Balance

My niece is getting married this weekend, at a resort near my sister’s cottage. My two sisters, and my Mom, are pretty excited, and are leaving for the cottage for the celebration this morning. I have wished them well. Attila and I, and my brothers, were not invited, for the weekend, or to the wedding, and so are not attending.

Yesterday all of the crocheted cotton projects were subjected to a process to set the dye, according to instructions found on the internet. The first crocheted wash cloths faded after a few washings, so hopefully this will keep the other items, wash cloths, kitchen towels, beanies, colourful through many washings.

Because there were severe storms in Ontario over last weekend, on Monday evening we decided to take a jaunt out to the Rideau Camp to check on Grace The Trailer. Funny how suddenly the Camp is a place we need to consider when the weather gets nasty, demonstrating once again that what you own, owns you.

The evening was fine, sunny with a light breeze, and warm but not hot. We found that all was well with Grace The Trailer. Attila brought his chain saw and continued to section the trees he had felled, and some large oak branches he had removed from the trees, to let Grace The Trailer navigate the driveway in safety. I put away the things I brought to keep in the trailer, such as a small sewing kit, and the kitchen towel I crocheted for the oven door handle. My biggest job was to use cover the hitch with a plastic bag, and seal all the openings to the bag with duct tape. I did this crouching under the trailer with my arms raised above my head, for about a half an hour. This will keep the wasps, spiders, ants, and mice out of the hitch, and the openings around the hitch. At least I hope it will. I placed a section of flea collar inside the hitch before sealing it up, so that if any insects do attempt an intrusion, they will be roundly discouraged. Next I cut up plastic bags and stuffed them into every opening in the frame of the trailer that I could find, to keep out wasps in particular, as they like to build nests in spaces protected from the weather.

I overdid it. The weather was very hot and humid, which has always affected me adversely. I felt quite ill until we were home again in the air conditioned house. I speculated, as this is the first time this has happened, that I had not ingested enough sodium during the day, so that working and perspiring in the heat depleted my sodium levels, and thus my electrolyte balance was probably out of whack. When I got home I had one piece of toast, using store bought bread, with peanut butter, the regular sugary kind, which gave me the full day’s compliment of sodium, and I felt much better. I am going to have to watch my sodium intake much more carefully in the hot humid weather!

Since the heat wave had ended here yesterday, it was the perfect opportunity to make a big batch of chili. It simmered all day long on the stove, made a lovely dinner last night, and four more meals were frozen in mason jars for quick suppers at the Rideau Camp.

The crocheted “water balloons” are coming along nicely, seven completed. Someone wrote in to a crochet group that they had created 22 of these “water balloons” in one day, I feel accomplished if I manage two of them. The yarn, bulky blanket yarn, is not as pleasant to work with as I had hoped, but that may be because of the pattern, which becomes very tightly stitched at the nozzle end of the balloon.

The longest day of the year is upon us, dawning with a blue sky, and moderate temperature. I love sunny mornings, my favourite time of the day. This just might be the day the sewing machine gets set up in the front bedroom. The desk is clear at last. The pile of mending has been growing since a year ago last September, and some of the items are needed. My permethrin treated work pants are rather torn, they are on the top of the mending pile.

The peonies in the front yard are blooming in all their glory. On Sunday Attila brought two blooms in for the vase on the table, to replace the two that were spent. In the backyard the two Columbine plants that self seeded at the step are still blooming. There are still a few blooms on the Wild Geraniums. The frivolous heads of Yellow Hawkweed wave in the breeze in the fenced in back yard, where Attila did not mow, so as to leave them in their beauty, and to avoid walking over the patches of wild strawberries. The Irises are spent. The purple Clematis is laden with buds, and about to bloom any day now.

Attila finished planting the garden this week, with Scarlet Runner Beans along the fence, and Squash near the compost heap. There are blooms on the tomato plants, and there have been several harvests of rhubarb. Attila loves to garden, I think I will call it his garden. I have input into choosing and placing the plants, but Attila has the final word, and does the physical work, so I will call it his garden.

My Mom has a garden at her farm, cared for by my brother who lives there. She tells me they haven’t had a drop of rain since the plants went into the ground. My brother waters the plants every day using water from the well, a lot of work. I sure hope they get more rain down there in Niagara! We have had rain either constantly for days, or every few days, all spring, so that Attila hasn’t needed to water the garden at all. We purchased a rainbarrel, and I am hoping we will soon have it set up, so that we will be ready if the rain ceases to fall on a regular basis.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 21 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 15.8°C
Dew point: 12.9°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: WSW 17 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1890 – 1969

A Tale Of Two Sandwiches

Another gray and dreary day. It is mild though, and almost all of the snow has melted away. So far it has been a wonderfully mild winter.

A few days ago I was careless and ate slightly more than 1200 mg of sodium for the day. I experienced some swelling in my feet and fingers. Yesterday and during the night my system finally released the excess fluid, and the swelling has subsided. I am very sensitive to sodium.

This morning I awoke at 6:00 a.m. For me this is sleeping in. Attila was still in dreamland. Sitting at the kitchen table I had the sudden urge to bake a loaf of bread. I have known since last September that I needed to start baking bread again, salt free bread that is. I have procrastinated, for months.

I found a salt free recipe online, for Oatmeal Bread, and began with that. I used the ingredient list, but since I use a Bosch mixer to knead my bread, and the recipe included only instructions for a bread machine, I had to improvise.

My Oatmeal Bread Low Sodium was a success. Attila will continue to eat store bought bread for the moment, until I get into the swing of things, then he will be switched over to salt free bread as well.

I love peanut butter sandwiches, preferably with jam, not honey.

Yesterday my peanut butter sandwich was a source of shame and guilt. How can two slices of bread with a few tablespoons of peanut butter and a tablespoon of jam cause so much distress? I am restricted to 1200 mg of sodium a day, and 25 gm of sugar per day; when I eat something high in sodium, or sugar, I have to carefully watch everything else I eat, all day long, including snacks and beverages. An indiscretion at breakfast or lunch can severely limit our choices for dinner; this affects Attila too.

Yesterday’s sandwich was made with commercial bread, regular Kraft peanut butter, and some “fruit only” jam with a significantly reduced sugar content. Yesterday’s sandwich packed 440 mg of sodium and 7 gm of sugar. Yesterday’s sandwich used up more than a third of my sodium quota, and almost a third of my sugar quota.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich makes me smile.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich was made with my homemade Oatmeal Bread, all natural Kraft peanut butter, and the same “fruit only” jam. Today’s peanut butter sandwich had 22 mg of sodium, and 9 grams of sugar. The low sodium intake for my lunch allows me to have 60 mg of ham for my dinner! Alas, the sugar intake increased, because my homemade bread is made with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Still, I find it far easier to restrict sugar than to restrict sodium, so I reckon I am ahead of the game on peanut butter sandwiches. Eventually I will experiment with reducing the amount of brown sugar in the homemade bread; that will take time, and won’t be worth the tradeoff if the flavour suffers.

Little things can make a big difference.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 2:08 PM EST Saturday 21 January 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dew point: 2.6°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: SW 10 km/h
Visibility: 1 km

Quote

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Thomas Carlyle
1795 – 1881

Note: Women marching on the White House in Washington today, supporters marching all over the world. Let our solidarity extend to one another when the banners are no longer waving.