The warm weather continues, with some humidity.

My Mom received her birthday present today, she said she likes it. I was concerned about the gift wrapping, as I had no idea what sort of wrapping it would be. Mom said the box came in a “A lovely bag tied with a bright red ribbon. Not paper.”

Mom birthday present 2018 Mom just sent me this picture of her birthday present (Friday, May 4, 2018), so here it is! Thanks Mom!

The temperature in the house remained relatively constant through the night last night, coming in at 21C first thing this morning. The chilly night had almost no effect on the temperature in the interior of the house. This is a new phenomenon, and a welcome one. The heat was turned off on Tuesday evening, so the only explanation for the maintained temperature during the night is the new attic insulation, and the new windows.

This combination of home improvements makes a noticeable difference in how the house feels, and in how I remain comfortable in the house. Suddenly, even with the outdoor temperature falling to 10C overnight, the house maintains its heat. In the winter months the thermostat is turned to 17C for the night, my preferred night time temperature. My light weight duvet provides far too much warmth for an indoor temperature of 20C or higher.

Nightwear and bedding need to be adjusted. Tonight a summer weight pair of pyjamas will be worn, as an experiment, while leaving the duvet on the bed. If I am too warm tonight, tomorrow the duvet will be cleaned, and put away until next autumn; the flannelette sheets will be stripped off the bed, to be replaced with cotton percale sheets. If I am still too warm, I will leave the ceiling fan running while I sleep.

If these measures fail to provide a comfortable night’s sleep, then a day and evening with the windows open might lower the interior temperature. Failing that, as a last resort, the air conditioning could be turned on. Air conditioning seems so wrong, as the heat was just turned off the day before yesterday.

The hydro bills have taken a dive, which they usually do at this time of year, when the air source heat pump runs infrequently. Checking usage online, the month of April saw a 4% drop from last year, in the amount of electricity used. This is more significant than it sounds, as April this year was very cold compared to last year. Despite the increased heating demands based on temperature, fuel consumption decreased. Because of the generous government grants for these upgrades, our investment was lowered to the point that we might see a return over the next few years. Of course, that is assuming the funding reaches us. The cheque is “in the mail”, so to speak, so fingers are crossed that it will actually arrive.

I am enjoying Tai Chi, and have started to follow videos and continue on with it at home, as my paid lessons are coming to an end soon. I anticipate a smooth transition. Videos make learning easy; pressing pause, and repeating the move in the video, allows for personalized instruction. I have my little learning aids. Being slightly dyslexic, the moves can be very confusing in the mirror image that one sees in a video. To resolve this, the demonstrators outfit was determined to have a more intense colour on the right side. A wrist band on my right wrist allows the wrist and intensity to match. Where there is a will there is a way, with many things in life. I tend to be delighted with my little work arounds, it is wonderful to enjoy my ingenuity without a critical, and sadly articulate, “eye” present.

I may return to the paid lessons at a later date, I do enjoy them, but for now they are very expensive. The cost of the lessons is just within financial grasp, but the fuel for travel makes it a very expensive pastime. Perhaps it will be a future indulgence. The warm weather months are not a time for schedules!

Attila and I continue share our house in peace. The garage project is not schedule until June, his art studio will not be available for quite some time. Happily he is finding great pleasure in working in the garden.

My days pass peacefully, reading, crocheting, writing, working on genealogy, taking on small projects like cleaning Iris the trailer, cooking, baking, cleaning, and now sitting on the back porch enjoying the activity of the birds, the squirrels, the rabbits, and the ever active purple ball that lives in the back yard.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Thursday 3 May 2018
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.4°C
Dew point: 14.4°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: WSW 10 km/h
Visibility: 3 km

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Bruce Lee
1940 – 1973

Weekday Dinner

It snowed last night, but this morning the sun came up and shone brightly. A brilliant morning. I have taken to taking little drives when the mood strikes me, just here and there, or anywhere, with no particular purpose or destination. I drove a bit this morning, the countryside was beautiful, glittering white frosting on the trees, crisp blue sky… lovely.

By mid-afternoon a heavy now began to fall from the sky. The weather report predicts snow off and on for the next week or so. Winter has settled in.

Attila and I had a discussion, and I will be doing the weekday cooking of dinner. This suits me fine. Attila had taken over the cooking the evening meal, decades ago, and held onto that over the years, but now finds it tedious and time consuming. During the week it will be easy for me to take the reins, and cook a meal every weekday. Tonight, we begin with spaghetti and my red pepper tomato sauce. It is interesting that the first night I cook the meal, Attila called to say he is working a few hours overtime and will be home late. The spaghetti sauce is made, the pasta can be cooked after he arrives. Two first this evening, the first evening of the new cooking schedule, and the first time Attila has worked overtime at the end of a work day, at this place of employment.

Yesterday I got a lot of my big projects as far as they could go, which means that today I am looking at other projects. I have begun again to work on the genealogy book, I have some tough decisions to make about it going forward, all to do with those pesky images, they are so painful to deal with, inserting them, placing them, referencing them… I will slog on.

One of Attila’s stated goals is to work more overtime, and on statutory holidays, so that he can take time in leu of, and so gain more time off work. He worked an overtime day between Christmas and New Years, and is working overtime this evening. He would like to work on every statutory holiday.

