You Lose Some, You Win Some

Since January I have experienced tummy upsets, gastrointestinal issues. The cause has been a mystery. A partial explanation has been surmised.

I may be lactose intolerant.

In January I began to eat ricotta cheese with some regularity, because it was a low sodium choice. My issues began in mid-January. Experiments have ensued. The problem was relieved when the ricotta cheese was removed from the diet. Next, bocconcini was purchased, another soft, low sodium cheese. Bingo, within twenty four hours all of the symptoms returned. The next experiment is under way, removing all dairy from the diet. Removing milk from my already highly restricted diet is a hardship. To that end I purchased some plain almond beverage to use as a dairy substitute, which seems to agree with me, at least for now.

We are in the grips of another cold snap. The temperature should begin to rise by the end of next week, but most of March Break will be cold for the kids who are off school this coming week in Ontario. It is very windy as well, so the wind chill is significant. Attila and I are cozy here in our little house, with our magnificent thermostat!

On Tuesday, when I took the car in for servicing, I ran a few errands in town while the car was in the shop. One of the things I purchased was garbage tags. On Friday morning Attila asked me where I had put them. I though they were still in my bag, but when I checked I couldn’t see them there. Then I thought I must have put them away somewhere and forgotten about it. We looked everywhere, which does not take long in our small house. Then I though I might have dropped them when I purchased them, or at the garage when I was paying the bill. Not wanting to call the town office or the garage to ask if they had seen them, I continued to search. A few hours later, after I had removed every last item from my bag, I found them tucked between some papers. What a relief.

I was thinking about this little escapade this morning. I was upset at the time, while looking for the tags. It wasn’t the loss of the money, and the additional money that would have to be spent on new tags, that I found upsetting. It was that I might have come home and put the tags away somewhere, and had not been able to remember a thing about it. The degree of memory loss that would represent really threw me into a tizzy! Luckily, there was no memory loss involved, I didn’t remember where I put them because I didn’t put them anywhere and there was nothing to remember. There was just careless placement of the tags at time of purchase, and a search for them that was less than thorough. I made sure I showed Attila where I decided to store the tags!

The work on the book continues. The book includes the families of twelve brothers and sisters, and at last I am working on the images for the youngest child. Much more to do, adding the images to page layout of the book, captioning the images, including references for each image.

I continue to practice my crochet skills every day. The yarn and hook sit by my chair, ready for me to pick them up whenever the whim strikes. I tried my first single crochet stitch yesterday, it did not go well, but I am undeterred. Today I tried again, it was a little easier, a little bit better, and tomorrow I will try again, and the day after that. It will come. I don’t know what inspires me to spend time with my greatest physical weakness, but inspired I am. I guess I want to push my boundaries a little bit, I have time now, to be patient with myself.

Genealogy and crochet, two projects focused on lines that are woven together to make something beautiful.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 11 March 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -12.6°C
Dew point: -22.8°C
Humidity: 43%
Wind: WNW 25 gust 39 km/h
Wind Chill: -22
Visibility: 24 km

“Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.”
469 BC – 399 BC

“Marilyn: My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse. “Maybe,” he said. One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky. “Maybe,” he said. Next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies. The people said it was very lucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg. The people said it was unlucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.”
A parable told my the character Marilyn Whirlwind on Northern Exposure.


Today was full of errands. The car needed to be serviced, the appointment was for this morning, Attila was at work, which leaves me to take the car in. While the car was getting its beauty treatment I walked to the bank and spent an hour with a representative doing a wee bit of complex banking. That done, it was off to the town hall to buy garbage stickers. It costs $2.00 to put out one bag of garbage for pickup on garbage day, if the tags are purchased at the town hall. If the tags are purchased at third party retail establishments, the cost is $2.50 per bag of garbage. We try to put one bag out every two weeks, even though there is weekly collection, to cut down on expenses. Using a composter has helped with that, since we eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, the scraps are recycled right here at home. We also recycle most of the rest of our garbage. It helped a lot as well when we purchased the Big Berkey, which filters our tap water for drinking, so we do not need to buy water in plastic bottles or containers. We don’t buy them, so we don’t have to throw them out.

It was a grand day for it, to be out and walking about downtown while the car was in the shop. The sunshine and above freezing temperature were a real treat. It is extremely windy though, so much so that occasionally the house shakes at the gusts. The weather report said winds gusting to 70, and I think they might have been even stronger than that!

