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.]

Crocheted Top

Summer has arrived in Southern Ontario! The weather is hot, hot, hot, and humid. Not at all like the November type weather we experienced on our vacation. We are rethinking how we take vacations, I can tell you! We don’t have much experience with them, only having had two weeks, one last summer and one this summer, so we are still learning, at our age!

The curtains are closed today, to keep that heat out. This has been working well today, the Heat Pump has only run a few times to maintain the temperature at 23.5, with a humidity around 48%, which is very comfortable.

Today is a blank page. Although the weather is as summery as it has been in 2017, autumn has arrived in my world. My focus has turned to food preservation, and moving into the projects I want to work on this winter. I need to work on my second genealogy book.

Also, I have decided to crochet an throw blanket for the chesterfield in Grace The Trailer, for the 2018 camping season. I purchased some yarn, Bernat Pop! Foggy Notion, which will look very nice in Grace The Trailer, and we like the colours. Now I have to decide on a pattern, or a stitch. At present I am considering a wave stitch, or the Suzette stitch, or a c2c pattern (corner to corner), but have not yet decided.

Bernat pop foggynotion 1 This is the yarn I have chosen for my first crocheted blanket. The blanket will be for use in Grace The Trailer during the 2018 camping season. I hope it will be ready in time!

I finished the top/coverup I was crocheting just before we left for our vacation. It is meant to be worn over tank tops, so that I can go braless without notice. The design is my own, made up as I went along. I am not entirely happy with it, but these days I wonder if what I am unhappy about with the way clothing fits is more about my aging body than with the clothing itself. I don’t really recognize myself completely when I look in the mirror. It reminds me of being 13 years old, and bit confused about who I was, my identity. I don’t know if I will just get used to the changes, and go with the flow, or if I will continue to find it disorienting. If the disorientation continues, then I will get used to that.

Crocheted top 2017 09 18 at 8 16 AM My crocheted top/coverup, meant to be worn over tank tops, to accomplish acceptable bralessness. I learned a lot designing and creating this top. Making it stretched my skill level, and my brain. Behind me to the right you can see that we are still under construction, drywall not finished, flooring that needs to be ripped out and replaced with red pine plank flooring… maybe someday, lol!

The day slipped away on me again. Attila will be home within minutes, and I can’t really say what I have done for the last ten hours. The thing is, if I try very hard I can list all the things I have done today. For example, I researched and bought Attila a charger and rechargeable AAA batteries, using the gift cards I got for my credit card points. I updated plugins on my web sites. Those are what come to mind immediately. I don’t know, why try to remember these things, why not let them flow into the past wordlessly? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If I answer my own question, it would be that there is no why, it is just what I do, when I do it, and what I write, when I write it. Silly thoughts, but all mine.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Monday 18 September 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.5°C
Dew point: 19.1°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: SSE 8 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“You should not live one way in private, another in public.”
Publilius Syrus
~100 BC

Last Day

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to turn hot, and stay that way for a week or so. Go figure, the nicest weather we had on our vacation was the the first day and the last day. The first day led to false hope, the last day let us know what we had missed.

Two projects are consuming the day here at Mist Cottage. The current antivirus software will not work on three computers. There are three computers here that need protection. The current antivirus software license expires in the next few months. A new antivirus software that will protect three computers for one price was purchased this morning, Bitdefender Antivirus. So far it has found viruses and trojans that Intego antivirus software had ignored, probably because they are Windows based viruses and trojans. Since files are sometimes shared with others, all three computers were cleaned of the Windows viruses and trojans. Installing the new software, scanning, and cleaning up all three computers took all morning.

The second task was inspired by a link Kate put on her blog, regarding cleaning dishcloths properly. The web site recommended boiling dishcloths for five minutes to kill all bacteria. Almost all of the dishcloths, and facecloths, are now adequately boiled. They will be laundered, hung out to dry, and then we shall see how effective this boiling method is for destinkifying the fabric.

Wouldn’t it be great if boiling politicians could destinkify politics! It doesn’t work though, similar techniques have been tried throughout history, and the majority of politicians still stink.

Note: My new not-a-real-word of the day, destinkify/ing, I like it!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The morning of the last day of our vacation dawned with a cloudless sky, it was the nicest weather we have had over the last nine days. The predicted low temperature, of our last night here at the Rideau Camp, was 3C, which was not very warm. We were comfortable last night until bedtime, wearing sweaters and jackets, then retired to sleep under a combination of comforters and wool blankets with the blinds at the windows closed tight to retain as much heat as possible. We awoke to a very chilly room, after having slept soundly through the night. The temperature in Grace The Trailer this morning at 6:30 a.m. was 12C (54F)). We have slept at the country house, that first autumn when we had no heat, at 5C (41F), and found that to be too chilly for comfort, without wearing toques while we slept.

