Back at the Country House

After a fitful sleep Sunday night, Monday morning brought clarity. After almost two weeks on my own at the little house in the city, it was time to return to the country house, and to spend the few hours that Attila does not work with him.

Monday came early, 5:00 a.m., and the car was on its way home by 7:00 a.m. It was a long drive, construction and slow moving traffic stretched the trip out till after 12:00 noon. Still, the car is air conditioned, so the ride was comfortable, if long.

Attila came home for lunch Monday, a sort of a reunion over sandwiches.

So here I am at the country house!

The next step in the bathroom project is planned, and has to be executed by two strong-backed individuals, which means I won’t be involved. The tub needs to be moved away from the exterior wall, so that the insulation and vapour barrier can be correctly installed behind it, from floor to ceiling. It would be great if that part of the job were accomplished on one visit!

Yesterday was hot and humid. The country house is warm, but not unbearable. I slept the night in the direct breeze of a small fan. A few times I was awakened by something crawling lightly across my arm, then my back. I swatted, which seemed to halt the activity of whatever it was, and went right back to sleep. I hope that the creature, that showed such an interest in my sleeping body, will go and play somewhere else tonight!

It is hot and humid today. Mist and I are laying low, moving as little as possible in the house, with the windows and blinds closed, keeping the humidity and heat out. The hottest part of the day at the country house is between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., after that the air will begin to cool. Outside the mosquitos are waiting, so sitting in the shade, feet up, relaxing in the breeze… well, that is just not an option at the country house.

At the little house in the city I sit in the shade on the back porch, off and on all morning. The windows there are kept wide open. There are ceiling fans in every room at the little house in the city. It impresses me deeply, just how effective they are in keeping that small urban space bearable in the heat.

The heat of the laptop is unbearable during heat waves. So, an external USB keyboard is handy, sitting cooly on the lap, far from the heat of processors. I must reach over to the laptop when I want to use the touch pad, but most of what I want to do can be done on the keyboard.

The day was spent organizing our financial affairs, paying bills, and filling in the inevitable forms that facilitate survival in the modern world.

Attila worked through his lunch, as he does almost every day during the busy summer months. He arrived home at his regular time, which is a blessing. It is too hot to cook indoors, so the propane camp stove will be setup, for the outdoor preparation of grilled cheese sandwiches, for Attila. My meal will consist of one egg, poached in the microwave, one slice of fat free cheese, one piece of toast, and a bit of salad dressing made with olive oil. We will both enjoy a green salad as well.

Tomorrow will be hot and humid again, with some relief predicted toward the end of the week.

The cobber is in constant use!

Still, much in the world reminds me what dull but happy life I lead. There has been a terrible train derailment in Quebec, and torrential rains in Toronto, and thousands of smaller personal tragedies that I will never know anything about, taking place all across Canada.

P.S. Opportunity keeps passing me by! Why, today alone, I passed up several opportunities to retrieve money from overseas that I unexpectedly inherited from complete strangers! I deleted offers to send huge amounts of cash to my personal bank account. Several lotteries were won, but the prizes bit the dust in cyber space as my delete key flashed into action. Ah, what might have been!

P.S, P.S. Attila talked with Emmi last week, they live in Calgary, where flooding occurred. Apparently they were only evacuated for a few days as a precaution, and luckily their home was not affected by the flooding. It was very good news!

Worldly Distractions


Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:101.4 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Wind:S 21 km/h
Humidex: 33


“Yesterday I was a dog. Today I’m a dog. Tomorrow I’ll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There’s so little hope for advancement.”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000

Out of the mouths of dogs!

Keeping My Cool

I am pleased to report that the Cobber is a significant aid in keeping me cooler during this heat wave. All it needed was to be soaked for 1/2 hour in water, then it was good to go. I wear it while I am awake, standing or sitting, and I wish I could think of a way to use it at night while I am sleeping, or trying to sleep!

Searching online I found many versions of this type of cooling neck wrap, under many names. The ones I purchased, Cobbers, came from Austalia, and are very high quality. I paid dearly for them, but since it was to be Attila’s birthday gift, that seemed appropriate. Now that we know that they are helpful in a heat wave, I will be searching for a less expensive version.

The other tool in the keeping-cool arsenal is the fan. Moving air makes a HUGE difference, and this is even more marked when I am wearing the cobber.

Last night, it was very hot when we headed to bed. The cobber is a little bit damp and lumpy for wearing while reclined, so I removed it and settled for aiming the small fan at the exact spot where I would be sleeping. Attila doesn’t feel the heat the way I do, he is very heat tolerant. So the fan was all mine. Unfortunately the power went off in the wee hours of the morning, which meant the fan stopped. I awoke before light, in a state of heat haze.

When Attila left for work this morning at 6 a.m., I left for the little house in the city. It was a long drive, there were several sections of road that were under construction and required lengthy waits at the flag person’s Stop Sign. There were also a lot of very large transport trucks on the secondary highways, travelling slowly up the hills, and with increasing speed down the other side. There was nothing for it but to follow along patiently. By the time I stopped for fuel I was very tired, and so I drank a second cup of coffee, which is something I seldom do. It perked me up though, and should not affect my sleep, as it was only 8:50 a.m. in the morning when I stopped for fuel.

After I arrived at the little house I called Attila, and sent off a message to Terra to let her know I am around and about. Then I headed off to pick up my new glasses. They fit pretty well, right off the bat. I decided to skip a fitting and to wear them for a bit, to get used to them and better assess the fit. I really like them so far.

