All In Good Time

Attila and I sold our home in the country in September, and turned our lives upside down. Since then our existence has been largely based on “a wing and a prayer”. Attila had no job here at Mist Cottage, and continued to work in the country, living in his vehicle. Then, after two weeks of “camping” in Tank (old Toyota FJ Cruiser), he found a minimum wage, temporary position near Mist Cottage, and took the leap. He has been job hunting ever since, as his present position could evaporate at any instant, is very low paying, offers no benefits, and has zero job security.

Yesterday Attila attended a job interview for a real job, we have our fingers crossed, but won’t find out anything for a few weeks. We are very happy with this development.

The unpacking has slowed somewhat, as we are now faced with the issue of where to put everything. Clearly, more must go, but what?! Every day I try to sort through a box, or a pile of stuff.

What we need here is small-house appropriate furniture. There were two homemade closets in this house when we bought it. They were very rough, and the one in the back bedroom was covered with mildew and mold, which had permeated the wood, and was impossible to conquer; that closet was ripped out and taken to the dump, leaving one closet in the front bedroom. That one closet is jammed full of our clothes, to the point that any piece of clothing coming out of that closet is hopelessly wrinkled, too wrinkled to be worn. The house worked well as it was, as a cottage, but needs some adjustments to live in full time.

We need wardrobes to hang our clothes. We also need beds with drawers beneath them, as there is little room for dressers in this house. I have my eye on practical wood furniture from a Canadian manufacturer, but it is costly, so we must wait to see if our income recovers before considering this alternative. I also have my eye on Kijiji, watching for the items we need, because you just never know. We also need practical storage units for the living room and dining room, but that is less important to us than the bedroom.

Just after the move there were two of everything in the kitchen, two ketchup bottles, two bags of flour, etc. etc. It has been almost two months since the move, and clutter in the kitchen is beginning to diminish. For the first four weeks the recycling box was overflowing, but no more. We have purchased very few food supplies since arriving, mostly milk and fresh vegetables, so that our stored food clutter is diminishing daily. The kitchen is becoming a lot more user friendly.

Yesterday I paid the last of the moving bills! I also sent off the Bell modem, returning it after cancelling their internet service. Their service was so very slow, our new cable service is like lighting by comparison, and it is almost the slowest cable service available. Bell has given me such a difficult time over the years. They are such a large company, and there is little administrative cohesion. I dreaded calling them for any reason at all, because the problem always got a lot worse before it got better, and often they created new problems during the call. During our last fiasco, they sold us a product that didn’t exist at our location, claiming that it did exist, billed us for it, ignored the loss of service we suffered as a result of it, and just generally do not own their own processes of interaction with their customers. I will never do business with Bell again unless I have no other choice.

My genealogy book went up for sale yesterday, I have sold two copies thus far. I am not expecting to sell a lot of books, but it would be nice to sell enough of them to pay for the cost of publishing the books. I had to send one copy to Library and Archives Canada, which was not a sale, but a requirement of the government. It is a very big relief to get the book to this stage. I am already planning the outline for the second volume. And beginning to research my Grandmother’s side of the family more thoroughly, aiming at another series of books, which will give me projects to work on well into the future.

I was pleasantly surprised by a friendly missive from a distant relative, on my Granny’s side, who I did not know existed. There are gaps in my research! I have been corresponding with my newly found cousins, who live out west, where their branch of the family headed three generations ago. They are warm, friendly people, such a pleasure to meet them.

My days here at Mist Cottage pass quickly and peacefully. It has been many years since I have been this busy, and since I have been allowed by the universe to have so much of Attila’s company. It still feels as if we are on an extended vacation. I imagine that feeling will pass, the “honeymoon” phase of our new life will slowly evolve into a quiet, low-key existence. As my little sister is fond of saying, “it’s all good”.

Radon Gas

For the last five years I have wondered about radon gas in the basement at Mist Cottage, do we have a problem here? Since we did not live here, and we were supporting two homes, I took no action. This past week a missive arrived from the Canadian government, reminding people to test their homes for radon gas, as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in this country. I decided that it is time to test the house, and if necessary take steps to correct any issues. To that end I found a link for a radon gas detection device at the Canadian Lung Association web site, and ordered the item. It has shipped, I got notice yesterday, so it should arrive in the mail soon. We don’t spend a lot of time in our basement, it is a large storage closet/laundry room/utility room; but it won’t hurt to know where we stand on radon gas.

