Turning Point

We expected February to bring some relief to our tight financial situation, and we have not been disappointed. Our bills can now be paid as they arrive, and we are even looking at putting away a few shekels to replenish our depleted safety net.

This month Attila received a small increase in his wages, he gained a benefits package, and I began to receive a small pension. We have by no means achieved affluence, but we are able to survive a bit more comfortably now.

My sister took a picture with her cell phone last night, of my Mom, and sent it along to me. Mom looks great, and I can see the relief in Mom’s eyes, that the treatments are almost over, next week will see the last of them.

A February Day. This was taken after the blizzard earlier in February. The tire hanging from our tree was there when we bought the house. We have left it there, and only altered it by drilling holes in the bottom of the tire so that water will drain away. The Grandbabies play on it a bit when they visit. It swings alone in the wind, waiting for attention, the rest of the time. We like it.
FeburaryDay2016

We had a terrible storm with freezing rain here yesterday but we were lucky in that it joined the earth in the form of slush, and not ice. The slush was almost three inches thick. A snow plow came by late in the day and scooped it into a great pile of slush across the end of the driveway. Attila shovelled that out this morning, as it is going down to -13C tonight, and everything out there will become hard and inanimate.

The slush after the freezing rain. I am waiting for this to disappear so that I can resume my daily walks!
FebuaryFreezingRain2016

I developed a very bad nosebleed just as Attila was leaving for work last night, and it took hours to get it under control. I managed to sleep through the night, but awoke to find it bleeding again, this time all over the bed and my night clothes. It bled off and on all day long. I think I have it stopped now, thank goodness. I am moving slowly though, as activity seems to trigger it. How every tiresome!

I have had a quiet day. After finally finishing my computer backup project yesterday, I decided to rearrange the computers to create an ergonomic work station for myself. I had been using the kitchen table, but the table is really too high for proper use of the keyboard, and the monitor of the laptop too low.

I moved the iMac, now only used for entertainment, to the top of a cabinet in the living room. The MacBook Air has taken over the computer desk where the iMac used to sit. The laptop now sits atop the elevated back section of the computer desk, where it is directly in front of my eyes. I setup a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to work with the laptop, and they rest on the keyboard tray, which is the proper height for my hands and arms. The bluetooth keyboard and mouse came with the iMac, and will work with any newish Apple computer. I am much more comfortable now, when I work for several hours at the computer.

It is very nice to have the MacBook Air off the kitchen table, it was in the way there, and I had move it in order to set the table to eat a meal.

Attila and I are beginning to think about how we might spend our one week vacation this summer. It has been many years since we have had vacation time in the summer, and there are so many activities to choose from! We are rich with possibilities.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Thursday 25 February 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 98.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 0.4°C
Dewpoint: -0.2°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: SW 5 km/h

Quote

“To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind and the heart – and to keep them in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love.”
Karl von Bonstetten

Bits of the Day

My day was uneventful, charmingly so.

What did I do today, hard to think really. Oh yes, I paid bills, and we have $56 left, which is a bit shocking, but it makes me very glad that the bills are indeed paid. Let’s see, I updated web sites and added security. Oh, and I found a few more third cousins while searching for a death record for their mother, which I did not find. I went for a walk in the rain, early in the morning, without a raincoat or a hat; it was grand. I drove into the city to visit the dentist to check on the work that had been done. And I picked peonies to sit in a mug on the windowsill. And I stored the new composter that I purchased yesterday in the garage, because I haven’t decided on just where to put it. Well, I am sure there are more, more little things that flow through a day, more things of no ultimate consequence, except that they accumulate into a pleasant, well spent bouquet of waking hours.

Peonies on the windowsill.
2015 jun 16 peonies

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Tuesday 16 June 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.0°C
Dewpoint: 16.2°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: NNE 19 gust 30 km/h
Humidex: 28

Quote

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,I am not there; I did not die.”
Mary Elizabeth Frye
1932

Mountains

Friday, April 24, 2015
Country House

Yesterday I woke up at 3:55 a.m., and did not go back to sleep. I was too excited to sleep, and had a lot to do!

The first thing I did was lie about in bed for an hour with Diesel. He loves cuddling up in the bed, lying next to me with his front legs draped over my arm. It would be the last of this shared morning ritual, at least for now, so I wanted it to be a good one.

At 4:55 a.m. I was up, wandering around, coffee cup in hand, making sure all the last minute things were tossed into boxes and lined up at the door. By 5:10 a.m. I had finished my coffee, eaten my breakfast, and started to load the car. By 5:38 a.m. I was setting off out of the driveway. Light was just beginning to filter into the sky. I drove for four hours, with one stop for fuel, two hours into the journey. At 9:38 a.m. I wheeled into the town near our country house, with the list of things Attila needed from town. By 11:00 a.m. I was home!

