Warm Snap!

Warm Snap!

The last few days the weather has been wonderful! Temperatures have risen above 15C every day, sometimes higher, and the sun has been shining brightly. The windows have been thrown open in the afternoons, to air out the house and enjoy the breezes. This all ends tomorrow, perhaps today, when the rain clouds roll in and the temperatures drop to normal seasonal levels. Still, with highs of 10C every day for the upcoming weeks, sitting on the back porch will still be a comfortable and welcome daily activity.

Attila is enjoying his garden! He has one of the little greenhouses that was built on the raised beds, up and running. He has our brassica seeds planted, lots of herbs, peas, Swiss chard, spinach, radishes, and many others that don’t come to mind just now. His days are spent in the yard, preparing soil, planting seeds in the ground, and preparing seed starts for the little greenhouses.

The garden is waking up! The rhubarb leaves are small and beginning to unfurl. The garlic is almost ten inches tall. The Heliopsis is about five inches tall, and has spread. Some of the VeeStar strawberries survived the winter, their leaves greening up and new growth showing. The Lungwort in the front garden is blooming. The wild violets are blooming all over the yard.

The birds are wonderful. The bird bath has been up for a few weeks now, and has only frozen over once in that time. This has given the bird population a chance to find it, and it is now frequented. Robins in particular use it to bath, they splash about, displacing so much water that it needs replenishing when they are done. Other species of birds visit the bird bath to drink, mourning doves, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, grackles, and robins are frequent visitors. It is such a pleasure to sit out on the porch in the early morning, sipping coffee and listening to the informal choir of birds. To remind us that nothing is perfect, every morning the robins have a raucous squabble amongst themselves, in the fir tree beside the porch.

Today Attila is working in the front garden. It is on a slope and the soil is eroding and exposing the roots of our perennials. He is using small granite boulders that we collected at our Camp, to create ti soil retaining tiers. It is a lot of work. It is very pretty.

In the kitchen I have a batch of vegetable broth on the range. There was such a volume of frozen vegetable scraps that they would not all fit in the steam juicer, so four bags of scraps had to go back into the freezer, to be dealt with at another time. Some of the broth will be used for this evening’s meal, Cabbage Role Casserole. It will be made in the Instant Pot, using ground beef, frozen organic garden cabbage, carrots, broth, canned organic garden tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices, and rice.

The Hoya is blooming! A second bloom is developing, just below the first.
Wild Violet in the backyard!

Pandemic Thoughts

Attila and I have received our first vaccination shots. We opted for the AstraZeneca vaccine, as it was available to us in the most timely manner. The trip to get the shot was the fifth time I’ve been away from home in the last year and two months.


The result of being vaccinated is an improved quality of life, beyond measure. For the last year and two months, Attila has had to work as an essential worker, and could not work from home. We are both at high risk for complications of Covid-19, so the threat of exposure and possible death has been very real to us, particularly since two relatives died early in 2020 from Covid. That sneaky little virus has been the elephant in the room for a long time at Mist Cottage.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is much maligned, as there have been rare cases of a blood clotting disorder that have been associated with it. This is real, it is very rare, one is far more likely to die of blood clotting issues with a case of Covid, or during birth, or from so many other situations that aren’t mentioned by the media. Media reports offer little sense of perspective. The issue is being investigated by the scientific community. The same sort of disorder has been found with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and some cases as well after the Pfizer vaccine. Something is going on there. Since we are old, and the ravages of catching Covid are far more likely to kill us than a rare event from the vaccine, we chose to carry on with the vaccinations. Even if we were in our 20s or 30s, I would not hesitate to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, giving it no more thought than I would choosing to travel on a busy highway. I find it interesting how much truly bad publicity has been aimed at the AstraZeneca vaccine. It seems to me their vaccine is being targeted for some unknown reason. Where Attila works there are quite a few people who will choose not to have the AstraZeneca vaccine, because they are waiting until they can get “the good one” Pfizer. The media has a lot to answer for in the way they are reporting during this global crisis, the way their stories are told, is having a profound effect on some people’s choices and actions.

We can still catch the virus, there is no doubt of that, but if we do, we are very unlikely to need hospitalization, or to die from our infection. Still, we maintain our cautionary lifestyle, in which we err on the side of caution. Although we are protected from hospitalization and death, we can still become unpleasantly ill, and we can still carry and spread the virus if we catch it and are not respectful of others.

