At It Again

Attila and I had planned to spend our weekend at the Rideau Camp. But this morning dawned grey and wet and cold. So, we decided that we would spend this weekend installing the new windows in the dining area of the kitchen. This is preparation for our big project next spring/summer/fall, which is to replace the roof on the garage, which is just under the windows we are replacing.

The new windows are shorter, much, much shorter, and will be high. The garage roof is under these windows, so it will allow Attila to raise the side of the roof beside the house by several feet, allowing adequate slope for runoff. With the window segment of the garage-roof-replacement-project done, we will be ready to roll when spring comes around again.

I will miss the light, which will be much diminished. But there is no view to be missed. The windows look out over the garage roof and into the windows of the neighbours bedroom, and above to their roof. The advantage in the new smaller windows is that they are energy efficient, which will make the house easier to heat and cool. They offer a smaller glass surface to the great outdoors, which will make the house easier to heat and cool. The real coup de grâce is that the new windows open and close more easily, which a bonus for an old geezer like me.

The hole in the side of the house today made for an interesting day. I spent a fair amount of time killing yellow jackets and flies. The indoor temperature fell to about 16C, not warm. But here we are, it is almost 7 p.m. and Attila has closed in the wall from the exterior, caulked it, and painted it the same colour as the siding. It will be inconspicuous from the street, important to our visually discerning neighbours, some of them actually care what the houses on the street look like, and we like to keep those neighbours happy. We will be able to have the heat on tonight, and we will need it, as the low is fall to 5C (41F).

Tomorrow will show how far we can get with a project like this on a weekend. The fiddly bits are always time consuming. We have to finish the new wall under the new windows. That space will need insulation, vapour barrier, and finally drywall. The drywall will need to be mudded, sanded, and at some point painted. I doubt we will get past the mudding though, it takes time to dry, best not to rush things. After all that the trim must be installed. The trim is a little more complicated because I would like a wide window sill, I love window sills!

Well, here I sit, snug as a bug on a rug. It is Saturday night. Attila is making himself a pizza in the kitchen, for his second supper. That man loves to eat! I am thinking, suddenly, that although almost none of my dreams have ever come true, the few that did are the ones that really count!

More by luck than by design.

DSCF1301 The windows are gone! The first step in the process is to remove the old windows. They will come in handy somewhere else. This big hole in the house meant it got cold in here!

DSCF1313 The framing for the new windows is done, and the new windows are in place, but still need to be secured.

DSCF1326 The new windows are secured. The exterior sheeting (3/4″ plywood) is installed, the caulking has been applied, we are bug proof now!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

11°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Saturday 30 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 10.6°C
Dew point: 3.4°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: NNE 4 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is.”
John Lancaster Spalding
1840 – 1916

Sittin’ On The Back Porch

I am sitting on the back porch to write this entry, at least the beginning of it. It is 10:41 a.m., and the heat is beginning to close in. I’ve washed and just hung to dry a load of laundry, which has been sitting messily on the floor for over a week. It was time to deal with it. A quickening breeze is making the air more comfortable, but soon, I can tell, the heat and humidity will increase beyond my ability to physically compensate for it, and I will be driven indoors, where the heat pump keeps the temperature at 23C, and below 55% humidity. But for now, for the first time since Sunday, it is now Wednesday, I am out of doors.

Our back porch is lovely in the morning. In the afternoon the sun shines into the porch and it becomes uncomfortably hot, in the summer it becomes unbearably hot. In my dreams we renovate the porch to extend the roof so that much of the porch will remain shaded in the afternoons, making it a viable space in which to spend time all day long.

Even thought the heat wave carries on, the leaves are turning on the trees, and beginning to fall. They rustle, a familiar autumn sound.

