Imp and Elf and Tink

After a quiet, relaxing Christmas morning, Attila and I were ready for action!  And action is what we got.  Luna, Janus, and the Grandbabies arrived for Christmas dinner.  They stayed until yesterday morning, but truth be told, it felt as if they came and went in just a few hours, the time passed to happily and swiftly.

Imp and Elf and Tink liked the gifts we gave them, which always feels good.  One of the gifts was a $10 gift card for Walmart.  So on Boxing Day off we went to Walmart to see about spending the $10.  The trip turned out to be more of a lesson on how little one can buy for $10!  Imp found one small item that she liked, on which to spend a portion of the $10.  Elf could find nothing he wanted in the $10 range.  Tink had some of her allowance to spend as well, so she found a craft kits that she liked, and bought it.

Of interest to Attila and I, is that the toys at Walmart were very “junky” compared to those at the Mastermind Toys Store where we bought their Christmas Presents, were mostly cheap plastic, and most of them cost, for one item, the same amount of money that we spend on food for the week.  We will definitely be visiting the Mastermind Toys Store again!

Imp remembered that we tried to make paper airplanes to throw into the bonfire earlier in December at Luna’s place.  We didn’t have much success, as none of us had a pattern.  Imp must have done some research to surprise me!  She asked me for a piece of paper, and this is what she left for me!



Tink enjoyed drawing with chalk on the chalkboard.  She drew a beautiful butterfly for us!  She also drew a great caterpillar.


On Boxing Day morning Elf was curious about what I do on the internet.  So I showed him this online journal.  He wanted to write something in the journal, so he dictated and I typed.  I corrected three instances of grammar, and other than that, these are his very words.

Elf: On Living in Ireland last summer.

One day a family was hiking up Mount Donegal. It was a rainy day. We were starting to walk beside a river. The water was very very clean and there was birds and all that. We would hop on the rocks when there was lots of rocks. We had so much fun jumping on the rocks.

One time I saw a bridge, it was very cool and went over the river. It was very rocky. I think we could see rocks like sand in the river from years and years of the rock going away. We couldn’t see the top of the mountain, it was so cloudy at the top.

So we climbed up more of the mountain, and it got beautifuler and beautifuler. You could see more and more of the water in the ocean. When we got up to a place, we had to stop because we didn’t have very much trail left. So we decided to walk on the rocks on the river for half the hike. I would do a whole bunch of silly stuff on the rocks, like meditating, and saying “it’s my teensy island”.

On the way up we could see a quarry where people used to mine. There were little old cabins made of cobblestone. A river would flow into the quarry. It was cool.

The more we got up the mountain it got foggier and foggier and boggier and boggier. We had lunch at a very long and big wall, that went all the way over the twelve bends. We went to almost the top, until one of us needed to use the loo, so we had to go down. But is was a glory to see all the things we saw on our trip.

We all had a lovely time!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EST Monday 28 December 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: -7.2°C
Dewpoint: -12.4°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: NNE 27 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


The Children’s Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
first published in the September 1860

[When I was a child, Mom would recite this to us at bedtime.  Still when I read it, I hear her voice.]


Here we are, December already! I have been living in Mist Cottage for about 12 weeks now; Attila has been living here for 10 weeks. We have come a long way with our purging and unpacking, and we still have a long way to go! We are in a constant state of flux, furniture and belongings moved from here to there constantly, as the space is too small to set things aside easily while working on a project.

Yesterday I donated two boxes of items, and a green garbage bag full of clothing, to a local charity. The items have been unused for the last 25 years, and the clothing no longer fits. While in the city I also had new tires installed on the car that Attila uses to commute, and had my printer cartridge refilled. While I was waiting for the printer cartridge, and the tires, I walked around Costco, for over an hour, and I managed not to buy anything. We call Costco the $500 Store. It felt good to get all of these errands accomplished, while Attila was home sleeping in preparation for the night shift.

It was fortuitous that the tires were replaced yesterday, because the roads were very slippery due to ice, on Attila’s commute home from work this morning. He was able to navigate the roads with ease and confidence, and arrived home safely.

We purchased beds with storage drawers beneath, and they are to arrive next week. We also purchased a wardrobe that was on sale at an unbelievably low price, as part of a Black Friday sale. It wasn’t the one I was dreaming of, but it will serve the purpose, even if it falls apart after a short time, as cheap furniture often does. When Attila has assembled it, we can relieve the congestion in the one closet in the house, and perhaps begin to wear some of our regular clothing.

Last weekend Luna, Janus, and the Grandbabies arrived at Terra’s big country house, for a family Christmas celebration. It was the only time all of us were able to be in the same place, at the same time, for the next few months. We had a grand time! Terra prepared an outstanding turkey dinner. I brought pumpkin pie squares, which were gobbled up completely, to my surprise. As well, I brought a batch of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and those too were gobbled up quickly. Presents were not the focus of the event, but Attila and I could not resist wrapping up little surprises for everyone to open.

