Thanksgiving

It is a long weekend this weekend, Monday is the Canadian Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

Attila has been out and about, actually taking the old, completely destroyed, metal eavestroughs, that have been sitting under the back porch since we bought the house, well since the rotted wood they were attached too fell off the house just after we bought it.  They were/are an eyesore, and since Mist Cottage has come so far along with the exterior renovations, they don’t have any further purpose.  Attila would like to buy new eavestrough for the entire house, when the back porch is renovated, the new metal roof has been installed, and the new siding is installed.  Well, all of that renovating might never happen, none of those projects are a priority, and all of them will cost a small fortune.  So for the forseeable future, Mist Cottage will be getting along without eavestroughs.  The bright side of that is that they won’t need to be cleaned!

I have contacted an individual through social media, who would be glad to receive my old, well-kept hot water bath canner.  There is no room for it here, as all of my high acid food canning will now be done with the new steam canner.  It would be nice if this gifting worked out, but as with anything in life, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings.  Where did that saying come from!?  Wikipedia say it started with sport writer Dan Cook, who said “the opera ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”, in a 1978 Newscast. It is a good concept, that you don’t really know how things will turn out until they turn out.

Attila is busy in the kitchen, after having arrived back from the dump, and is rustling up a turkey dinner for a Thanksgiving dinner today. Breakfast, and lunch have consisted of leftovers, in an attempt to clear space in the refrigerator for the treasured leftovers after the meal. Meanwhile, in a distant kitchen, a meal is being prepared by Sister-The-Youngest-Girl, to celebrate not only Thanksgiving, but her birthday, and a special birthday for Sister-The-Middle-Girl, who also has a birthday and is turning 65, becoming a bonafida senior citizen.  I can imagine them all together, working on a jigsaw puzzle, as we have done many times, having a wonderful day.

Secret confession, I ate an early breakfast while Attila was still sleeping. I made Pumpkin Squares last night, for the Thanksgiving dinner today. Last night I thought about having a slice, but decided against it as it was nearly bedtime. This morning however, no such consideration had to be taken into account, so I cut myself a generous slice and enjoyed it with my morning cup of coffee. My leftover breakfast, later in the morning, was my second breakfast! The leftover breakfast was a smoothie, consisting of a banana, the last bit of homemade applesauce that was in a jar in the refrigerator, the last little bit of Crabapple Jelly foam leftover from jelly making yesterday, and bit of lactose-free milk. It was very good, and I felt I had honoured myself by eating a few helpings of fruit.

All of the canning equipment has been washed, dried and carefully stored away in the basement. It needed to be out-of-the-way since Attila needs a clean kitchen to do his magic with the turkey dinner. I contented myself this morning with testing the seals, wiping, drying, labelling, packing in a box, and conveying of my 9 jars of Crabapple Jelly to a sturdy shelf in the basement.

If boredom finds me today, I’ll work on organizing the freezers. It might happen, then again, I might just get back to the crocheted blanket that is in progress. There are so many interesting things to do! My life is very, very small… but to me it feels very, very full, and very, very satisfying. I think there is greatness in smallness.

Worldly

Weather

10°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Saturday 6 October 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 9.6°C
Dew point: 9.6°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: NE 8 km/h
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.”
Epictetus
55 AD – 135 AD

Garage Door

Now that the new windows are installed, and the furniture has been rearranged, I am moving on to organize all the stuff that was stored in the furniture. This is a job of monumental proportions, in terms of my time, and the challenge to find a place for everything I want to keep.

Attila is spending a lot of time getting the basement organized, in preparation for the upcoming garage roof project.

It is Good Friday, a statutory holiday in Ontario, which means there are three consecutive days to work on these projects, where I can make changes that involve heavy lifting, because Attila will help with that if called upon. My first project for the weekend is to apply adhesive backed window film to the window panes of the garage door window. The door is question is the “man door” into the garage, not the big garage door, the windows in it are painted over and let no light in. I have wanted to do this since 2010, when Mist Cottage was purchased! First though, the glass and the door must be cleaned, and THAT is a daunting task, it is one very filthy door!

Attila is cooking a turkey dinner today, which we will both enjoy. On the weekends his cooking efforts are usually focused on foods I cannot or will not eat. So a weekend turkey dinner is a treat from my point of view, because I will be eating it too.

I continue to do the cooking during the week, a light task, as it turns out. After moving out on my own as a teenager, and until I met Attila, I did all the food preparation. Planning and preparing meals is a familiar and pleasant part of the day.

It has been raining for the last few days, and the temperature has risen above freezing each day; the result is that the landscape is tinged with a hint of green. The birds are plentiful, as our trees offer shelter for those displaced by the destruction of the wetland forest at the end of the street. Since the new windows were installed, I have to step out of doors to hear the birds singing! At least, I will have to step out of doors to hear the concert, until the warm weather arrives and the windows can be opened.