We have lost our third family of neighbours in the house next door. When we first bought Mist Cottage, a family with three children lived there. As soon as we painted the exterior of our house, and it looked acceptable, they put their house on the market, and moved to a larger house in town. The people who bought it were an unmarried couple, he much older than she, who eventually married, and eventually stopped making their mortgage payments, renting the house out. The family that rented the house, a couple with two small sons and a brother in the basement, managed to buy it as the bank was foreclosing, and struggled to keep up with the expenses and maintenance. They chopped down every tree on their property, except the very tall one that required a professional to remove it. They gutted part of the house to “renovate”, and did not make progress after tearing things apart. The couple with their children disappeared in the spring, saying that they were going to spend the summer in a large trailer they had purchased at a seasonal camp site, leaving the brother in the basement and a tenant on the main floor of the house. Apparently this did not work out all that well, the tenant has moved out, all the furniture has been moved out, and the brother and father have been working on the house, and moving things out at intervals. It now sits empty. We wonder who will be there next, and hope for the best.

Our garden continues to provide us with fresh green beans and tomatoes, and the occasional zucchini. The few squash that have grown are sizeable, and it seems the mild weather will hold long enough for most of them to mature, so that they can be harvested. Sadly, the scarlet runner beans are no longer putting out blooms, so that as we harvest the beans as the come of size, there are no more coming behind them.

The day is sunny, but rain is predicted this afternoon, which the gardens will be glad of. Attila has been watering them every day, using bath water, which he carried out in a large five gallon bucket. It hasn’t rained since we arrived home from our cold, wet vacation.

My days are passing quickly at the moment. The genealogy book that I stopped working on last spring is in need of careful thought. Yesterday was spent editing references. They are a real mess, after 22 years of making entries. Over those 22 years technology has required many changes. At first, all my records were paper, and a lot of the information I acquired was garnered from painstakingly reading microfiches at libraries. The database computer software I used was relatively rudimentary, and has undergone a myriad of updates and improvements. Each time the software changed, so did the way I could enter my sources, and my researched information. There are still restrictions in the software, for instance the source field will accept only 225 characters, not nearly enough! I spend a lot of time butchering the source material so that it conforms to the 225 character restriction. Conventions changed as well, evolved you could say. My sources needed serious editing to make them consistent. Although they will never be totally consistent, they are within acceptable limits now.

My crochet project, a blanket/afghan, is so relaxing. The colours are soothing, the yarn soft and yielding to the touch. The stitch I am using is very plain, the Suzette Stitch, and very easy. Because the stitch is dense, the blanket is thick, and will be very warm. I am thinking of doing another in washable wool, wool blankets are so lovely and warm.

I have begun my book by Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter. The introduction was disappointing, it described the plot too carefully, revealing details that I would rather discover myself as I moved through the book. Having begun the first chapter, I encountered Norwegian words that my mind pronounced, or tried to, and decided to find an online service to provide pronunciations of the names of the main characters and places. I will eventually be able to pronounce these words correctly, but for now I must refer to the audio example every time. auditory learning is not my strong point. Which is interesting because Luna, my eldest, find auditory learning extremely easy. Everyone is so different!

Sound! From my seat on the back porch I can hear, the songs of cicadas, a cement truck, the backup warning beeps of a large truck at a distant construction site, stationary saws at the house under construction a few doors away, the neighbour raking leaves, a bird chirping, a train whistle, two neighbours chatting over the hedge between their yards. We do not live in a quiet place, but the neighbourhood itself is relatively quiet.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 27 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dew point: 22.4°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: S 20 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 13 km

Today
Increasing cloudiness late this morning. 40 percent chance of showers. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 28 with temperature falling to 24 this afternoon. Humidex 36. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight
A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 10.

Quote

“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.”
Max Frisch
1911 – 1991

Heat Wave!

Today is so hot, and humid. My Mom is happy as a clam, she loves the heat. Me, I am safe at home, in the air conditioned luxury of Mist Cottage. Attila, well… Attila is outside, working on the exterior south wall of the house, and the exterior south wall of the garage, scraping paint, and repainting. He has finished scraping and painting the wall the house, and had just finished scraping the wall of the garage. I offered to help, but Attila pointed out that having to take me to the hospital for heat exhaustion would not really be of much help to him. He has a point. I do not tolerate the heat well.

This afternoon it will feel like 39C with the humidex. Tonight the temperature will fall to 17C. It is a real roller coaster ride!

