Tail Feathers

Today the sun is shining, the thermometer says it is above freezing, the wind is blustering, and the snow is melting.

Today is Family Day, a statutory holiday here in Ontario, Canada. I am celebrating by sitting in the sunshine and counting my blessings. Attila is working today, he has decided to work on statutory holidays.

I had planned on attending a Tai Chi class this morning, but I was not diligent in my planning. The class began at 9:00 a.m., and I assumed it began at 10:00 a.m., I know not why. I decided to check the schedule as I was ready to walk out the door at 9:00 a.m., to drive to the class. I had my snack in my backpack, my water bottle was filled, I was ready! But alas, I was too late. I could go to an evening class, or perhaps to another morning class later in the week. Luckily I have options.

I am keeping busy. This morning I put in an online order, for dish soap, and some other items that are impossible to find locally at a reasonable price. We use a dish soap with no additives, not dish detergent. The dishwashing liquid in the grocery store often contains my allergen, which is a gratuitous use of an allergen, in my opinion, but that’s the profit oriented mind set for you. So I order Canadian made dish soap in bulk, online. I don’t mind paying a little more to buy items locally, but twice the price is ridiculous, and I am in no position to give away that much of my income, just to support local business people who are far more affluent that I am.

The people who bought the house next door are a young man and a young woman. I met them a few weeks ago when I was out of doors, and their puppy dog showed a keen interest in me. They seem very friendly. Apparently their possession of the house is contingent on them doing significant repairs. The last time I was in the house it looked fine, it is much newer than our house, and quite well built. But the couple with the two young boys that lived there, and the brother in the basement, had a peculiar attitude towards “renovating”, which it now turns out was destruction, and did not involve any putting back together. I didn’t realize just how much damage was done in the house until yesterday, when I looked out my window, and into their small bedroom window at our side of their house. All of the drywall is gone on the main floor of the house, I could see right through the studs and out the window on the other side of their house, nothing there but bare studs now. That is a major renovation! They seem very keen, as they are there working on the house most days.

The work on the construction site at the end of the street has slowed for the moment. They have decimated the trees on approximately half of the land they plan on clearing. With the milder weather, and the recent rain, the ground is quite wet. Since they are clearing a low lying area that was environmentally protected, and is no more thanks to the town council, the large machinery would sink deep into the mud. I assume they will be back at it as soon as the ground begins to dry out.

The web site I was developing is now complete, and it is up and running on the internet. A few reconfigurations are needed here and there, before the project can be considered to have come to an end. I tried hosting with gandi.net this time around, and I found their developer interface relatively difficult to use, compared to the two or three other hosting companies I have dealt with. From the perspective of the web site owner though, it will make no difference, it just made my end of the project a lot harder.

The crochet blanket continues to get longer. I like to do a few rows a day, the repetition over a long period of time allows for a solid foundation of body memory when it comes to the making stitches, and handling yarn tension. The project is getting too bulky to take with me here and there, to work on while I “wait” for various appointments, or sit as a passenger in the car.

The weather is very interesting. It was warm enough through the night last night, that the air source heat pump heated the house. This is a welcome eventuality, as the extreme cold weather we experienced earlier this winter depleted our fuel oil supply, we are down to 1/4 of a tank, which was where we usually found it at the beginning of April.

I notice that I am still writing we, and not I. I suppose that is because I am living here, Attila is living here, we own the house together, so a lot of the domestic functioning is still we. It is a different we though, than it used to be. Language is seldom a straightforward affair. I have to keep reminding myself of this fundamental change, because it would not serve me well to slip into a state of comfortable denial, allowing myself to feel that things have not changed.

I want to be light hearted, but it isn’t in me right now. Every time I try to lift off, my bottom scuds along the runway, sparks fly, and I come to a jolting halt, tail feathers smouldering from the friction. Up again! Try again!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EST Monday 19 February 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.2°C
Dew point: -2.4°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: S 28 gust 41 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“My friend is one… who takes me for what I am.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

Sittin’ On The Back Porch

I am sitting on the back porch to write this entry, at least the beginning of it. It is 10:41 a.m., and the heat is beginning to close in. I’ve washed and just hung to dry a load of laundry, which has been sitting messily on the floor for over a week. It was time to deal with it. A quickening breeze is making the air more comfortable, but soon, I can tell, the heat and humidity will increase beyond my ability to physically compensate for it, and I will be driven indoors, where the heat pump keeps the temperature at 23C, and below 55% humidity. But for now, for the first time since Sunday, it is now Wednesday, I am out of doors.