Then I stopped by the local grocery store for a few supplies. The most important item on my list was milk, and it was the only item I did not purchase. I remembered that I needed milk when I reached the car, with all my other purchases in tow. I loaded the car, and headed back into the grocery store for the milk.

Now I am sitting in front of the rotating fan, feeling relatively cool, and relaxed. The humidex is high here, but it is not as high as it is at our country house, where Attila is working out in the hot sun, all day long. I am thinking of him.

I have a few items on my to do list for this visit. First, I have a load of lumber to shift from the car into the garage. There are two batches, one for Terra and Lares, the other for us. Some of the pieces are eight feet long, and there are quite a few of them, so I’ve done the job slowly, piece by piece, and it took quite a while. Phew! Time for another break sitting in front of the fan!

Terra came over for dinner, with the Dash to dog, who is such a character. Terra has been working a long series of night shifts and is wearing down. She was tired enough that she decided not to eat, but we had a nice chat before she headed home. We had some firewood from the branch on the Crabapple tree that came down last year in a storm. I loaded it into Terra’s car, they can burn it in their new fire pit!

I brought my sewing machine with me this time, and hope to get a start on the kitchen curtains. I will need to hoe the garden, and trim the grass, which will be a short job with my new handy trimmer. We will see what else I get to!

Worldly Distractions


The humidex is the number that indicates how hot it FEELS!

22°C (26C at the country house)
Condition: Haze
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 10 km
Temperature: 22.4°C
Dewpoint: 20.9°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: WSW 17 km/h
Humidex: 31C (33C at the country house)


I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
Oprah Winfrey
1954 –

I have mixed feelings about Oprah. When I think about Schindler (Schindler’s List), I think that maybe she is OK. I cannot abide listening to her. The universe works in mysterious ways.


The big news in our day is that Emmi, Otto, Lilt and Skipper are all safe and sound. They live in Calgary, Alberta, where there is severe flooding. Emmi sent us a message this morning to let us know they are all doing well, staying with friends, because they were evacuated from their home near the Bow River. Great news!

The black flies are proliferating again! I moved the basil seedlings to the deck, hoping that all threats of frost are now behind us. As I was watering them, I was surprised and dismayed to feel black flies crawling into the sleeves of my short sleeved blouse, and up the pant legs of my shorts. The mosquitoes didn’t take long to find me either. They buzzed my face, choosing to hover between my glasses and my eyelids. There is no lazing about on the deck here.

My head spins as I adjust to working then not working, then working, then not working, and on and on.

Working with the public, in a rigid corporate structure, requires a certain mind set, in which I clothe myself, while I am at work. This requires a deep adjustment in the way I see the world, I enter a trance like state of self-denial and suspend disbelief for the hours I am at work. The more hours I spend at work, the more oppressive the state of denial becomes. Psychic calluses can form over time, making work relatively comfortable. But the calluses do not form when work is intermittent. Psychic blisters form every time I go back to work, making the experience endlessly unpleasant, and a little bit painful.

Not working requires complete independence of mind and spirit. With no “other” definable connections to the world at large, one has to define oneself. Defining oneself, in a world where few value your existence, is challenging. It requires inner integrity. This develops over time. When the process of self-knowledge is interrupted, by working periods of self-denial and suspended disbelief, it becomes more challenging.

Yesterday I was the smiling face of service, and today I am just me, magnificently me. Today I am actively engaged in mindfully returning to my spirit and my peace of mind.

Can you buy optimism? I wonder. For instance, if I read my daily astrological predictions, written by a particular Astrologer, I am always made aware of the potential of the day. It is a pleasant experience, to read that things are going to be OK, that I have choices and can impact my own life in a positive way. I don’t have to believe what the astrologer says, in a literal sense, to hear the encouragement written in the message. I could pay to hear audio predictions. The voice is calming and sane, the words always put a positive spin on the world. I would be spending time listening to positive thoughts. In a sense, I would be buying optimism. I like to think about buying those pleasant words, but I will not be buying my optimism today, or tomorrow, or the next day. I will just have to generate my own positive words, in my own head, relating to my own life. I will not spend money for optimism, nor will I make money from optimism.

The Solstice is bringing a heat wave, and storms! We have experienced cool temperatures in June, almost needing to turn on the heat at night. I have been sleeping under my winter comforter, until now. The temperature began to rise yesterday morning and we will have humid heat for the next week. Heat can be pleasant, but humid heat I find difficult to endure. I suffer a great deal in hot, humid conditions.

For Attila’s birthday this year I gave him a cobber. I ordered one for myself, while I was at it. This heat wave will give me an opportunity to test it, to see if it really does help keep the body cool.

I have been feeling a bit under the weather for the last week or so. I must have come down with some sort of bug. I am slightly nauseous from time to time, and the ladies’s room is one of my current favourite places. This added a layer of complexity to working this past week, but I got through it, my distress undetected by my coworkers and customers.

Attila’s Mom is coming for a visit next week. Today I am doing a little bit of tidying, in anticipation. Attila will take on the bulk of the cleaning though, particularly in his work area, which is the entire lower floor of the house. I pay no attention to the state of affairs on the lower floor of the house, as that is Attila’s domain. I have become surprisingly adept at “letting go”, when it comes to Attila’s work areas. The only way to get to the living area is to walk through the lower floor of the house. Visitors are greeted with a certain informal glory, when they enter our humble abode.

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.6°C
Dewpoint: 15.2°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: S 11 km/h
Humidex: 25


“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”