This may be a temporary reprieve though, as so many populations in the world, and in Canada, are not able, or willing, to take the necessary precautions to curb the spread. This is a less apparent and less immediate issue than hospitalizations and death from Covid. In some populations the transmission of the virus is rampant, such as the 20-29 year olds in Ontario, many of whom work in high risk essential workplaces, or who do not respect public health, such as university students congregating for parties and recreation, or young people who “have” to go to public places like restaurants, bars, and gyms. The transmission of the virus is rampant in such groups, and variants can easily develop. This could also happen in our schools, among children who are not at risk from the current forms of the virus. Vaccines won’t necessarily be effective against new variants, so this whole pandemic could very easily begin all over again. New variants might do undesirable and unpredictable things, like target children. New variants with new challenging characteristics could mean we would be back to being concerned for our lives. It would leave us once again wishing Attila could work from home, so that we could isolate and stay safe. People who can work from home are very, very lucky!

So for the next little while at least, Attila and I can focus on respecting the virus, rather than fearing it will take our lives.

A week ago Ontario went into another State of Emergency, and there has been a stay at home order, to last four weeks. Cases of the virus, due to variants, are soaring, and the hospitals ICU units are filling up fast. Covid patients are being shipped to alternative hospitals now without their consent, to wherever ICU beds are still available.


Since the lock down came into effect, in my neighbourhood there are two residences that have had at least three extra visitors cars parked outside their homes, hosting get togethers. When Attila and I were last out in the car, there were groups of neighbours, one consisting of persons from four different houses, standing within a few feet of each other, mask-less, having a gaggle. Groups of women, five is what is allowed, walk down the sidewalks, laughing and talking together, mask-less. It has been this way where we live since the Pandemic was declared. So far no one in this small area has died, so I guess the consensus is that the Pandemic has passed us by. Well, I hope this hubris proves to be correct, but I am not about to bet my life on it.

In my opinion, our provincial government set this situation up by loosening restrictions just as the variants were taking hold in the province. The lack of forethought is staggering, in my opinion. We get a bit ahead of the virus, the the population and government lose their heads and try to open things up, and as a result we see these incredible surges as the virus takes advantage of our collective stupidity. Every time we go through this, the virus gains more ground. We don’t learn. We fail to understand the nature of our enemy. Unfortunately, the virus understands us.

Worldly

Weather

Updated on Sat, Apr 10, 10:45 AM
15°C
FEELS LIKE 14
Partly cloudy
Wind 19 SE km/h
Humidity 74 %
Visibility 20 km
Sunrise 6:33 AM
Wind gust 28 km/h
Pressure 101.2 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 7:45 PM

Quote

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
Ivy Baker Priest

6 Comments

  1. The Hoya seldom blooms, I think twice in the last ten years, so it is really something to see. The Violets are the first flowers of spring for us, so exciting to see them.
    I am glad you have been able to have your first shot of the vaccine! Hopefully your second shot will come along in a timely fashion, but in the meantime you will be protected from serious outcomes, yay!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  2. We are shocked and disgusted by provincial and federal governments in this country that don’t act quickly and decisively upon the recommendations of those who know best when it comes to this health threat: doctors, epidemiologists, nurses, scientists.

    I’m also somewhat surprised that so many people wait for government to tell them what to do; i.e., they’re not listening to the healthcare workers.

    Mostly I find it painful to see so much refusal to be responsible for one’s own actions. Or to think clearly about who is saying what, and why.

    Anyway … Scott and I both got our first shots on Thursday (Moderna) … so we will soon feel somewhat safer ourselves, but since we can still carry this thing to others, we know we’re in it for the long haul. Unfortunately we have loved ones who seem to think this can never affect them, and they aren’t concerned about what they may be spreading, and of course you can’t tell them anything.

    People. Tsk. I know we all have to weigh our options and are only doing our best and we sometimes slip up and so on. But the stupidity and the unwillingness to curb behaviour … are disheartening. I know this has been a lot more difficult for a lot of people than it has been for me. I need to remember that and be patient.