My knee and my back have been rather troublesome the last few weeks, which meant that last week I did not attend Tai Chi. The week before last I stayed home while the new windows were being installed. That is quite a long break from Tai Chi. This learning process is going slowly. But that is what suits me, to attend when I can, and not worry about it when something else comes up. Ideally Tai Chi was to be something I could attend and participate in whenever it suited me. I used to watch groups of people doing Tai Chi together on Saturday mornings in the local parks, and always wished back then, that I had time for such things. I am a long way from achieving that goal, as I am a shockingly slow learner. I am surprised by how slow I am to pick this up, as I used to be quite athletic in my youth, and picked things up quickly. Apparently that skill has rusted a bit from disuse.

I have been using my elliptical machine though, as I can manage it without having to overcome much in the way of inertia. I watch half hour sitcom episodes while I walk on the elliptical machine, the time passes more easily that way. My favourite form of recreation is going for walks, and soon the weather will be perfect for it.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

7°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 30 March 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 7.3°C
Dew point: 2.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NW 23 gust 33 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

LOL, no danger here! No offers.

Clear and Frosty Morning

Yesterday we got to see almost all of our Grandbabies! Terra hosted a family get together at their large country house. Luna and Janus and Imp and Elf and Tink were in Quebec City for Christmas, a work related situation, and stopped for a day and night at Terra’s house. They arrived at Terra and Lares’ home yesterday morning, minutes before we did. Terra cooked a delicious turkey dinner, I brought pumpkin pie squares, mincemeat squares (homemade mincemeat), Attila’s chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. We enjoyed a wonderful day together, saying our goodbyes late in the evening, as Attila and I left to head home. Luna and family left this morning to make another stop before carrying on to their home.

What wonderful little creatures grandchildren are. Their personalities, their innocences, each unique and fascinating. It always, always, surprises me that they remember me, that they love me even thought so little our lives are shared, and how much I love them. I think they can tell that they delight me, to the very core of my being. My highlights were Sunny and Sky strutting around in their new foot blankets, tottering a bit now and then in their toddlery ways.

Another activity I enjoy with the Grandkids is back massages. Elf and I exchanged back rubbing and hand rubbing, taking turns. Elf has always enjoyed physical affection, as do I. I have been rubbing his back, his feet, his head, ever since he was a baby. This visit he gave me a hand massage while I rubbed his back, then I gave him a hand massage while he rubbed my back… could there be any greater joy in life! And the back rubbing continued, as Imp took her turn having her back rubbed, and then Tink took her turn. I love touching these wondrous living creatures, feeling the warmth and softness of their skin. It is life affirming, this contact with healthy blooming lives, that are a continuation of the love passed down by my Mom, my Granny, my Grandpa, and those loved ones who came before them and shaped our lives in untold ways.

It is very cold right now, a true cold snap. We are very grateful to be tucked up here, safe and warm, in Mist Cottage. I worship our thermostat, which I still do not take for granted. Attila is spending his time off work happily in the kitchen, preparing all his favourite foods, taking his time, enjoying the leisurely pace. Attila loves to eat, and thankfully he prefers his own cooking!

My days are floating gently by, filled with a bit of crochet work, a bit of writing, a bit of baking, a very difficult crossword puzzle (Van Gogh’s Starry Night), a bit of dithering about on the computer, and the hard work of resisting the urge to overindulge in all the wonderful holiday food we have in the house. The extreme cold is enforcing inactivity at the moment, the elliptical machine calls to me from the corner of the living room, I’ve ignored it for days… but not tonight.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

DATE: Wednesday 27 December 2917
A few clouds
-28°C
FEELS LIKE -38
Wind 14km/h NE
Wind gust 21km/h
Humidity 78%
Sunrise 7:43 AM
Sunset 4:33 PM
Pressure 103.3kPa
Visibility 24km
Ceiling 30000ft

EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
-26°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Thursday 28 December 2017
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -25.8°C
Dew point: -30.1°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: W 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -37
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape…”
Pablo Picasso
1881 – 1973

Sweet

The weather was overcast all weekend, snow fell on Saturday, but only a few isolated flurries. It was good weather for a journey, and on Saturday we left Mist Cottage at about 8:00 a.m., to make our way to a Christmas get together at my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl’s house. The weather was perfect for travelling, both on the way there, and on the way home again, our easiest trip ever in regards to road conditions and traffic.

