In the margins

I used to be intrigued by the holy orders of the middle ages. 

Just think of how the monks spirited away religious books and scrolls, protecting them from invasion and destruction. Just think of the patience and talent as they huddled in seclusion to copy and illuminate precious manuscripts. Some got creative in their repetitive tedium to insert commentary and cartoon drawings. You might enjoy reading about them and other dedicated scribes in the book “The Story of Writing” by Donald Jackson. Read a review and commentary here.

Enter a modern-day, mature night-school student.

class notes doodle umbrella cat

Starting in 2018, I wrote notes diligently by hand, capturing the instructors’ experience and words of wisdom in addition to consuming their content-packed PowerPoint presentations. Some would instill us with their knowledge for longer than necessary – and with much repetition.

Hence the doodles to pass time while listening with one ear. Of course, most of my doodles involve cats.

class notes doodle cat

I feel like I’m in high school again but this time, being in the margins holds a different meaning.

I am a tail-end Boomer, an older IT worker in a world where employers prefer to hire younger workers and praise themselves publicly for it. My mature colleagues and friends are seeing shades of ageism. We will not be ignored and refuse to be discounted. Some of us are not ready to retire nor can we afford to.

If you wish to see more whimsical doodles in the margins, wander over to this web page.

Thanks for dropping by and not disturbing the kitteh.


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Geneva Tabby seems to have been enjoying my near-constant presence this past week.

Tabby cat being cute

The times I wasn’t keeping her company during stay-cation, I was outdoors with family and friends. You can read about it in my week of gratitude post over at the other blog.

Now it’s Sunday evening and I have to get back into the public transit commute and work day routine. Ugh. Geneva seemed concerned when I told her – or she was wondering where is the treat? Where is the darn treat you usually give me after taking my effing picture? 

Tabby cat concerned

The Tabby Cat looks concerned

Have a nice week!


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Spaces of harmony, intention and sentimental love

On this long weekend I accomplished a lot, wanting to economize on space, time and money.

I tried a new recipe – solo. It was one of the favourite meals that one offspring would prepare often before moving out of the nest. I used to watch the process while lingering in the doorway of the small kitchen, breathing in the delicious aromas.

Well, I wanted it to be one of my projects this weekend, to prepare the meal all by myself. I succeeded, ate two servings and lived to tell the tale. Now I have plenty of freezer portions to bring for work lunches in addition to vegetarian chili and meaty pasta sauce.

Although I enjoy the social benefits, I need to cut back on expenses of lunches and dinners out. 

Caribbean (sweet) Potato Soup

Caribbean Potato Soup

I challenge their claim of “prep/total time: 30 minutes”. It took me much longer with all the vegetable preparations. 

Considering the investment into most ingredients (spices, oil, ginger root, etc.) I am likely  going to make this meal often over the winter.

Another project was rearranging the living room, putting the TV back at one wall instead of stuck in a corner. This was reversing what the Feng Shui consultant convinced me to do in 2018 during a home visit.

Once again I can see the TV from the dining table and kitchen door, which will provide a  convenient distraction while tackling homework this coming school year, or peeking from the kitchen as I stir soups and check on other meals.

The living room feels so much more welcoming, spacious and functional now. The television acts as a modern day fireplace with its viewing options through the over the air antenna, a DVD player and Netflix. To alleviate any inauspicious luck, I placed a few items, some Feng Shui “Allies” beside the electronics. I’m not superstitious at all. 

Then there’s the guest room, sometimes referred to by the cats as the forbidden room.

Another offspring has bounced away after occupying the room this summer. I still have not patched the hook and nail holes in the ceiling and walls since another offspring moved out.

The empty bedroom

The empty bedroom
Smudges and nail holes remain
Sentimental Mom

It’s like I’m holding onto memories of the times each of my trio occupied the room at various turns. I considered giving it a make-over with a few coats of fresh paint. I also considered the time, energy and cost of this undertaking if I plan to move in the next few years to a smaller, more affordable place.

I feel lucky to have the ample space. I like the idea of having a guest room, of providing comfort for visiting family and friends. There’s also my persistent plan of luring the youngest back home to live rent-free while seriously focusing on post secondary education.

I don’t like the idea of moving right now. I also don’t like that the landlord keeps applying to raise the rent above provincial guidelines year after year. I may stick it out for a while longer – until my furry roommate passes on.

“Did I hear you say “treat”?”

The elderly diabetic cat would get too stressed out by the commotion of packing and moving. I will wait until she leaves this earth instead of turning her comfortable little world upside down. After all, she is the remaining member of pampered cats and other household gods.

With all the domestic duties the past few days, I’m ready to go back to work!

So… how was your Labour Day weekend?



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