This morning I attended a three hour workshop on storing family photos and documents. It was excellent, and the cost was entirely reasonable at $8. I have not really done anything like this since I stopped going to Yoga class, which is more than two years ago. When a description of this workshop popped up in my email box, I called immediately to reserve a seat. This morning I was resistant, I had to make myself get dressed and get out the door on time. It was well worth overcoming inertia.

I haven’t been eating a lot lately, the dental work is still giving me a bit of grief, which is normal. When Attila got home from work yesterday, he asked me what I wanted for dinner. I responded by asking him what HE wanted for dinner. His response was immediate, pizza! We haven’t had pizza since last spring, it is not summer food, requiring the oven to bake. We decided that since it was the first day autumn, an oven meal would be appropriate, even though the temperature outside was hot enough to fry eggs on the back porch railing. So we celebrated the Autumn Equinox by making a homemade pizza, and sitting down to eat it in front of Netflix, watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We know it is autumn, the trees know it is autumn, only the weather doesn’t know it is autumn.

The pizza was better than ever. The pre-made pizza sauce from the grocery store is shockingly high in sodium, which is unacceptable for me. On last night’s pizza, we used a jar of the Tomato Red Pepper Sauce, made earlier in September, in place of the pre-made pizza sauce. The homemade sauce is very low in sodium, so that my part of the pizza got more than the two tablespoons of sauce usually allowed. It was wonderful! And to think, we have another 34 jars of Tomato Red Pepper Sauce… 34 pizzas!

It seems to be my year for run ins with insects. In this heat the yellow jackets are everywhere, huge ones! I went out to see how Attila was doing with his project, and a yellow jacket must have come back into the house with me on my clothing. Then it must have ended up on the floor, where my bare foot came into contact with it, and it stung the bottom of my toe. I felt it. My toe has a “blister” and is quite sore still. I killed the yellow jacket. There are a lot of wasps around our house, the nests seem to be right under the shingles. Attila sprayed and destroyed a nest one evening last week, that was under the awning outside the dining area windows. There was also a huge cone shaped hornets next in our flowering tree in the front yard this summer, which was sprayed in August, and is now inactive. We had another nest of hornets under the compost, the black plastic bin. Attila was planning on spraying it before digging it out, but an animal, probably a skunk, got to it first, dug out the nest and ate all the wasps. Yay!

Boiling dishclothes DSCF1260 A pot full of dishcloths and facecloths, boiling them up to kill the bacteria, five minutes does the trick!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT
23°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Saturday 23 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.4°C
Dew point: 20.2°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: S 22 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km

Today Mainly sunny. High 31. Humidex 39. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Fog patches developing overnight. Low 17.

Quote

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell
1903 – 1950

Blanket/Afghan

Another hot one out there today! I am happily and comfortably ensconced on my easy chair, content with my crochet project. I finally decided to create the whole blanket/afghan using the Suzette Stitch, which is a stitch that is created with a foundation chain in multiples of two, which simplifies figuring out how to make the blanket. I decided on a width of 36 inches, then crocheted a foundation chain approximately 36 inches long. The only decisions left to make will be how long to make the blanket/afghan, and what border I would like to add when that length has been reached. Because I am using a yarn that changes colour, there will be only a few ends to sew in, where I have to start a new ball of yarn.

I like to listen to audio books, or “watch” videos while I am crocheting. The audio books are my favourite, and I can borrow them from the library online, so they are affordable and accessible without a car. We have Netflix and Prime Video, which offers enough variety between the two subscriptions to provide enough interesting viewing. Prime has mostly standard popular offerings, most of which I have seen elsewhere, and a lot of vapid crap, and violent crap that I won’t spend time with. Netflix has more variety, some unusual offerings. However, I know there is an inaccessible world of film out there, and I wish it were within my reach. I cannot subscribe to PBS or BBC programming, and I would if I could. I find the Canadian CBC offerings superficial, and provincial, perhaps because being a Canadian I am well aware of what life here is really like for many people, and how different that is from how life here is characterized by our national broadcasting organization. I cannot watch it without feeling disappointed.