Our back porch is lovely in the morning. In the afternoon the sun shines into the porch and it becomes uncomfortably hot, in the summer it becomes unbearably hot. In my dreams we renovate the porch to extend the roof so that much of the porch will remain shaded in the afternoons, making it a viable space in which to spend time all day long.

Even thought the heat wave carries on, the leaves are turning on the trees, and beginning to fall. They rustle, a familiar autumn sound.

We have lost our third family of neighbours in the house next door. When we first bought Mist Cottage, a family with three children lived there. As soon as we painted the exterior of our house, and it looked acceptable, they put their house on the market, and moved to a larger house in town. The people who bought it were an unmarried couple, he much older than she, who eventually married, and eventually stopped making their mortgage payments, renting the house out. The family that rented the house, a couple with two small sons and a brother in the basement, managed to buy it as the bank was foreclosing, and struggled to keep up with the expenses and maintenance. They chopped down every tree on their property, except the very tall one that required a professional to remove it. They gutted part of the house to “renovate”, and did not make progress after tearing things apart. The couple with their children disappeared in the spring, saying that they were going to spend the summer in a large trailer they had purchased at a seasonal camp site, leaving the brother in the basement and a tenant on the main floor of the house. Apparently this did not work out all that well, the tenant has moved out, all the furniture has been moved out, and the brother and father have been working on the house, and moving things out at intervals. It now sits empty. We wonder who will be there next, and hope for the best.

Our garden continues to provide us with fresh green beans and tomatoes, and the occasional zucchini. The few squash that have grown are sizeable, and it seems the mild weather will hold long enough for most of them to mature, so that they can be harvested. Sadly, the scarlet runner beans are no longer putting out blooms, so that as we harvest the beans as the come of size, there are no more coming behind them.

The day is sunny, but rain is predicted this afternoon, which the gardens will be glad of. Attila has been watering them every day, using bath water, which he carried out in a large five gallon bucket. It hasn’t rained since we arrived home from our cold, wet vacation.

My days are passing quickly at the moment. The genealogy book that I stopped working on last spring is in need of careful thought. Yesterday was spent editing references. They are a real mess, after 22 years of making entries. Over those 22 years technology has required many changes. At first, all my records were paper, and a lot of the information I acquired was garnered from painstakingly reading microfiches at libraries. The database computer software I used was relatively rudimentary, and has undergone a myriad of updates and improvements. Each time the software changed, so did the way I could enter my sources, and my researched information. There are still restrictions in the software, for instance the source field will accept only 225 characters, not nearly enough! I spend a lot of time butchering the source material so that it conforms to the 225 character restriction. Conventions changed as well, evolved you could say. My sources needed serious editing to make them consistent. Although they will never be totally consistent, they are within acceptable limits now.

My crochet project, a blanket/afghan, is so relaxing. The colours are soothing, the yarn soft and yielding to the touch. The stitch I am using is very plain, the Suzette Stitch, and very easy. Because the stitch is dense, the blanket is thick, and will be very warm. I am thinking of doing another in washable wool, wool blankets are so lovely and warm.

I have begun my book by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter. The introduction was disappointing, it described the plot too carefully, revealing details that I would rather discover myself as I moved through the book. Having begun the first chapter, I encountered Norwegian words that my mind pronounced, or tried to, and decided to find an online service to provide pronunciations of the names of the main characters and places. I will eventually be able to pronounce these words correctly, but for now I must refer to the audio example every time. auditory learning is not my strong point. Which is interesting because Luna, my eldest, find auditory learning extremely easy. Everyone is so different!

Sound! From my seat on the back porch I can hear, the songs of cicadas, a cement truck, the backup warning beeps of a large truck at a distant construction site, stationary saws at the house under construction a few doors away, the neighbour raking leaves, a bird chirping, a train whistle, two neighbours chatting over the hedge between their yards. We do not live in a quiet place, but the neighbourhood itself is relatively quiet.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 27 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 22.4°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: S 20 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 13 km

Increasing cloudiness late this morning. 40 percent chance of showers. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 28 with temperature falling to 24 this afternoon. Humidex 36. UV index 5 or moderate.
A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 10.


“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.”
Max Frisch
1911 – 1991