Once again, the Galway Hall has been closed to the public and to any meetings and events, thanks to the modified Phase Two strategy imposed by the provincial government on Wednesday, January 5th. This closure of the Hall is in effect for three weeks. On January 26th, new directions are to be issued. You can check the status of the Galway Hall at www.galwayhall.ca for updates.
As COVID-19 and its variants continue to thwart our efforts to get back to ‘normalcy’, have you noticed that perhaps our listening skills have lost their focus? Perchance it is what they refer to as “COVID fatigue”. Two years of hearing the same ‘stuff’ day after day about COVID-19 has maybe numbed our ability to listen.
Cash Nickerson is the author of “The Samurai Listener.” He says that “Listening is hard. We come into conversations with our own agendas and low attention spans, and that can be a dangerous combination.” Listening involves being in the moment, which is connected to martial arts. “When you’re present and in moment, things move in slow motion,” says Nickerson. “You can take everything in. If you’re present you’ll remember everything.”
Here are two good quotes regarding listening:
“People don’t listen to understand. They listen to respond.”
“You see, people don’t want to hear your opinion. They want to hear their opinion, coming out of your mouth.”
This month’s category from the index of “The Best in the Cupboard” compilation is ‘Cleaning’. Here are a few suggestions that were submitted:
- To clean leather chairs, mix one pint of vinegar with two pints of linseed oil. Shake well. Apply sparingly, rub and polish well.
- Tissue paper does a fine job of cleaning steamed windows.
- Common table salt rubbed on stained tea cups will clean them. Also, tea and coffee stains in cups can easily be removed by a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.
- If you sprinkle table salt all over a rug and then vacuum it thoroughly, you will be surprised how it freshens its colours and loosens dirt.
- Dampen a chamois to take stubborn loose hairs from upholstery. The hair clings to it.
A combination of no snow and ideal temperatures made for excellent skating over the Christmas holidays in our area. Many water bodies froze over with hard, black, transparent ice. Although this ‘see-through’ ice was a little unnerving, it was awesome to skate upon and go almost anywhere.
Only in Ontario can one wake up to -30C one morning (January 11th) and -2C the next morning (January 12th)! The birds around the feeders seem to be able to cope with the dramatic fluxuations. Around our feeders, there seems to be more goldfinches than usual hanging around. They have been joined by a mourning dove, some purple finches and juncos, and a brief appearance by some evening grosbeaks. The usual suspects- the blue jays, chickadees, and both types of nuthatches are seen daily. Two flying squirrels appeared late one evening for a snack.
The full moon this February is on the 17th. It is called the ‘Snow Moon’ by some Indigenous peoples as February historically had the deepest snows. It is also known as the ‘Hunger Moon’ since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.
There is no brighter constellation in February’s night sky than Orion, the Hunter. Orion’s main figure has seven stars that are the brightest in this constellation:
- Betelguese: located on his right shoulder.
- Rigel: located on the left knee
- Bellatrix (female warrior): located on the left shoulder
- Saiph: located on the right knee
- Orion’s belt: contains the other three bright stars that are located at the waist