Vegetable Soup

Good news arrived in my inbox this morning. A few years ago I was invited to participate in an international working group to develop a set of standards in health care. We were all volunteers, lending our time to a very worthwhile endeavour. It was interesting, and it was challenging. I am co-author, with the rest of the team, of an article that has just been accepted for publication in an academic journal. This will probably be my very last academic publication, and it is one that I was very glad to have been involved with.

Here it is, December 11th, and there is virtually no snow! We are very glad of this! We know there is over a foot of snow on the ground where we used to live, at the country house. We are both very happy to be here at Mist Cottage, where the weather seems almost tropical by comparison to our former home in the bush.

I started the second crochet blanket last week, before our travels. This allowed me to work on the blanket as we travelled in the car. What a difference it makes to the whole experience, for me and for Attila. My eyes are busy with my project, I don’t notice the traffic on the highway, the transport trucks that weave out of their lanes as we pass them, the distracted drivers who also veer onto the shoulder and into the other lanes, as the drivers talk on their cell phones, smoke cigarettes, or struggle with junk food packaging. I don’t see it, when I am so delightfully occupied with my crochet hook. I don’t see it, so I don’t react to it. Attila does see it, and he navigates us through the fray with diligence.

Attila and I have very different driving styles. I tend to react with more immediacy to things I perceive on the road, and Attila has a more “wait and see” approach. Both are very effective, and very different. This means that when there is something going on in the traffic, while Attila is watching and waiting to see, I am reacting, subtly reacting. Attila, attuned to my presence, is aware of my reaction, no matter how subtle it is, and this distracts him from his own way of dealing with the developing situation, which is not desirable. What I don’t see, I don’t react to, so reading, and more recently crocheting, are important activities for me to involve myself in when we are travelling.

I made a Vegetable Soup today, intending it for my midday meals. It simmered in a heavy bottomed stock pot all day, and by the time Attila arrived home the mouthwatering aroma filled the house. So we had the soup for dinner, with plenty left over for small meals for the rest of the week.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EST Monday 11 December 2017
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -5.9°C
Dew point: -11.7°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: ENE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -10


“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.”
J. K. Rowling

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Congratulations on the acceptance of your group publication in a journal! I hope it has many positive affects.

We have maybe 2 inches of snow here. I’m not sure if this is the maximum we will get from the Alberta Clipper that’s going by. I know they were originally forecasting 10-15 cms for us.

Bex Crowell

Soup. I need to make a veg. soup. I made soup the other day, leek and potato, that came out fabulous. I followed the recipe I put on my FB page. Best L&P soup we’ve ever had. I want to make broccoli soup soon because we got a big pack of broccoli at the market and need to use it up soon. I’m thinking the rest of the leeks and some potatoes will make it into this pot, and maybe some chick peas, too.

I am just like you went riding in a car on the passenger side. I don’t do it anymore as I don’t go away from home, but all 8 trips we took to England & Scotland, while Paul did all the driving, were hairy rides, to put it mildly. He had permanent fingernail-pressure marks on his thighs after a drive down the country lanes of rural England and Scotland!


Congratulations on the publication!

The soup sounds delicious. I make more soup and chili during winter (for obvious reasons). It warms you from head to toe 🙂


I’m not sure you’d want to take a tour bus in many areas outside North America. Those can be true harrowing experiences! And we won’t even discuss taxis! 😉


OTOH, we had a wonderful time on the Hop On-Hop Off bus tour in Chicago. Would love to do that again. And I think England would be a great place for a civilized bus tour. 🙂

I’ve done bus tours on small islands, and in Mexico, Turkey, and Greece. The small islands leave you shaking due to the big bus on such small roads, sometimes with precipitous drops. Mexico, Turkey, and Greece were okay, though – but then those tours were always near sea level.

Never done a bus tour in a 3rd world country.

Joan Lansberry

I offer my late congratulations on the publication, too. I re-subscribed to your journal notification. I used to receive the notices, but for some reason, no longer did.