Daily Quote: January 15, 2021

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible,
but also for what we do not do. Moliere

~ Moliere (French – Playwright / January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

January is almost half over. We are currently experiencing a heat wave. Temperatures have been above 0C for the last few days and it looks like it will stay that way for the remainder of the week. The sun has actually been seen and there has been a brief reprieve from the bleak winter days. You can also notice that the hours of daylight have increased.

But the “Stay at home” order came into effect this week and we’re all locked up. Thank goodness exercise is an exception. Walking with my sister and our dogs has been one of the highlights of this winter at home.

In December we decided to change our hot water heater from a rental to a tankless time payment to own. Also included in the deal was 15 years worth of insurance on all gas appliances and plumbing/water flow. As luck would have it just days after our first payment our furnace in the garage quit lighting. So the charge for the repairman to come and look at it was covered by the insurance. Hopefully he can find the required part to fix it. I’ve always said my husband has horseshoes stuck somewhere.

The other surprise is that my motorcycle insurance policy was changed. For 13 years I’ve been paying insurance on the motorcycles for 7 months starting in March. I got a notice yesterday that the payments will start in January. Despite a call to explain that I’ve always started the payments in March and this unilateral change seems unfair, they are still going to take the payments out starting in January. We called for quotes from other companies, but because our current insurance company is still the cheapest we will just have to “suck it up buttercup”. Really it just means that I have more months before Christmas without payments. Oh how I hate dealing with insurance companies that can unilaterally change long term agreements with a quick note to you.

Daily Quote: January 14, 2021

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame.
When you put four edges around some facts,
you change those facts.

~ Garry Winogrand (American – PhotographerJanuary 14, 1928 – March 19, 1984)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

Happy New Year to all my Orthodox friends.

I’m not certain if I agree with Garry Winogrand on this quote. I don’t think you change the facts, but you can change the perception of the story illustrated by the photo. So for example, this picture is of a family walking near Pincombe Mill Pond and feeding the geese/ducks. The reason it caught my eye was the contrast of the orange hats against the foggy background. You can take it at face value, or you can add analogies and a story line. Such as the hats represent hope bright and radiant; the family is the isolated group with stronger inner bonds; and they are reaching out (feeding) to change their surroundings with nurturing and caring; during a time of extreme hopelessness (pandemic/fog). So it is the importance of the story telling that can change how a photograph is perceived. The facts didn’t change, just how they are interpreted/presented.

The celebration of International Kite Day is better in Southern Climates than those of Canada. Much better on the beaches in Tampa, Florida or on Padre Island, Texas. I usually go out to fly kites on Easter Monday. My one diabetic sister-in-law used to give kites instead of candy at Easter, so I try to forward her tradition in her absence.

Medical advances are always changing the course of history, but probably none has had a bigger impact than the Caesarean Section. It has saved so many women and children from death during childbirth. Unfortunately it has also been used in recent times to guarantee a certain date for future birthdays and so that births occur on schedule, so staff can get back to more important things and free up the facilities for the next in line. The rates of Caesarean births has climbed over the years. When I had my children in the 1980’s (really dating myself) there was a huge movement to go natural (vaginal births without medications). Recovery is much faster without surgical intervention. I was lucky enough and healthy enough to have all 3 of my 9 pound sons naturally. Prenatal classes were attended and breathing techniques taught. But if my babies had been in any danger I would have gone under the knife and had a caesarean section without a second’s hesitation. That’s where mid-wives and doulas play such an important role guiding the mother through the experience of childbirth and ensuring the mother’s wishes are followed.

And not to be forgotten the Feast of the Ass. So keep your little asses safe at home during the pandemic. (sorry can’t pass up on the Little Ass jokes)

Daily Quote: January 12, 2021

Her godmother simply touched her with her wand,
and, at the same moment,
her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver,
all decked with jewels.

~ Charles Perrault (French – Author / January 12, 1628 – May 16, 1703)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

My favourite ginger is my granddaughter. Last year’s Halloween costume is perfect for today’s quote. Charles Perrault became famous by putting fairy tales onto paper and into his collection of Mother Goose Tales. He may not have been original in the story line, but by putting the words in his writing style onto paper he ensured that the tales would continue to be shared and immortalized them. The same stories we share today with our grandchildren as we instill in them the love of books.

Stories and parables are the heart of every culture. Passed down from generation to generation as children sit on their grandparent’s laps. We sing songs and our grandchildren learn them as they practice their singing and memory skills, learning through play. Of all the gifts I could instill in my children and grandchildren the “Love of Books” is probably one of the most important. It brings me immeasurable joy as my granddaughter sings “Twinkle, Twinkle” to me. Her repertoire has been growing by leaps and bounds.

