The Blessed Cool: Autumn

The Blessed Cool: Autumn

Yesterday was hot and humid. I didn’t go outside very much because my body does not tolerate heat and humidity with grace and ease. The hot and humid weather appeared in June, and only let up for a few days through the whole summer season, until today. So here it is the 19th of September, with autumn about to enter the scene in a few days, (9:54 p.m. on Saturday, September 22nd). Suddenly the temperature has plummeted from 22C at this time yesterday morning, to 14C this morning.

I am wearing socks! And long pants! And shoes with toes in them! And I am comfortable! Being almost naked has its moments, but I prefer to be clothed for the most part!

This morning’s breakfast consisted of two Turmeric Breakfast Cookies, and a cup of coffee (50% chicory 50% coffee) with a teaspoon of maple syrup and a few tablespoons of almond milk. The cookies are a big hit with me! The first batch I made using squash puree, the last two batches were made with my canned applesauce. I keep them in the refrigerator because they disappear only two at a time, and are quite moist, so I want to prevent spoilage.

On the weekends Attila likes to BBQ chicken and sausages for himself, which he will share with me if I so desire, but I seldom do. Last weekend my food of choice was a recipe I made up myself, for the Instant Pot of course! I call it Spinach Quinoa ala Maggie, and I love it! It isn’t pretty though, something about brown quinoa and dark green spinach that doesn’t soar visually. Just the same, I have found a dish that I can make for myself that feels like a treat and is still healthy.

Attila continues to wander into the garden when he gets home from work, emerging with ripe tomatoes and Scarlet Runner beans which he brings to me in the kitchen. The bean harvest is providing enough beans to eat daily, and the tomatoes are mostly going into the freezer for canning later. Some of the tomatoes being are being set aside to make sandwiches.

Attila is getting physiotherapy for his back and ankle, thank goodness that has started. He is slowly getting better, but if he stays on his feet for very long he begins to limp. He limps by the end of his workdays.

A recent visit to the doctor revealed that my blood pressure is higher than last year, lower than the last time I visited the doctor, and borderline on needing further intervention. The upshot is that the only thing left for me to do myself to keep it where it is, is more exercise. I do get exercise, I move around all day. The doctor and I talked about that, and the thing is, she explained, that I should get my pulse up to 100 or 110 for 20 minutes at least three times a week. Well, despite the fact that I am up and about quite a bit in a day, I doubt I get my pulse up that high for twenty minutes at a time. This is where the elliptical machine comes in. I haven’t been using it over the summer, to hot, too humid, and much too busy with other interesting things to to do. It is easy to just ignore it.

Another influence that has had a negative effect on my habitual use of the elliptical machine is the incessant public commentary on how people should exercise 20 minutes EVERY day. If I weaken and listen to that, which I occasionally do, after a week or two I begin to avoid the thing, and shortly after that I find that I completely ignore it. Better some than none, and three times a week is a schedule I can follow without getting discouraged and/or overwhelmed. So much of what is in the media encourages us to PUSH, PUSH, PUSH for MORE, MORE, MORE, when in reality slow and steady usually wins the day. Everything in moderation makes for a more balanced life.

Also, recent medical test results have revealed that I do not have any aneurisms, how great is that! This past year I have had many medical tests, and my health is excellent, I should be good for a good many years to come. It is nice to hear the doctor say that!

Today our oil heating system was inspected, as required by law. It passed with flying colours. Thank goodness. In ten years it will require another inspection, and we are pretty sure it will pass that one as well.

A big discovery around here was unearthed by Attila. Our “walking onions” suffered from some kind of strange mildew this summer, which killed all the green tops. The plants were assumed dead. But then new shoots began to reach out to the sky, green and vigorous. Attila picked many of them, and put them in the dehydrater. It took days for them to dry, running the dehydrater in the evenings when the hydro was off-peak. The flavour is WOW, amazing, outstanding. Who knew! Next summer’s garden will include a lot of these onions, and the dehydrated onion will become a major flavouring in our cooked dishes. You know when there is a big discovery at Mist Cottage, it usually involves tasty food!

Attila and I are finding enjoyment in each other’s company, and in life.



Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 19 September 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 13.8°C
Dew point: 11.8°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: N 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“How beautiful maleness is, if it finds its right expression.”
D. H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia, pg 62
1885 – 1930

Well, I agree, and wish that every little baby boy was born into an environment that helped him find his own right expression.


  1. I made another batch of Maggie cookies yesterday and threw in some leftover trail mix that was sitting in the cupboard. Delicious! I will continue to make your cookies.

    I get so discouraged with exercise. The last I read was 45 minutes daily. I gave up because it’s too much. But I know you are right. Slow and steady.