    Keep well,
    Kate

  3. Kate! I too am shocked and disgusted. The provincial governments were left in charge of measures, and what a fiasco that is. The virus said DIVIDE and CONQUER, and so it came to pass. Humans are being far too cooperative with this virus.
    I share your sentiments on these issues.
    Ontario is in a state of emergency, today we set a record for new cases, and our hospital is at capacity for ICU care. Pretty scary. And yet, yesteray and today, all kinds of people are having guests. I wonder if there is some sort of fungus infection affecting people, because I find it so difficult to perceive the level of stupidity that drives the behaviour I see out there, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/how-the-zombie-fungus-takes-over-ants-bodies-to-control-their-minds/545864/.
    YAY! I am so glad to hear the you and Scott have had your first shot. What a relief that must be.
    I am busy avoiding people, as anyone might be carrying the virus around with them. It is easy to be kind when you avoid people, I find. A friendly hello from a distance while out on a walk around the block is as far as I take human interactions these days, months, year. I am lucky I don’t have a workplace I have to go to, gearing up and trying to keep safe out there must be a nightmare. I cut Attila a LOT of slack over just about everything, because he has to brave a crowded workplace with some very careless and thoughtless people. Most are good of course, but one person can bring in the virus and infect everyone else. You can catch the virus even when wearing a mask, it is not a shield of invincibility.
    Anyway, glad to hear you and Scott are doing well, and that you are as safe as can be hoped for!
    Are you getting ready to put in your beautiful flower garden this spring?
    Stay safe dear friend!

  4. Margarett

    Dear Maggie, and friends: My goodness…..you have a warm snap, and we here in Texas are at48 degrees this Saturday morning. We FINALLY got almost 2 inches of rain this past week… we are still about 2 inches behind so far for the year. It has been cool/ rainy all this past week. The trees, grass, and Spring flowers love it. I think this will be our last true cool weather for our Spring….probably will be 90-100 this time next month. Oh, how I wish I could have some of your garden bounty! Attila is out-doing himself. And, your vegetable broth sounds wonderful, as do your planned cabbage rolls. I am making baked chicken and green beans for our dinner tonight, which will be early so we can attend Ryder’s soccer game at 5:30 this afternoon. We have been busy getting ready to have our master bathroom spruced up this next week…repaired, textured, and painted walls and ceiling; painted vanity and cabinet over the commode; new “ right height” commode for old folks; new floor tile; new faucets….that’s about it. Thank you to our crazy government for the extra stimulus checks of $1400.00 each. Don’t even get me started on how nuts our country is right now. They are actually considering trying to increase our Supreme Court to 11 justices from 9….which it has been since the late 1800’s. The Liberal Democrats cannot stand the idea of the current ratio of 5 conservatives and 4 liberals. At least, we are getting a lot of our population vaccinated, with the 2 dose requirement. Mike and I are still masked up and cautious. Everything else in Texas is completely open. I do not agree with this strategy. The virus, and the new strains, are still here and rampant. But, we have vaccinated over 30 million folks out of a population of roughly 320 million.
    Fighting medication changes and side effects. That is all I will complain about, health wise. Your flowers are gorgeous!!! Too cool for any blooms here, except for a few roses. Everyone in Texas lost a lot of shrubs in the freeze we had over a month ago for 4 days. So, people are busy removing dead ones, and replacing….hopefully with more cold hardy varieties. My hollies weren’t affected at all. I may end up loosing one huge Oleander….not
    sure if it will revive itself. Other than that, I have no more news. Write agin soon.
    xxoo. Margarett

  5. Hello Margarett! Glad to hear your news. How wonderful that you got the rain your garden needed! Garden’s come to life when they get the rain and sunshine they need. Attila loves his vegetable garden, he even includes a few flowers for me. Today he ate the first wee thing out of the garden, he grabbed an onion stalk to chew on.
    Glad to hear that thing are looking up in the US in regards to the vaccination progress. Things are dire here, hospitals almost at capacity and very low vaccine supply, so low vaccination rates. Very few people who have managed to get a first dose of the vaccine, have received a second dose. We are under stay-at-home orders for the next five weeks, I hope it works, so many at risk and nothing to be done about it.
    Sorry to hear you are still having to struggle with meds, but very glad to hear you are able to attend Ryder’s soccer game!
    Congratulations on your renovations, always fun.
    I hope that the deep freeze in Texas was a one off thing, and that it doesn’t recur every year! Enjoy your garden! xxoo Maggie

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