When we lived in the country house, we were able to burn garbage that had sensitive information on it. This cannot be done at Mist Cottage, so we have been accumulating quite a bit of material in our “burn bag”. Luckily, we brought the “burn bag” with us to Terra’s house, and Lares was out in the back with a large fire to burn errant branches. They heat with wood, and Lares, with the help of Attila, Janus, and Elf, was busy felling the last of the trees for firewood, sectioning them, splitting them, and stacking the wood in the wood shed. I took the opportunity to incinerate the contents of the “burn bag”, assisted by Imp, and Elf, and Tink. They couldn’t get close to the fire, so we made paper airplanes out of the paper items, which they then sent sailing into the fire. Great fun!

My Mom is experiencing a health issue. She is receiving the medical attention she needs, is as cheerful as ever, and it isn’t slowing her down much! Love from all of us Mom!

The day slipped by me today. I went for my walk, in spite of the cold and drizzle. The trick was not to wear my glasses, which blur my vision when raindrops cling to them, and fog over completely when I come in from the outdoors. They are reading glasses, and I don’t need the when I am out walking.

I baked bread, and a batch of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, as squares instead of individual cookies.

Tonight I have the problem of deciding whether to sample the homemade bread, or the cookies. I am trying very hard not to sample both!

Worldly Distractions


5:37 PM EST Tuesday 1 December 2015
Condition: Light Drizzle
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: 7.1°C
Dewpoint: 6.1°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: SE 28 km/h


“Years ago my mother said to me, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
Written by Mary Chase (1887 – 1973
Spoken by character Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) in “Harvey”, 1950

[I love this movie!]

The Kitchen Table

Attila and I have been unable to curtail our contact, and the pay as you go cell phone minutes are fast disappearing! If he does not find work near here in the next week, we will have to find some other way to communicate while he is staying in Camp Tank. An interview is coming up next week, so we have our fingers crossed!

I have managed to clear the kitchen table! This means that for the first time in over a month, we will be able to sit down at a table for a meal. Something very special about that I think, a milestone. I finally found the mixer I use to make bread, and soon I will be back to baking bread.

Since so much of our money has gone to rental trucks, fuel, and cell phone top-ups, we have to economize as much as possible. If Attila changes jobs, we will have a period of time with no money coming in; it is not the best of times for that with the moving expenses mounting up. Still, we will survive. Home baked bread is not a hardship, even if it is a necessity. We will not go hungry!

Attila is scheduled to arrive for supper tonight. As soon as he gets here he will be heading straight for the tub, his first priority upon arrival, where he will enjoy a good long soak.

I continue to find boxes for the kitchen, they are spread all over the house, the main floor and the basement. When I find them in the basement I have to unload and carry the contents upstairs to the kitchen, one item at a time. The boxes are too heavy for me to lift. The kitchen is still a work in progress, and no other room in the house has been tackled so far. This unpacking is going to take some time.

Our Grandbabies were all born in the month of September, all Virgos. We won’t be with them on their birthdays, so I have sent birthday eCards, and some gift eCards from Amazon for them. They have politely sent thank you messages via their mother.

It is amazing how many little bits of things need to be taken care of with a move. We need to find reliable medical care near Mist Cottage. Hospitals are close by, and we will make use of the emergency room services, until such time as a more practical solution presents itself. This is no small task, finding a family doctor. I am very fussy about who I trust with my precious body, and Attila’s. We have been fortunate with the two GPs we have had over the last 22 years, both are excellent and flexible. I asked the GP we have had for the last 11 years to keep us on indefinitely, until such time as we find a suitable replacement, and he has granted us this boon. The search is on.

And now for a completely random set of thoughts. What is this passionate objection to two spaces after a period? This was the business convention for typed communication for decades. I have always left two spaces after a period, and I will continue to type in this way for the rest of my days here on planet earth. If this dates me, then I am dated, and happy to be so. For those who find this type of writing highly offensive, well, I think it is what might be referred to as a “first world problem”. My energy for change will be going towards assisting those who are suffering in this world.

The camera is still hiding! I suspect it is determined to teach me discretion, at least until most of the boxes are unpacked.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Saturday 19 September 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 21.7°C
Dewpoint: 18.2°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: S 25 gust 37 km/h
Humidex: 28


“Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807 – 1882

Too Cold for Mosquitoes!

At 2 a.m. this morning Luna arose and wakened the Grandbabies. Right now, 6:27 a.m., they are all somewhere out over the Atlantic Ocean, destination Ireland.

Luna called last night to say a last brief goodbye, as she was getting ready to sleep, if she could. They are all very excited about their upcoming residence in Ireland. They will be back in late September, or early October. This is an annual migration for them now, winters in Canada, summers in Ireland. Janus is an international airline pilot, and this is one of the perks of his job.