Dreams of love start with the saving “Kiss from a Prince” that wakes sleeping Beauty. Inspiration to be stronger and better comes from stories as we all remember the “Little Engine who could”. As do lessons of acceptable behaviour as we remember the horrors the befell “The little boy who called wolf”.

So to celebrate National Hot Tea day, I think I’ll make a cup of tea with honey, grab my current book and settle in front of the fire place for a well deserved break.

Continue reading Daily Quote: January 12, 2021

Daily Quote: January 11, 2021

Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does.

~ William James (American – Philosopher January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

Today’s quote reminds me of the story of a man that was running down the beach when the tide went out. He was picking up star fish and throwing them into the water. Another person said to him, “You’re not making any difference. Star fish will still die when the tide goes out.” He bent down, picked up another star fish and threw it into the ocean, “It did to that one.”

Making a difference in just one life may not change the world, but you may change the world for one person.

History changes the perspective of events and people. Sir John A. MacDonald the first Prime Minister, was born January 11th (or 10th). He wasn’t an original man, just one who reflected the current opinion of the time. It was a time that only British (or French) white men were permitted to vote and they were busy conquering a new Continent. John supported giving male Indians the right to vote, but he also supported the introduction of Residential Schools. He denied women and people of Chinese decent the right to vote to (actually imposing a tax of $50 on Chinese people to immigrate to Canada). He liked to drink and had to be carried out of Parliament after imbibing too much. But he was one of the composers of the BNA (British North America Act), was Canada’s First Prime Ministers, and was instrumental in the building of the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad). So now as history is being reviewed and becoming more inclusive Statues in his likeness are being torn down and we are being asked to re-write history. My fear is that if we eliminate everything and everyone we no longer agree with that those very people will be allowed to rule again without the inclusiveness that we’ve grown as a Country to go forward with.

In a time when slavery no longer exists, human trafficking of children, women and men for the sex trade is an ongoing problem. This atrocity is prevalent throughout the USA and Canada. Hidden in big cities and small rural towns. Signs on the back of restroom doors along major highways, tell people to reach out and seek help for themselves or report strange behaviours that often indicate human trafficking. So be vigilant and help eliminate human trafficking. You could make the world of difference for one person.

Daily Quote: January 10, 2021

How far you go in life depends on your
being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant of the weak and strong.
Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

~ George Washington Carver (American – Scientist / January 10, 1864 – January 5, 1943)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

The second Sunday of 2021 and we’re still under lockdown. Church services will be attended on-line instead of in-person. We’ve gotten used to saying “Peace of Christ be with you” in the chat section of the page. No danger of hugs, handshakes or smiles without masks.

The vaccine is much slower to be distributed than we had hoped. Nursing homes and care givers still aren’t even close to being done. Distribution seems to be quicker in the USA, so some Canadians have decided to go south and pay for the vaccine rather than wait their turn for the free one at home. Travel abroad during the pandemic has cost many their jobs when they return, especially Politicians and Health Care Professionals. My friend and travel companion in Essex ON, who works in a Nursing Home, has had her vaccine. She is anxiously waiting for the border to re-open so she can see her 2 year old granddaughter again in Detroit.

The closure of Elementary Schools was extended another 2 weeks. I’m not certain if I were a parent at this time if I would let my children go to school or remain on-line learning at home.

At the same time my 2 year old granddaughter and 3 year old grandson started Pre-school (Day Care) last week and the changes in them is unbelievable. My grandson is autistic, but with the loving hand of my granddaughter he was welcomed into the school. She took his hand and introduced him to others and all the play areas. He has also shown interest in being toilet trained (something his mother feared he may never be able to do). So the influence of peers and interacting with others shouldn’t be underestimated. Like sunshine for flowers, a leading hand by someone who loves us unconditionally may be all we need to grow.

Daily Quote: January 9, 2021

Treat your friends as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light.

~ Lady Randolph Churchill (American – Celebrity January 9, 1854 – June 29, 1921)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

Today’s quote is one of my favourites, always love your friends and say the best things about them. Build them up because good friends are like diamonds precious, true and hard to find.

I attended my first online paint party last night. I’ve never painted before so this was quite an experience. During the province wide lockdown it was a good diversion on a Friday night (almost as good as going for Fish and Chips at the local Legion). So I’ll add this to my list of interests and attend more. A special thanks to all my Facebook friends for their encouragement and support in everything I do. ❤

First Paint Night Party

Daily Quote: January 8, 2021

True friendship multiplies the good in life
and divides its evils.
Strive to have friends,
for life without friends is like life on a desert island…
to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune;
to keep him is a blessing.

