Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thrifty Bits

I used up some yarn bits to make this sofa-neck cushion. It's all cotton so washable.

Odd this, it's not in the last bit "lumpy" the photo is fighting this truth.

The top showing buttons I found in the button jar.

It took an inordinate amount of time because of my moodiness and why-bothering with myself. Pain and lack of sleep effects us all in weird ways.

I was out today and took myself off to my favourite thrift store. A large palace of a place chock a block with a vast range of goodies.

For just under $10 I got the following:

A juice glass for mornings, I didn't have one and juice looks so pathetic in a tumbler. Two sets of bookends. One gorgeous journal with TWO ribbon markers and its own pen in a holder, and a neat standup wooden frame for current card/postcard received with a double rubber band at the bottom to hold in place.

I had good news from nephrologist in that my kidneys have been stable for a while now but he warned me that flu/covid could kill me as my kidneys could not handle either.

There's a party here on December 9th but, and a huge BUT it is, 90% of the residents in my building don't wear masks and I really can't risk it, unless things improve. 

How's Covid where you live? I see the US has a huge increase in the last wee while particularly with pediatric cases (and pediatric deaths). Here the deaths in the past month overshadow the beginnings of the pandemic. But still, people tell each other "it's over" and "it's embarrassing to wear a mask, it's over-reacting to nothing."


Friday, November 18, 2022

Old Dog New Tricks

 I remember Lana telling me once (I think she was aware then of the beginnings of her dementia) that it really helped the brain to switch things up. Accordingly she was sleeping on the other side of her bed and had moved her toothbrush to the other side of the sink and her hair stuff to her bedroom out of the bathroom.

She was never a cook, ate her breakfast "out" every day for about 45 years give or take. And shopped for "stuff" as she needed it. I tend to organize myself a little better than that and save money while doing so as I don't impulse shop in grocery stores like many of my friends. I order on line and have it delivered to my car and plan a menu around my supplies and stick to it.

I do switch things around a bit. And I engage my brain in 12 games of scrabble every day. On line for about 15-20 years now. We all have pretty high ratings so that is challenging and good for the brain. I also read voraciously, now with a magnifying glass due to my right eye being nearly blind. So there's that. And design and knit "stuff."

So on this caloric reduction regime I am doing quite well. I make a variety of soups, delicious soups. My phone camera is old and my phone owes me nothing so I need to upgrade. So apologies for the quality.

Today's soup, a large pot, is potato/carrot/lowsalt bacon, chopped/onions.chopped/ kale chopped and portabella mushrooms fresh and sliced thin and used as garnish after gently sauteeing them. All in a no-salt chicken stock. I cook the carrots and potato first then blend these with an immersible blender before putting in the sauteed kale, bacon, onions and mushrooms.

Seriously? It's to die. This is a huge pot and I will freeze much of this in smaller containers and give away to those who like that sort of thing.

I've gone down around 3 sizes in the 8 weeks I've applied myself to these restrictive measures and my body thanks me.

I saw my new primary care person today and I was surprised at how thorough she was, familiar already with my intake interview which was detailed and took well over an hour and with discussion on the comments from my specialists on my on-line file. We're going to do well together, I believe. I really like her.

And my little window garden delights me with these:

I'm still not in perfect condition for an old dog, but this salt free soup making is a new trick and I can sit while slicing and chopping which is a bonus. 

Have you learned any new tricks lately?

Saturday, November 12, 2022


 A minor impatient rebellion by a few of my writers in my writing workshop yesterday. Demands to see their finished pieces published already. I took the requisite 24 hours before responding as my initial internal reactive one would have curled the hair on anyone's head. 

So I managed the reasonable, reasoned one a few minutes ago. Still calling them idiots but couched very prettily in one of those passive aggressive apologies. "I thought I had taken the time to explain the process in detail, I am so sorry if that wasn't the case."  (Note to readers: you see how imperfect I am.)

I read the rag of our local newspaper (on line) today, I don't do it often as it makes me grit my teeth. But I idly looked at my horoscope and it said:

So yes on the horoscope theme, I just finished "A Spool of Blue Thread" which was book club reading for this month. I see it has mixed reviews. I love Anne Tyler so admit to a bias. I would give it 5/5. It reads with extraordinary intimacy into a family. The secrets, the unspoken, the unresolved.

I've also nearly finished all the episodes of Season 5 of The Crown which, much like Downtown Abbey, one can't quite take seriously. The cars and frocks and sumptuous dinners and palatial residences and backbiting can't be beaten for their sheer entertainment value and re-creation. It must have cost a fortune to produce.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Both Sides Now


After a clinic visit yesterday (which I will write about later), it was late so I took myself off to a coffee shop to grab a bit of a very late lunch.

Two young men were blocking the path to the only table available with an enormous packed bag on the ground. They ignored me as I huffed, frustrated, and then I circled around them and squeezed past on the other side, really, really annoyed and huffy in that way I have so reminiscent of my father. My Jimmy moments. 

I threw my perfected Jimmy glare in their direction but they had no time for me and my petty grievances. They were sharing a small box of timbits (tiny donuts for non-Canadians) with no drinks and also sharing a cell phone, which they passed back and forth. they shook their heads at each other, mouthing "any luck?" while the other hung up shaking his head handing the phone back.

I copped myself on as I unfolded my sandwich and thought: Homeless? All their possessions in this one huge hockey bag on the floor, and where else could they put it anyway, tables were too small, they had no car, were they looking for shelter from friends? Temporary accommodation, somewhere, anywhere? 

They left suddenly and huddled outside the window opposite me, sharing a stub of a cigarette. And I just knew, looking at their fearful faces, that yes, they were. And with shelters full and foodbanks empty what on earth would they do next?

They were gone when I left. I wish I had spoken to them and helped them in some way.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Small Things

 Tao meditation this morning:

"You may be capable of great things, but life consists of small things."

Perspective is every thing. I can still feel I am underachieving at life. That there should be more writing, more editing, more workshops, more knitting of wedding gift afghans and Alaskan hats and Solstice is coming and how ill prepared I am for the the book exchange and and and......I can really pile it on, all my perceived shortfalls.

And I light the small candle at seven a.m. and reflect on the meditation, and look over at my window and I see this:

Shockingly sudden deep pink blooms on my beloved African violets.

And then I spot this over at the edge. This tiny baby forcing out one solitary flower:

And then I look at my latest wee giftie from my neighbour. She saw it at a plant sale and thought of me and bought it and put it on my outside ledge to surprise me:

I'm acclimatizing it at the moment, but she is spreading her wings as you can see.

I would never have paid attention to such small things if not for the Tao jog.