Twitter Is For The Birds

The weather was sunny and warm and perfect on arrival day at the little house in the city. Yesterday the clouds moved across the sky and a gentle rain settled over the area. This morning the rain has stopped, and little bit of sunshine peaks out from behind the clouds, occasionally and briefly.

I had a slow and lazy Saturday morning. First thing, after chatting with Attila, I baked a Giant Oven Pancake, which I enjoyed topped with applesauce, with a glass of cold milk on the side. Washing up did not take very long.

I showered. The novelty of a shower, in this house, has not lessened. I know that eventually I will take it for granted, being able to pop into the shower any time, but not yet.

After dressing I took my wet towels out to the back porch, where we have strung rope from post to post, across the entire length of the porch. The air was filled with the scent of fallen leaves, damp with yesterday’s rain. Birds of all kinds happily twittered from every direction. It was one of those moments when the little things seem overwhelmingly precious.

Twitter, in my world, is for the birds.

The to-do list, written over this morning’s coffee, is sitting beside the computer. There are a few items that would require a half hour drive to accomplish; those are being ignored for the next few days at least. The remaining tasks are mundane, bagging old newspapers to transport north for starting fires, vacuuming, dusting, and making more applesauce from the Macintosh apples purchased last Monday on the trip down.

The two free weekly newspapers add up to a lot of newsprint in a very short time. I will be taking this newsprint back north with me, we have lots of uses for it in the country. The bags are on the living room floor, and that is the original hardwood. It is damaged in spots, but we want to sand it and stain it a dark colour to mask the damaged areas. Near the front door it has rotted, so I would like to cut out the rot and design an interesting handmade wood “tile” to insert there.
Bagged newspapers DSCF3611

The computer sits open on the kitchen table, beside the mug of drinking water which is always on the go. The routine: is work a little an item on the to-do list, rest at the table, drink a little water, putter on the computer, work a little on the to-do list, and so on.

The water at the little house in the city reeks of chlorine. My eyes sting and are red rimmed after my showers. I don’t like drinking it, it tastes like dirt, even when filtered. So, for this visit I filled two empty, clean, four litre jugs with tap water from our well at the country house. The well water runs through a UV filter, and then we use a Brita filter to remove excess minerals. I’ve been keeping the Brita filter here topped up with the country well water. I have about three litres left.

Listeria contamination in processed lunch meats has been a health risk in Canada in recent years. It is particularly serious for older people, and that means me! I miss cold cuts, so my solution is to sauté salami slices, or summer sausage, cool it, and then add it to my sandwich. It isn’t quite the same, but it will have to do.

Tonight, to entertain myself. I am watching Anastasia, starring Ingrid Bergman. The last time I viewed this film was many years ago. At that time there was no conclusive evidence that Anastasia had perished with her family. In 2007 her remains were found and tests confirmed that all of the princesses, including Anastasia, perished in 1918.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Saturday 5 October 2013
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 14.9°C
Dewpoint: 6.8°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: NNE 19 km/h


“I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.”
Alexander Humboldt
1769 – 1859

Endless Self Promotion

Life has been very quiet since our visitors left on Tuesday. Which is a good thing really, quiet is good; just a little on the quiet side is all.

The weather has been sunny, so that we have been able to proceed with the deck staining project. On Wednesday night Attila applied the second coat to most of the deck, and last night he finished the job. Hopefully this penetrating stain will last through the winter!

Luna brought a very large zucchini with her when she visited, and left it here for us. I used half of it, with some carrots, onion, garlic and olive oil, to make a soup. The other half was cut into medallions and baked as Zesty Zucchini, which is very good. The soup, well it was palatable, but nothing to write home about.

We have gathered together all the materials we think we need to proceed with the toilet installation at the little house in the city. It will be tricky, we will only be visiting overnight on our next visit. I do not relish staying in a house with no toilet! We get there late in the day on our overnight visits, so we won’t be installing the toilet until the following morning. Tricky! Thank goodness there is a McDonalds restaurant, an all-night gas bar, and a WalMart within easy driving distance; we will need to visit their facilities I am sure.

I think this is the worst of the renovation at the little house in the city. We knew the bathroom was truly a disaster, but we were hoping we could get the old toilet out and the new in quickly. That did not happen. Better luck next time!

I have been posting away on Facebook and have to admit that it is the most depressing place to spend time, in my life. I like reading the postings of others, as they alert me to all kinds of truly interesting things on the internet. That is a plus. Be that as it may, the depressing aspect is the “social” aspect of the media. It isn’t really “social” at all. It seems more to me like a bulletin board, sitting out in the wilderness, in the rain, with signs of recent human activity pinned in brightly coloured notes all over it, but no sign whatsoever of the humans themselves. Bleak, a loud and colourful bleakness, and emptier for all the noise and colour.

On the other hand, I find the blogs that I follow quite interesting, and affirming. The blogs I follow are offered as modes of communication, rather then vehicles of self-promotion and propaganda; commercial viability is not a factor in their creation. There is always the opportunity to interact. These are lives I can understand and relate to, the experiences shared are familiar. There is very little high drama, lots of details about day-to-day life; the best kind of “reality” there is. I read blogs written by people of all ages, although with the younger crowd it is difficult to find a blog that does not fall under the category of “self-promotion”; it seems to be how they see the world. Many of the under forty blogs start out with the portrayal of a dramatic shift in lifestyle, that disintegrate quickly into a retreat back to the mainstream. Much of what is written by the under forty crowd reminds me of the Smurfs. Still, I have managed to unearth the writings of some very interesting blogs by people under forty.

“All the lonely people, where do they all come from”?

Here is a video that reflects how I feel about social media, and outlines the concepts very succinctly:

Being a part of Facebook is being a part of nothing.

While eating breakfast, gazing out the window into the sunshine, I became aware of a steady stream of flying insects passing up and by. Further investigation showed that there were thousands and thousands of these insects, launching themselves up and away, from the rocks and stumps near the ground. What are they? I have no idea, but I can see they are not mosquitoes. I do hope they are not planning on infesting and killing any of our forest. One never knows these days, what imported menace will emerge to permanently change the landscape! Hopefully they are harmless and will provide a rich resource for the ecosystem here.

I think they would all agree, it is a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

Granny’s House
DSCF3070 grannys house

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Saturday 17 August 2013
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.0°C
Dewpoint: 9.7°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: WNW 8 km/h


“The multitude of books is making us ignorant.”
1694 – 1778