~ Baltasar Gracian

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

We’re now more than one week into the new year and I finally found the Daily Journal I like. It has a calendar in the front, a list of important conversions and 120 blank pages for me to write notes/journal on. The problem with finding something at the dollar store that you love is it might not be there the next time you want/need it. I was afraid my favourite journal wouldn’t be available this year. Last year they ran out of seeds, so I was forced to order through catalogues and was never so disappointed. I paid more than 10 times what I usually pay, the number of seeds were less and the germination rate was horrible. I will be going to the dollar store on a regular basis to try to get my favourite seeds.

I miss my winter travel to warmer places. I miss seeing my friends during this lockdown and the extended isolation of the pandemic. I miss going to church. I miss going to the monthly Horticultural Society Meetings. I’m saddened by the closing of the local Senior’s Centre. I miss being able to go to the Legion. I miss being able to have lunch at the local restaurant and having our favourite waitress greet us with a cup of coffee. And although the vaccine is bringing a ray of hope I will be in one of the last groups to be able to get it because I’m still under 65 and thankfully I’m in good health. So time to quit feeling sorry for myself and all the “I misses”. Bundle up and go for a walk because the forecast today is for sunshine and even with the bitter cold (-18C with the wind chill) at least the sun will be shining.

Daily Quote: January 7, 2021

May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.

~ Millard Fillmore (American – President / January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

My heart goes out to all my American Friends.

Yesterday will go down in American History as the day the 45th President incited a riot and failed to take appropriate action as his supporters stormed the White House.

Visions of the White House being desecrated by mainly white male extremists spread around the world as it took many hours before the President permitted the National Guard to go to the site. The Vice President was forced to shelter in place, as were all the other elected officials of the House and the Senate. One woman was shot and later died from her injuries.

When the National Guard, and FBI finally showed up the crowd was peacefully removed and order was restored. A much better outcome than for many of the communities that have endured violent demonstrations over the last 4 years.

Twitter locked the President’s account and I wonder if the account will be re-activated.

The members of the House and Senate remained on site, recess was called to an end and they bravely completed the work they had set out to do for the day. Their perspective may have shifted after the threat on their safety and lives, but their focus remained the same. Over and over again the speeches included that the appropriate processes must be followed to accomplish change, not violence.

Armed with video proof of who the perpetrators were it will be interesting to see how many of the rioters will be charged for the vandalism and terrorist acts. Two explosive devises were found and rendered safe.

I pray that the healing in the USA will start now that the 45th President has now announced that Biden has won the election and the transition will occur on January 20th.

Daily Quote: January 6, 2021

Minds are like parachutes
– they only function when open.

~ Thomas Dewar (Scottish – Businessman / January 6, 1864 – April 11, 1930)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

There is no better way to open your mind than a quiet walk through the conservation area after a fresh blanket of snow has covered everything in site. The snow clinging to the tree branches and attenuating all sounds around you. There might be some other hikers there, sharing the experience of deafening sound but they all say hello and may even pose for a picture for you. Strangers along the same path, sharing the glory of the hike and the wonders of the snow.

My stepson celebrates his birthday today. He has sold his 3 apartment investment and is looking for a new house to share with the love of his life. He hasn’t found a house yet, so later this month he will be moving into our spare room temporarily. He isn’t really home very often as he’s a trucker and tends to be gone for a week or two at a time.

Daily Quote: January 5, 2021

The season of failure
is the best time for sowing
the seeds of success.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda (Indian – Leader / January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952)

Holidays and Celebrations:

Porte Musings:

We are finally at the 12th day of Christmas and the end of the Christmas Season for 2020/21. This is the first time I’ve left my Christmas tree up until the end of Christmas and it will be coming down on the Epiphany (tomorrow). My Ukrainian friends and co-workers waited until January 6th to celebrate Christmas. One of my friends always said it was great because Christmas trees and presents were cheaper. One of the things I miss most about working was the multi-cultural and multi-ethnicity of my co-workers. All of the different ideas that I was exposed to by just going to work and being able to to put a face to the colours and cultures. Especially during lockdown we’re limited to our own little world and ideas.

Thank goodness for the internet and the way it has opened the doors to so many new things. Virtual tours of almost anyplace you would want to go and almost anything you want to learn. Allowing families to see each other and lessening their isolation. But a virtual tour doesn’t compare to the feeling of snow on your face as you toboggan down a hill or the sound of the wind in the Rio Valley tree tops.

The dwarf mallards in today’s picture are a variant that I’ve found only at my local conservation area pond. They are only about 2/3’s the size of the other mallards on the same pond. These females are also brighter and more caramel coloured that the other females. Their heads are also more rounded and compact. Apparently the small sized mallards are referred to as “Call Ducks” a domestic variety that was bred to lure other ducks by hunters.