This morning I dressed hurriedly, checked the thermostat, then switched on the heat. We have a propane furnace, which requires electricity to run, which is supplied by the attached battery, or an attached generator. The generator is not left out overnight, because it should not be out in inclement weather, and because theft is always a possibility. This morning the only option was to use the battery to run the furnace. Within ten minutes Grace The Trailer was feeling a lot more comfortable.

Attila has spread almost all of the crushed stone, and it has been quite a job! He used a shovel and a wheel barrow. I would have felt it hard labour to spend my time shovelling and pushing wheel barrows full of crushed stone, but he feels differently about it… he feels he has had a very relaxing vacation.

My time was spent sitting in the sun when it peeked out from behind the clouds, a rare event, reading my book, and working to transcribe the material obtained at the Middleville Museum into my database on the computer.

One of the things that has been interesting is how bad the mosquitoes are this September. Last September there were no mosquitoes here at the Rideau Camp, but this year they abound, a small and sneaky strain of them. This has made sitting out of doors on cloudy days unpleasant. When the sun shines they retreat into the shadows, and one can sit out and enjoy the outdoors… only three days have offered weather suitable for relief from the mosquitoes, the Saturday we arrived, yesterday when it was quite chilly, and today. The weather is magnificent today.

Yesterday was the last full day of our vacation, and the second day of sunny weather. We went for a picnic at a park in a local village, then visited the library. On Friday we visited the Township office to obtain a copy of our tax bill, so that a library card could be obtained. I had forgotten to bring a copy of our tax bill with us. The library near the township office issued me a library card. The libraries are staffed by lovely people, pleasant and helpful. A library card provides me with access to the library WiFi system. I borrowed a book on Friday, on the history of the area, and returned it yesterday at a connected library in another local village, where we had our picnic. Being at the Rideau Camp during the week allows us to explore the local area, and to start making connections with the surrounding infrastructures.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Cloudless sky and very cold in the morning, but no frost. A day that warmed with the sun.

20°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Friday 15 September 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Steady
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dew point: 19.5°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 8 km

Quote

“Now I must close this rambling account of your mother’s people around here, forgive my blunders and bad writing, and write soon and let us know how you all are. I hope your talk of coming to see us will prove true. We will all be glad to see you.”

A letter written in 1888, from my GGG Uncle Peter in Middleville, Ontario, to his niece Rowena, my first cousin four times removed, in the USA, either in Champion, New York, or Clyde, Ohio, I am not sure of the date that Rowena moved from New York to Ohio.

Day Six: Cloud and Rain and Wind

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crazy! On my way out the door this evening, as Attila and I were heading out to visit the grocery store, I noticed a hole in the soffit of the house. The hole is where the Grackles have been trying to get in, and I did hear the attempts to get back into the roof overhang, all summer long. But, get this, it wasn’t a Grackle that made the hole in our soffit, it was a small black and white woodpecker!

Tonight Attila got out his very tall ladder and took some spray insulation to spray into the hole. As he climbed and approached the opening out flew the black and white woodpecker. The spray insulation is not going to keep that bird out of our roof, oh no. It is time for another metal patch. That corner of the house attracts house hunters of all kinds!

Eventually we would like to put metal siding, roofing, soffit, and facia on the this little house. It has the original siding, soffit and facia, which are deteriorating rapidly now due to old age and past incursions from wildlife. Mist Cottage is livable, even comfortable, but we are still fighting off the local wildlife for control of the building!

Attila caught two mice in traps in the garage, in the last two days. They are coming in now, looking for a place to winter. We will have to keep a close eye on Grace The Trailer and Iris The Trailer, to catch any incursions.

Attila and I were just discussing our grocery bill. Our recent food bills average at $105 a week. Attila loves numbers and arithmetic, and if I follow along with my calculator, everything he calculates in his brain, he is always correct in his calculations. So I leave all calculations to him, he enjoys it, I don’t have to enter the numbers myself, he is always right, and he is a lot nicer to look at than a calculator. So when Attila says we spend $105 a week on food, on average, I know the number is reliable.