Our Scarlet Runner beans are producing a bumper crop this year. The seeds are those saved from last years plants, pods left to mature and dry before removing the beans, which we planted this spring. Attila feels the harvest will slow down now, as he has left quite a few pods to mature for seed. He brought in a six quart basket of beans last night. We eat our fill of fresh beans, and blanch and freeze the rest for the winter. Our tomato plants are not producing a bumper crop, but the tomatoes are plentiful enough that I eat at least one every day. We have our fingers crossed that our squash matures before frost, we don’t have many, but the those that are there are huge. Attila has been picking dill seed, which he enjoys in his tuna salad. I don’t like dill. Attila also harvested one of our cabbages last night. It is quite small, so the whole cabbage was chopped and went into Attila’s favourite cabbage soup, to which he adds salt, so I cannot eat it. Food preparation is an ongoing project for us here at Mist Cottage. It keeps us very busy, as Attila is very fussy about what he eats, and I have extremely restricted choices when it comes to food.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

26°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 21 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 26.2°C
Dew point: 16.4°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: NNE 13 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”
Charles Bukowski
1920 – 1994

And so you have it. Women have been not just saving, but creating, one man at a time since time immemorial. They also create one woman at a time.
Bukowski’s formula can be approached by anyone and everyone… a little kindness and compassion reach further than we can see.

[I am always saddened by the use of “man” as representing all members of our species, even if it was the accepted usage of their time… wise people should have known better, rather than blindly accepting the social mores of the day.]

Sigrid Undset

Another day has disappeared, flowing painlessly and almost silently into the what-has-been. How I cherish this kind of day.

Deciding on what type of blanket to crochet has proven to be a time consuming, yet enjoyable process. At the end of the day, the choice has not yet been made.

The garden has yielded many pounds of scarlet runner beans, a veritable bumper crop. The plants are beautiful, the blooms brighten even the greyest, dullest day. The beans are a wee bit furry, and delicious. Attila has been blanching and freezing almost every weeknight, so that we will enjoy organic garden green beans with our warm winter meals. The tomatoes are not prolific, but have provided me with weeks of toasted tomato sandwich lunches. The tomatoes continue to produce modest numbers of fruit to keep the supply coming. The cabbage is small, Attila will use it in stir fries in the coming weeks. The celery is small as well, one plant in particular, but it will make a welcome addition to dishes all winter long, as we will chop, blanch, and freeze it. The squash has not ripened yet, but it looks to be a good crop of Hubbard and Butternut squash.

I recently gifted two genealogy reference books, which had been gifted to me. I left them under Iris the Trailer last weekend, well packaged in a box and a plastic bag, so that my fellow researcher could pick them up at her leisure. She willingly shares her research with others, and tries to help anyone with their research if she can, so that I feel the books well placed in her hands.

I don’t usually buy books these days, they are expensive, and they require storage space, if I fall in love with them and want to keep them near. Although I enjoyed the Ferrante books, I did not fall in love with them, they did not open inner doors and windows for me, perhaps because the author’s experiences are not entirely dissimilar to my own. I am thinking of donating the books to a library, having only been read by me they are in new condition.

I have been intrigued by the author Sigrid Undset (1882-1949), a Norwegian author who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. I had not heard of her before, and wonder why. She wrote two series of novels set against the background of medieval Norway in the 13th century: the 3-volume Kristin Lavransdatter, and the 4-volume Olav Audunssønn. I have just ordered the 3-volume Kristin Lavransdatter series, to arrive at the end of September. My winter reading will be ready, for cozy winter nights at Mist Cottage.

One night last week, deep into the night, while I was burning the midnight oil in the living room, unable to sleep, Attila heard a loud sliding noise, it woke him up. In the morning we discussed the sound, speculating on the source. It wasn’t until the next day that I opened my closet door, to find that my clothing was no longer hung neatly on the rod. The rod support had collapsed. Attila will fix this, in time. Attila and I will drive to the city tonight, to do some needed shopping, and will pick up the needed hardware. The very, very cheap wardrobes that we purchased on sale are not exactly robust. You really do get what you pay for!

Closet collapes DSCF1261 This what I found in my closet after Attila heard a loud “sliding” noise in the night.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Tuesday 19 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.2°C
Dew point: 19.1°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE 12 km/h
Humidex: 29
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.”
Eric Berne
1910 – 1970

[Rigid parameters have their uses, but it is a sad day when control the way we see the world around us.]