Week Three

Here I am, entering week three of the new year here at the little house in the city. So far, so good.

The days are beginning to form a loose pattern, hopping out of bed and turning the thermostat up to 20C, then hopping back into bed for ten minutes to wait until the house warms up from the 16C night setting, chatting with Attila, enjoying the first and only cup of coffee for the day, making the bed, showering, oatmeal for breakfast, peeking out the street side window to determine if today is a walking day or a snow shovelling day, tending to projects, cooking, cleaning, random activities like shopping or cleaning out a drawer or some other one-off activity, and ending the day chatting with Attila again on FaceTime.

Terra, although still a child in my eyes, has created a “bucket list”. She and a friend have had fun compiling this list. When I think about it, why not enjoy a bucket list while you still have the youthful feeling that you will live forever; you might enjoy it more.

On Terra’s “bucket list” was to have a piñata for her birthday. Lares arrived at my front door with a piñata in one hand, and a bag of assorted candies in the other. Terra was a the gym working out, and he knew she would decide to drop in on me before going home. He filled the piñata and then left to meet Terra for a breakfast out. I rummaged around in the basement and the garage for rope, and found two pieces that, when tied together, were long enough to string from one corner of the living room ceiling to the other. From this rope we would hang the piñata.

Sure enough, after breakfast Terra wanted to drop in on me, so over they came. Lares surprised her with the piñata, she was delighted! I cleared the living room of objects, technology, and furniture. He strung up the piñata, Terra was blind folded, and she set to it with a homemade bat that had Happy Birthday written on it. She had a great time, it was a good laugh for all of us. Afterwards she sat amidst her candy, satisfied and happy. Then they were off so she could take a nap, she worked nights last night.

It snowed all day Monday. I didn’t manage to get out for a walk again. The piñata adventure took the whole morning, and in the afternoon I was waiting for a delivery. I wanted to wait because the postman has been delivering mail to the wrong address, so I wanted to keep an eye on him. When I ordered the Yaktrax I needed to purchase something to top up the total for free shipping. I chose a set of key caps, shaped as owls. Attila and I often fumble in the dark for the appropriate keys, we both have key rings weighted down with keys, two properties with buildings, two vehicles. The key cap will allow us to feel for the correct key in the dark! They are playful looking for daytime enjoyment as well. The key caps arrived, the Yaktrax have not shipped yet. The Yaktrax are the main purchase, and I am looking forward to using them on my walks. Hopefully they will arrive by the end of the week.

Yesterday I got an email notification that Anna over at Walden Effect has uploaded a Kindle version of the second edition of her book “Trailersteading”. I have followed Anna and Mark’s blog for years now, and look forward to every post. I also follow a crofter’s blog in Scotland. I grew up on a farm, and my academic research and publications were focused on agricultural issues in Canada in an International context, so these blogs are near to my heart.

The thing about this particular book is that I contributed a photo, and Anna quotes me in the book! I was thrilled when she wrote to me and asked me to participate. This is one of her books that I am particularly interested in, as alternative affordable housing has always been an area that concerns me. I downloaded the book, and am enjoying the read! Since zoning in Ontario is heavily weighted against low income people surviving in rural areas, some of the information in the book will not pertain to those of us living here. Be that as it may, there are a lot of good ideas in the book, and I find it refreshing to read about people who don’t think making a lot of money, and/or being “successful” in a high status position, are the only worthwhile goals in life.

Worldly Distractions


The Country House
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 13 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 104.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -29.6°C
Dewpoint: -32.4°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: calm

The Little House in the City
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 13 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 104.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -22.4°C
Dewpoint: -27.0°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: N 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -31


“The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and therefore never scrutinize or question.”
Stephen Jay Gould
1941 – 2002

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TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Sounds like it might be time to invest $20-$30 in a digital thermostat, Maggie. They’re not hard to install. The programming, well that’s a bit more complicated but following the Users Manual helps.

Really enjoyed hearing about Terra’s pinata! So fun, and so nice that Lars thought of it and got it for her as a surprise! Happy Birthday, Terra!

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

We see use of thermostats differently then, Maggie. I see it as one less inconvenience. Our thermostat is set to drop the temp at 11:30 at night. We’re never in bed at that time but the thermostat lets the house become comfortably cool by the time we go to bed at midnight to 1:30AM. Getting up, well, 5 out of 7 days per week DH usually has a set time he must be up to get reaady for work. The thermostat is set to turn the temp up half an hour before he gets up so he’s not chilled as he prepares for his day. Then on the weekend it’s set to turn on much later as we know we’ll be sleeping in.

We’re in no way controlled in when we go to bed or get up, instead the house is comfortable when we choose to do either.


We’ve got one of those gigantic dial manually operated thermostats for “old hard-of-seeing-type geezers” like us… and the dial clicks onto each increment of temperature, so you can just click it once to the left or right and not really have to even look at it. It’s situated in the Reading Room which we go by before going upstairs or when coming down in the morning so it’s not out of the way either. One click to the cooler temp (to the left) is all that is needed for the night as we go up to bed (around 62F) and one click back to the right when Paul comes down in the morning, up to around 64-65F, is all she needs. I like it simple! Simple gadgets for simple people!