This morning I had the unpleasant task of dealing with our internet company. Our latest bill suddenly increased by $350! There has been no change in our usage, but they claimed we went way, way, way over our limit. There was no arguing that point, they were adamant. After an hour or more on the telephone with them, we ended up only having to pay about $20 more than our regular bill, which was quite pleasing. They had no explanation at all about how this sudden spike occurred. I am suspicious though, because on the heels of this outrageous bill came an email offering to upgrade our service to unlimited, for only $30 a month more. We are not going to do that. It turns out they did send messages alerting us to the overuse, but they sent it to the email address they had setup for us on their service, which we do not use, and not to the email address on record with the account, where I would have seen it. All in all I am pretty unhappy with Cogeco. I will be logged in every single day to watch our usage and see what is going on!

Switching service providers is a miserable process, but I am sorely tempted!

That part of my day behind me, I have been sitting in the living room, enjoying the sunshine streaming in the windows, contemplating what I might like for a late lunch!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EST Wednesday 8 March 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 6.4°C
Dew point: 1.5°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: SSW 33 gust 44 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
Increasing cloudiness. 40 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 increasing to 50 gusting to 70 early this afternoon. High 7. UV index 3 or moderate.


“The love of truth lies at the root of much humor.”
Robertson Davies

To my mind, it makes for the best kind of humor!


I have been quite content sitting here at Mist Cottage, enjoying reading my books, researching my book, writing my book, baking, purging unused household items, looking out the windows at the weather, setting up the new refurbished iMac, the list goes on!

Perhaps I have become just a little too comfortable here at home.

Yesterday I had an appointment for my EHCO heart test, in the nearby city. Parking was my concern, and I spent the whole day worrying about it. Of course, I could set aside that worry, but it was there, sour and tangy, at the back of my mind, no matter what I distracted myself with. I called the Clinic, and they advised me that I best use the metered parking spaces in the nearby neighbourhood. I checked Google Earth and made sure I knew how to navigate around the area. But still, worry nagged at me. Then I realized that I had but one loonie, and one toonie. If a meter ate my change, I would not have enough money to pay for the needed parking. Things can go wrong with parking meters, past experience tells me. So I decided to get myself dressed, and visit the local convenience store to obtain more coinage. I purchased garbage stickers, which we would probably buy there anyway, and asked for loonies in change. She couldn’t manage many, just two, and a toonie. I had my fingers crossed that I had enough change get me through the parking situation. Even with the area researched, and now funded, I found myself s to driving myself to the city, parking, and attending my appointment.

I set off for my appointment as a gentle snow began to fall. Environment Canada stated that the Road Conditions for the route were dry and bare. Ha! A wet road, with muddy brown accumulations of snow obscuring the centre line and the edges of the road, blowing snow and the odd ice patch were waiting for me, but at least there was daylight. I was lucky enough to arrive near the clinic just after my appointed time, and actually find a metered parking spot that was relatively easy to get into. Parallel parking with bifocals is a nightmare. The sidewalks were slushy and slippery for the one block walk back to the Clinic, the wind was bitter cold. I was only slightly late. The drive home in the dark after the ECHO was even worse, with blinding headlights obscuring what little of the lane boundaries that were still visible below the snow driven across the road by a strong wind. Three times I found myself with my passenger side tires biting the gravel on the side of the pavement. People were not slowing down due to the weather conditions, and several vehicles impatiently passed me, as I was travelling at the speed limit, which was scary enough. I was glad to arrive home safely, and Attila was very glad to see me.

My blood pressure was high when the technician read it at the Clinic, just after my arrival. I wasn’t surprised!

I guess I have become somewhat housebound. It isn’t cabin fever, that is an unpleasantness of a constant kind. This experience is just a mild, temporary dread of going to the city for a medical appointment. Perhaps the first experience of using street parking and meters, in that city, will allow the situation to feel more familiar, and thus more comfortable. My next appointment, later this week, is in the morning, no night driving. Future appointments in the city will be scheduled for daytime travelling!

We are getting quite the winter storm at the moment, I do not envy Attila’s commute home today! I will be waiting for him, with a nice hot dinner.

I am totally resistant to going out for walk in the storm!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EST Tuesday 10 January 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -3.6°C
Dew point: -8.7°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: S 29 gust 41 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km


“Household tasks are easier and quicker when they are done by somebody else.”
James Thorpe
1888 – 1953