Elliptical Life

This morning I am working on another dictated entry. I hope the program I am using will learn my speech patterns as well as I am learning its idiosyncrasies. I’m unaccustomed to speaking so quickly but I will get used to it.

Another sunny day has dawned. When I looked out the window this morning the thermometer read 10°C. The temperature in the house dropped 1°C over the course of the night. We are cozy here, and will be even cozier when we get energy-efficient windows and doors. Those projects are off in the future, as this is not the year that we are spending a lot of money on infrastructure at Mist Cottage.

I’m really enjoying Attila’s present work schedule. Morning is my favourite time of day. Attila and I arise early each morning, and Attila leaves for work early in the morning. My mornings are long and they fly by. I barely have time to notice that Attila is not here, before he is coming in the door with a happy greeting. Of course, I would prefer that Attila were here all the day long, and that is what he would prefer as well. Perhaps a time will come when we are both here at the same time, each and every day.

Most days I manage to work out on my elliptical walking machine. I do like it, as long as I do not overdo it. Although I know that it is recommended that I spend much more time on it than I do, common sense and the limits of pain tell me that what I am doing is perfect for me. The work out usually consists of 20 minutes of walking, while watching a video on either Netflix or YouTube.

Yesterday I purchased another ball of yarn from Walmart, the only retail outlet with quality yarn within easy driving distance. It is another cotton yarn, Bernat Handicrafter, that I will use to make a kitchen towel for Grace the Trailer. I like to have a simple project on the go, that I can take with me to the camp, or on car trip. In reality while at the camp I seldom take up my crochet project, because I am very busy working on projects in the great outdoors.

The weather report says it will be a beautiful weekend. The weather will be nice enough for me to wear the beautiful clothes my Mom sent me.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Friday 9 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 18.2°C
Dew point: 14.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: SSW 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Aldous Huxley
1894 – 1963

Not being able to participate in music, silence has been my refuge.

Plastic Cards

Plastic cards, a make work program.

Hours of concentration were required to assess the gift card situation here. For instance, the $100 gift card, received as a bonus when the dishwasher was purchased, has a balance of $6.42 remaining. Attempts to use it as a partial payment have been made at over a dozen retail establishments. All attempts met with rejection. Getting this particular gift card out of the wallet requires a new strategy. It seems simple enough, just use the card for a purchase for $6.42, or less. This strategy demands arithmetical calculations, to add the sales tax to an item in order to hit the target price, or below. So much bother, and yet the card still sits there in my wallet, waiting patiently for me to get my act together.

And then there are the points cards for gasoline. They accumulate, sitting in a pile, identical but for the small code numbers on the back of the cards. Some are empty, some have discounts remaining on them. It takes a telephone call and a pad of stickies to get them sorted out. Eventually, with effort, they can be whittled down to just two discount cards, one for me, one for Attila; more work.

It was a relief to find that the McDonalds card was empty, no funds to spend. I can’t eat anything at McDonald’s anymore, they have warnings about cross-contamination of allergens in their offerings. Russian Roulette is not a game I enjoy playing.

There are still a few outstanding issues with cards, and it is very tempting just to toss them in the trash. Throwing a few dollars in the trash, however, is unthinkable in our household! Every penny counts. If we are going to throw money away we will do it for love or pleasure, but not convenience.

Walmart offers a photo print service. This morning I ordered a print of a photograph, just to assess the quality of their product. It is very simple to order online, and pick up the finished product the next day at the chosen Walmart store. It ended up that the photo was ready for pickup today, that was fast.

An interesting tool is a drain cleaner. A price comparison revealed shocking results! Our local Home Depot sells the cleaner for $2.88, and the first such product that comes up on the search at Amazon.ca is $25.80. What a joke! Amazon.ca did have some less expensive offerings, as low as $5.91, which is twice the price of the the one at Home Depot, with shipping to pay on top of that. Amazon.ca prices are insane. We will wait until our next visit to Home Depot and pick one up at that time, there is no urgent need for it.

I spent time learning to cast the first stitches with the crochet hook today. It was easier than yesterday, but I can see that the tension is going to be an issue for me. I have yet to find a way to hold the yarn to get an even tension, and thereby an even stitch. I have tried some of the suggested methods that I found online, but I will have to keep trying. I don’t have fine motor control in my right hand, so it will take me some time to get this figured out, a work around will be found eventually. Practising was fun!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EST Tuesday 28 February 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 8.7°C
Dew point: 2.3°C
Humidity: 64% Wind:
E 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.”
Edgar Allan Poe
1809 – 1849

First I Will Eat A Banana

I legally changed my name 20 years ago. For the very first time since I made that change, I wrote my former name down without thinking. Why?! It could be that this Christmas I am feeling particularly close to my brother, who passed away in July, and that is the name I carried through many of my memories of our time together. It does seem very odd though, to have written that down without even realizing it.

The road is white and snow packed. The sidewalks are intermittently cleared or covered with frozen, uneven mounds of ice and snow.

My daily walk has become untenable, hopefully this is temporary, but that remains to be seen. So, I am planning a remedy walk at Walmart. Say what you like about the big box stores, but their floors are always level, and clear of snow and ice. There are smaller stores to visit of course, but they would not appreciate me walking around the interior in circles for an extended period of time, and their ware is more costly than the fare at Walmart. I always manage to find something at Walmart that I need and can afford. This is the hardest part of winter, the restrictions on mobility. It is worst for people with some disabilities, seniors, and mothers of young children. If I could do one thing in Canada to improve community life, it would be to keep walkways cleared of snow and ice through the winter. Think of how much employment that could create!

In preparation for this incredible excursion, first I will eat a banana. It does not due to enter a retail establishment when you are hungry; you never know what you will be tempted to spend money on. Then I will put together a magnificent fashion-crime-chic ensemble to wow them at Walmart. Walmart is the perfect venue for fashion-crime-chic, maybe some spiteful clever soul will take my picture to display for public shaming and ridicule on their Facebook page, or blog, or twitter… do they display images on twitter? Anyway, that doesn’t really matter. Today I am feeling just a bit irreverent, and this little excursion should scratch the itch.

My main purchase today will be garbage bag stickers. Of course, they don’t sell these at Walmart, so the local convenience store will be my first destination. I won’t be able to strut my fashion-crime-chic outfit there though, because it is in a area of subsidized housing, and the competition for first place is just too fierce. I am resigned to blending in as an average citizen on my first stop.

But first the banana!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 December 2016
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -2.5°C
Dew point: -6.2°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: SSW 32 gust 43 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 24 km


“Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.”
Gloria Swanson
1899 – 1983