  2. Birdie, glad you like the cookies, and thanks for the tip on a the trail mix, what a great addition!

    I get caught on the too much often enough, you would think I’d learn! I am back at my three times a week, 20 minutes routine and it is easy to maintain… I watch my favourite Netflix shows while I am walking, so I look forward to it, it is a nice little break. Gentle pushing is OK, bit by bit, but push, push, push is over the top for me.

  3. WendyNC

    Recipe bookmarked! I don’t have an Instant Pot, but this is easily adapted for stove cooking. Hard to beat with two of my favorite ingredients.

    Bah, humbug and phooey to the MORE, MORE, MORE people. I’m convinced that moderation and doing the best we can, as we can, is the way to go, especially since most of us around here aren’t so young anymore.

  4. Wendy, I used to cook something similar with pasta which I called Spinach Balls, loved it, so it is just a variation with quinoa, healthier too.

    Humbug indeed! The best we can is what humans do best, the older we get, the better we gat at it!

  5. Teri, ten minutes sounds great! But like you, the exercise schedule they outline in the article are not ones I would attempt. The 72 minutes of exercise a week, done in 10 minute intervals means exercising vigorously for ten minutes every day, another down side of the activities outlined. Every day isn’t something I do, unless it is drinking my morning coffee, or eating meals… the rest is first come, first served, and vigorous exercise isn’t going to come first every day for more than a week or so. I would feel better about their exercise suggestions if they hadn’t come from a “fitness and triathlon expert”, that kind of expertise is overkill for my lifestyle. I’d also like to see examples in additin to Renata, who is post menopausal, but young enough to be my daughter, there are a variety of ages post menopausal, the article focuses on the younger end of the spectrum. I’d like to see included advice from someone who is a senior with a few health issues to consider.

    I will be content with getting my heart going on the elliptical for 20 minutes three times a week, maybe more if I want to watch more Netflix.

  6. Teri

    I take the article with a grain of salt. I was just pointing out that there is now research that shows 10 minutes per day is enough. But honestly, I think that just moving actively, like walking at a good pace, for that long would be a help to women of our age.

    I guess in finding the article again I was just trying to get you some “permission” for lowering your time to 10 minutes. 😉

    Personally, I walk the dogs with DH every evening. Since the last leg is up hill, I do get my heart level up but I honestly don’t gage my exercise in anynway.

  7. Teri, I agree, a grain of salt is appropriate. My 87 year old Mom doesn’t work out, never did, but she “keeps moving”, and always did.

    I hate gauging my activities, but because I don’t go out for a walk regularly, and my blood pressure indicates additional measures are called for, the elliptical will serve my purposes. I love to walk, but I tire so easily of walking alone on pavement and sidewalks, having to constantly greet strangers, etc. When I lived in Toronto I loved walking around alone, there were no expectations or judgements about social interactions there, small neighbourhoods can be cloying.

    Your evening walks sound wonderful!

  8. Teri

    DH and I have taken to long walks on the beach when we’re at the cottage. I’m finding my knee and feet like walking on the sand. It’s increased my strength, balance, and allowed me to increase my walking pace. My walking at home has become easier due to the beach walking.

    The cold front just blew through here. The temp has already dropped 4C in just an hour. Fortunately, I’m finally ready for Fall to begin.

  9. Teri, your beach walks sound wonderful, such benefits and beautiful as well!

    Glad to hear the cold front is heading has hit Ontario and is heading east! I wait for it with great anticipation! I am ready for fall to begin too.

  10. meriset

    I’m so glad you got a reassuring health report! Your garden results sound quite tasty, (I love onions, (Julia is chopping up an onion for cooking as I type, 🙂 ) ). If you wanted a bit more heat where you’re at (14C (57F) sounds so cold to me), if I could, I’d send you some of ours (ours is predicted to be around 40C (104F) here). Your days sound happy, and I am glad!

  11. Joan, I feel very lucky to have such a decent health report, for my age! I rememer when I was at the other side of this medical comment “for your age”, the doctor would always say things like “you will recover quickly, it isn’t a serious issue for someone your age”, and things like that. Well, no more. Now it is “the issue won’t go away, but you are in pretty good shape, for your age”. 🙂

    I too love onions! They are a staple food here, adding so much flavour to dishes, I can’t imagine cooking without onions!

    14C isn’t warm, but if you dress accordingly, it is quite pleasant out of doors, when you are moving around. It isn’t so great indoors where you might want to sit and read, or crochet. Mist cottage is maintaining a lovely 21/22C temperature, night and day. The night before last went down to 4C, and it was still 21.5 C in the house, in the morning. These new windows and insulation are amazing, what a difference.

    I think I would melt at 40C, or at least I would have to remain perfectly still with a fan blowing over me, just to survive it! Goodness, how do you and Julia manage it!

    Thank you for your good wishes Joan, and sending the same south to you!

Comments are closed.