Snow Storm!

Well! We are having a white Christmas this year!

It was storming when Attila left for work, predawn, on this first day of winter. Here is it noon, and a thick veil of snow continues to fall from the sky. The cold will keep this snow close for the season holiday.

I ventured out briefly this morning. The newspaper had been delivered as usual, thrown onto the driveway from a moving vehicle. It was fast disappearing as the snow accumulated. So I bundled up, and out I went, shovel in hand. Clearing a path before me to the end of the drive, where the newspaper was snatched up and shaken vigorously to remove the snow. The snow plow will go by later today, but before Attila arrives home. It will leave a huge snow bank across the end of the driveway, blocking Attila’s access. Between the arrival of the snow plow, and the arrival of Attila, I will be out there again with my shovel!

On these snowy days I don’t need to work out on my elliptical machine.

Writing on Facebook is ephemeral. Every so often I delete everything in my timeline, a big job. In contrast, this online journal is on my own server, and will exist archived on CDs and hard drives, which may or may not survive. If they do survive, and if I have any descendants, what I write might be read at some distant time in the future. If not, what does it matter. The universe hears me, my words, my small, almost invisible contributions, become a part of the collective consciousness, in one way or another. There is so much of the way of things that are not seen, not perceived, not understood. Human ignorance does not dictate reality, it exists without us, and our short lives swirl in the chaos and patterns that are formed.

This morning I have written a few things on Facebook that I might like to revisit, so I am recording them here for myself. My relationship with the written word is intense. In my reality the words I write create a bond with the universe, what I write matters. It matters not to a particular person, or cause. It matters to the universe, just as every grain of sand on the beach is a part of the beach, its movement involved in some greater process beyond its understanding. In writing I hitch my wagon to chaos, time, and the value of existence.

So dear diary, here are a few of the things I’ve been writing about this morning. Some additional sentences are included.

An article by David Grossman fascinated me this morning, as it articulated some of the reasons I write an online journal.

This was my comment on the article:
“An inspiring lecture. My favourite passages are:
library: “…a place whose essence is the story of the individual, unique human being, and “the world” as a brutal, belligerent, identity-erasing reality.”

“When Donald Trump speaks—or Tweets—I feel subjected to the harmful radiation of an uninhibited cynic who is fully aware of his mission: to turn human beings not only into a mass, but into a mob.”

“Anyone who has spent their life writing stories knows: underneath each human tale, another one lies hidden. Sometimes it contradicts the visible layer, while at other times it completes and enriches it. This is true of individual stories, and national stories. We all know people who, over the years, have become trapped inside their own private narrative—their “official” story.”

And here is the core of my interest in this article:

“You could say that I “massage” it back into a story about human beings.”

“every time a whole, multi-layered character enters our lives, we rediscover how every one of us contains so many possibilities of existence, most of which we cannot even describe, yet they exist inside us as silent longings, and sometimes burdens, soul-shadows, until we encounter a book that animates them and gives them a name.”

I think that the larger picture has become so manipulated and corrupted that the human level ceases to predominate.
The despair I see around me lives there, in the larger picture.
This is why I write a personal journal, and deal only with the personal, which exists in the context of the heartless, hopeless “larger picture”. As my bio says,
“That is what others thought of me. Here you will find what I think of myself.”
A different approach than David Grossman’s, touching few lives by comparison, but the lives that do connect with mine in this way are so very valuable.”

***********************************************

Toronto 1968 1968: “Winter made a comeback in Toronto yesterday with a 12-inch snowfall, and motorists and pedestrians slogged their way homeward along slush-clogged Bay St., arriving late, cold and damp at homes darkened by a power failure.” Photo by Bob Olsen. – Courtesy of Toronto Public Library & the Toronto Star Archives.

This was taken the year before I arrived in downtown Toronto to attend Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Having lived on a tender fruit farm my whole life, Toronto was overwhelming. With little money, I rented a couch to sleep on in someone’s living room, in an apartment in St. James Town. The accommodation was found by calling a telephone number torn from the bottom of an ad on a bulletin board at Ryerson. Marsha, who rented me her couch, was a model, whose husband was studying architecture in Portland, Oregon, I only met him once when he was home for a few days.
I bought a 10 lb. bag of dry rice, a bottle of olive oil, stole ketchup and mustard from the cafeteria at Ryerson, for flavouring, drank only water, and survived. I knew no one.
Toronto was magic to me from the very first day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-11°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Friday 22 December 2017
Condition: Light Snow – not true it is snowing heavily.
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.7°C
Dew point: -13.0°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: NE 25 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -20
Visibility: 1 km

Quote

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”
Abraham Lincoln
1809 – 1865

To save anyone else the trouble, I describe how I see myself, myself, here. Works for me. I love reading diaries, journals, blogs or whatever people call what they write about their own lives.

Waitin’ for the Window

Technology is changing so quickly now that there is no keeping up with it. Purchasing anything technological is like stepping onto a moving escalator, you are only staying in the same place and up to date with your item for a nanosecond, then it is uncool, and within months, sometimes days, it is obsolete. So, I use my old technology as long as it will hang in and do the job. My computers are an example of this.

I have an old G4, still going strong, but I never turn it on. It doesn’t do wireless, or play video DVDs, or run the necessary browsers to interact with most web sites. But it still works just the way it was meant to the year I bought it.

