I was just putting a book away on the shelf, and began to peruse some of the collection. I happened upon a hardcover copy of Hereward The Wake, by Charles Kingsley, and noticed the publication date. Well, I thought, this is a very old book, it will be approaching 100 years of age before you know it. THEN I realized the year of publication was just a few years before I was born. Wait a minute! What was I thinking.

It rained all day yesterday, and it is raining still today. The thermometer is hovering around 11C at the moment, which is a welcome change to the the freezing temperatures we saw a week or so ago. Everything out there is turning green! How wonderful it is to see plants thriving, birds fluttering about eating insects, squirrels bobbing across the field, and rabbits hopping about. Well, I am not so pleased to see the rabbits, cute as they are, they destroy part of our food supply.

I have had more results from my tests, there are several issues, nothing life-threatening at the moment, but serious enough to need physiotherapy, and an eventual consultation with another surgeon. My experience of these issues remains stable, handling bouts of pain while taking painkillers and now a new medication to control the nausea. With the elimination of pancreatic cancer as the cause, I now have time to get all this figured out, to work on the issues that I have to live with. There is one more round of tests that have not been scheduled as yet, to eliminate the possibility of a few other issues, and then hopefully I can get to work learning to cope with all of this.

One of the things I thoroughly enjoyed last weekend was having a campfire every evening. After having cut the branches into pieces short enough to fit in the fire pit, I spent quite a few evenings last week collecting them all and stacking them ready to burn. By Thursday afternoon I had the task all but completed, and so we enjoyed a campfire that evening. Our fire pit consists of a large truck tire rim, partially dug into the ground in the back yard. It works wonderfully. The three following evenings we enjoyed a campfire, and the pile of branches slowly shrank. There is enough left for one more campfire, which will have to wait until the rain stops and the wood dries out, otherwise there would be far too much smoke generated during the burn.

About a quarter of the Ash tree branches have been taken down now, those nearest the bottom of the tree. The higher branches look daunting to me, but Attila says he has a plan, not to worry.

All three of the raised bed greenhouses are in operation now. The peas that were planted in the outer garden soil are coming up, as are the sunflowers. The sunflowers are particularly pleasing because they are our own seeds. A few years ago a work colleague gave Attila a handful of sunflower seeds to plant. We saved the seeds from the beautiful plants we grew from the original seeds, and now those saved seeds are sewn and sprouting. Last summer we did not harvest any seeds from our sunflowers, but let the Blue Jays take them all. It was quite a show, seeing the Blue Jays fly up into the dropping flower heads to snatch the seeds. If we are lucky, and all the planted sunflowers grow this summer, I anticipate a lot of Blue Jays visiting our yard.

The avian flu is present in Ontario at the moment, and there have been advisories to temporarily dismantle bird feeders and baths, where birds might congregate and spread the virus. I’ve taken this very seriously. At first I removed the water from the bird bath. Birds would land in the bird bath, confused, and the robins would turn to stare at me for long periods of time, reprimanding me for the drought. I gave in, and filled the bird bath again. Now I go out frequently with aqueous oxygen to spray the perimeter of the bath, and sterilize the water. Aqueous oxygen converts to plain water after 15 minutes, and is not harmful to drink, although I would not choose to drink it. It will not harm the birds, and its use may protect them from disease.

I just finished watching the film Maud, based on the life of Maud Lewis, a Nova Scotia artist. She was quite a woman, who was offered little in life, and made the very most of what she had. I think she always felt a part of something, at first her family, then her marriage, community, and art connections. She lived in a different time and place, and while the specifics of her coping strategies would not likely work in the world today, the energy and spirit of her life do offer signposts.

Every evening after work Attila heads out into the garden to defuse from his stressful workday. This is such a healthy way to detach from the stresses of life. This season we are not putting in any new beds, but he is expanding a few of the existing beds. The bed in the front yard is bigger now, and the rhubarb and garlic planted there are thriving.

During a recent intense wind storm, the top storey of our Martin House blew down, leaving the lower two stories intact and without a roof. Since it is over 15 feet up in the air, it is a lot of work to remove it, and Attila is waiting until there is a lull in the seed planting. In the meantime, mourning doves have built a nest in the open air second storey. The location seems a bit iffy to me, so I am watching how this works out for them with great interest.

Bread Crumbs
When I bake our bread with home milled flour, I let it cool and slice it with an electric meat slicer.
The process of slicing creates crumbs. I sweep them up from the counter and place them in this dish, then leave them to dry. This takes only seconds to accomplish. When they are dry I add them to jar. Thus we have organic, healthy bread crumbs.
Slowly but surely, over the course of time, the amount of bread crumbs in the jar increases. I add these bread crumbs to the mixture when we make sausage patties.



Updated on Wed, May 4, 11:25 AM
Wind 23 N km/h
Humidity 88 %
Visibility 17 km
Sunrise 5:54 AM
Wind gust 35 km/h
Pressure 101.4 kPa
Ceiling 500 m
Sunset 8:14 PM


“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

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Maggie, I’m sorry your pain is ongoing. Chronic pain is so very wearing. While it’s good that your issue is not pancreatic cancer, I do hope some solutions are forthcoming for you.


I hope and pray your health concern mysteries are soon clarified, and you get a course of action that makes you feel much better. I loved the movie “Maud”. Yes, she sure had a hard life, but she brought as much joy and beauty to it that she could.


If I remember my science classes correctly, won’t your sunflowers eventually devolve to small flowers? I don’t think hybridization breeds true.

Sorry your partial possible diagnoses leave you unhappy. I can relate, I’ve had a few that were trials that I don’t particularly like to talk about. Fortunately, I’m still here, so I’ve had success working with them. They can be scary times and still weigh on my mind, at times.

We continue to work on the new little house, adding things like area rugs and runners. The dogs appreciate the footholds and we appreciate the rugs removing sand, pebbles, and bits of clay from paws. Since we’re still surrounded by construction mud, the rugs make things easier – especially the runners, which are actually washable.


Maggie, it’s great news that pancreatic cancer has been eliminated. I hope that they schedule the final tests for you quickly. Then hopefully you’ll get a treatment plan and your pain will go away. I know that the waiting probably feels like slow torture. That’s how I’ve felt in the past during testing I went through. But it sounds like you’re approaching the end of the ordeal.
The campfires sound wonderful!


Maggie, I was just doing some reading and something clicked for me – even without ever having symptoms of infection you could have long covid, and one of the symptoms can be consistent nausea…