The Last Tomato, Marco Polo, and Chip n’ Dale

It turns out that my prediction that the kitchen floor would be finished this past weekend was a bit premature. Fitting trim on out of square, wonky old walls, repairing holes in floors, and cutting tiles to fit around floor registers and into closets needs to be carefully executed. Attila finished the dining area, and is working on the other end of the kitchen now, which is chock full of fiddly bits. When he is done, the commercial floor polish needs to be applied, three coats, and that will take a whole day, at least, probably two to make sure it is completely dry. What a process! I will be very glad when it is done. Our kitchen sees intense use, so kitchen renovations are particularly irksome.

Attila likes to take a project slowly, it is his preferred way of approaching projects. He whistles and sings while he works in this way. Since we will probably be renovating for the rest of our lives, here at Mist Cottage, it is best that he proceed with it as comfortably as possible. I find it difficult from my end though, to live in relative chaos for the duration of a project. So far I have found kitchen renovations to be the most draining of all the projects we have taken on. What I really need is a companion to spend time with while Attila works contentedly on his projects.

I have completed a round of single crochet edging on my blanket and am quite pleased with it, much more so than the first attempt, which I ripped out. I used a 5 mm hook for the Suzette stitch on the body of the blanket, and a 5.5 mm hook for the single crochet border. I may leave it just as it is, but now that I think about it, I will probably go around again with a slip stitch.

The last of our garden tomatoes were harvested a few weeks ago. Since then the they have been sitting on the kitchen counter in a clear plastic vegetable carton. I ate the last tomatoe for lunch today!

I enjoy looking at vintage illustrations. This morning there was one that triggered a physical reaction, which I was not expecting.

A vague sense of unease hits me occasionally.

It comes when I see things I was exposed to in the 50s and early 60s, when they pop up on the computer. Sometimes the connection escapes me. For instance, this morning someone posted an image of GOLDEN STAMP BOOK OF MARCO POLO, from 1954/55. I remember those stamp books. What this Marco Polo item triggered for me was a feeling, which I have been exploring all morning, trying to find the connection between Marco Polo, stamp books, and churches.

As a kid churches were always stalking the countryside for souls, and they loved us. They would drive into the country to our farm, pick us up, and transport us to their edifices of education. There we would learn that the word kindness had more than one meaning, and most of it wasn’t what the dictionary said it was.

We were taught songs, coloured biblical scenes, and listened to a steady stream of indoctrinating stories, more fantastic than the fairy tales my Granny told us. Questions were not tolerated. Observations were quashed.

I think that they gave us each a stamp book during our time in one of those cheerless basements.

When I see certain children’s books, the ones they used at the various churches, who failed their God by not convincing us of anything other than their essential wrongness, that old feeling of being pressed face first into the earth, and held there, wells up from the depths of the past. It is vague only because it comes from a time and place that I don’t visit unless I have to. Sometimes though, the environment conspires to defeat my defences.

I tried to watch Cable Girls on Netflix and could not tolerate it. All of the female voices sound like the chipmunks Chip n’ Dale, or teenage valley girls, both unbearable coming out of female mouths. There was disco music playing at a party that supposedly took place in 1920, other music was out of period as well. What a misery to watch. It isn’t much of a period piece in my view. I didn’t manage to get to the end of the first episode.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 20 November 2017
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 10 km


“Concern for someone else was a good remedy for taking the mind off one’s own troubles.”
Elizabeth Aston

I like “concern for others”, a valid alternative to humour or denial as a coping mechanisms.

It can’t be the middle of August!

Another week of my life has rolled by with nothing of note to signify its passing. This is a luxury.

There have been times in my life where time and geography were the only hope that existed; the moments and places were far too grim to linger or to rest. Time and geography proved worthy of the hope and trust placed upon them.

The work place is slowly balancing itself, this past week a few of the issues have worked themselves out. Issues always appear, old ones, new ones and everything in between. Most of the time they do not dominate the day, those are good days. I’ve had a week of good days.

Today I am not working at my part-time job, I have the day off. So far I’ve cut my own hair, trimmed the nails of all ten toes and all ten fingers, washed and dried two loads of laundry and paid all the bills.

I spent time researching my fantasy gift list.

Near the top of the list is a Dyson vacuum cleaner, an odd obsession I suppose. But honestly, when we fire up the old vacuum cleaner it sounds like a space shuttle launching and creates bad smells all over the house. And it does a very poor job at cleaning. I visit the manufacturer’s web site, I compare the machines, I compare the prices! Like a good Girl Guide, I am always prepared; for that ever so special purchase.

Also near the top of the list are a new toilet for the country house, and a new kitchen tap. The toilet was disgusting in ways I’d rather not describe here, and has needed to be replaced since we arrived here in 2004. The kitchen tap has dripped and was only partially functional since we arrived here in 2004. Since these articles are functioning, although minimally, we haven’t invested in replacements. Now we are seriously considering updating these daily used household fixtures.

I did try to purchase a good quality kitchen tap set that was on sale at Canadian Tire at a great price, $59.99. By the time I arrived at Canadian Tire the shelf was empty. An experience that was repeated when I tried to purchase a well priced footstool that was on sale. I just have to accept that Canadian Tire sale items don’t exist on my time budget.

Now, here is some fascinating news, toilets are on sale at Home Depot. This is heart stopping excitement around here. Our first opportunity to get to a Home Depot store will be tomorrow. Will they have sale priced toilets in stock, or won’t they? I’m sure your on the edge of your chair waiting to find out!

Attila and I visited our little house in the city last weekend. We had a nice visit with Terra and Lares. We picked quite a few tomatoes from the garden, I am still eating toasted tomato sandwiches! Our zucchini plants weakened during the heat wave when we didn’t visit for three weeks running. No amount of water after that could bring them back. Gardening from such a distance does have some disadvantages. However, we are still eating the zucchini we harvested before the plants gave up completely. We feel that we have done very well with the garden and have definitely got our money’s worth out of the small investment in bedding plants.

This evening we are attending a staff party on Lake Muskoka. It is outdoors, so we are hoping the predicted thunderstorms don’t arrive until quite late. Attila’s employers put on a real spread, the food is home cooked and delicious, there is a free bar, great scenery and everyone is kept entertained with games and competitions. Goodwill abounds.

Worldly Distractions


24 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 24.0°C
Dewpoint: 14.8°C
Humidity: 56 %
Wind: S 9 km/h
Humidex: 28


“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”
G. K. Chesterton
1874 – 1936


G. K. Chesteron

“His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, playwrighting, journalism, public lecturing and debating, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”.[2] Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.”…

Born in Campden Hill in Kensington, London, Chesterton was educated at St Paul’s School. He attended the Slade School of Art in order to become an illustrator and also took literature classes at University College London but did not complete a degree at either. In 1896 Chesterton began working for the London publisher Redway, and T. Fisher Unwin, where he remained until 1902. During this period he also undertook his first journalistic work as a freelance art and literary critic. In 1901 he married Frances Blogg, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life…

According to Chesterton, as a young man he became fascinated with the occult and, along with his brother Cecil, experimented with Ouija boards.[8] However, as he grew older, he became an increasingly orthodox Christian, culminating in his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1922…

Chesterton and Shaw were famous friends and enjoyed their arguments and discussions. Although rarely in agreement, they both maintained good-will toward and respect for each other….

Chesterton died on 14 June 1936, at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire…”