April Snow Showers

It was raining when I arose early this morning. The earth and things that grow in the earth needed the moisture, it was getting very dry. Shortly before 10:00 a.m. the rain turned to sleet, and then soon thereafter into snow. The snow melted on contact, there was no accumulation. The wind came up, and it was biting cold outside. By noon the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds, but it was still just above freezing. By the time Attila was awake and moving around the wind had died down and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Last Friday Attila split and transplanted three lilac bushes. The idea is to have them growing between our yard and view across the back neighbour’s yard out to the street on the other side. Attila also transplanted day lilies to a spot along the back fence, and prepared a sunny bed at the back of the yard for the Irises, which we transplanted from the front of the house when we had the perimeter of the basement dug up. We want to plant vegetables in the garden this year, so the Irises are being moved yet again. The snow and the rain were a welcome event, now all the transplants have had a good soaking in their new locations.

While grocery shopping Attila stopped to look at sweets. Oh dear, I have been neglecting him! I mentioned to him that I could bake him something sweet, and he readily opted for the home baked goodies. This afternoon I baked Blueberry Squares, one of Attila’s favourites.

My diet altered when I received the false diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease, and I have to say it altered for the better. I now keep containers of cooked rice, macaroni, peas and corn, and beans and carrots in the refrigerator. I eat one cup of vegetables mixed with a half a cup of either rice or macaroni. To this mixture I add two teaspoons of olive oil and either two tablespoons of Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, or two teaspoons of Roasted Garlic and Peppers herb mixture. I eat whatever combination suits my fancy for breakfast and lunch, so that I am eating two cups of vegetables every day, at a minimum. The olive oil is an important element of the dish, as it gives the meal lasting power, as fat digests slowly. Eventually I will try additional kinds of herbs or sauces. These ingredients make for quick and easy meals, and offer a lot of on-the-spot variations.

The Sweet Thai Chili Sauce that we have on hand contains Potassium Sorbate and glucose/fructose, both of which I have decided to avoid when possible. I have found a recipe to make my own Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, without any preservatives or glucose/fructose, and I am looking forward to giving it a try when the current supply is gone.

I love pastries, and the grocery store always has quite a selection. Attila and I were looking at the labels on the pastries today, they all contained glucose/fructose, paragraphs of chemicals, and the calorie count was shocking. I have decided that a Muesli bun, at 220 calories, with a little margarine and honey on it, will suit me just as well, be much lower in calories, have fewer chemicals in it, and be more nutritious than any of the pastries we saw in the store.

We are back to making our homemade pizza every once and a while, one large pizza will serve as two meals. I like to make the pizza for the night before we are to head for the Rideau Camp. The next evening, when we arrive home from the Camp, tired and ready for a meal, Attila makes a salad, and I heat up the pizza. Perfect.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 9:42 AM EDT Tuesday 26 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 11 km
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.9°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNE 31 gust 50 km/h
Wind Chill: -7

Quote

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin
1809 – 1882

Why the narrowness of greed might eventually die out in the human species, if we last long enough.

Attila Wore Shorts

Today was a statutory holiday in Ontario, Canada. Attila had the day off work.

We spent our two days, Sunday and Monday, at the little house in the city. There was much to do there. The lawn needed cutting. Luckily it had not grown to the ten inch height restriction set by the municipality. If the lawn grows taller than ten inches, the municipality will step in and cut it, and charge the homeowner $250. Clearly we are walking a fine line, trying to get to the little house often enough to keep the grass from growing to a ten inch height. Because I stayed at the little house through May and June, the height of grass growing season, we have been able to keep up with it this spring and summer.

Our neighbour hailed us as we were backing out of the driveway to stock up on supplies. She handed us the promised payment for the bed she purchased from us early last May. Wonderful! Clearly our new neighbours are as good as their word. Knowing this makes a difference.

Later we greeted another neighbour, enjoyed a chat in the front yard, and asked after his lovely wife, who is not feeling very well these days. They are a retired couple, and two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

Sunday was sunny and hot. Attila wore shorts. It was the first time this summer that he had the opportunity to dress casually. Six days a week he wears heavy construction overalls during the day. The rest of the time he wears bug protecting work clothes as he spends his evenings and Sunday’s chopping wood and working on the country house. What a pleasure it was to see him puttering at his own pace around the place yesterday, in his shorts. He was happy as a clam, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, picking green beans, and tomatoes, and zucchini, and basil from the garden. The scarlet runner beans are beautiful, and have produced quite a few beans. We are letting those beans mature to seed, for next years planting. They are so beautiful that we plan on planting them all along the fence line next summer. The scarlet runner bean seeds were costly to purchase, but well worth the initial investment. We could eat them, but not this year, this year we will focus on seeds for future planting.

Our pumpkin plants have literally run away from the garden bed we planted them in. They now reach well into the neighbour’s yard, so we cut them back in that direction. There are some blooms on them, but so far there are no pumpkins to be seen. The squash we planted along the fence line died, it came up, did not thrive, and perished in the dry spell over the last few weeks while we were away. We will try another location next year. The swiss chard is not doing well, it needed water. The rest of the garden has managed to do well despite the sparse water supply.

We planted borage for the bees, and it is doing very well. The nasturtiums, one of my favourites, are also doing very well. Even the lavender, for which I had lost hope, has thrived and flowered.

Saturday night, we transplanted a lilac in the backyard of the little house in the city. The original plant was a Mother’s Day gift from Luna and Terra, the first year we lived at the country house, where it was planted. In the spring Attila separated the suckers from the mother plant, and on Saturday night we brought one of them with us. We planted it where we can see it from the kitchen window. When I got up on Sunday morning and looked out the kitchen window, the area where the lilac was planted was shaded, but the lilac itself was bathed in single circle of bright sunshine. Mother nature has her ways of showing her approval. Such a little thing, so much joy.

Attila found a half a dozen small wild parsnip plants in the ditch in front of the house. They keep coming back. He carefully removed them all before he mowed. We will continue to plant clover in the ditch, at intervals, to try and keep the wild parsnip under control. The wild parsnip is everywhere around this area! There are fields choked with it. The sides of the roads are crowded with it. It skirts the edges of corn fields, of bean fields, of pastures. To go for a walk across a field now requires protective clothing. This is new. It is the third significant new outdoor hazard to develop in Ontario in my lifetime. The others are the spread of Giant Hogweed into the wild, and West Nile Virus which is now carried by some mosquitoes in Ontario. There may be more that I am not yet aware of!

For dinner, a large zucchini was halved, the seeds removed and the “boats” filled with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. These were covered with foil and baked. BBQ’d hamburgers on whole wheat buns were served on the side.

The tomatoes have suffered from the dry weather at the little house in the city, making the skins thick, but the taste is sweet and delicious. My breakfasts and lunches for the last two days consisted of rye toast with sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

The journey home was through the worst traffic we have encountered over the last five years of commuting to and from the little house in the city. Attila braved his way through it, stop, then go, then stop, then go, for several hours. Then we were clear of it. We didn’t mind much though, the flowing green bean fields, the waving yellow wheat fields, the distant lines of trees bending to the wind, so beautiful.

As we drove down our road, and turned into our driveway at the country house, we both thought that the house looked lovely and welcoming.

A federal election has been called in Canada, to take place on October 19, 2015. I almost dread all the hoopla. Attila and I know who we will vote for and why. We don’t need the political campaigning bombardment that is approaching.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Monday 3 August 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 19.9°C
Dewpoint: 17.3°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: WSW 14 gust 28 km/h

Quote

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Mahatma Gandhi