Hallowe’en

I have begun the process of shutting down some of my web sites. One in particular has few visitors, and is difficult to maintain, security being the issue it is on the information highway. I deleted all files from the server this morning for that site. I have to say I will not miss the constant updating required to keep it secure! For now I will continue to maintain the other sites, as they receive a steady stream of traffic, and are quite useful to those who use them. The other sites are easier to maintain, they are newer and the security software is easier to update.

It is 6:30 a.mm. Through the window I can just begin to make out the silhouette of the ash tree. There are intermittent gusts of wind that set the branches swaying. I love watching the dawn gently nudge the day awake.

Yesterday, and the night before it, were rough ones. I don’t dwell on the sadnesses in my life, they are monoliths of pain, ancient and unmoving mountains, beyond my ability to scale. I do have to visit them though, from time to time. Yesterday, and the night before it, I was camped in the foothills.

I did find that, the night before last when I could not fall asleep, the Melatonin tablet that I placed under my tongue, after a few hours of tossing and turning, helped to take the edge off the pain, enough for me to finally fall into a deep and much needed sleep. As I began to doze off, I promised myself that I would address the issues in the morning, when I was refreshed. Sleep is so very important when one is dealing with sadnesses. I always eat well during these short periods of time. Keeping my physical condition at its best while dealing with difficult issues is crucial.

I kept my promise to myself, and spent yesterday exploring the sadnesses, spending some time with them, affirming that they are indeed very sad, and that there is nothing to be done. Attila and I had a chat last night about the issues, he knew something was amiss with me. He also knows the situations with which I deal, and knows the sadnesses are well founded, inevitable, and that the time I spend with them will be painful but brief. And that was the end to it, until the next time.

Last night I slept soundly, without needing assistance from Melatonin. This morning I awoke refreshed and ready for a new day.

Soon the window replacement will be completed. When it is, Attila will move on to the next project, the new kitchen floor. The materials have been purchased, commercial grade vinyl tiles, low VOC, very inexpensive, very plain.

I have been emptying the storage cabinet in the dining area of the kitchen, bit by bit. It is a big job, as there is really no other place to put the contents. All the drawers are now empty, and I am working on the shelves. I anticipate that by the time the bedroom window project is finished, the storage cabinet will be empty and ready to move. But where to move it! Every square inch in this little house is occupied. It will have to be kept in the middle of the living room I fear, for the duration of the floor installation.

Today is Hallowe’en. We expect a few Trick or Treater’s at the door tonight. We have a pumpkin, which Attila will carve when he gets home from work. We have candy, which we purchased a few weeks ago when it was on sale. The Jack O’ Lantern will be our only decoration. We are not enthusiastic decorators when it comes to “holidays”, except at Christmas, we like to have a Christmas tree, and coloured lights. But Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Easter, we do not decorate. We don’t really notice these days really. But we do know that the kids like Hallowe’en, and Trick or Treating, so we turn on our porch light, light the candle in the Jack O’ Lantern, and distribute sweets to to the kids who come to our door.

“Peter Tokofsky, an assistant professor in the department of folklore and mythology in UCLA states, “The earliest trace (of Halloween) is the Celtic festival, Samhain, which was the Celtic New Year. It was the day of the dead, and they believed the souls of the deceased would be available” (Navarro).” Source: The Origins of Halloween

Hornet's nest For Hallowe’en… some real ghostly remains. This is a hornet’s nest that was built on a branch of the crabapple tree in our front yard. The branch was about three feet off the ground, so this was very low hanging, and might have been bumped into by anyone passing. Attila sprayed it in August, which effectively killed the hornets, and it has hung on the branch ever since, slowly disintegrating in the weather. The high winds we have been experiencing have taken matters into their own hands, to strip the nest of its wrappings, to exposed the combs beneath. The dead bodies of hornets can still be seen in some of the combs. Creepy, and beautiful at the same time. Unfortunately we cannot live comfortably side by side with hornets. Attila is allergic, and the stings are very painful.