Since it is such a problem for long-term health, I think our Canadian, and/or Provincial governments would be well advised to step in and require a testing program for all newly built homes, and offer the testing free to homeowners in existing homes, and to people who live in basement apartments. If the country wants to reduce health care usage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We offer free flu shots here, why not free radon gas testing?

Worldly Distractions


Mostly Cloudy
Date: 6:00 AM EST Friday 6 November 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.7°C
Dewpoint: 11.4°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: SSE 9 km/h


“Charity sees the need not the cause.”
German Proverb

Therein lies the problem.

Universally Shared

A Personal Opinion

I may be the only person in Canada who did not care for Peter Gzowski, a much lauded CBC host.

Actually, I only listened to him once, so my assessment may have been spurious, but it might not have been.

Since my feelings about Mr. Gzowski would have absolutely no impact on him, or his admirers, there was no reason to research the issue more thoroughly. Nor would there ever be an opportunity, as I would never have a face-to-face interaction with the man. If the face-to-face interaction were to have taken place, I would have suspended disbelief in him, then and there, in order to see clearly what he was, and was not.

What I listened to was his interview on the subject of Autism, with Donna Williams, who impressed me deeply, and permanently. Her direct intensity lit the day, and continues to light some very dark corners of the universe.

The interview with Peter Gzowski was done under the auspices of CBC radio. Ms. Williams was intelligent, honest, brilliant in fact.

She says on her web site: “He was the voice of Canada.” and “I was taken to CBS radio station to meet with a journalist, Peter Gzowski. He was a toasty man, a voice like an open fire, a manner like a children’s pediatrician. He was rustic, real, and I called him a Gadoodleborger, my term for one who makes bridges between worlds and can be entrusted as a gatekeeper between them, a translator… Clearly Peter could tame cats, he could speak cat, and he enticed me to finish the interview in free fall, going right off the page and into a taped discussion.” I got the impression, from her description of the experience, that she enjoyed the encounter, and respected Mr. Gzowski; which increased my admiration for her.

Although I found the interview compelling, and their chemistry together amazing, Mr. Gzowski did not impress me. As far as I was concerned he was out of his league, Donna Williams was a real, three dimensional human being with integrity, and in my opinion, he was not.

My feelings were based on a single question he asked. I do not remember the specifics of the question, and have searched the web, to no avail, for transcripts of the interview so that I could point out the context and exact words that Mr. Gzowski spoke, that disappointed me so deeply.

The question was asked, and Donna William’s replied with respect, complete confidence, and a deep calm. She told Mr. Gzowski directly, that it had been agreed that he would not ask that question. She did not answer it, and the interview walked around the incident without faltering and continued with the same great chemistry going on between them.

I felt the positive energy continued because of Ms. Williams incredible aplomb, and Mr. Gzowski’s willingness to let go of his “little” transgression and move on.

I was appalled by the transgression. Mr. Gzowski had attempted to invade a personal boundary, and accepted gracefully that he had been halted in that transgression. Ms. Williams was strong enough, and direct enough, to be gentle and insistent in repelling the transgression. But I felt it should never have been attempted in the first place. I still feel it was disrespectful of a trust entered into by both parties before the interview. I admired Ms. Williams for repelling it with grace and compassion, and I was disappointed with Mr. Gzowski, who either didn’t realize he was transgressing a boundary, or realized it, and did it anyway. In my opinion it was a dishonourable thing to do. I never listened to him again.

So many of my friends loved Mr. Gzowski, and I have understood why. For me though, an undeclared and unapologetic transgression of trust will colour everything a person offers to the world.

I celebrate the woman who seamlessly repelled that transgression, and continued on with good will, to make a success of that interview. It may have been the only time he ever did that, and I happened to hear it. Or, possibly, he may have done it other times, to people with less inner strength and confidence than Ms. Williams, who went along with it seamlessly, answering the inappropriate question, accepting the breach as the price for media attention. I will never know.

The last Christmas gift I ever bought for my dear friend Patrick Logier, who was a great admirer of Mr. Gzowski, was one of Mr. Gzowski’s books, in spite of my personal opinion of Mr. Gzowski. I have always accepted that my standard of what constitutes an admirable person is not universally shared.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 30 October 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 5.4°C
Dewpoint: -1.1°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: NW 18 gust 28 km/h


“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
121 AD – 180 AD