It started snowing as I headed north near the beginning of the trip. Sometimes it snowed hard, and sometimes it snowed wet, and sometimes it cleared up a bit. The road was wet and clear despite the snow, except for one stretch where it had accumulated on the road into a slushy mess. It was snowing when I got to the country house, it snowed last night, and it is snowing again today. Yikes!

I am too busy to notice the weather right now. The stack of backed up administrative paperwork is, well, it is staggering, it is a mountain. Yesterday I worked to organize it, I sorted it into piles. I also did things like activate my credit card, which had to be done from the telephone here at the country house. There were several missives in the mail that required that I go online to fill in forms, which I could not do from the little house because all the required reference documents are here at the country house.

Now to the good part of the day yesterday. Attila! He managed to come home for lunch, so that we didn’t have to wait until evening to see each other. I spent some time in the morning yesterday, cooking a rice and bean casserole for our lunch. So, at last, we were sitting across the table from one another eating beans! What can I tell you, it was one of life’s special moments.

Today I am at it again! Two of my clients had issues with their web sites, so I resolved the problems. I had to spend an hour or so on the line with their web hosts to get it sorted, it helps so much that they have authorized me to work on their accounts, I can accomplish a lot more when I don’t keep having to seek permission to do things with their accounts. Sometimes these little issues seem like a big deal to people if they are not familiar with how the sites work. Luckily the fixes were simple, quick and easy. Everyone is happy!

Yesterday I sorted the paperwork that was here at the country house. Today I was hoping to sort the paperwork I brought back with me, but it doesn’t look like I am going to get that far, at least not today!

Laundry! Over the last two weeks I saved my dirty laundry for the country house, where we have a washer and dryer of our own. I have been doing laundry since yesterday afternoon, and I am not done yet! The drying rack is at the little house in the city, as I needed it down there. I washed my laundry at the laundromat all winter, and hung it up to dry in the house. I waited with these last loads though, to come home to the country house. I don’t like laundromats. I have met some lovely people there, but then I have also had to spend time around people I didn’t want to make eye contact with. Attila compares laundromats to sleazy bars, full of unhappy people. He has a point. But only to a point, because after all, I was there!

Today was bill paying day, and Attila and I are very happy that the financial crunch came, and the financial crunch went. We paid back the money we robbed from Peter to pay Paul. Now Peter and Paul are both happy. It works for everyone!

As I am sorting paperwork, cooking, doing laundry, sitting and talking to Mist, I am also getting distracted by computer work that needs to be done. I just realized that Google hits my old site files first, and has decided not index this site because the original journal was hand coded html, created long before cell phone use was common. I’ll have to change that, I have a few ideas, but I won’t be trying implement anything until after the country house goes on the market.

I also found a better program to handle the book I am currently writing, and have purchased it and downloaded it. I want to play with it now! But the paperwork and the cleaning have claimed my time, for now at least.

The house is not ready to go on the market. It is a lot closer than it was when I left to stay at the little house for the winter. Attila replaced the baseboards in the family room, and it is a big improvement. Other than the bathroom floor replacement, and a few little maintenance jobs, we are down to cleaning. Heating with wood is a messy business, we have a lot of cleaning to do!

We hope that by the end of next week we will have progressed far enough to bring in the realtors for evaluations. Then we will need to chose a realtor, pick a price, and get the sign up at the end of the driveway.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 24 April 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.7°C
Dewpoint: -7.9°C
Humidity: 49%
Wind: WNW 26 km/h

Quote

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”
Booker T. Washington
1856 – 1915

[It seems to me that big business and politicians believe in talking up while pushing down.]

Ladybugs and Bills

Friday, March 6, 2015, Little House in the City

With the new warmth there is a soft falling snow. The cold snap is over, and the sunny skies, that were frozen into place at dawn this morning, have yielded to a soft greying of the day.

This morning I paid a few bills, and Attila and I pondered over our “cash flow”. The purchase of the camp lot, and a new used vehicle, Tank, last year has caught up with us. In addition, Attila is having some rather costly dental work performed. It is long overdue, the dental work, and cannot be postponed any longer. It is touch and go, whether we can manage to pay all the bills now that the crunch has arrived. If we can’t, well then we will borrow from Peter to pay Paul, as we have in the past. We have our fingers crossed that it will not come to that, and our income will stretch far enough to break even by the end of April. It is a good thing I am canning beans, as we will be eating a lot of them! Not a hardship in our book.