I will be thinking of my ancestors tonight, and my loved ones who have passed. I can remember my Grandparents, my Great Aunts and my Great Uncles, and I know by first hand account of their families, who raised them, further back than that I cannot reach with my heart.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 31 October 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 9.4°C
Dew point: 0.4°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: WSW 32 gust 44 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“But psychoanalysis has taught that the dead—a dead parent, for example—can be more alive for us, more powerful, more scary, than the living. It is the question of ghosts.”
Jacques Derrida
1930 – 2004

Canning Beans

Although the weather is springlike, it is early springlike. The wind is strong and nippy, even though the sun is strong. I am still wearing a wool scarf, a wool hat, gloves, and a parka to go for my walks. It isn’t the kind of weather to sit outside and relax in the sun! So I have been turning to indoor tasks.

The Chili Beans I canned over the winter were almost gone. We like our beans, and cook all sorts of dishes with them. I decided it was time to replenish the supply. Monday I canned seven litres of Chili Beans. Yesterday I canned 14 “pints” (500 ml jars) of Molasses Beans. It was the first time I had tried canning a full canner of smaller jars, which are stacked in the canner in two layers.

Canning requires a lot of time on my feet. I did very well with it, but yesterday my knee began to complain, and I could feel it this morning when I swung my legs over the side of the bed to arise. Time to slow down a bit I think!

I like pressure canning. It is extremely precise and time consuming, but for those of us who spend our days at home it is not really an intrusive pastime. Like bread making, it requires input at specific intervals, leaving plenty of time for other tasks over the course of the day.

I used the down time during canning to work on one of my web sites. I have finished transferring the data to a new database, which was extremely time consuming. Now I will move on to more specific design elements, like SEO, setting up statistical reports, and forms of linked social media. Always a learning curve with these things, which makes it interesting.

When the web site I am refurbishing is completed, and has gone live, I will turn my attention to another web site that needs a similar update. This should take me right into the summer as far as projects are concerned.

Terra and Lares dropped by yesterday for a short visit before they met friends for dinner. Terra showed me lots of pictures from their recent trip to a Panama resort.

Next week I will be thinking about heading to the country house, so I let Terra know that arrangements will have to be made to transport Diesel back to Terra’s house. They anticipate that Diesel is not going to be pleased about the change of residence, from being an “only cat” to one of three cats, and two dogs. I wish him well, he has been such a great companion. He cannot come north because he does not tolerate car travel well, even a short trip disorients him for quite some time. A five hour drive might do him real damage. Perhaps he will visit me again when I return to the little house for the bug season.

While Tera and Lares were here I asked Lares to assist me by fetching the ladder, accessing the attic, and bringing down the live trap. It was empty! Hooray! I had decided against trying it myself, while I am here alone. If something happened I would be in a right pickle.

An enterprising squirrel has chewed through the exterior roof trim just under the roof, and is building a nest in the roof. Sigh.

Behind the houses, across the street, there was a small forest. A developer owns the property and decided to build a seniors complex there. Last fall he brought in fellows with chain saws and a giant chipper. The forest is gone. Right now there are diggers and dump trucks working over there. Progress. Maybe, but the squirrel does not think so. She has decided to move in with us, since she was displaced from her natural habitat.

We will not share the house with a squirrel, and her planned family. She has to go. I will bait the live trap, and keep an eye on it. If I catch her, I will take her to a forest far out in the countryside, and wish her luck in her new life. Then, when next Attila visits the little house in the city, he will nail a piece of metal across the area where she chewed through the 2″ thick boards.

We seem to have a distinct animal theme here at the little house in the city! They are our most frequent and avid visitors!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.3°C
Dewpoint: -10.6°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: NE 22 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Country House
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -13.6°C
Humidity: 36%
Wind: E 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”
Joe Ancis

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ah, here it is already, the last day of January, and the sun shone in the morning, then clouded over and offered snowfall this afternoon! We are experiencing another cold snap, both at the little house in the city and the country house. At the little house in the city this means we pay more for heating fuel, at the country house this means that Attila has to work very hard keeping the house warm with firewood. He is looking tired again! The weather should warm up a little by the middle of the week, which will be a relief to Attila for many reasons.

