Plastic Cards

Plastic cards, a make work program.

Hours of concentration were required to assess the gift card situation here. For instance, the $100 gift card, received as a bonus when the dishwasher was purchased, has a balance of $6.42 remaining. Attempts to use it as a partial payment have been made at over a dozen retail establishments. All attempts met with rejection. Getting this particular gift card out of the wallet requires a new strategy. It seems simple enough, just use the card for a purchase for $6.42, or less. This strategy demands arithmetical calculations, to add the sales tax to an item in order to hit the target price, or below. So much bother, and yet the card still sits there in my wallet, waiting patiently for me to get my act together.

And then there are the points cards for gasoline. They accumulate, sitting in a pile, identical but for the small code numbers on the back of the cards. Some are empty, some have discounts remaining on them. It takes a telephone call and a pad of stickies to get them sorted out. Eventually, with effort, they can be whittled down to just two discount cards, one for me, one for Attila; more work.

It was a relief to find that the McDonalds card was empty, no funds to spend. I can’t eat anything at McDonald’s anymore, they have warnings about cross-contamination of allergens in their offerings. Russian Roulette is not a game I enjoy playing.

There are still a few outstanding issues with cards, and it is very tempting just to toss them in the trash. Throwing a few dollars in the trash, however, is unthinkable in our household! Every penny counts. If we are going to throw money away we will do it for love or pleasure, but not convenience.

Walmart offers a photo print service. This morning I ordered a print of a photograph, just to assess the quality of their product. It is very simple to order online, and pick up the finished product the next day at the chosen Walmart store. It ended up that the photo was ready for pickup today, that was fast.

An interesting tool is a drain cleaner. A price comparison revealed shocking results! Our local Home Depot sells the cleaner for $2.88, and the first such product that comes up on the search at is $25.80. What a joke! did have some less expensive offerings, as low as $5.91, which is twice the price of the the one at Home Depot, with shipping to pay on top of that. prices are insane. We will wait until our next visit to Home Depot and pick one up at that time, there is no urgent need for it.

I spent time learning to cast the first stitches with the crochet hook today. It was easier than yesterday, but I can see that the tension is going to be an issue for me. I have yet to find a way to hold the yarn to get an even tension, and thereby an even stitch. I have tried some of the suggested methods that I found online, but I will have to keep trying. I don’t have fine motor control in my right hand, so it will take me some time to get this figured out, a work around will be found eventually. Practising was fun!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Tuesday 28 February 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 8.7°C
Dew point: 2.3°C
Humidity: 64% Wind:
E 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.”
Edgar Allan Poe
1809 – 1849

Out On The Town

To the south of us, on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., snow is falling, driving is banned in New York City, icy flood water is flowing through the streets in coastal areas. The storm is large, and very intrusive.

It is a wonder, here the sun shone all day, it was beautiful. It was cold, the wind had a real bite to it. We enjoyed the day, warm inside Mist Cottage, and warm when we bundled up to venture out for supplies.

I have been wearing my new knitted knee warmer constantly. I don’t know why it works so well. It could be that it makes my knee feel better because it was knitted just for me, by my Mom. It could be that the retained heat around my knee helps to relieve the pain of arthritis. Whatever the case may be, it works for me.

Attila and I went out on the town last night. It has been decades since we managed such a feat of leisure. We went out for dinner, at McDonalds, a restaurant that lists ALL the ingredients in their food, and offer great discount coupons from time to time. Then we headed over to the theatre to watch a movie, the tickets were inexpensive, but we felt like royalty, spending so much money on a discretionary activity. We enjoyed ourselves. We now have a familiar, pleasant outing to indulge in a few times each winter. We will be on the lookout for other outing possibilities.

Today we puttered. Several loads of laundry are festooned about the living room, drying to deliver lovely moist air. A trip to the grocery store was undertaken. I worked on the second volume of my genealogy book. This volume is much more challenging, as it includes people that I know, and will be of interest to many people who remember those described. The second volume will also include pictures and family stories, because the people are known. I am going over all the research details carefully to begin with. It is much more difficult to research more recent generations, as there are no available primary documents, much of the information has to be gathered by word of mouth.

The day flew by.

Attila is in the kitchen preparing a fish dinner. John Prine is serenading us over the computer speakers. Three loaves of freshly baked break sit on the counter, two of them destined for the freezer. It was not an exciting day, but it was a good one.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Saturday 23 January 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -8.4°C
Dewpoint: -15.7°C
Humidity: 56%
Wind: NNE 19 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


“Please accept my resignation, I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”
Groucho Marx, What’s My Line, Mystery Guest, April 23, 1967

Little Things

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On Wednesday Terra and I planned a shopping trip to the city. I drove out to her place, wanting to see the new siding Lares put up this summer, and also try out the new patio chairs they just purchased for their verandah. They got a steal of a deal on those chairs, so comfortable! The verandah is wonderful, it overlooks a bay of Lake Ontario, the view is beautiful. Terra and I never did tear ourselves away from the view and our visiting, to go shopping. She showed me her garden, where everything is lush and green. After picking fresh spinach and kale and beets, she used her juicer to prepare vegetable juice for us. I stashed the beet greens, rescuing them from the compost heap where they were headed, to take home with me for my dinner. The juice was very good! She also prepared kale chips, and I have to say they were impressive, we both loved them. Lares, he did not care for them at all.

