Grateful

Today the world outside is white as white can be. Last night it snowed, and it has snowed a bit this morning as well. The plow has been through, but I have not ventured out with the shovel, not yet anyway.

I made whole wheat bread last night, and it is awful! Suitable for for building a brick wall I think, not really edible. I say this, and yet Attila carved off a few slices to take to work with him today, he will deliver a verdict this evening. No matter what his verdict is, I won’t use that recipe again! Further experimentation is required, and will be undertaken until I come up with a whole wheat loaf that I consider acceptable.

Today I’ve been busy with filing, a bit of purging, paperwork for the windows project, research for the insulation project, and just tying up loose administrative ends. I don’t like doing any of this, but I do like the feeling I get when one of these tasks is completed. That little bit of good feeling keeps me motivated to slog on with it all. It is beginning to look as if the windows and insulation projects could be done and dusted by June, which would give Attila lots of lead time to get going on the garage roof and his studio.

I am trying to learn Tai Chi here in the living room. The book is extremely helpful, in that it shows exactly what I should be doing with my feet. The placement of my feet, and how to move them, is crucial for my knees, and my primary concern at this stage of the game. It isn’t exactly the way it is being taught, but I know what I need to learn first, and that is how I am going to do it. If I don’t keep up with the beginners class, well then I don’t. I will follow along cheerfully when I attend, until it all comes together for me, at my own pace.

These aren’t the most cheerful days I’ve ever experienced! And yet, there are small parts of my day that pass peacefully, without turmoil or pain, and that is something to be grateful for.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Tuesday 6 February 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -4.2°C
Dew point: -11.9°C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: WSW 18 gust 34 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.”
Leigh Hunt
1784 – 1859

Another Stage

The five stages of grief have become a part of my daily life. These stages are described as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have experienced disbelief, rage, bargaining in the form of fleshing out what is going on, determining if it is really happening, and it is, and yesterday I moved into depression. I am not really prone to depression, in general, but this is different, intense, and very powerful. I continue to do the things I have set out to do, but as of yesterday I found myself sitting down every so often and thinking “what is the use”, or “why bother”, usually in conjunction with a tidal wave of sadness. I recognize this as depression, another stage along the way to dealing with this sudden traumatic end to my relationship of 25 years.

The depression is not a cause for concern at this point in the grieving process, it is necessary. I do not like it one bit. I know that it will pass, and I will be very careful about any decision making I do, while feeling this way. Best to write down the ins and outs of issues that arise, and come back to them later. For the moment though, the things that must be done are so very daunting that I can hardly face them! I will have to break them down into tiny steps, and then follow the steps until I get to the end of each.

The contract or the new window installation arrived today. It is all legalese, which I hate wading through, but it has to be done. We won’t be getting the windows until well into the spring, so there is quite a time lag on the project. A contractor for insulation is coming today to give an estimate for the basement and the attic, we have a lot of questions about that, and it has yet to be determined if this will work for our house. Today is a day filled with administrative paperwork and interactions with contractors. Not my favourite thing, but needs must. This is where the depression is making it hard for me to slog through all of these documents and processes.

The timing of these funding programs has put a bit of a wrench in Attila’s timeline for his garage studio project. He seems to be rolling with this, but I have discovered that what Attila presents to me, and what is really going on, are not always the same thing. Time will tell.

This week will include Tai Chi, meditation, and perhaps a bit of live music. All of the other activities are hit and miss right now, some may stick, others may not. I have purchased a book outlining the Tai Chi moves, and where the feet need to be placed. Placing my feet correctly is imperative, so as to avoid injuring my knee. I will practise from the book, rather than a youtube video, as it won’t move along and beyond me while I try to master the techniques.

I am in correspondence with the CT scan people [now the MRI people], to ensure that my allergen is not in the injection that I will be given. I have to remain very focused when dealing with this issue, as my life depends on clear and accurate communication. So many things are so very hard when you have anaphylaxis.

I guess it is better to be busy when I am feeling blue!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-9°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 5 February 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.2°C
Dew point: -15.4°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SW 7 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
Anatole France
1844 – 1924

Homonyms

I have always regarded myself as slightly dyslexic. Tai Chi has me thinking that my dyslexia might be more severe than I thought it was!

I have a Tai Chi instruction video I am trying to follow. The demonstrator is facing the camera. I am facing the demonstrator. We are mirror images, and I find myself confused as to what hand or leg should be doing what, when. It looks easy, yes it does, but coordinating all this left or right from the visual is truly distressing. I will keep at it though, it might become easier with practise.