I have been working on the web site for the church each and every day. I have learned a few new tricks with DNS and how the Internet works, which is always fun! The site is coming along nicely, or so I think. The proof will be when I send an image of the final product to the customers; I am sure some editing will be needed, but hopefully just superficial stuff. Then I have to figure out how to “go live”, transferring the site from google, which will be a challenge since I have heard that google does not relinquish its conquests without a struggle. I will do it though!

Yesterday afternoon I took a quick trip to the laundromat. I am becoming accustomed to this task, and can be there and back again in forty minutes. Then of course there is a 24 hour drying period, with damp laundry hung all over the house, over the backs of chairs, on hangers above the tub, everywhere! This morning everything was bone dry, and quickly folded and stored away.

Diesel continues to be good company. He slept with me last night, waking me a few times as he crawled over me. Finally he curled up by my head, fell asleep, and began to snore. This morning he insisted on sitting on my lap to be petted, while I chatted with Attila. He likes a lot of companionship and physical contact, but then so do I, so we are well matched.

When I work on a website I am totally focused for three or four hours. When I stop I am groggy for a while. I was going to pay a bill today, after I finished working on the website for the day. It was a bad idea, I almost paid the wrong bill, but decided it looked wrong. Thank goodness! I will wait until I am fresh and aware tomorrow morning, to tackle paying bills, and sorting through the pile of mail from January.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Another sunny morning! This morning I sipped my coffee and watched as the sun began to light up the distant clouds. How beautiful the early morning is, when all is quiet, the street lights have winked out, and the outside world slowly comes into focus.

The site design I am working on was approved by the customer this morning. I changed zone files for site redirection, it was a little bit of a learning curve. It went smoothly and the new site should go live in the next day or so, then more testing on browsers and devices, and reconfiguring my computer so that I can access the new site.

My last hair cut was a very good hair cut, but it was quite a while ago, last August, the middle of August. The price for that good haircut was more than I could afford, so I haven’t gone back. The fellow cuts men’s hair for $16, but for my haircut he wanted $45 AND a tip. Men get all the breaks at this guys salon.

Last autumn Harriet cut my bangs for me. My hair grows quickly and my bangs have grown so long that I needed barrettes to keep them out of my eyes, so that I can see. I looked ridiculous, as you can imagine. I took to wearing a wool cap with my bangs slicked back underneath, when I needed to go out in public. I thought about going to the cheaper salons, and then I thought about how wretched I always feel after they give me a bad haircut. So this morning I talked the situation over with Diesel, which was really more like talking it over with myself, and decided to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed the kitchen scissors, placed a small garbage can in the bathroom sink, and went at ‘er. I took off more than an inch. It doesn’t look too bad, better than the barrettes, I can see, and the cut within my present budget.

Diesel has short hair. Even so, the hair situation was getting out of hand, so this morning I vacuumed the entire house. It took thirty minutes. I love a small house!

The replacement windows Attila installed last autumn, in the dining area of the kitchen, were stored in sheds near a farmer’s field, where we purchased them. I discovered that they were full of Asian Ladybugs! I have been killing scads of these attractive insects, each and every day. They come out of the nooks and crannies of the window’s mechanisms when the sun shines on the windows. Usually they are crawling on the ceiling, across the window glass, or on the frames around the glass and the windows. I use a scrap of paper towel to capture and destroy them, then throw the collected results in the compost. They smell terrible when they are squished, and their blood is orange. I read that they bite, but I have not been bitten yet, thank goodness. Perhaps by spring I will have caught up with these unwelcome hitchhikers. I don’t mind them outside, but they are not welcome inside the house.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Country House

-24°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 31 January 2015
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -24.0°C
Dewpoint: -26.4°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: calm

Little House in the City

-22°C (the thermometer just outside my kitchen window says -26C!)
Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 31 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -22.2°C
Dewpoint: -26.4°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: NW 4 km/h
Wind Chill:-26

Quote

“Frugality without creativity is deprivation.”
Amy Dacyczyn