The Bright Side of Life

Attila and I are having a good laugh this morning. I noticed that he had cleaned the toilet. We both hate the job, I usually break down and do it. But I’ve been working a lot since Christmas, and just haven’t managed to make the time. It is an easy job to postpone.

As I was thanking Attila for getting the job done, a thought occurred to me. The only circumstance where we might feel uncomfortable about an unclean toilet is in the event that we received company. We began to discuss when we last had visitors. It was last fall sometime, Harriet and Hogan dropped by for an hour or so on their way home from their cottage. We aren’t sure though just when, but it was last fall. The kids haven’t been to visit since 2011.

We burst out laughing! We dodged that bullet, no visitors, no worries about an unclean toilet. “Always look at the bright side of life.” [Monty Python, The Life of Brian]

We both worked yesterday, and also managed to squeeze in a trip to the nearby town to do our banking, pick up our prescriptions, and do a bit of grocery shopping. Although we have had snow almost every day, the roads are clear and dry.

Fresh Canadian mushrooms and USA strawberries were both on sale. They have been cleaned and sliced and arranged on the dehydrator trays, and will dry during the night while the hydro is less expensive. The strawberries smell divine!

Today, Sunday, is our “weekend”. Attila has prepared refried beans for this week’s lunches, and will be whipping up some baked falafels for quick and easy meals after work. At Christmas Terra gave us the turkey carcass from her turkey dinner, which we froze immediately; today it becomes turkey soup. I love Attila’s turkey soup.

I have baked a fruit and nut loaf for Attila’s snacks, and have yet to decide what other delight to bake. Perhaps I will make some homemade biscuits to eat with Attila’s turkey soup tonight.

I think that cooking for oneself, from scratch, improves mental health. I know it improves physical health. It is a win/win activity.

Having a post secondary educational background in human nutrition, I am sometimes shocked at the proliferation of misinformation that circulates on the web. Recently a friend posted someone’s article about the importance of diet in battling cancer. Sounds plausible. I read on. The article was written by an entrepreneur who is selling “health” products. That was the first warning bell. The article stated that “sugar” “feeds” cancer and should not be consumed. No references, no citations, just the statement of an unsupported “fact”. That was warning bell number two. Warning bell number three came in the next paragraph, where the author suggests eating molasses and maple syrup. Molasses and maple syrup [I eat both] are sugar; the stuff the author just warned readers not to eat. The author was unaware of the contradiction. I stopped reading. In my opinion the author is just another self-proclaimed “expert” trying to make a buck.

Here are some reliable sources offering information about sugars:—FAQs.aspx

Sugar is a treat. Treats are not part of a healthy diet, they are something you indulge in. I indulge in treats. I eat sugar, primarily maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses. I don’t kid myself though, and I restrict the amount of sugar I eat.

A healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise, healthy relationships, and a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, with moderate amounts of other foods.

This is reliable advice on choosing a healthy diet.

Worldly Distractions


-8 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -8.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.8°C
Humidity: 69 %
Wind: WNW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -15


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
1892 – 1973

Amen to that!


February is fleeing. The landscape speaks the language of change; the snow is drifting down, the pines are swaying. Winter is beautiful.

This is very first February, since we moved to the country, that I have not been visited upon by cabin fever. How wonderful it is!

The second night of drying did not completely dry the lime slices. Squeezing them between my fingers produces a thick, sticky, tasty juice. I will run them through the dehydrator again today, as the weekend rates for hydro are off-peak. I am not keen to try citrus fruits again in the dehydrator. I think it does a very poor job of it. Unless I find that I cannot do without the final product, I will not be dehydrating citrus again.

Domestic food preparation is something that I have been interested since my days at Ryerson University. The quality of education in the field of human nutrition was excellent at that time.

I have always believed that the only honourable way to make one’s way through the world is to attend to one’s own needs, including food preparation. I am not really comfortable having people serve me, it just feels wrong. Unless, of course, it is my birthday, and the serving is being done by loving friends and/or relatives; then it just feels wonderful, exactly like something I’d like to reciprocate. And when I am very ill, it is nice to have someone to watch over me, as I have done without hesitation for others.

On the subject of food and nutrition, here are a few of my temporary posts to Facebook. (In a recent post I explained how I am deleting everything shortly after liking, sharing or commenting. So far so good.)


Part of my education was in Nutrition at Ryerson University. What people eat has always shocked me, but I do understand the appeal of JUNK. My particular weakness is sugary chocolate and potato chips. I resist, eating chocolate only on special occasions. But it is “in my face” a lot of the time, and it takes a conscious effort to avoid it.

I’ve been following a fellows blog since 1996, and he has been eating in restaurants almost daily for the last few decades. His health is so poor at this point that he is constantly receiving medical care. And yet, he is still eating at restaurants on an almost daily basis. He is an intelligent fellow, but seemingly not about everything. The information on eating for health is easily accessible, it isn’t a “lunatic fringe” plot.

Eating a healthy diet MATTERS! We can choose what we eat.

What the World Eats…

I like the examples where most of the food is fresh, and consists of ingredients. That is how we ate in Ontario when I was a child. The plastic explosion surrounding high value-added foods is a big step backward for the species, in my opinion.

This morning I finally had a chance to complete the organization of my genealogical source materials. What a job! Next comes the organization of the references within the database, getting it ready for eventual printing. That is an even bigger job, as I anticipate thousands and thousands of references are needed. These are primary sources researched over a period of close to 17 years. Focus is one of my strong points.

Attila has arrived home from work, and so we begin our one day “weekend”. He will get to sleep in tomorrow morning, and catch up with all those little things that needed more time than the week allowed.

First, lunch! Cauliflower with cheese sauce is one of our favourite lunches; mostly vegetable, low in fat, and very tasty.

Second on the agenda is to shovel off the deck for the second time in two weeks. It is above freezing today and so the snow on the metal roof has come down in a great bank, which will be very difficult to shift when it freezes solid again. No time like the present to take care of it.

I am chef tonight. The menu includes coconut-lime baked fish (I haven’t made up the recipe yet!), lime flavoured basmati rice and a side of mixed peppers and asparagus.

Added Note:
We just finished eating the coconut lime baked fish, mouthwatering! I made up my own recipe.
– preheated the oven to 375F
– greased a glass baking dish
– dredged the fillets (we used haddock today) in a mixture of 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, a dash of salt, and and a dash of pepper, then placed the fillets in a single layer in the baking dish
– to a glass jar added 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp of shredded desiccated coconut and a dash of salt, then I screwed on the lid on and gave it a good shake
– poured the oil and lime mixture on top of the fish
– baked for 20 minutes, uncovered
Served with rice and vegetable side of peppers and asparagus. Heaven!

Worldly Distractions


1 °C
Condition: Precipitation
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: 0.8°C
Dewpoint: -1.0°C
Humidity: 88 %
Wind: S 15 km/h


“Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.”
5 BC – 65 AD

[Something the meek can accomplish.]