Then there is the iMac. Much newer, the iMac was the machine that helped me live through a horrendous end-of-the-endless-winter March, when I sat by my window for days and days, watching for the delivery van; there was no other traffic on the street, I could have heard it coming, but I watched all day long, and that sense of anticipation kept me from falling into the depths of cabin fever. The iMac is old enough that it will no longer be adequate for the requirements of operating system updates. It, like the G4, will move out of sight on the endless escalator of progress. So far it is used daily as our entertainment system. When that function becomes untenable, it too will cease to be used on a regular basis, and will sit in its perfection in a corner.

Now I use a 2012 MacBook Air as my daily computer. It is already aging, the battery no longer holds a charge for very long, but the operating system updates should be viable for a few more years. We tried to use the MacBook Air to run our short Tai Chi video when we were at the Rideau Camp last weekend, it only lasted 10 minutes on the first day, then it ran out of juice. I imagine I will be using the MacBook Air until it too is conveyed out of site on the moving stairway to heaven.

Attila and I have come to postpone purchases of technology until we have no choice because the old equipment simply will not function as needed. We wait for the window of opportunity that will give us a product that will move as far into the future as is possible. Atilla is using our first cell phone, pay as you go, a flip phone with a broken hinge and a dodgy battery, that we purchased the summer of 2006, 10 years ago. It can still function as an emergency contact device. Attila does not like to be called during his work day, when he goes to work we have no contact with each other at all until he arrives home. Having a cell phone for texting would be a complete waste of time for him. He has no need of a smart phone. I am keeping my eyes open for a heavy duty cell phone on sale, one that works well without data and bells and whistles. Perhaps this item does not exist. If I wait long enough something like it might come to exist at any time. I am waitin’ for the window of opportunity to open.

Tuesday morning was filled with errands. Attila had his prescription transferred from a pharmacy near the country house to a pharmacy near Mist Cottage, the same pharmacy where I get my prescriptions filled. They hire local people, the owners live in town, and the employees act as if they own the business and want it to do well. I called them this morning and the prescription was ready for pickup. When I got home I noticed they were using our country home address, so I gave them a call and gave them our current address, so I think we are now up to date.

I also made a telephone call to Toronto, and was very pleased to be informed that the conviction for parking offence ticket that I received in the mail is in the process of being cancelled. Thank goodness I can finally stop fretting about getting that thing cancelled, it took many telephone calls, and an email request, to get the cancellation started. I was told a letter would be sent to me in the mail, confirming the cancellation.

Also on my list was a trip to the bank. When Attila and I bought paint for the new garden shed, we sent in the forms to receive a rebate. The cheque arrived and needed to be deposited in our account. Luckily the bank is a short walk from the pharmacy, so I could park once and walk to the places I needed to go.

My next stop was the library. I returned two books that I had read, renewed a third book which I hadn’t had a chance to read, and selected two additional books. I was looking for a book by a particular author, Patrick Rothfuss, but the library did not have any of his books on the shelf. I will have to try the Ontario Library Service and see if I can find one of his books there. His work sounded interesting in a short article that I read, and I wanted to see if his books lived up to the hype.

The weather would have been lovely this week had it not been for the humidity. It is supposed to be very warm all week, with possible thunderstorms. The garden needs the rain, so a rainy day will be welcome. We have eaten fresh green beans from the garden for the last three nights, the same plants that we planted in the spring are flowering and bearing again after the long summer heat and drought. The Scarlet Runner beans are thriving, with plentiful blooms and lush foliage; Attila tells me there are quite a few beans which will soon be ready for harvesting. We have only had two tomatoes from our plants, a disappointing harvest to say the least. So far we have had no peppers from the plants that we put in in the spring. We harvested a dozen or so heads of garlic earlier in the summer. The garden wasn’t all that we had hoped this year, the drought took its toll. I hope to have a rain harvesting system in place by next summer, just in case another drought occurs.

My high blood pressure has not responded well to the doubling of my current medication. Three readings by doctors confirmed that my hypertension was no longer being controlled by the low doses of medication I was taking. It was hoped that doubling the medication would bring it down; it has not, the four readings I have taken were all unacceptably high. I have a machine at home that measures my blood pressure, and it is accurate when compared to the measurements taken at the doctor’s office. I have a follow up appointment next week with the drop-in clinic doctor, so I am hoping he can come up with a plan to bring my blood pressure down to acceptable levels. This is a sudden development, my skyrocketing blood pressure, it was normal when taken at the Emergency department in March of this year. I honestly feel the change is due to the overload of stressful events that played out this summer, culminating with the sudden passing of my brother. I will keep at this until I get my blood pressure back within the normal range.

Luckily our little house is very comfortable. This summer has been very hot and humid, only one day was comfortable enough to turn off the heat pump and open the windows. It isn’t as restrictive as winter, there is no snow to contend with, no winter coats, no boots. But it has been a summer where outdoor activity has been downright unhealthy for those of us who can’t tolerate extreme heat. Today I stepped out onto the back porch to fetch a water basin, and the air felt like warm soup, hard to breath and watery. I look forward to autumn.

At this point in time my writing rambles along like a bee visiting blooms in a garden!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 8 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.2°C
Dewpoint: 22.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: S 13 km/h
Humidex: 33

Quote

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
Thomas Jefferson
1743 – 1826

I wonder what he would think of the super-sized information highways of today!