I continue to kill ladybugs in the dining area of the kitchen. Every day there are at least a half a dozen of them, crawling on the window, the dining table, the ceiling. Sometimes I see them, and sometimes Diesel finds them. I always know he has a line on a bug, as he sits quietly on the floor, alert and staring at the floor. He doesn’t seem to mind at all that I come along and remove the bug. We are a good team when it comes to hunting bugs.

Mist is doing very well at the country house. Attila brings her to the computer screen where I wave at her and say hello. She is stone deaf and cannot hear me talking to her, she just sees me waving and smiling. She stares at me for a few seconds, then looks down, and wants down! On this end, Diesel can hear her meowing, and he runs around looking for her. He will not look at the computer screen, which he regards as his arch rival. If I am interacting with Attila on the computer, you will be sure to find Diesel ensconced on my lap, front legs extended up my chest, paws on either side of my face, gently meowing for attention.

Attila is planning a visit to the little house in the city. The weather looks passable, so he may arrive tonight. It will be wonderful to see him! We were last together on Family Day, February 16, 2015. He has one of his rare Saturdays off tomorrow, so he is taking advantage of it. We have no idea when his next Saturday off will come along, but we know it won’t be soon.

Monday, March 9, 2015, Little House in the City

There it is, the sunshine! It is 7:53 a.m. and those sunbeams are lighting up the curtains on the south side of the house. How cheerful it is, this diffusion of gold.

The weather is suddenly much warmer. The temperatures that are predicted do not fall below -10C. What a welcome change this is. With the warmer weather, and more reliable road conditions, our mobility will increase dramatically. Also, with warmer weather Attila’s task of keeping the hearth fires burning is dramatically reduced. The danger of freezing pipes, and a cold kitty, become non-existent. He is free to travel without winterizing the house, or paying huge hydro bills to heat it while he is away and unable to keep the masonry heater charged. Oh happy day.

Since mobility has increased, I might also be travelling between our three properties more often. So I have decided to indicate my writing location with each entry. This will keep a record for me, at the very least, of when I have been where.

Attila and I celebrated our wedding Anniversary on Saturday. It wasn’t the exact date, but Saturday was as close as we were going to get. For our anniversary Attila whipped up a box of cherry centred chocolates, my favourite. My waistline suspects that Attila has acquired an unfortunate talent. We celebrated our anniversary with pizza and a movie, an inexpensive night in. The advantage was that Diesel got to share it with us, although the pizza was off limits to him, much to his disapproval.

Sunday was the usual “we me weepy” day. I don’t even try not to cry! Attila left early in the afternoon, as he had a long drive ahead of him, followed by wood chopping and hearth fire burning. And of course, Mist would be needing a lot of consoling when he arrived home.

After Attila leaves I try to keep busy doing housework; the house is small, this takes very little time. Then I watch a youtube movie, to keep my mind off the hole left when Attila leaves. By the time the movie is over, I have subconsciously adapted to the “me” of the house, my inner self has begun to walk around that hole, and all is well.

Today is paperwork day! I have a stack of mail, brought to me by Attila, which includes all kinds of bills to be paid, correspondence to attend to, and filing.

I am also working on updating two of my sites, which is a big, big, big job. I am learning a few new skills, like using Google APIs.

One of the sites to be redesigned was created fourteen years ago. It is still getting a lot of hits, and generating a lot of interaction, serving its purpose… but, it is not a good design for cell phones and tablets, so back to work. The other site is only about eleven years old, and it needs the same sort of redesign. I have my work cut out for me with these two sites. And of course, I continue to work on my genealogy book.

Lots to keep me busy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
-20°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Temperature: -19.9°C
Dewpoint: -24.2°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -27

-1°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -1.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.6°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: W 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -5

Country House
-30°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 6 March 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -29.8°C
Dewpoint: -32.8°C
Humidity:76%
Wind: calm

-4°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 9 March 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.3°C
Dewpoint: -6.5°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: WNW 15 km/h
Wind Chill: -10

Quote

“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”
J. K. Rowling

Love, belonging, kindness, compassion… they happen even when and where there is poverty. If the poor want to romanticize their lives based on these kinds of parameters, that are right to do so, in my opinion.

We live in a world where there aren’t enough lifeboats available for all to climb out of poverty, and increasingly the affluent are pushing others off the lifeboats that do exist, to make themselves more comfortable, ensure their own “rightful” place in the sun. And people at the bottom tier still find ways to attain balance and grace, in a way the very affluent, and the rich, cannot.

My opinions aren’t new at all, they go right back to biblical times, and I suspect were common wisdom long before that.