Friday, 15 January 2021
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
Two big news items here in Canada (which can't compete with what's going on back home in the U.S., but still a bit exciting for us up here). A polar vortex is heading for Manitoba and points east, which means we're bracing for unusually frigid temperatures, and new Covid restrictions were announced today. We are being told to stay home and shelter in place and not go out at all unless it's for groceries, medical reasons, or for exercise such as walking the dog. We're not to go out for non-essential things/reasons. Which coincides nicely with the polar vortex -- none of us are going to want to go out!
I am up at the church, which means if it's too cold to walk Brio, I can play ball with him in the spacious rec room downstairs, which he will appreciate. He's a dog that doesn't do well if he doesn't get enough exercise. However, since I'm at the church, that means I have no access to a car if I do need essential groceries, so the foodstuffs my husband stocked me up with will have to tide me over. I suppose if I got desperate, I could ask a neighbour to pick something up for me when they go grocery shopping, but I hate to inconvenience people. I don't know how long I'll be here. The plan was to stay until the end of January, but if travel restrictions continue beyond that, I will have to remain in place until Hubby can come fetch me. So I'm really sheltering in place!
I will devote this unexpectedly-extended time of isolation to writing another novel and hopefully disciplining my diet a bit so that I come home lighter than I came. Though since most of my food stores are flour, rice, and oatmeal, I'm not overly optimistic.
I have internet and music and a big Rubbermaid bin of books, so I'm okay. More than okay, really. I have heat and a roof over my head and a way to wash my clothes and the companionship of my fuzzy puppy. Life is good.
Saturday, 9 January 2021
I try not to get political in this blog, but right now I would like to request just one thing: all news anchors please raise your right hand and solemnly swear that after January 20 we will TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!
Stephen Fry said Pres. Trump is like a Dr. Seuss character who grows bigger the more you talk about him. Can we just not talk about him when this is all done? I don't need to know where he goes or what he has for breakfast or what he thinks or says. Let's move on to focus on better things. Surely somewhere in the world there are other newsworthy things to report on.
And I'm removing the word "trump" from my vocabulary and replacing it with "take precedence over." It's more awkward, but it's just my little way of helping the environment.
Friday, 1 January 2021
In the build-up to the new year, I admit I have been somewhat jaded in my outlook of late. Closing the door on 2020 will not mean a sudden end to its problems. Covid-19 will still be with us, if not worse, spreading across the population like wildfire. Racism still exists. Poverty and war and natural disasters and selfishness are still rampant... so I wasn't very positive in my approach to 2021.
However, last night as I watched the broadcasts of various firework displays from across the globe, I suddenly found myself fighting tears. I hadn't anticipated the ringing in of the new year to strike me that way. I suddenly didn't see the fireworks as bidding "good riddance" to a rough year; they struck me as evidence of humanity's innate optimism. Welcoming a new year with fresh hope for a better condition. Celebrating that we are still here, still alive, still unconquered. Optimism and hope are essential, born within us, and we need to cling to them no matter what is going on around us.
I went to bed early with a good book, but woke at midnight when firecrackers and shouts began sounding in my neighbourhood. The sound of my neighbours getting on with things. We are here! We are joyful in spite of everything! The sound of life persisting.
Sunday, 27 December 2020
They are predicting some days of snow, so I'm thinking about returning to the church early instead of waiting for January. I'm trying to think whether it's better to be snowed in there or at home. At home I have people to chum with and more activities to do (really exciting stuff, like cleaning out the crawlspace or organizing the filing cabinet). But at the church I can exercise Brio without having to go outside for great lengths of time, and he can play ball (which is difficult to do in deep drifts of snow). So while I'm trying to decide what to do, I'm putting together supplies, ready to dash when there's a break in the weather.
Friday, 25 December 2020
It's a weird celebration this year, for sure, without grandkids piling into presents around the tree, or a big family dinner, or Son #2 and his partner driving to the house in their pajamas Christmas morning. It will be quiet and low-key, just us and Son #3, and there's meatloaf for dinner instead of the whole turkey shebang. I'll likely spend the day shoveling snow and doing puzzles. But the holiday itself is still as vibrant and relevant as ever, and if ever the world needed a saviour, it's now. I am grateful for parents who taught me to focus on Christ at Christmas instead of the Santa/presents trappings. The rush and glitz of consumerism has never appealed to me, and at Christmas it's especially appalling. I much prefer listening for the still, small voice in the hush of a peaceful morning, watching the snow fall and reading the old familiar story from the Bible while the house sleeps gently around me.
Wednesday, 23 December 2020
It's that time of year again -- the making of the butter tarts. We're going to drop some off to various people we know who are alone this Christmas, and some will go to a young piper we know who fell in love with them last year (he'd never had a homemade one before, and after he tasted them he told us he was ruined for life from ever eating store-bought ones again). They're a simple thing but have become part of our Christmas tradition. Our record is 300 at once.