Feb 09, 2021


This post is going to include random thoughts and photos. The photos are some that I have wanted to include in the post for a few months. I am not very perky these days, rather more cranky. Most of it stems from the retirement of our financial advisor the end of December and the unexpected announcement of the retirement of our long time accountant. Both have sold their businesses to employees that they have mentored for a number of years. That does give us some continuity but suddenly we are having to deal with new very young ( well to us they are ) folks who like to do things in their modern way including zoom meetings, electronic this and that. We are happy to continue to proceed as we have been for all these years.  Guess we will have to train them how to do things our way.

Reflection taken on October 19th.

This is a photo of a reconocimiento /certificate of recognition that I was awarded ( me and my friends – those that contributed ) to help the people in need of food on the Isla from April to July because of Covid. It is issued from the Colonias Association on the Isla. I was so humbled to receive this.  The actual certificate is somewhere on the Isla. Hopefully I will catch up to it eventually.

Again today I spent a few intense hours online trying to sort out problems in two areas. One involved 75 minutes with yet another Apple support tech. Turns out that my problem is nothing that can be fixed. My head is spinning. At least I can let that problem go. I really don’t need nor want to do complicated anything. I have earned my relaxation time yet it seems that everyday something new needs  2- 4 hours of my time. I am tired of sitting at the computer. We never know from day to day what is coming next but it is always something. Last week I noticed that Fitbit is no longer on my iPhone nor my desktop. I simply don’t have the energy to spend at least an hour with a tech. But I really like to see my steps charted, it inspires me to move even more. Mind you, who can move while tethered to a desk and computer. Another thing that came up today was a problem with our bank re a deposit.  Another phone call, more time on the computer, another hour wasted. Is it just me or does everyone go through  this?

A different view of our home from the beach next to the golf course. Taken in November. You can see our peaked roof just past the stepped down cedar hedge with our new fence sticking out.

Also taken October 19, 2020. I just love the cloud reflection in the lake.

Normally I can handle all these issues but of late I have little energy and perhaps Covid brain, whatever that means. I keep getting mixed up in what year it is. My main thing is that I didn’t know what happened to 2020. I had to think about it. On January 3rd 2020 I had emergency knee surgery and before I had recovered from that, we were quickly packing up to head home because our government asked us all to return to Canada because of Covid. I spent until early July moping about until we really got into the growth of our garden. The summer was fine but in the last few months we had to deal with a new fence and all that entailed and then that stupid digging to find a water drain. Then Christmas which was great, all the lights, Christmas movies and just our happiness. Oh and great cookies and Christmas cake that we baked. Fortunately spring is just around the corner.

This is the butternut cauliflower coconut curry that I made a few days ago. I posted the recipe within the past few weeks. I served it with rice on the side. It was very very good.

Click here for the recipe.

Today we woke up to -22C/-7.6F. In a word, cold. Late last night Colin had noticed that the temperature sensor in our on demand hot water heater area was getting low. So he took out the curly lightbulb that was in there and put in a real lightbulb. The temperature rose as expected. This morning he checked it at 6AM and it was only -1.6C/29F. So he ran the hot water tap in the kitchen for a while until the temperature rose. Of course with it being so cold out he waited until this afternoon to go and put a second light in the area. The water heater sits in a box lined with two inch blue styrofoam which is flush to the house but it does not have a heat source. Of course it is aways blown out before we head south for the winter. I read today on the park FB page that at least six people had frozen pipes this morning. Others had simply left an indoor tap dripping all night. We will be fine tonight. At no point has the temperature under the house dropped below 41F. Colin did insist on a good deal of insulation when we built this house because of the wind off the lake. We have no heat on at night. In the morning we use the furnace, fireplace and three oil burner heaters to bring the temperature up to 70F.  Then because we have so much sunshine we shut all heat sources off between 9:30AM and 4:30PM.

Another fall sunset, taken November 8th.

Let’s hope that this is not the same for 2021.

My father often used the expression hodge- podge.


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18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Hodge-podge”

  1. Jim and Barb says:

    Beautiful pictures of warmer times. Fear not, they will come again and your frustrations of today will be but a distant memory!

  2. Tammy Warawa says:

    Spring will come, we just need to get past February. It snowed here a skiff last night but got down to minus 6 degrees too. Buddy did his business in about 8 seconds and was back in the door (obviously island acclimatized)

    • contessa says:

      -6C and a bit of snow, that is extreme for your area. We are all yearning for spring and signs of new life and growth. Even if things have not changed too much in actuality our spirits will be lifted.