On my drive back home from Terra’s, I stopped at a roadside stand. The woman who has the stand is a hobby farmer, a sort of market gardener who puts her produce in the stand for passer’s by. I bought one huge heritage tomato, a zucchini, a green pepper, two garlic bulbs, and a quart of tiny new potatoes. The daily corn was gone, so she gave me two of the older cobs. When I got home I got busy, boiled the potatoes, boiled the beet greens, boiled the corn, and sat down to a veritable vegetable feast!

Thursday, Terra arrived at the little house, so that we could go shopping. It was a rainy day, so shopping seemed like a good option. The one goal I had for the day was to dispose of the old bathroom sink and faucet. That meant a visit to the Restore. There are two Restores equidistant from the house, in two nearby cities. Terra hated the parking lot at one of the Restores, so I assured her the other Restore, in the other city, had an accessible and roomy parking lot. So off we went, in my car, to drop off the sink and check out the items for sale at the Restore.

It turned out to be a good choice. Terra found baseboards for her entire living room, solid pine, for $5.00. I found a dusting device meant for blinds, which we have a lot of in the country house. The total bill was $8.00, and they accepted the sink for their stock. Our next stop was the Value Village. Most of the prices there are quite high, in my opinion, for items that are a little more than gently used. We did come away with some very nice items though. I found two bed sheets in excellent condition, to be steam cleaned when I get them back to the country house, and a Wedgewood Peter Rabbit coin bank for $3.99, which will be a lovely baby gift. Terra found a basket, a Christmas ornament, and a mirror. Quite a successful day of shopping, and we spent less than $20.00 between us.

Friday and Saturday, August 15 & 16, 2014

Friday, I looked in the mirror at the worst haircut I have ever paid for, and decided to do something about it. I looked at salon revues, picked a salon, made the call, and took the opening that had come up the same morning. I had enough time to eat my breakfast, get dressed and drive to the city. But I did get lost when I had to take a downtown detour. I drove in circles for a while, then stopped by one of the dump trucks on the construction site. I rolled down my window and shouted to the truck driver for directions. He was a long way up in that very large dump truck. A friendly fellow, he gave me a two sentence explanation of how to reach my destination, which I followed carefully, and arrived at my destination.

The new haircut is a huge improvement. The top was cut a little too short. My hair has to handled with caution, cutting it short is cutting it loose, it takes off in all directions. This time the short top layer is heading up on a space flight mission, elongating my head by several inches, not good. It isn’t perfect yet, but I am optimistic that by the time I get it cut again, it will be well on its way to being exactly what I want.

After leaving the hair salon, I was hungry, and had forgotten to bring food with me. The only two restaurants I have found that take responsibility for adequately identifying their ingredients, all of their ingredients, is McDonalds and Pizza Pizza. The McDonalds was close, so McDonalds it was. Since my “eating out” experiences are limited, I always enjoy McDonalds hamburgers, although so many people speak of them disparagingly. Luckily, I have learned to like what I can have.

After arriving home, it looked like rain. Being optimistic, the shop vac was dragged out of the garage, and the task of vacuuming the car was undertaken. The job was completed and it never did rain.

A quiet evening of reading and watching Netflix ensued. The sleeplessness has subsided, making for restful nights. Thus far, this has been a peaceful and productive visit.

Saturday was a quiet day, here at the little house. I called Attila as arranged, just after 6:00 a.m. Since neither of us is up to much, there was little to say. Attila is working, stacking firewood, cooking, eating, bathing, and sleeping… round and round he goes.

My existence at the little house is a bit more varied, I try to do something productive every day. Today the daughter of the neighbour across the street had a yard sale, I purchased two mugs, gave her three times what she asked, although we do not need them. She is trying to find the cash to buy a $300.00 used text book for one of her third year courses. It is an outrageous price for a used text book.

Her Mom observed that Attila and I have a difficult time keeping up with the lawn mowing, since we are seldom here this summer. I think it bothers the neighbours a bit, when we don’t keep up. She told me she will get her son to do the front yard, which is really very, very nice of her, and him! They have a birds eye view of our front yard, so I suppose it will also be nice for them, to look out over a nicely mown lawn. They will only be cutting the front yard, as I specifically asked her not to mow the back, since we have a double lot it would be a lot of work, and we can catch up with it when next Attila visits. I wish I could do it! But that old push lawn mower is just too much of a challenge for me. A new self-propelled lawn mower is under discussion.

I am searching for the mouse traps we bought a few years ago. Attila put them away when the mouse issues seemed to be solved, but who knows where, neither he nor I remember! The mice are back, coming in through the ceiling of the linen closet, which thankfully does not contain linens. It is being used as a tool closet, and the only thing the mice could find to chew on were my work gloves!

We will be looking at where the mice might be coming into the house, in order to block their entry. In the meantime, if I find the traps, I will set them, in hopes of catching the little fiends.

Another project I accomplished on Saturday was spraying another work shirt with permethrin. The work shirt I first sprayed for myself was actually Attila’s, which I mistakenly took for mine. I left that one with him, since he will be working outdoors with the firewood in the evenings, when the mosquitoes are fierce. I don’t need a mosquito proof work shirt at the little house, but it will be packed in the car and ready for use when I return home.

I also washed the interior of the car. It didn’t look that dirty to me, but the water was almost black when I was done, so I guess that tells the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Highway 11, Ontario, heading south towards North Bay. Trucks! Rock cuts! Caution! Beautiful!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Saturday 16 August 2014
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: 16.4°C
Dewpoint: 12.0°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: SW 17 gust 30 km/h


“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
Frank Tibolt