Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year, Happy Feast of Whoever It Is, oh, William Passavant? Nah, going with The Most Holy Name...

As a discipline, hello, I'm back.  We'll see what comes of this (and how long it might take).
What I have done today so far -- got up, made a mug of coffee, ran a bath, plugged in the car because I intend to drive out later and the temp is about -20 Celsius.  Checked for the newspaper which hasn't been delivered.  Also, made a list of what I want to GET TO today before I creep off to bed again at what will be, I hope, a decent hour.
I am getting my hair done;  I have to go to the Library, some out, some in.  Also to the bank to check balances and recent transactions; also to the post office to mail the last, almost, of the Seasonal Greetings; also purchase, at various places, candles, fertilizer for house plants, silver polish, impermeable bins for storing staple groceries, rum (or brandy), milk, bread, button thread to mend a braided rug, small gravel (about 200 lb, I think) for my sidewalks.  (GRUNDLING CRUNCHING SOUND ON SNOWY FRONT PORCH INDICATES ARRIVAL OF NEWSPAPER)
Upon returning home -- I need to parcel up half a dozen batches of  family letters for various recipients (purging my files), cousins, friends, children of long-ago bridesmaids now deceased; I need to read a lot of material on fundraising, call a meeting of a committee, negotiate tasks and timetables with a parish volunteer, invite another parishioner to stand for office; write a dozen letters, some seasonal, some condolence; write in my journal; set a batch of yogurt, do something creative with sourdough, also with cranberries, assemble manicotti in some quantity; set up my prayer/Bible station, set up my health journal, prayer journal, reading journal; vacuum the main floor thoroughly; feed the cat, refresh the litter box.
I need to finish reading Martin Marty, The Mystery of the Child and make useful reading notes on it.

Clear the dining room table (AGAIN), clear my desk, clear the end table next to the rocking-chair, purge the vegetable bins in the fridge

Work through two or three chapters in my Italian textbook, doing all the exercises and writing out the paradigms.

Also blog.

And thus, the Retired Life.

But I have now blogged!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Thankful Thursday!

This morning, what fills my heart with joy and gladness is the promise of a plumber on the premises between one and three this afternoon, to deal with the bathtub tap, which is dripping -- no, running -- like Alph the sacred river, and running hot water, at that.  Old-fashioned sink taps I know how to fix.  Fancy-schmancy tub taps, not so much.

So hooray and thank you for plumbers, I say.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankfulness some more....

If I were to list all the things for which I have been thankful in the last 48 hours I would probably be liable to vigilante justice or some other form of reprisal, so I will just say that today I am thankful for a little "blip" on the computer, courtesy of my public library local branch, to say that there is a Louise Penny mystery waiting for me on the "Hold" shelf.

Oh, and the smell of cookies in the house.  Pumpkin cookies.  With chocolate chips.  And sunflower seeds.

I think I'll stop  now.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Whatever day this is -- the thankfulness exercise.

Okay -- this will do it for today -- SUN'S COMING UP AGAIN -- an actual photograph from this vicinity just a few minutes ago -- the sun is coming up and I am here to see it.  We'll premise a few other things on those two, later on.

But just for extra -- photograph taken not by me but by Breadperson driving into the city from the bakery, bringing hot and fresh to one or more of our Saturday markets.

We have daylight!  We have bread!  Let's get'er done!

That is all.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In harm's way -- the thankfulness blog-entries

The last 24 hours have been something of a challenge to the Grateful Spirit in this country, but I was reminded again this afternoon of how thankful I am that I live in Prairie Metropolis (and have done for lo! these forty-plus years -- "pretty soon I think I am born here" as the old woman said).

I am thankful to live in a city where bus drivers ease their way in and out of puddles at the curb so as not to drench the passers-by; and where bus passengers disembarking from the rear doors call out "THANK YOU!" to the driver when the doors open.

And I am thankful to live in a city where throughout the day today, our municipal cenotaph was guarded by Canadian veterans in their grey flannels and their blue blazers and their berets and their glengarries and their medals.

I am grateful to live where we can remember a multitude of men and women who have chosen to put themselves in harm's way in order that the rest of us can come and go freely and play frisbee with our children on government property, and not, every moment of the day, fear for our very lives.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five alive -- the Thanksgiving exercise

Continuing to think about things I'm thankful for.  Last night I said good-bye to one of my three brothers--none of whom lives,is domiciled in this province or the adjacent ones; but the peculiarities of my youngest brother's profession have led to his being in Prairie Metropolis, or in the immediate hinterland, more over the last couple of years than not.

There are -- have always been! -- nearly eleven years between us.  Putting it another way, "I walked the floor with him" (and with his twin -- for their first two years they had the tag-team form of colic, going on more or less night and day), which is pretty comical to remember given that he is now more or less 6'5" not counting the boots.  He and his twin were only 12 when I "got married and left home," and I'd been away from home at university most of the time for the previous five years.  So there is, potentially, something of a GAP.

But this summer and last we have had The Best Time--eating and drinking and talking world without end -- and we have a new joint pursuit as well in these latter years -- the fine domestic art of PICKLING things.  And then CANNING them.  Turns out that my baby brother (my baby brother, the colonel) is a demon in the kitchen when it comes to PUTTIN' UP STUFF.  Especially once we ascertained that the mandolin was strictly off limits to him (he's a south-paw).  We chopped, and we stirred, and we timed things, and we lifted hot jars in and out of the canner, and we listened and congratulated each other as we heard the cooling jar lids "poinking" successfully, and successively, into place.

We made bread and butter pickles.  We made chutney.  We made bread-and-butter-style jalapeno pickles.  And on the most recent weekend, we made our grandmother's Green Tomato Mincemeat.  We made a 1/2 recipe and the yield was SIX QUARTS -- enough for what we agreed would be a MORT of mince-tarts.

And meanwhile we talked. And TALKED.  Literature and music and politics and liturgy and history and MILITARY history and movies and family, and then around the circuit again and again.

He flew homeward this morning.  But I look at this array of shining (and perfectly sealed, please note) jars of good things...and remember hours and hours of good talk.  And am very very thankful.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thankful Four

Reflecting as I drove out this morning to do the first of a short series of errands, that over the last two or three years I have been increasingly thankful for a cadre, or a bevy, or maybe a squad, of amiable and competent young women who are at present clustered around the "party of the first part," here, and bending their impressive talents and efforts to keeping me healthy, solvent, and secure.  We all know it takes a village etc. to raise a child?  I think it also takes a fair-sized village to keep the ol' lady on her feet and on the move.

There is my new physician -- who, blessedly, LISTENS.  And her clinic-pharmacist -- a consultant, whose conversations with me are completely uncontaminated by retail considerations.  (There is also a splendid pharmacist who does dispense my prescriptions but also goes to bat with my insurer on my behalf and sorts out the bureaucrats.)

And there is my new insurance broker, who phoned me a year and a half ago to say, "I think I can save you some money..."  and then did.

And a duo of bankers...who discuss, and advise, and encourage, and then say -- "you go have some fun, and we'll see if we can make you some money, here."

Not to say that there aren't older women, and men, for whose professional skill and generosity I'm not profoundly grateful too. But tonight, I give thanks for "the girls" who brighten my calendar in the ways I've described.