  3. Maxx Trails says:

    I’m feeling the same way you are Contessa … in fact I can’t even get inspired to write a blog 🙁 I keep getting excited that some of the restrictions will be lifted even though I know in my heart they won’t, and then when they don’t I have a big mental drop. Keep up writing and sharing your beautiful pictures and look forward to spring!

    • contessa says:

      I think of you so often. It must be very difficult for you not to see your kids, grandkids and great grand baby. If you were in Arizona, that would be expected but now that you are home and so close to them, just not fair at all. This is difficult time for so many and as time goes by it is not getting any easier.

  4. Gail Kelly Florence says:

    Me too Contessa. The days just run into each other.
    I try not to get too down thinking about how things will never be the same as pre-covid.
    I’m going to try and find that curry recipe.

    • contessa says:

      It is difficult to be continually “up”. Hang in there. I sent you the link to the recipe and added it to the post.

  5. Judith says:

    Yes, the sense of time passing has been thrown off…it’s either to fast or too slow. February now. Cold has settled in up there apparently. It is just arriving here….real cold, like days below freezing point and a high of 19F next Monday, very unusual for this time in central TX. And two chances for snow. Not much I suspect. Not enough for lovely photos as you have taken. Hang in there.
    By the way, I did read that Fitbit had been sold to Google. But I’ve had no problems, and I have an Apple mac as you do….Sheesh. One thing after another. Eh, as I understand the Canadians say.

    • contessa says:

      Gosh today I just tried to order a pizza online to pick up tomorrow and I ended up having to call it in because they added another $8.00 to my total. Yes one thing after another. Stay warm. When I get chill, the only thing that helps is to going a hot bath.

  6. kay says:

    Well, a former coworker sent me the latest from the lab… at the rate of vaccination today, it will take 7 years for our Country (USA) to be back to normal. That said, I think people all over the world will very likely take away the need to be more mindful of the spread of germs. I have said for over 40 years, if people would wear a mask when they have a slight cold or icky feeling, we would not have such a bad flu season… Some people don’t care about the health of others or perhaps they don’t understand death can come from their simple cold or tummy ache to another person. FOOD can heal us if one will just adhere to the science of food. My friend’s husband was in the hospital for COVID and he was told he was a bad dieabetic. He came home 4 weeks ago with his A1C 10.3. YIKES. My friend called me asking what she could do to help her husband. I told her, feed him a diet of no more than 10 grams of “Total Carbs” per day for 30 days. She just called me an hour ago. He went for his checkup today, his labs were done last Friday, his A1C is 6.4. He has lost 10 pounds (sitting around) and he got on the phone with me and told me thanks. His doctor was speechless didn’t know what to say. So he stopped the Metformin and my friend told me her husband LOOKS so much better and even looks 10 years younger. People don’t realize how much Food can change us. This Covid has changed so much, and I for one will always wear a mask and gloves out and about just to keep myself healthy. Sorry for your cold. It’s in the 70’s down here.

    • contessa says:

      Wow that is quite the news you have to share. I don’t like the seven year wait. I do agree with you that proper eating is everything. How wonderful that you helped your friends husband. You just gave him many more years to live.

  7. Karen says:

    Oh Contessa I feel your pain! Our financial advisor has informed us that he’s probably retiring next year. He is at least 10 years our junior,I truly don’t believe he should,he’s got many more years of work in him lol!
    I also have made your butternut coconut curry with a side of cauliflower rice,very yummy! Pictures are wonderful! Stay healthy and safe and don’t freeze over there .

    • Contessa Jewall says:

      Hola Amiga. Good to hear from you. I assume the diet is still in place :). Both our financial guy and the accountant were only 70. Same age as Colin. Oh good job on the curry meal. We had left overs last night and they were even better. Just two more days of extreme cold.

  8. Nancy Hodgson says:

    Hi Contessa
    If you can locate that certificate I would bring it to Canada some time this spring and mail it to you
    If you would like?

  9. Contessa I feel your frustration. The more we use and enjoy when all our electronic devices work, the more can go wrong. Finding help over the telephone and getting it, is not guaranteed. I had an issue (unresolved for the moment) with Samsung and gave temporarily up. Why get all upset over unqualified or uncaring people and I have decided to move on and figure out the problem another time.
    Fantastic to get that certificate of recognition. You did great work and I am sure quite a monetary contribution. The extreme cold air under your house can be a problem but hopefully it is only for a short while. Soon it will be spring time. Just think in a couple more weeks things will look hopefully very different!

    • contessa says:

      In all honesty I kept ignoring my computer problems but it finally got to the point where I had to act. Tomorrow, Friday is the day to take it in for surgery BUT we can’t get ahold of the tech! No idea if the parts or in or the fellows address. I hope your problem sorts itself out soon.

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