Here at little house in the city, I await a message from Lares, telling me that Terra has come through her surgery successfully. It isn’t a big worry, but I will breath easier when I’ve heard she is OK. Terra is going through some health related issues right now, that are life changing, but not life threatening. She handles it well most of the time, but occasionally she tires of it all, and just needs us to be patient and loving. It is easy to love Terra, she has such a big heart.

On the domestic scene, I continue to purge and organize. The house is a complete tip! I have a pile of things to go to the Goodwill, to the dump, and to the restore, piled by the front door. There are mountains of items all over the place, still needing to be sorted.

I did manage to consolidate all the toys we have here. I am loath to get rid of them, even though the Grandbabies will be soon be past finding them interesting. Right now they are all gathered into a huge tote, which takes up a lot of space.

Today I am organizing the canning equipment, and possibly the basement. Attila partially dismantled a particle board closet down in the basement, and the job needs to be finished before we move a significant portion of our belongings to the little house in the city.

Yesterday the country house had another showing. We have had no feedback on that showing yet. The realtor accidentally locked the key he had in the house, when he was busy ensuring that Mist did not get out of the house. Luckily Attila was working nearby, and was over to the house in a flash to let the realtor, and potential buyers, into the house for a viewing.

The weather has turned cooler, I have adjusted the thermostat to heat the house when the interior temperature falls below 16C. So far the system has not turned itself on, and if we get sun every day, it probably won’t. The south facing windows here let in a lot of sun, which provides a good amount of heat. In the summer, when I don’t want the heat, I close the drapes against the sun. Right now I do want the heat, so the drapes are thrown wide open.

There is something wonderful and comforting about kitchen curtains billowing in the breeze! Yesterday the weather was perfect!
2015May20 breezycurtain

I will be watering the garden every other day for the next week, as no rain is predicted. Today I would like to spray a long sleeved shirt and a pair of work trousers with the mosquito repelling mixture. It is still quite windy though, so perhaps this afternoon the wind will die down and I can get the job done. I must do it outside, and use a mask. The chemical bonds with the cloth fibres as it dries, and after that it is inert, resisting repeated washings.

This morning it is a mere 6C out there. I donned all my gear to protect myself from the mosquitoes, as I prepared to head outside and water the tomatoes and the basil. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was too cold for the mosquitoes!

Buddies! Our first Iris bloom of the season, with an unwelcome buddy by its side, the dandelion bud!
2015May20 IrisDandelion

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:20 AM EDT Wednesday 20 May 2015
Condition: Light Rainshower [nope, no rain!]
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 6.2°C
Dewpoint: 3.2°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: NW 21 gust 34 km/h


“Seek simplicity, and distrust it.”
Alfred North Whitehead
1861 – 1947

Double Celebrations

I am just thinking this morning, as I send off digital Mother’s Day cards, how very fortunate both Attila and I are to be able to say Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks Mom for putting my needs before yours when I couldn’t fend for myself, I wouldn’t be here without you! Thanks Attila’s Mom for bringing him into the world at large, and my world in particular! Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

Yesterday Attila and I worked hard! I built a cedar arbour from a “kit”, and Attila build a set of exterior stairs to the second story deck. We haven’t finished the projects yet, and are hoping to get them done this morning! Attila still needs to install the railing and spindles, and to paint. I need to square my structure, put in the last screws, and with Attila’s assistance, install the arbour in the front garden. The idea is to add visual appeal to the front of the house, or “curb appeal”. I hope it works.

Not only is it Mother’s Day today, it is also my Mom’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Mom! Today is a double celebration.

To celebrate my sisters Harriet and Helena; their respective partners Hogan and Bob; two of my nieces; Luna, Lares, and the Grandbabies; and my Mom, are coming for a feast, here at the country house. Terra and Lares could not come, Terra worked through the night last night, and will work through the night again tonight, and so must sleep today. I have been planning the meal for a week now, as I needed to buy all ingredients well ahead of time, no shopping here in the bush!

We will have cold cuts, cheese, and condiments, with fresh rolls. We will have Squash Soup. We will have Chili. We will have roasted carrots, potatoes, and onions. We will have raw vegetables and dip. We will have ice cream cones, and some small pastries I bought for the occasion. This morning I already have the onions simmering for the Squash Soup, and all the ingredients for the Chili assembled on the counter. The only real preparation left is to prepare the carrots, potatoes, and onions for roasting!

It is now 6:30 a.m., and I must get back to my soup making!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who are putting (or have put) another living entities’ needs before your own! Thank goodness you are there!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 AM EDT Sunday 10 May 2015
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 15.0°C
Dewpoint: 14.7°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: WNW 5 km/h


“Never have so many, done so much, with so little.”
Maggie Turner on the subject of mothering.