Love These Weekends!

We had a busy weekend. Oh how I love the sound of that sentence!

On Saturday we attended a family event to celebrate the engagement of my niece. My Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Beau Bob organized and hosted the happy event, great food, wine, and good company, a winning combination. My Mom and my five brothers and sisters were there, and it was wonderful to share such a happy time together.

We returned home on Sunday morning, to relax and putter around the house for the day.

On Sunday Attila loaded yet more scrap wood into Tank. The scrap consisted of some of the old shed door, that was missed the first time around, and the mousey kitchen cupboards that were removed when the dishwasher was installed, quite disgusting they were. All gone now though. We have had rain and the fire ban was suspended, so that I could burn all of the scrap in a campfire. We have a bit more scrap wood left to burn, that would not fit into Tank, it was sitting under the back porch when we moved here.

The garden shed is still not completed, as Attila lost his momentum due to unforeseen family events this summer. It is close to being finished though, tantalizingly close.

When I arrived at the hospital to have my toe nail looked at, my blood pressure was taken, it was very very high, 180/115. I questioned the doctor about it during the examination, and she said no big deal, “people are just nervous about being here”. I would have none of it, I have been to Emergency many times before and my blood pressure had not risen in this way. I stayed put on the bed, I was going nowhere with blood pressure that high. So the nurse took it again, and it was down to 164/99, so they insisted that I was fine, and should go home without looking any further into it.

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:

Normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure is normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg.

Prehypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Prehypertension tends to get worse over time.

Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.

Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.
The Mayo Clinic

Ignoring blood pressure that high was unacceptable to me, I could feel something wasn’t right. So this morning I took myself to a walk-in clinic, which was a 45 minute drive from Mist Cottage. I am glad I did. My blood pressure was high when the doctor there took it, he suggested increasing the dosage of my medication, and gave me a prescription. He also looked over the blood work report that was done after I was told I had Chronic Kidney Disease. He confirmed that I do not have Chronic Kidney Disease. I was very pleased with the visit.

At home, an hour after I took the additional dosage of medication for high blood pressure, my blood pressure had dropped to normal, the high end of normal, but normal. I am feeling much better.

Luna has decided to go back to school to work on a science degree, and to that end she begins classes when the children return to elementary school. Their’s will be a very busy household this autumn! Luckily Janus has a generous amount of time off work, he is going to need it.

The weather is still warmer than I would like, and humid. Cooler temperatures are always predicted as a few days away, and that is where they have remained all summer, a few days away.

The garden is now lush and green. The green beans are bearing again, there are new tomatoes on the plants, and the peppers seem to have produced some small fruits. The Scarlet Runner Beans are a joy to behold, their bright blooms festooning the fence and swaying with each passing breeze. The lawn will need to be cut soon, the second cutting since last June!

My Mom is doing very well. She has regained the weight she lost when she was ill, her cheeks are rosy, and the sparkle in her eye is back. We didn’t get much of a chance to visit during the Engagement Celebration, but it was great to see her looking so great!

I just noticed something interesting. We have been watching Lucy Worsley’s “Empire of the Tsars” on youtube. The list of her films that appears down the side of the web page, each offering a posed image of Ms. Worsley. And suddenly she seemed familiar and comforting! I was surprised, wondering where that came from, and then I knew. She reminds me of the paper dolls of my childhood, the ones that came in books, with a doll in a frozen pose, and many outfits to change how she looked. And that is what Ms. Worsley looks like to me, in all her poses, a frozen paper doll with tabbed changes of clothes. I loved playing with those dolls, hearing my Granny in the next room cooking on her wood stove. Thank you Ms. Lucy Worsley for the flashback!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Tuesday 30 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 25.2°C
Dewpoint: 17.3°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SSW 27 gust 37 km/h
Humidex: 31


“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955

A Thousand Poets In His Head

Yesterday I completed the University self-study course I was taking. I did manage to 100% on most of the quizzes the first time around, and 100% on the less than perfect three of the quizzes the second time round. I learned a few new things, which is always fun!

When we bought the second hand windows for the little house, we bought two for the country house. For the last five years or so we have been seriously discussing the replacement of the master bedroom windows. We priced them at $500 to $600 per window, which would ring in at between $1000 and $1200 before taxes. Understandably, we haven’t chosen to invest that much money in two new windows that we could manage without. But when we had the opportunity to buy two used windows for the master bedroom at $50 per window, well, we could not pass that up.

So after I finished my course, and ate my lunch, I headed out to the screened in porch to clean one of the two “new” windows. It took a few hours, they are very dirty. Dirt can be cleaned, the important aspect of these windows is that they function well, and will help keep the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Today I cleaned the second window. They are ready to install, if Attila has time this autumn.