After announcing that we spend about $105 a week on food, I got to thinking about people who buy coffee every morning, for about $2.50 a cup, at the drive through. Lets see, that would be $5.00 every morning if Attila and I each had a coffee from the coffee shop. That would be seven days a week, at $5.00 a day, which would add up to $35 a week for coffee. Just one coffee each per day though, no second cups involved. A coffee each would cost a third of our food budget. It boggles my mind that people spend so much of their hard earned money on things like coffee shop coffee. We have had a Tim Horton’s gift card worth $10 sitting on the shelf for the last three years, and have yet to buy a cup of coffee with it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sometimes the weather in early September is warm and sunny. Not this year. It was sunny the first day of the vacation, last Saturday, a perfect day. The rain clouds blew in overnight, and the sun has not made an appearance for more than a few hours ever since. However, late into the night, on several nights, the sky has been perfectly clear and the moonlight bright as day. We are sleeping at that time, but one night the moonlight was so bright shining down on me through the window that it woke me up. Again last night Attila said that when he went outside to use the facilities, the sky was clear, and the moonlight was as bright as day. The sun even shone for about an hour this morning, there was high hope that at last a bright sunny day would grace our vacation. But alas, by mid morning the wind began to roar, the rain to pelt down in sheets, and the thunder to pound loudly around the Camp. The awning was in danger again, so out we went into the storm to take it down and secure it to the side of Grace The Trailer.

So far during the vacation we have had one sunny day, two days of continuous rain, and three days of heavy cloud cover. Is this related to Hurricane Harvey, one has to wonder.

The visit to the Middleville Museum the other day was interesting. My time there was spent with the resident genealogist, who was very helpful. Attila spent his time at the museum viewing all the displays, which were very impressive. One of the things we were given was a pamphlet created for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, listing all the families that were in and around the village in the year 1867. My ancestors are listed on their respective farms. Since the visit I have undertaken to transcribe the contents of the pamphlet, all 19 pages of it. I am enjoying finding out what families comprised the community where my ancestors spent their lives. In 1867 communities were more firmly based on contiguity, and survival. People who lived near each other not only knew each other, they depended on each other in ways we do not in this urbanized society we presently exist in. Social skills were much more developed than they are today.

Yesterday, another cloudy day here at the Rideau Camp, Attila and I headed into one of the local villages for a few supplies. Our water supply is almost depleted, there are no public water taps near the Camp to refill them, so we purchased a big container of water at the grocery store. It is a nice little store, and the staff are genuinely friendly and helpful even though we were clearly not living in the village. This basic friendliness is very refreshing to encounter, and will mean that in future we will do most of our local purchasing at the little store. The prices there, although a little higher than the in the grocery store near Mist Cottage, are quite reasonable.

In contrast, we will be avoiding the local “market” which sells artisanal foods, all relatively local, and very, very, very expensive. That is where I bought a 1 kg bag of flour for $8.00, not a price the average Canadian can afford. Thank goodness we have “local” beans, tomatoes, and garlic from our own garden at Mist Cottage, and that I buy things like flour in bulk directly from the mill!

Later in the afternoon today, well towards the end of the day, the sun emerged from behind the clouds. What a welcome sight! I will admit that the constant grey of the sky, and the relentless showers, were getting me down a bit.

It is interesting that the mosquitoes are quite bad right now. They are a small variety of mosquito, silent and effective. We have both been bitten numerous times, despite our precautions, always on the face or hands. I don’t react, and to be honest, if it weren’t for West Nile Disease I wouldn’t give them a thought. But they are dangerous, and so their presence is intrusive. Mosquitoes are not usually so prolific this late in the summer, but this is a very wet year, so I guess they are expanding their predations accordingly.

Attila is progressing with his project, to spread the crushed stone across the area where we intend to place Grace The Trailer. He is enjoying himself, and part of the reason is that the transformation of the clearing is so obvious, every deposit of of crushed stone expands our easy walking area. It is now very easy to drive Tank right into the clearing and to turn Tank around to drive out again.

The neighbour is very loud this morning, chopping own trees, probably for firewood.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Thursday, September 7, 2017

This morning began with blue skies and sunshine, then suddenly deteriorated into high winds, pelting rain, a big drop in temperature, and thunder. At noon, the sky was a solid sheet of steel grey, the wind died, and it had stopped raining, at least for the moment. Late in the afternoon the clouds cleared and the sun shone, as it sank below the horizon. The temperature is dropping, it is going to be a cold night.

22°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Thursday 14 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 22.1°C
Dew point: 16.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: S 10 km/h
Humidex: 27
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.”
Edith Wharton
1862 – 1937