Wednesday, March 28, 2018

heating it up

My resolution to write everyday didn’t last long. Again, I have let the days slip by with nary a comment. They’ve been good days too. Although I will make a small complaint about the cardinal that is waking us up at 6:30 am… I feel exhausted and barely able to function. We’ve tried some things to scare it away but no luck so far.

The new stove got a workout on Saturday. Roast beef and yorkshire pudding on New Year's Eve is what triggered the purchase of our new stove, so it was with bated breath that I put the yorkshire batter into the oven. In at 400 for 20 minutes, then temp reduced to 350 for 10 or 15 more minutes and it was perfect! The roast beef turned out well too - instead of bringing it out at 142F, it was removed at 138F, covered, and left to rest while the yorkshire cooked. Oh my… swoon. I love pink prime rib!

Monday we dashed into the mall for me to change my nail polish, and then went to Jo Ellen and Don’s for a lovely bean soup.

Tuesday, Carm’s birthday, we went to Ikea for a lookie-loo, the accountant’s for pre tax meeting, the Works for a juicy burger, home for a rest, then over to Vashek & Marie’s for a birthday supper. All in all a wonderful day.

Today I’m doing some pre-final travel activities: charging the camera, clearing of the camera data card in anticipation of another set of Caribbean blue ocean photos, getting jackets arranged… Tomorrow I get a manicure so I’ll be protecting my nails from any bangs or nicks.

Spike has his DAP collar on - he’s been fairly quiet but that might just be the norm for a cloudy day.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
~Marcel Proust

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I want to taste and glory in each day

Another sunny day! And yesterday was nice too, although the temps haven’t made it much past 2C. It is trending up though. I wonder why we decided that April was the time to go away? These can be the most glorious days as the earth sheds its wintery shroud and slowly comes awake. Crocuses will soon be poking their noses through the sun warmed earth (assuming the snow eventually goes away - still lots on the ground).

The strange thing about spring though is it is the time when I am most likely to get depressed. I can’t figure out why. The sun is coming back, summer is around the corner, camping season is nearing - all this somehow overwhelms me.

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon toddling around the mall with my Mom. I tried on enough clothes to feel thoroughly sickened, we ate Cinnabuns to make us feel happy again, and had a great time. Mom is so much more fun to shop with than Carm! Especially for clothes…

My new black dress pants have had a trial run: first night curled on the sofa, second night supper with Jo Ellen and Don including some sofa curling, third day shopping. They do bag at the knee a little bit after all that abuse, but are supremely comfortable. Now I have to decide if I’ll bring them on our trip… I have everything already planned out and don’t really need another pair of black pants, but the ones I am bringing are palazzo pants (wide leg), and these have a more flattering narrow leg. I’m driving myself crazy… maybe I’ll decide when we weight the suitcase


You must all be pretty certain that I have gone ‘mad’ and perhaps you are right. I’m having a fair amount of anxiety about this trip and find that distracting myself with the small details helps to calm my mind. I sort of wonder if the vacation is worth it...

I wasn’t there to witness it, but apparently Spike was a tail hair away from catching a black squirrel. Luckily for Mr. Rodent who eats all the bird food, Spike did not continue the chase after he snuck under the fence. The puffy poodle almost triumphs!

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
― Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

motoring around

Yesterday was a bright day, and with my trembling mood we decided to go for a drive (always the best medicine for me). We started off in the city at a big mall. First stop: try on pants and found two pair that are actually flattering and feel comfortable too. From there we did the circuit around the mall, with a few stops as we oohed and ahhed over various things. The second loop we decided to just zoom around, getting our steps for the day. It was a fun afternoon.

I had thought that I’d wear the new black pants on the plane, but looking up the flammability of rayon, I decided I’ll stick with less comfortable cotton jeans… cause you just never know. Of course I did my research when I was in bed, desperately trying to fall asleep - giant fail!  The awfulizing started and I didn’t get to sleep for hours :-(

From there we did some groceries -  it seems that we are always shopping for some sort of food as we eat it up as fast as I make it.

I clipped the dogs nails this afternoon and did a total hack job - it looked like a scene from Carrie. Kabira got off scott free, Bella had one nail nicked, but Spike? My poor wee pup had several nails slaughtered. Bloody footprints from multiple paws earned him time in his crate. I’ve only rarely barely nicked him and don’t know what went wrong for me to do such a bad job.

This afternoon we sped into the city to pick up a new motor for our Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV). The old one has failed and since our house is so airtight it is important that we get it fixed asap.

Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.”
~Sylvia Plath

Sunday, March 18, 2018

beautiful moments

Bright rays of sun are streaming into the living room, a refreshing change from many days of grey gloom. Unfortunately, icy winter weather is the price we are paying. A few days ago it was warm enough for the maple sap to start running, but now it is frozen in the veins of the giant conveyors of sugar.

Despite the number on the thermometer, the dark patches on the laneway continue to increase. Even today there is melting though the temperature hovers around -7C. The sun is strong.

The sky was cloud free yesterday too. I took a break from ‘housework’ to luxuriate in the bathtub. The sun was sparkling on the water, reflecting rainbows of brightness onto the wall. I could lie back and see the bright blue sky. The cardinal pecked at the window. It was the perfect setting for a few moments of mindfulness.

I’m trying to grab onto these beautiful moments as if they were a life raft. As so often happens this time of year, I am becoming weary. Physically tired yes, but it is more than that. It is a weariness of the spirit. The will to do things is weakening and thoughts of ‘I can’t be bothered’ enter my mind. I’ve been alert to these thoughts and shoo them away as quickly as possible. It isn’t really bad but I don’t want it to become worse so I push myself a bit harder and hope that I feel better soon.

