The Crust

November, where I have lived, Ontario, is always a month that cannot decide. Is it winter, or is it autumn? Today and tomorrow it will seem like autumn. The last few days have seemed like winter. This is the month where rain freezes, and snow melts. This is a month where steely gray skies suddenly clear to a brilliant blue. This is a month where the temperature can drop to -10C during the night, and rise to 10C the next day.

Here inside my cozy little home, I adore my thermostat. It need only be set to ON, to ensure that I am comfortable all the time, morning, noon, and night. I loved wood heat, that decade we heated exclusively with wood was lovely in some ways. But the work involved in heating with wood is not something to be taken lightly. When my Grandparents heated exclusively with wood, my Grandpa was home for extended periods of time, and my Granny was home full time to keep the home fires burning. It is a completely different thing when everyone has to leave home every day to go to work, and the house sits empty until evening when they return. It is a completely different thing to arrive home from work after a long grueling day, to need to split wood, tote wood, and feed a fire in order to be warm, and often not quite comfortable if not sitting near the source of heat. I would love to have a small wood stove now, as a backup source of heat. I would not want to heat exclusively with wood ever again.

The burn on my finger has now completely healed, thank goodness. It is still a wee bit tender, but less so every day. I can use my hands now, in all the usual ways.

I recently had a Shingles shot, Shingrix, the first shot. I am experiencing some of the known side effects, which are way better than experiencing Shingles. I have swelling around the injection, and an itchy rash on my arm. These symptoms appeared 24 hours after the injection. To my surprise I also have gastrointestinal issues, that keep me close to the throne room. This symptom appeared four days after the injection, and persists still. I wonder how the second shot will affect me!

November has been a month of adjustments. Attila is back at work full time, and now, having experienced life with him here at home during the lock-down, then his medical leave, I am finding it more difficult to adjust to his daily absence. I now know what I’ve been missing. I am getting used to it though. But the larger issue is the risk involved in his spending his days in a crowded environment where the virus could sneak in at any time. I am in a constant, unstated but for on this page, state of mild anxiety. It is a valid concern, as the second wave of the pandemic is kicking in now, and cases here are rising significantly. We would self-isolate in a bubble of two if it were financially feasible, but unfortunately it is not. It is infuriating not to be able to protect ourselves.

There is only lip service by authorities here, in my opinion, as to protecting seniors from the ravages of Covid-19.

Most of the time though, I am able to resign myself to reality, and carry on.

I’ve taken up with my lists again. During harvest and preservation season I don’t need a list of projects to keep me busy, each day presents differently, each day has its own priorities. But the other months of the year are a different kettle of fish. More self direction is required. As soon as I think of a project, no matter how small, I add it to my list. When we used to get mail, bills etc., I saved the envelopes, which now serve as the scrap paper on which I keep my lists.

Currently my list includes washing out plastic baskets, doing laundry to hang on racks indoors, and milling flour. This will keep me busy all day today.

The plastic baskets came out of the chest freezer when I reorganized it last weekend. They were slightly flared at the top, so that there were square inches wasted between them. For us, every square inch in the freezer is needed. I transferred the contents of the baskets to clear plastic shopping bags. The bags must be clear so that I can see what is in the bag, which makes finding things in a jam packed freezer a lot easier. The baskets need to be washed, dried, stacked, and stored.

Last Friday I hung my laundry out to dry on the back porch line, for the last time in 2020. It is now too cold to effectively dry the clothes out of doors. I have two tubular folding clothes racks that I use indoors, so today they will be pressed into service for the first time since the spring.

I sort through my wheat berries before milling my flour. Usually I remove about a teaspoon of small weed seeds from the 11 cups of wheat berries that I sort. It isn’t very much. I do wonder if these weed seeds, which are all black, are the reason why flour is bleached. But when I think of it, the insect eggs that might be present on the wheat berries would also make a very good case for bleaching wheat flour.

That is my day, three things to cross off my list.

This autumn I made Crabapple Cider Vinegar from the Crabapples Attila harvested from the wild tree in the back yard. This is a gallon jar, and it is still quite alchoholic, so a few weeks to go yet before it is ready. I have another quart of it in the cupboard that has not yet been added to jar.



Mostly Cloudy
Date: 8:00 AM EST Thursday 19 November 2020
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.1°C
Dew point: -0.1°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: S 36 gust 49 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”
620 BC – 560 BC

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Joan Lansberry

I agree with Aesop (as long as the ‘crust’ is gluten free). I hope you can carve out sufficient moments of peace. <3