It will be a very, very long time before Tai Chi is something that I will find relaxing!

Things are pretty quiet here at Mist Cottage. There isn’t a lot of talking going on any more, not much left to say now, the state of things is becoming clearer as time passes, and there is no immediate need for drastic changes to take place. The holding pattern is doing its thing, holding. Knowing what is happening makes life a lot easier, even if I don’t like what is happening. Sleep is getting easier to come by most nights, five hours, sometimes a bit more, is now normal. I am eating a healthy diet, getting out a few times a week, which is still high stress but necessary. The stress related to the activities should slowly subside, as the times, places, and people seem more familiar. Life is carrying on, and my singular little boat is staying afloat. I carry my broken heart close, with great tenderness.

One of the interesting things that has occurred since last November, and Attila’s big announcement, is that I now have very large, dark, bags under my eyes. This is completely new, and even though I am able to sleep more, the bags persist, and are probably permanent. Most of the changes as I have aged have been gradual, this was not gradual at all, and I am finding it a bit shocking. The solution… don’t look in the mirror!

I received news about the ultrasound, all is as expected, the cyst on my kidney is still there, unchanged, and there was no information about the gallstones, so I am assuming they are still there, and still the same size, with no change. I will be asking about the gallstones though, the next time I need to go in to the walk-in clinic, just to make sure my assumption is correct. I am interested in getting the new Shingles vaccination, something to inquire about at the walk-in clinic. My CT scan is coming up in February, which I hope will show nothing unusual, and if that is the case, it is just a matter of carrying on with my healthy lifestyle and hoping for the best as time takes its toll over the years to come.

Today it is snowing to beat the band. The snow plow came through early this morning, but there wasn’t all that much snow thrown across the end of the driveway, so shovelling shouldn’t take too long. The temperature is hovering around 0C, and the heat pump is busy heating the house, leaving the newly repaired oil furnace to rest for a day or so. The heat pump circulates room temperature air, as opposed to the heated air that the oil furnace circulates. The room temperature air feels cool, as it creates a slight wind chill, which means that I feel a little bit chilly sometimes, which means I need to wear heavier clothing than I do when the oil furnace is doing all the work.

I am concerned about myself, while writing my last three posts I’ve made no spelling errors. I calm myself, by noting that homonyms still plague me!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 4 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.1°C
Dew point: -0.9°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: S 40 gust 53 km/h
Visibility: 2 km

Quote

“It takes too much energy to be against something unless it’s really important.”
Madeleine L’Engle
1918 – 2007

Activities

I am humbled. Tai Chi is hard! I learned the first three moves, sort of, and then zoned out on the subsequent moves. Two challenges, overcoming my self-consciousness about my arm, which was the object of some curiosity by the instructors, which was not verbalized, and some curiosity by other participants, again not verbalized. This is my issue, this self-consciousness about a visible difference, there is no intolerance at the class. The other challenge is my knee, one of the moves hurts, at least the way I was doing it hurt. The lesson moved too fast for me to concentrate on how to perform the move without hurting my knee, so that was when I lost concentration on learning. I will have to go slowly, and focus on protecting my knee, above following the moves. I am determined to attend regularly, and to focus on doing my pain free best. I feel that eventually I will become comfortable with exposing the way my arm functions, in a group, no one really cares about it but me, and comfortable with slowing myself down to do only what I can do comfortably, without risking injury to my bad knee.

I think Tai Chi is a go for me. The group is pleasant, friendly, and large enough that the small cliques of familiars do not dominate the context. Most people seem to be there as individuals.

Luckily the skies were clear, and the roads bare, for my journey. It is quite an evening out, one hour to drive there, two hours at the class, then one hour to drive home, a four hour adventure. It was getting dark when I started out, it was pitch black as I returned home. It will be interesting to see how the light changes during my travels back and forth to the class.

For now, I think, my activity schedule is full enough. I need some time for the people, times, and places of these activities to become familiar. Although I will push myself to enter into new and unfamiliar social settings, it isn’t something I enjoy. I will let the dust settle on these all-new activities before considering extending my reach. I have meditation and Tai Chi, and the women’s group… and once I am more emotionally balanced I will return to the group where I cried, and see how I feel about it. All of these activities are an hour’s journey by highway, one way. At this point in my life, this is a viable situation, at least when the weather is reasonable and the roads are clear, which is much of the time.

It is becoming obvious to me that the extreme isolation, that I experienced while living at the country house, has had a quite an effect on how I feel about social situations, and not in a good way. I have work to do here!

