Tea’s Ready

5:00 a.m., Saturday, April 4, 2015, Little House in the City

At 3:00 a.m. I was wide awake, and fighting dark thoughts. It happens. The dark thoughts are real, they are relevant, it isn’t worry, it is stark reality. At 3:00 a.m. the dark thoughts seem like the only reality. And that isn’t true. It isn’t true at all. So I spent the wee hours awake, giving the dark side of reality its due, working my way towards putting it all into perspective. By first light, the job was done.

It certainly helped to have Diesel cuddling up to me, as I pondered life, the universe, and everything! He is such an affectionate cat. He has taken to sleeping nose to nose with me. Most of the time I don’t mind this, but this morning he sneezed, and my face got splattered. That had me up in hurry, to wash my face! My first reaction though, was to laugh out loud. Cats do not like to be laughed at! Diesel soon recovered though, and we were best of friends again by the time my face dried.

It was snowing out this morning! It won’t stick around long. The sky was grey though, not very cheerful. On overcast days I like to turn on a few extra interior lights, to keep it cheerful. By 8:00 a.m. the sun was shining bright. How beautiful it is! The fresh fallen snow had melted away already.

I have been testing different nutritional analysis software, for my own use. I prefer not to use an online service, as the internet is not reliable, and there are times and places in my life that it isn’t available at all. I upgraded my recipe software to a version with USDA data, which will analyze my recipes, and also allow me to use my recipes as ingredients. This is handy for things like home canned beans, which I use as an ingredient.

We have eaten almost all of the beans I canned during the last pressure canning session, so next week I plan on putting in a few days canning beans. They are so nutritious, and relatively inexpensive.

I am very keen to setup a canning equipment storage area in the basement here at the little house in the city. The basement is unfinished, dusty, and has a lot of little critters in it, like spiders. I don’t mind these things, but the jars stored as they are now in open boxes, need a lot of preparation time devoted to cleaning. The new system I have in mind was one written about on a blog, she used clear plastic bins with lids, to store the empty canning jars, so that they were clean when she needed them and just needed to be rinsed before use.

What canning means at our house, is that the blue box is relatively empty. When we use a “can” of beans, or tomatoes, the container is recycled by us, we use the jars again and again and again. That means we have jars everywhere! That is why a good storage system is so interesting to me.

We have started to filter tap water for drinking purposes. This has a huge impact on the blue box as well. The blue box now only contains the occasional can from canned goods, soda water cans, plastics, and paper products. The blue box now takes about a month to fill.

The compost heap in the back yard has been great to have! I would like to build a box around it, as right now it is just a heap. The heap works well, very well, but a box surrounding the heap would be more visually appealing. We don’t have any issues with animals because we never ever put out meat or fat waste, that goes in the garbage. Right now I am generating about one grocery bag of garbage a month.

We are planning a garden again this spring, here at the little house in the city. Terra added our seed order to hers, to reduce shipping costs. Who knows how often we will be here at the little house to tend a garden during the summer!

Attila is expecting to arrive this evening. He will stay overnight, and head north to the country house tomorrow, and back to work on Monday. We are switching vehicles, I will need the little car to park for my appointment at the Orthopaedic Clinic this month. Tank is too tall for the parking garage! There is no other affordable parking near the hospital, and I won’t be walking long distances with my knee. So we will switch, and Tank will be heading north tomorrow with Attila.

The vehicle switch is just as well, as I will be doing most of the travelling between homes now that the weather is more predictable. There is a house to put on the market in the north, and a yard that requires a lot of maintenance in the spring in the south. It will be a busy spring and summer for me! It is a given that Attila will have a busy spring and summer, as he will continue to work six days a week, and will soon be adding many hours of overtime to that.

And now I think I will sit myself down at the kitchen table and have that cup of tea!