All that housework yesterday was for a reason: Trudie and Leo came over for a simple meal of minestrone soup. It was going to be pasta fagioli (basically minestrone with pasta and with a fancy name), but as usual, I filled the pot so high that there was no room for the pasta. We now have another 3 containers of soup for the overflowing freezer. I can seriously take a break from cooking any day now!

Two weeks from today we will be getting onto the cruise ship. Spike will be depressed but I’m sure he’ll get over it.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~Ray Bradbury

Friday, March 16, 2018

cardinal sin

Bang. Crash. Flutter… and on and on it went, starting at the crack of dawn and continuing through the day. Huh? A resplendent male cardinal has taken up residence in the tree outside our bedroom and is fighting with his reflection in the giant picture window. We’ve tried an outline of a predator bird, a life size photo of a person’s face, closing the blinds, but nothing has helped. I’ll have to start going to bed early if I’m going to be awake at 6:30 every morning :-(

Fur flew the other day when the poodles lost their heavy coats. Puffy poodles are now sleek hounds with only their heads puffy. Both dogs prance more now that they are cooler. Maybe they are just trying to stay warm, but they do seem perky.

Last night we had the annual birthday dinner at the Keg. It was early as Bruce & Carm’s birthday isn’t until March 27, but travel plans necessitated a change. Ummmm… large quantities of meat and unquious potato and those lovely little fried onions… errrrr… stomach ache all night. It was worth it though and we especially enjoyed the company.

I’ve been thinking about my writing lately and am not sure where I’m going with it. I no longer rush to put words down on the page: it often seems like more of a chore. Is it the fog in my brain? Or am I out of practice and have lost the discipline? There was a time that I’d do writing practice every day which consisted of 10 minutes of constant writing of whatever came into my head. I stopped doing that over a year ago.

I often don’t feel that I have anything to write about. I have become less mindful, moving through my day without noticing things. Writing was good for becoming more aware of what was going on around me. There was much that was good about writing a daily blog, even if only to detail the pleasures of the day.

I think I’ve talked myself into giving writing another go. I’ll try to rediscover the joy that I got from expressing myself.

Speaking of pleasures: Carm brought home some lovely orange yellow tulips that have been brightening up a corner of the kitchen. Their bright faces are like little suns in the murky indoor light (it hasn’t been sunny all that often lately, but wait, that’s not a pleasure!). With temperatures above zero the snow has been slowly melting. I love the feeling of my boot stepping into a pristine patch. The snow ‘gives’ under my foot in a most pleasing manner.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
~Anaïs Nin

Thursday, March 8, 2018


It figures… after days of beautiful dry roads today it had to snow. Mom and I had made plans to spend some time together, maybe poking around the mall and getting some steps in, but since I am a giant chicken when it comes to driving, we have rescheduled. So now, I’m sitting on the sofa watching giant snowflakes swirling around.

It just goes to show how long it was since I last wrote… last time we had just had supper at Jo Ellen and Don’s, this time we had them here last night. Curried potato soup was on the menu again. I made it a bit spicy hot, but I guess everyone enjoyed it.

Sunday night we had Pat B., Trudie & Leo for supper. We had gnocchi with mushroom sauce which is one of Carm’s favorites. It has been a while since I made supper without the instant pot!

The days are still blending into one another as the winter carries on. I don’t know what I do with my time.

Well… all that above was yesterday! I got distracted from finishing by the arrival of my repaired tablet! We got the call that it was ready not long past noon, and Carm, being my hero, drove into town to pick it up. So I spent some of my evening setting it up, vainly trying to get it where it was before the crash.

I spent some more time today and I think it is mostly recovered. More things will show up missing as I go to do something, but for now my morning routine is taken care of. Database updates, and I think blog entries, are settled.

There were a few very sad moments as two (so far) apps didn’t recover, and I can’t find them on the app store. Of course these are two that I use multiple times a day :-(  I found stand-ins for them, but it remains to be seen if they do the job or are just irritating. Or maybe they’ll be better! Gotta keep an open mind.

This whole exercise has shown me that my brain lacks plasticity. Switching from tablet to tablet is hard, it is like learning something new all over again, and the learning process is sticky. It doesn’t come easily. I need to start doing some brain exercises to flex those learning muscles some more.

All of this aside… I had a lovely walk and cuppa tea with Christina this afternoon :-) A more pleasant challenge for my brain.

Friday, March 2, 2018

is it a skien?

There have been flocks of geese honking overhead and a gaggle has made ‘homestead’ their resting spot. Homestead is one of the little hills on our property and it got its name from… you guessed it… the foundation remains of the original homestead. The flooded creek winds its way around the base of the hill, making it an ideal spot to shelter and rest for the next leg of their trip.

Some red-wing blackbirds have been seen in the vicinity as well. Their cheerful song seems out of place with so much snow around. Speaking of snow, we’ve had a monster melt and the laneway is ICE FREE!!! Hurrah :-)

Yesterday we enjoyed a day of sunshine and warmth: I was even outside in a t-shirt to walk around the house. The snow has crystallized; the earth is now a giant snowcone, mostly unflavoured, but little spots of ‘lemon’ scattered about :-p

The weather is due to turn though which I guess is fine; we’ve had a lovely taste of spring, and best of all, the ice is gone.

We had a lovely supper with Jo Ellen and Don last night. We’ve been taking turns at each other’s houses which is nice, although honestly, I don’t mind being the cook!