote

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

Take Two

I just deleted a very, very lengthy entry! After taking a break from it I decided that nothing I was writing about needed to be said or read, delete!

Last week Attila had his flue shot at a public health clinic. I go to the family physician to ensure the non-medicinal ingredients do not include my allergen. So far, so good. One never knows when things will change. My appointment was onf Friday and while I was at the family physician’s I also received my first pneumonia inoculation. The tiredness and soreness in my arm remain, but I can easily live with this slight discomfort. I did find though that over the weekend I felt cranky from time to time, and I was aware of it. I hope I kept that well away from other people, I think I succeeded, with the exception of one little terse conversation with Attila, who wasn’t being all sugar and honey himself at the time.

We made a whirlwind trip to our little house in the city. On Saturday we arrived, cooked and ate a box of Kraft Dinner (poorly planned that one!) and headed out to Terra and Lares new house. They moved on Saturday and by the time we arrived all the lifting and toting had been done. Their house was full of jolly people, all of whom had helped with the move, except us of course.

The house does need a lot of work. What an adventure it will be, slowly nursing this century home back into good health. It is large and beautiful; well worth the effort to bring it back.

Luna and Janus travelled a long distance to help with the move, and the whole family came, Imp and Elf and Tink. Well almost the whole family, the dogs Benny and Bim were left with the in-laws and Soot the cat was left in peace at home.

It was wonderful to see the Grandbabies. They have grown a lot and are such characters. They are all so different from one another and we enjoy and love each personality. They spent a lot of time playing in the “exercise room”, an office in a separate building which was carpeted. They played happily in there for hours and we could see them through the window and could keep an eye on them.

Since we could not help with the actual move, we contributed otherwise. Attila build two extremely strong saw horses for Lares, and I prepared breakfast for the crowd that stayed overnight till Sunday, after the hectic Saturday move. My first priority was to prepare toast and peanut butter for the Grandbabies. After they had all they wanted to eat, I prepared toast and sausages and eggs for the rest. I also kept a sink full of dishwater and washed and dried the dirty dishes as they were piled by the sink. By the time everyone had eaten the dishes were done and the kitchen cleaned up; ready for the sanding and painting job which is next on Terra’s list.

Then it was back to the little house to wash up the dishes there and get things shut down and locked up until the next visit.

The drive home was beautiful. So much colour, even without autumn leaves! Bright sunshine is a balm.

Today I am making more applesauce for freezing and baking a cranberry-apple crisp for breakfast and snacks later in the week. I’ve been offered a few more hours work in the coming weeks, so I will be busy.

Standing at the window this afternoon I spotted what could be a lone coyote trotting down the road in front of the house, head lowered, glancing back over its shoulder. A little later I saw him running out our driveway, he had obviously been in our back yard. The tail seemed a little too long for a coyote, but it was very large and certainly did not resemble any of the Red Foxes that I have seen trotting by in the past. I have my camera out and ready now in case it passes this way again, then perhaps the species can be identified with a photograph.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7 °C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Monday 19 November 2012
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 6.7°C
Dewpoint: 1.4°C
Humidity: 69 %

Quote 

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910
Long live the imprudent, say I!!!