After I arrived home last night, sitting in my easy chair relaxing, I detected a burning smell. Attila smelled it too. We went through the house, looking at everything that was plugged into an electrical outlet, investigated the refrigerator, the range, everything we could think of that involved electricity. I felt the smell was coming from the heating duct work, so Attila checked the furnace, and sure enough, something was awry with the furnace.

Attila turned off the heat. I made a telephone call to Lares, who is an HVAC person, and he talked Attila through a quick fix. That was at 11:00 p.m. last night. At 3:30 a.m. there was a definite problem with the furnace, the sound it was making was worrying. Attila got up and turned off the heat, then went back to bed. Thinking he had taken care of the issue, I went back to sleep. When I awoke at 4:30 the house had chilled to 16C and falling. When Attila arose he headed to the basement to try again, no joy. I sent a message to Lares, unwilling to telephone him at such an early hour, to let him know we were without heat. About fifteen minutes before he had to leave for work, Attila got the furnace running again. He found our two small electric heaters, and showed me how to shut down the furnace in case it malfunctioned again.

AT 7:00 a.m. the furnace was still functioning, but by 7:05 a.m. it was malfunctioning again, so I had to shut it down. Lares wrote a message to say he would drop in here on his way to work, which he did, and in about 30 minutes he had the furnace up and running! What a relief!

The plow went by and dumped a huge load of snow at the end of the driveway, about 20 minutes before Lares arrived. I was out there with my shovel, and I got it cleaned up so that Lares could park comfortably. I am a little sore now! Time for a little rest and an anti-inflammatory.

I wonder what else this day will bring!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 30 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.6°C
Dew point: -11.8°C
Humidity: 84%
Wind: N 20 gust 30 km/h
Wind Chill: -17

Quote

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Unknown

Tai Chi

I am going to try Tai Chi, as Sandra suggested in her comment on my last post. I’ve tried it before. Once, twenty years ago, with Attila, at a community centre. I didn’t care for it, as the instructor was obviously disturbed by the limitations of my arm, and he centred me out in front of the class. It was not a good fit. I also tried to attend a year or so ago, and was given inaccurate information that saw me sitting in an empty parking lot of a church, wondering where everybody was, I was in the wrong place and never did figure out where it was held. I am determined this time though, to ignore the less than diplomatic reactions of those who find difference unsettling, to get to the right place at the right time, and to take my time and learn Tai Chi as I can do it. I can take beginner’s classes three time a week, if I so choose, but I probably won’t go that often. I won’t be good at it, but that really doesn’t matter to me at all. There is pleasure in excellence, and there is pleasure in participation, both or either are fine with me.

I missed the open house yesterday, so I wrote the Tai Chi organization an email and received a response this morning. I can register at the first class, a flat rate that allows me to attend any class offered, whenever I choose to attend, which is perfect, particularly with the vagaries of winter driving. I will attend my first class tomorrow, as long as the roads are OK. The forecast is good.

All of these activities are more than 40 km away, so there will be a lot of travelling, and some expense for fuel and vehicle. Thank goodness I have a vehicle, and so far, the funds to pay for transportation. I will do what I can, when I can, for as long as I can.

Today I took it upon myself to rearrange the furniture in the living room, to suit my own flow. Attila does not use the living room much, so really, my own flow is all that needs to be accommodated. Luckily most of the furniture is easy to move around, and I like the new arrangement very much. My easy chair still catches the morning sun, and provides me with a view of tree branches, sky and cloud. My Hoya now sits in the corner by the windows, catching more light than it is used to, it sat there once before and loved it. The iMac now occupies a high shelf, it is so streamlined that it fits easily, the keyboard and mouse on the shelf below, just the right height to be used standing. It is still quite a challenge to place the elliptical machine gracefully in this tiny room, it is worth the space it takes up though, as I use it regularly. Sometimes an outward change is needed to represent all the inward changes that are going on, an externalization of process.

The day is sunny and mild. Terra and Lares stopped by with Sunny and Sky, just for a ten minute visit, we stayed out in the front yard where the kids could wander and explore. My new neighbour’s dog was quite excited by the kids, so the neighbours, who moved in yesterday, came out to see to the puppy, and introductions were made. They seems like a nice young couple, very young, but polite and personable. Their puppy is very rambunctious, and seems very friendly. I am glad someone is in the house again. The former owners, with the two little boys, almost gutted the place to renovate, and then left it undone. The new owners are under a timeline to finish the renovations for the mortgage and insurance people, I am rooting for them!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 12:00 PM EST Sunday 28 January 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 2.8°C
Dew point: -1.1°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: WSW 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”
Dr. Thomas Fuller
1654 – 1734