On Saturday my two sisters, their husbands, my Mom, and Attila and I, sat down to a Christmas feast. There was roast turkey, dressing, four vegetables, and condiments, followed by apple pie, lemon meringue pie, date squares, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. My Sister-The-Youngest-Girl cooked the meal, and I helped with the dressing. The meal was cooked without salt, and it was so very delicious, I didn’t miss the salt at all. I think my taste buds have completely adjusted to the low sodium diet, most foods taste good without any salt added. The desserts were my downfall, I had a serving of everything on offer, and enjoyed every single bite! What a good time we had! Mom, my sisters, and I, worked on a jig saw puzzle in the dining room, through the evening. The “fellas” watched a hockey game.

This morning, unable to resist temptation, I enjoyed a serving of each kind of dessert. What a breakfast! At home we don’t keep sweets in the house, and no longer eat dessert, so this was my big chance to “have it all”, so I did, lol.

Over the last month or so I have been working on a pair of slippers to give my mom for Christmas. Her feet get cold sometimes, so I decided she needs foot blankets. I found a pattern and used the same yarn that I purchased to make the water balloons for the Grandbabies.

DSCF1651 Foot blankets for my Mom, aka slippers.

My sisters, Mom, and I, had our Christmas get together rather early this year, because Mom is heading for Florida, any day now. She will drive from Ontario, Canada, to Florida, by herself. She has done this for many years, except for the last two when she was sorting out health issues. She is ready to roar once again, and is busy getting her gear ready to go. We loved being able to see her before she leaves!

I talked with Luna on the weekend, she recently had a birthday. She is well, and was telling me that they will be spending Christmas in Quebec, because Janus works through Christmas, and he is stationed out of Quebec at the moment, so Luna and Imp and Elf and Tink are going there so they can all be together for Christmas. We might see them as they pass by on their way home after Christmas.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1°C
Date: 5:00 PM EST Sunday 10 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dew point: -7.7°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: WSW 31 gust 40 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin
1706 – 1790

Quiet

February has been a very, very quiet month. Winter arrived in February, which means I only get out for a walk occasionally. Today was one of those days that I got out there to pound the pavement. Our snowstorm on Sunday left quite a bit of snow behind, and the temperature has remained below freezing ever since, so that the snow is still with us. That meant that sections of the road were covered with snow packed to ice. Conditions for a walk were not ideal, and several times I had to inch my way onto the ice at the side of the road, when a vehicle approached at speed, speeding on a quiet residential street. If one of the neighbours decides to petition for a speed bump I will be signing on the dotted line to support it. Although I had to remain alert and cautious, I enjoyed my walk, taking in the crisp breeze and enjoying the odd ray of sunshine that shone down on me through breaks in the cloud.

I have been forcing myself to work on my book. I admit to extreme inertia when it comes to working on my book these days, who knew I would dislike searching my archives for copies of images, and references. I haven’t even reached the stage of inserting the images into the book! Still, a few times a week I manage to get myself seated in front of the new iMac, to work for a few hours. Progress is not steady.

Attila’s Christmas gift to me was a set of books written by Elena Ferrante. I have been enjoying the first book. It took some time to become engaged in the story, but now I am hooked.

Last weekend Attila cooked a full turkey dinner, which will provide us with our daily dinner for a about a week, and after that turkey soup for many days. The dressing for the turkey was made with my sodium-free bread, so that I could eat it without compromising my food choices for the day. On Sunday I baked two loaves of sodium-free bread, and low-sodium squash muffins for Attila’s lunches this week. I had planned on a visit to a farmer’s market in the nearby city on Sunday, but the snow storm made a cozy day at Mist Cottage seem very appealing; maybe next weekend we will venture out.

I am enjoying my mornings here at Mist Cottage. Attila leaves before dawn each day, and I am always awake to give him a hug before he heads out for work. Usually I sit in my rocking chair after Attila departs, taking my morning coffee, watching the dawn slowly arrive through the living room windows. Every morning I am delighted by this scene, it is as if an animated Maxfield Parrish painting slowly comes to life before my eyes. I love where we live now. Mist Cottage, this neighbourhood, this town, they are not perfect, and I do have some small complaints and concerns, but they are only truly small, there is nothing in our context to mar our happiness here, such a contrast with our life at the country house.

Lull brook winter detail Lull Brook Winter, Maxfield Parrish, 1945
Source: http://www.scanopia.com/maxfield-parrish/lull-brook-winter-detail.html

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 8:00 AM EST Tuesday 14 February 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dew point: -11.8°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: ENE 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“I began to have an idea of my life, not as the slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know.”
Joanna Field

“Marion Milner, sometimes known as Marion Blackett-Milner, was a British author and psychoanalyst. Outside psychotherapeutic circles, she is better known by her pseudonym, Joanna Field, as a pioneer of introspective journaling.” Source: Wikipedia