Worldly Distractions


Little House in the City
Date: 7:12 AM EDT Saturday 4 April 2015
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: -1.2°C
Dewpoint: -2.0°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: NW 20 km/h
Wind Chill: -7

Country House
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Saturday 4 April 2015
Condition: Sunny
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.6°C
Dewpoint: -10.4°C
Humidity: 64%
Wind: NW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -11


“It was his subconscious which told him this—that infuriating part of a person’s brain which never responds to interrogation, merely gives little meaningful nudges and then sits humming quietly to itself, saying nothing.”
Douglas Adams 1952-2001
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.”
Carl von Clausewitz

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Bex Crowell

Those “dark places” in the night are scary. I have them when I go into a dream that is less than fun. Like early this morning. We had a big thunderstorm and heavy deluge of rain around 4:00 am and I had to get up and turn off my computer things in case of lightning strikes… went back to bed and didn’t plan on falling asleep but DID! And into a very strange spy-cold-war-type-of-dream taking place in Belgium with intrigue and suspense and it all! I felt like I’d lived a whole ‘nuther life during that short dream period when I finally woke up again!

Irene Bean

I had a full winter of dark thoughts during the dark hours. The anxiety was inescapable, but I think I managed well with plans set in place as best possible.

Yesterday evening dark thoughts arrived early in the evening when a thunderstorm rumbled over the Cumberland Plateau. I continued to work at my computer, but surrounded myself with accoutrements to ease the dark thoughts… losing electrical power is my inescapable fear. I rolled an E Tank of O2 close to my desk. My flashlight that could light Yankee Stadium was beside me. Cell phone. Morphine in case my oxygen hunger becomes overwhelming and I start to panic. I took a preemptive Lorazepam for anxiety.

I am alone for a couple of days, which is fine. I made it alone through the winter. But now stormy weather is here and it’s even a greater threat than long cold winter nights.

I’m considering a small generator dedicated to my concentrators. It’s very expensive but might be a good investment to keep those dark thoughts at bay.

I so hope with the light of morning and rumbling Diesel that your dark thoughts are assuaged – dashed!

Irene Bean

Thanks, Maggie. The storms on the Plateau are violent but they pass quickly. I used to hold my breath (laughing) until the rumbling and lightening strikes passed – waiting for a fallen limb someone on this vast mountain… or an unfortunate car accident that might down a pole. I try not to fret, but the anxieties are hard to dismiss.

I must clarify (my bad): Linda had to be in Chattanooga, but Brian was upstairs and aware I was *alone*. I guess the dark fears would come even if I was surrounded by a team of caregivers. šŸ™‚ Oxygen hunger is just dark & scary – and having my supply vanish would put me in uber survival mode. This winter I conditioned myself to force myself to think clearly and methodically. Last night’s storm simply added a new twist to my concerns… and I will eventually overcome those fears as best possible. Thanks for your confidence in me – it’s empowering! xo

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Sorry to hear about your time of dark thoughts, Maggie. I hope that Diesel and Attilla will put them back in the closet for you and lock the door.

I’m going to give your dream of years ago a try with analyzing it, so see how it fits to you. Bread is usually life. I would think the orange and fruit peel might be your daughters, the sweetness and almost a spice or flavoring in your life.

Irene Bean

Teri: After you analyze Maggie’s dream, what about my dream – the date with Bill Gates.

Um, on second thought, maybe we should leave that alone. šŸ™‚

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

*chuckle* I didn’t miss my calling, Maggie, so much as step away from it. I have a Magna Cum Laude degree in Psych, but happenstance happened. First, I had a miscarriage and then just a week or so later I broke both my ankles.

It took more than a year for me to walk normally again and by that time I wasn’t interested in following through on being a psychologist anymore. I’d come to the realization that I’d be emotionally overwhelmed. (Or maybe working through some of my own dark tea times over that year I found I didn’t have the ability to armor myself anymore against other people’s hardships the way I’d need to if I were to make a career of psychology.)

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

*chuckle* Reenie, your dream with Bill Gates? Well, I guess we’d need to hear a bit more detail about how the dream went. šŸ˜‰