I am preparing myself for the intrusion of contractors, first to insulate the attic in February, then to install the new windows in April. There will temporary chaos, followed by a satisfying clean up and return to order. The work will be done quickly, inexpensively thanks to the grants, and Attila won’t have to lift a finger. Well, not entirely true, Attila needs to move two pieces of furniture out of the way on the main floor, for the window installations, and a lot of stuff out of the way in the basement for the window installations. He does have until April to accomplish this though, there is lead time.

Now, for a little Tai Chi and a walk on the elliptical machine!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:07 PM EST Thursday 8 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.9°C
Dew point: -11.4°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SSE 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -16
Visibility: 8 km


“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”
George Burns
1896 – 1996

Taking aim!

The Terrarium

This morning arrived early for me, 5:00 a.m. I was up and about, puttering, sitting at the kitchen table with my copy of the Five Roses Cookbook, just like my Granny’s. Auntie Mame and I were chatting yesterday about that cookbook, she began with it when she was nine years old, and carried on to become a Chef. I began with it by my Granny’s side, as she used it all during my childhood. It was propped up on the kitchen table in Granny’s kitchen, the table was the only working surface in the kitchen, and beside it the wood stove burned happily, waiting for our creations.

Attila arose hours later, around 9:00 a.m., he needs much more sleep than I do, and usually uses the weekends to catch up after a week of working. As we chatted, sitting on our easy chairs, basking in the morning sun, I glanced at the living room windows to see a big fat black fly crawling across the glass on the inside of the storm window.

I said to Attila, “You know when the weather is warming when you see flies between the window and the storm window!”

Attila laughed and said, “Ah, yes, our terrarium!”

These old windows are the originals, which are single pane glass, with storm windows screwed onto the exterior frame. In warmer weather this space between the glass panes is filled with insects, flies, wasps, lady bugs. They leave excrement on the glass, they do not find their way out again, and their bodies pile up on the window sill below. We would love to replace these old windows, but the cost is beyond us at the moment. I can’t help but think the house would be easier to heat if we could manage new, energy efficient windows, not to mention the improvement in aesthetics. But they are what they are, home sweet home. And, I would choose windows that open, as these single pane windows do not.

The weekend looks like it is going to be sunny and mild, what a treat! Here in Ontario Monday is a statutory holiday, Family Day. Attila already has a shopping spree planned, he finds shopping for food relaxing and satisfying. His focus is on economy, so that he follows points systems. I have to admit he gets the most out of these systems, as he enjoys numbers. I leave it to him and tag along, sometimes choosing something I need to purchase, which isn’t very often, he has the basics covered. Most of my shopping is online because most of the things I decide to purchase are unusual, and not available locally. It is a good combination of shopping strategies, it works for us.

Twenty three years ago today we moved into our first house together. The day was much like today, warm and it felt like spring. The snow had disappeared, and walking was a pleasure. The apartment we had been living in had a problem with the water, so that we had been without water for a week by the time our possession day for the house came along. We didn’t have a vehicle, or anyone who would help us, but we had a large children’s wagon. That first day we loaded towels, toiletries, clean clothes, and food into the wagon, then walked the two or three miles to the our new house. The first thing we did was to bath, the girls first, then me, then Attila. Then we had a lovely picnic on the living room floor. We moved in the next day.

Our first visit to the new house was unforgettable, and not just for us. We enjoyed ourselves, and loved the house. Most of our neighbours found us a bit bizarre, coming to the house with our belongings in a wagon, and most had a sense of humour about it. One did not, and she had a son around Terra’s age. She was not a nice person and said some derogatory things about me, Attila, and our obvious financial state. Terra was very sensitive to this. The woman continued to refer to me as “that woman”, and eventually I didn’t let Terra go to her house to play with her so, it was such a negative environment. We did notice though, for all her airs, the woman’s husband left her and her children, she didn’t pay her mortgage and had to move out of the neighbourhood. I didn’t miss her at all. Other than her, we had great neighbours!

This morning I decided I wanted my hair trimmed. I had cut it about an inch long all over last year, and it has been behaving badly for the last few months. I am growing out the bangs, which I haven’t done since I was in my early 20s. I found a barber shop in a nearby city that was willing to cut women’s hair for the same price as they cut men’s hair, $11. I can afford $11. I liked the place! There were four barbers, one male, three female. All of them took time with the people they were helping, and did a fine job, even on me. I decided just to trim the back of my hair, I can always have bangs cut again at a later date, but first I want to see how they look once they are grown out, and if I like wearing my hair that way.

We decided to drop in the Habitat Store on our way back home. We found not one thing we needed. There were some lovely things there, but we have no more room at home. It was an enjoyable browse. Then we visited the grocery store where Attila had big plans for points. Having loaded up with needful things and points, we headed home with the loot, to unpack it and put it away.

Back at home much of the snow on the front lawn had melted, the grass was showing in some places, where it had been covered with snow when we left this morning.

Attila is now preparing a fish dinner, including a green salad and a stir fry. I am back to my puttering ways. And of course, spending some time before the mirror assessing and admiring my new hair cut!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EST Saturday 18 February 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.5°C
Dew point: 1.4°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 28 gust 46 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.”
Samuel Johnson
1709 – 1784

Be yourself, no one else is any good at it.