A Good List

It has been four weeks today, since Attila announced the end of our marriage, the emotional aspect of our marriage, but not the legal, not yet, that is in a holding pattern.

What a ride.

So far a fairly workable holding pattern has been established, where we live separate lives, interacting with increasingly few of our old routines. Civility and consideration prevail. This has its pros and cons. There is no good choice as to how this marriage deconstructs, so I am making a series of small controlled decisions, choosing among the hard and sad choices as they come up. They are coming up a lot, life is hard.

I cycle through all the stages of grief, to varying degrees, in various orders, depending on the particular circumstance of a given day.

I am getting through this.

Next week I have two of my own activities planned, and one outing with Attila planned. I am an outsider everywhere, in this place of small towns and tiny cities, and it takes a long time for an outsider to be inside anything, so patience and fortitude are required. Eventually something will take root, somewhere, probably in an unexpected circumstance. I have to keep going so that I run into that unexpected circumstance.

So that is the state of my life at present.

I had some kind of bug, and my gastrointestinal system was in rebellion. It was an uncomfortable night, but I did manage to get about five hours sleep, so really it wasn’t so bad. I am feeling better this morning.

Terra stopped by with Sunny and Sky for a short but delightful visit yesterday evening. Her pregnancy appears to be going well, the Grandbaby is due in July. Luna called this morning for a chat while en route to Elf’s diving lessons, Tink’s gymnastics lessons, all three, Imp, Elf, and Tink, in the car chatting up a storm on speaker phone. All six Grandbabies are well and happy.

Today I washed and dried a set of sheets, after having changed out the bedding. I’ve read a bit, crocheted a bit, puttered a bit around the house. Attila and I went grocery shopping.

This afternoon I will work on genealogy, my web site update, read for a bit, and write in my paper journal. This evening Attila and I will watch a movie over dinner. Attila has begun cooking a weekly Saturday feast for himself, foods I cannot and/or would not eat, full of sodium and sugar and cholesterol, although he continues to avoid my allergen. I treat myself to a slice of pizza, and plan the whole day’s menu around it, reducing sodium, sugar and cholesterol, so that I can eat my slice without concern for having overdone things.

The vacant house next door has sold. We saw two vehicles in the driveway last night, and observed a millennial couple arrive back in one of the vehicles this morning, Tim Hortons paper coffee cups in hand. Attila says that where he works many people show up in the morning with two paper cups of Tim Hortons coffee, around $4 worth, that is $20 a week for morning coffee, and about $1000 a year. The last millennial couple who lived next door and who lost the house to the bank, there have been two such couples since we bought Mist Cottage, didn’t make their mortgage payments, but they did find the funds for Tim Hortons coffee, daily. Their priorities are much different than mine. I find it odd what some people regard as a necessity of life. Coffee above shelter… something is wrong there.

What cheerful note can I end my visit here with? I am healthy. I have food, and shelter. I am loved. I am making fewer spelling mistakes as I write these entries. A good list!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EST Saturday 27 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.4°C
Dew point: -1.6°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: SSW 20 gust 29 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“When one can hear people moving, one does not so much mind, about one’s fears.”
Ann Radcliffe
1764 – 1823

High Wind

The wind is high today. I can feel a breeze coming in at one corner of the new widow in the back bedroom, which means the wind has given us a gift, the gift of knowledge. Attila will need to fix that opening to the great outdoors, not that we know it is there.

The clouds are moving quickly across the sky. I am watching them parade in and out of sight, as I gaze out the living room window. My perspective has changed. This morning I moved the furniture around, so that my chair no longer faces the front of the house, it now faces the side of the house. This gives me a view of the sky, and the branches of the neighbours ash tree, the one of the few trees that escaped their scourge. The sun no longer shines in my eyes all morning, which is an advantage. I miss seeing the pine bough’s graceful sway, in windy weather, but one cannot have everything.

Our neighbours, the young couple with two boys, are gone. Last April they told us they were spending the summer in a trailer park, and that they were renting the main floor of the house out temporarily while they were gone. The husbands brother was going to continue living in the house, in the basement. All through late September and October there was activity next door. First the tenant moved out. Then the brother in the basement began to move his belongings out, with his father’s help and his father’s vehicle. Then the house fell silent, and a few days later the property management notices went onto the widows, the house had been repossessed. Oh how I wish they had lost the house before they cut down so many of the beautiful trees on the property, probably for firewood. I really miss the flowering crab tree they destroyed, it provided shade, lovely spring aromas when the blossoms came out, bird song all summer long, and privacy. They stripped the property of its many of its charms. They missed the ash tree, probably because it is so large that taking it down would have been a very big job, requiring a permit.

