The Terrarium

This morning arrived early for me, 5:00 a.m. I was up and about, puttering, sitting at the kitchen table with my copy of the Five Roses Cookbook, just like my Granny’s. Auntie Mame and I were chatting yesterday about that cookbook, she began with it when she was nine years old, and carried on to become a Chef. I began with it by my Granny’s side, as she used it all during my childhood. It was propped up on the kitchen table in Granny’s kitchen, the table was the only working surface in the kitchen, and beside it the wood stove burned happily, waiting for our creations.

Attila arose hours later, around 9:00 a.m., he needs much more sleep than I do, and usually uses the weekends to catch up after a week of working. As we chatted, sitting on our easy chairs, basking in the morning sun, I glanced at the living room windows to see a big fat black fly crawling across the glass on the inside of the storm window.

I said to Attila, “You know when the weather is warming when you see flies between the window and the storm window!”

Attila laughed and said, “Ah, yes, our terrarium!”

These old windows are the originals, which are single pane glass, with storm windows screwed onto the exterior frame. In warmer weather this space between the glass panes is filled with insects, flies, wasps, lady bugs. They leave excrement on the glass, they do not find their way out again, and their bodies pile up on the window sill below. We would love to replace these old windows, but the cost is beyond us at the moment. I can’t help but think the house would be easier to heat if we could manage new, energy efficient windows, not to mention the improvement in aesthetics. But they are what they are, home sweet home. And, I would choose windows that open, as these single pane windows do not.

The weekend looks like it is going to be sunny and mild, what a treat! Here in Ontario Monday is a statutory holiday, Family Day. Attila already has a shopping spree planned, he finds shopping for food relaxing and satisfying. His focus is on economy, so that he follows points systems. I have to admit he gets the most out of these systems, as he enjoys numbers. I leave it to him and tag along, sometimes choosing something I need to purchase, which isn’t very often, he has the basics covered. Most of my shopping is online because most of the things I decide to purchase are unusual, and not available locally. It is a good combination of shopping strategies, it works for us.

Twenty three years ago today we moved into our first house together. The day was much like today, warm and it felt like spring. The snow had disappeared, and walking was a pleasure. The apartment we had been living in had a problem with the water, so that we had been without water for a week by the time our possession day for the house came along. We didn’t have a vehicle, or anyone who would help us, but we had a large children’s wagon. That first day we loaded towels, toiletries, clean clothes, and food into the wagon, then walked the two or three miles to the our new house. The first thing we did was to bath, the girls first, then me, then Attila. Then we had a lovely picnic on the living room floor. We moved in the next day.

Our first visit to the new house was unforgettable, and not just for us. We enjoyed ourselves, and loved the house. Most of our neighbours found us a bit bizarre, coming to the house with our belongings in a wagon, and most had a sense of humour about it. One did not, and she had a son around Terra’s age. She was not a nice person and said some derogatory things about me, Attila, and our obvious financial state. Terra was very sensitive to this. The woman continued to refer to me as “that woman”, and eventually I didn’t let Terra go to her house to play with her so, it was such a negative environment. We did notice though, for all her airs, the woman’s husband left her and her children, she didn’t pay her mortgage and had to move out of the neighbourhood. I didn’t miss her at all. Other than her, we had great neighbours!

This morning I decided I wanted my hair trimmed. I had cut it about an inch long all over last year, and it has been behaving badly for the last few months. I am growing out the bangs, which I haven’t done since I was in my early 20s. I found a barber shop in a nearby city that was willing to cut women’s hair for the same price as they cut men’s hair, $11. I can afford $11. I liked the place! There were four barbers, one male, three female. All of them took time with the people they were helping, and did a fine job, even on me. I decided just to trim the back of my hair, I can always have bangs cut again at a later date, but first I want to see how they look once they are grown out, and if I like wearing my hair that way.

We decided to drop in the Habitat Store on our way back home. We found not one thing we needed. There were some lovely things there, but we have no more room at home. It was an enjoyable browse. Then we visited the grocery store where Attila had big plans for points. Having loaded up with needful things and points, we headed home with the loot, to unpack it and put it away.

Back at home much of the snow on the front lawn had melted, the grass was showing in some places, where it had been covered with snow when we left this morning.

Attila is now preparing a fish dinner, including a green salad and a stir fry. I am back to my puttering ways. And of course, spending some time before the mirror assessing and admiring my new hair cut!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EST Saturday 18 February 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.5°C
Dew point: 1.4°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 28 gust 46 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.”
Samuel Johnson
1709 – 1784

Be yourself, no one else is any good at it.

Not Exact

I moved the furniture around in the living room today, so that sitting in my chair I face the living room windows. Today is sunny and mild, a lovely day for November. My view is of blue sky, tree tops, insects and birds. The birds love the trees in our front yard, there are lots of seeds for them to eat. The insects are caught between the single pane glass windows, and the storm windows; flies and wasps crawl up and down the glass, occasionally taking wing to circle hopefully in the small space between the glass panes. They leave droppings all over the glass, usually around the edges, near the frame, and eventually die and fall to the sill, to join the previous generations of insects who succeeded in entering and failed to exit.

The birds love the red “berries” on the ornamental tree in the front yard. They also like to process those “berries” and leave us with the remains of the day. The front step and walkway are covered with wet black droppings. I love having the birds around, so the mess is a small price to pay for enjoying the company of birds. Our car wears polka dots this time of year.

Medicine is not an exact science. Every doctor I have had the pleasure of interacting with acknowledges this in their own way. What works for one person does not work for another. The best science can come up with are averages, probabilities, and general trends, with few exceptions.

My blood pressure continues to drop towards normal levels. It might have been the apple cider vinegar concoction that is bringing my blood pressure down, there is no way to know with certainty. To check my logic, I played a little game and imagined the solutions were switched. If I had been using the apple cider vinegar/honey mixture for weeks and weeks with no apparent change in my blood pressure levels, and then taken a prescribed pill to reduce the levels, after which my blood pressure levels came down, would I have attributed the change to the affects of the medication. The answer is yes, I would have credited the medication, and I know a doctor would have too, because when I first went on medication for high blood pressure the prescribed pill worked, and the doctor was satisfied that the problem was solved with the medication. So I ask myself, why place any doubt on a home remedy that has behaved exactly as prescribed medications have done in similar circumstances in the past? I will continue to take the medication prescribed by the Dr. at the walk-in clinic, as it may be working in tandem with the apple cider vinegar/honey concoction. When my blood pressure stabilizes at an acceptable level I will do further cautious experiments with the medication, trying to lower to dosage.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Wednesday 2 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 14.6°C
Dew point: 12.3°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Visibility: 19 km


“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer
1904 – 1991