Attila is racing the calendar now, trying to get firewood in from the back of the property before heating season begins. He works toting and splitting and stacking wood every night, for a few hours, as soon as grabs a bite to eat after arriving home from work. We can always purchase more firewood if we have to, but that goes against the grain for Attila. He is determined to fill our woodshed with our own wood.

As Attila was splitting wood in front of the woodshed yesterday evening, our neighbour drove into the drive, he came to offer Attila the use of his wood splitter. He had heard Attila splitting wood and kindly offered to let us use his wood splitter. Attila does not like wood splitters. He would rather use an axe. Since I have only ever used an axe to split wood, I had no opinion on the subject. So Attila thanked him and declined the kind offer. I don’t know, it sounds like it would be easier to use a wood splitter to me, but Attila was firm, having spent a week splitting wood with a splitter at one point, he really did not want to use one ever again.

It was very kind and considerate of our neighbour to make the offer. This is the fellow who ploughed our driveway for us with his riding snow blower, that first winter we lived here, before we even had a proper snow shovel. I have never spoken with this neighbour face-to-face, and in the ten years we have lived here we have only exchanged greetings, a wave in passing, fewer times than I can count on two hands. His wife has never even waved in passing, or spoken to me; once in the last ten years she said hello to Attila when they were both at the Post Office picking up the mail, he said she was friendly enough. There are only three properties on our street that are occupied year round, so this seems cold. Be that as it may, when the chips are down, they are very good neighbours to have.

My lone trip to the little house in the city approaches, it requires careful planning. Things have been added to the list, and gathered together in the living room, ready to pack the car next week. The projects to be undertaken during the visit must be carefully thought out, and all the equipment and supplies needed for each must make the trip with me. Attila hopes to finish the firewood while I am away, I fervently hope he manages it, as I miss his company when he has to get at it, every evening after he comes home from work.

On Wednesday last Attila repaired our little car, and it can now be used for his commute back and forth to work. This is quite a relief! We extended ourselves financially, to install the heat pump at the little house in the city, and it will be quite some time before we catch up. Buying another car at this point would bring hardship. Crisis averted! Bravo Attila!

Our little car is a 1998 model Toyota. We bought it new, in the days when I had a job and could obtain a loan. Over the last 16 years it has required little in the way of repairs, and has run reliably, and inexpensively. It is showing its age now, but we hope to keep it in good mechanical order, and on the road, for another five years or so.

Rummaging around in the cupboard today, I came across an jar of Pear Marmalade that I had canned in 1993. The ring was rusted, so was the lid. No spoilage could be detected though. The contents of the jar, when I washed off the dust, seemed as perfect as the day they had been canned. So I pried the lid off with a loud POP, the seal was still good! That would be 21 years ago that I canned that marmalade, and the seal was still strong and intact. It smelled fine, I gave it a little taste, no deterioration in taste either. Pear Marmalade was an experiment on my part, and as far as I am concerned the recipe is not a keeper! The proof of that, is that I did not keep the recipe! I threw out the Marmalade, not because it had spoiled, but because I do not like it.

Then and there I decided that I will make no more jams or jellies until the very last jar in our possession has been located and consumed. Then I will start again. I should be canning jams and jellies again by next summer.

A few years ago I made Sumac Jelly, and discovered that it is one of my favourites, right up there with Black Currant Jam, and Marmalade. I have a few jars left, which I will enjoy this winter. I also have a few jars of Grape Butter that I made quite a while back, still good though. And of course, the ever popular Strawberry Jam, mine was made with wild strawberries. Attila does not eat jams or jellies, only me. I love a little dollop on toast, or a bagel, or a cracker. It makes a nice little pick me up on a busy day.

Today was another beautiful day! With the windows wide open, all the sounds of nature could be heard. including the sharp, frequent, repetitive clangs, as acorns fell from the tall oak trees that surround us. Those acorns were bouncing high when they hit the deck; I would not want one of them landing on my head! No danger of that inside the house though.

Now, how is this for silly! At lunchtime I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat, so I sat down at the computer to look for a recipe, and three and a half hours later I remembered, that I forgot to eat lunch! Life is good.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 26 September 2014
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 22.0°C
Dewpoint: 13.3°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h
Humidex: 25


“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
1893 – 1957

Not always true, in my opinion. My dear friend Paul had a photographic memory. When in a state of high emotion, the first words that connected for him were appropriate quotations. It was a knee-jerk reaction, his memory was of such monumental proportions that it overwhelmed him. He had a lot of original thoughts, was a well published writer in his own right. When emotions were high his personal expressions were drowned out, the thousand poets in his head fought for, and won, his voice.