Who knows what will happen next with the house next door. We are hoping that its luck changes. The couple who owned it when we moved in sold it as soon as we painted the exterior of our house. The couple who bought it lost it to the bank. The next couple who bought have now also lost it to the bank. Each successive owner has further diminshed the house, making unwise choices in landscaping, and interior renovations that were not completed. The house needs someone to love it.

On Saturday morning, when Attila and I were out picking up the materials needed for the window replacement, we stopped in at the drug store to pick up his prescription. The drug store offered flu shots. I took a chance and talked to the druggist, about my allergen. While we waited he made some calls and could tell me what non-medicinal ingredients were in the shot, so that we determined that I could have the shot. So Attila and I both had our annual flu shot. I am going to take all my prescriptions to this drug store in future, it is a Rexall Drug Store. Neither of us has had any reaction at all to the shots.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Monday 30 October 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 9.5°C
Dew point: 1.8°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: WSW 35 gust 60 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.”
Peter Ustinov
1921 – 2004

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

Yes… No… Yes…

My appointment with the physiotherapist at the hospital has been cancelled. I got a letter today with a copy of the appointment, and a handwritten note that the appointment had been scheduled in error. I have no idea at all what that is about. The note also said that I would be hearing from the office of an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the hospital. This is a different Orthopaedic Surgeon than the one whose office called the country house and left a message. What a muddle! They have my name though, it will be just a matter of time before they sort themselves out and get around to telling me what is going on.

My knee is holding steady, no pain unless I stand for more than ten minutes, or try to walk about for more than five minutes. My daily walks are still on hold.

We had a mini-blizzard last night, here at the little house in the city. It highlighted just why I like it so much in this neighbourhood. Last night, after the snow abated a bit, I heard a noise outside, and peeked out the curtains to see my neighbour across the street using his snowblower to clear our driveway. Then this morning, the plough went by and left a two foot high, four foot deep, snow bank across the end of the driveway. I had my breakfast, then headed out the door with the snow shovel. I was making a bit of progress, when I stopped to say hello to the new neighbours next door. They are a young couple, and were out shovelling their driveway together. The next thing I knew they were both in my driveway helping me! The fellow quickly took care of the snowbank across the end of the driveway, and they both worked to clear the entire drive, including the snow that came off Tank! He even shovelled a path to the front door!

People here are friendly, and help each other when they can. Such a contrast between here, and the neighbourhood at the country house. We have one good neighbour at the country house, he will clear the end of the driveway for Attila after a snow storm, with his little tractor, so that Attila can get off the road when he comes home for lunch. The other neighbours, permanent and seasonal, well…

When Attila was getting ready to drive down on his last visit, a group of young men knocked on the door. This is pretty shocking, because I think we have only had about four people knock on our door in the last ten years. Anyway, they had come to the cottage across the street, for the weekend, and since the driveway was covered with six feet of packed snow, they had parked in an open area in front of one of the other unoccupied cottages. I guess our second permanent neighbour on our street took offence, and approached them aggressively, so much so that there was almost a fist fight. The upshot was that they knocked on our door, and asked Attila if they could park in our driveway. Attila told them that since he was leaving, they were quite welcome to park there for the weekend, which they did. The conflict they had with our second permanent neighbour is just one of many he has initiated with seasonal people. The permanent neighbour’s obvious intolerance for seasonal property owners is a natural reaction, it comes from so many seasonal people being rude, aggressive, and inconsiderate to the local population.

So, here we are, approaching the end of January! Two more months of full-on winter at the country house. We don’t expect to see any serious signs of snow melting or the arrival of spring there, until well into April. It will be interesting to see how early spring arrives here at the little house in the city!

Worldly Distractions


The Little House in the City
-10°C (14F)
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 30 January 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -9.8°C
Dewpoint: -16.8°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: NNW 27 km/h
Wind Chill: -19 (-2.2F)

The Country House
-14°C (-6.8F)
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 30 January 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 15 km
Temperature: -14.4°C
Dewpoint: -21.0°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: NW 24 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -24 (-11.2F)


“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
Thomas A. Edison
1847 – 1931