Super House Dress Woman

Some days this is as good as it gets.
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OK, today I took a bold step and answered a knock on the door in my bright yellow house dress with big colourful butterflies printed on it. It is my stay in the house comfort dress. But then there was this knock on the door, that I felt compelled to answer. I looked, well, colourful… and exotic, lets call it exotic.

Two young men stood before me with perfectly respectful expressions on their faces, and from this I knew they wanted to sell me something.

They wanted to sell me an installation of smoke alarms that call the fire department when smoke is detected. We don’t need that. We can’t afford that.

Initially I just said that we weren’t interested. The spokesman for the two persisted in his sales pitch, hopeful that engaging me in a joust of logic would result in my capitulation, as this appeared likely to him.

Finally he came to it, “May I ask why you you won’t have these smoke alarms installed?” He was clearly implying that wasn’t being logical, reasonable, that I wasn’t thinking clearly.

I came right to it, “Because I don’t want want them.” Then I stared at him. Unblinkingly. He didn’t expect that from a woman in a yellow house dress. Then he left, and his companion silently followed.

I closed the front door, looked in the mirror, and I thought to myself, “lucky thing they didn’t know I would say no before the interaction, because if they had, the looks on their faces might not have been quite so neutral.”

Some days you just have it all!

Today I was Super House Dress Woman!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Wednesday 29 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 24.0°C
Dewpoint: 13.1°C
Humidity: 50%
Wind: NW 8 km/h
Humidex: 27


“Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It’s much sexier than any body part.”
Aimee Mullins

I don’t know about this quote. I definitely DID NOT get the impression that these young men were finding my rock solid confidence in the least bit sexy. Hmm…

How I Intend To Handle The Coming Postal Strike

I don’t often write about larger issues. It isn’t that I don’t know they are there, I do know all too well. Occasionally the interface between the larger issue and the day-to-day actions that I take come close enough together that what I do makes a difference, and I seize those moments when they are presented to me.

Hydro One has just presented me with an opportunity.

Dear Hydro One Customer,
Canada Post has informed Hydro One of the possibility of a service disruption on or after July 2.

In order to keep your account current during this period, we’re offering the following tools to help you keep up-to-date with your bills.

Sign up for epost™ – View, manage and store your bills securely online by signing up at

View your bill online – Visit to view your bill and check your account balance.

Sign up for Pre-Authorized Payment – Have your bill payment automatically withdrawn on the due date. Sign up at

I will share my opinions about this missive.

First, signing up for epost effectively removes human contact and employment from the daily functioning of the Canadian Postal Service. The Canadian Postal Service is a vital public service. I feel this is a BAD thing, machines replacing jobs. That is what epost is all about, replacing human employees with machines. I will not be using epost now, or ever.

Second, the postal strike is a union activity. In my opinion most of the overspending in the Canadian Postal System is on top-heavy, highly paid, poor-decision-making management. The living wage paid to the actual workers who perform the tasks defined by the highly paid overburden of management is something worth preserving. If Canadians want to control costs look to controlling management and their decisions, and union leaders and their decisions, those few at the top create the whole system and culture in which the living-wage workers work. If it isn’t working it due to poor management and union decisions. It is also important to remember that Canada Post increasingly hires on a contract basis, offering no job security, regular hours, benefits, or comprehensive protection by the union. In my view this is not a policy appropriate for national postal services. It isn’t appropriate anywhere, but where tax dollars are used it is exponentially inappropriate.

There are real reasons that “going postal” is a phrase that a lot of people understand.

What I intend to do during the postal strike is to go online and locate my bills, or call the companies that bill me, determine the amount owing and pay it directly to the company.

It is hot out there today, humidex of 37 and it will get warmer as the afternoon progresses. Attila is working hard on the garden shed, the siding is going on, and he sent me off to the building centre this morning to buy the door handle and lock. There are a lot of fiddly bits to go, but we might just have it weather proof by tonight, and just in time, rain is predicted for tomorrow!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 12:00 PM EDT Sunday 26 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 18 km
Temperature: 30C
Dewpoint: 18.7°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: S 15 km/h
Humidex: 37
Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 early this afternoon. High 29 except 24 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 35. UV index 9 or very high.
Increasing cloudiness. 40 percent chance of showers overnight with risk of thunderstorms. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Wind becoming southwest 20 near midnight. Low 19.


“I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”
Isaac Newton
1642 – 1727

One For The Books

Here is one for the books, or the blog. I was just sitting here at my computer working on my book, when I heard the garbage collection truck coming down the street. Normal. Then my mind wandered and I found myself thinking, “well here is another Monday morning, another week begins.” What! This is Friday, the beginning of a weekend. My week was pleasant enough that I unconsciously equated it with a weekend. This is a first. Wow, pinch me!

Last Sunday night Attila loaded about a third of the combustible debris from the old garden shed into Tank, and we took it to the Rideau Camp, where I burned it to ash. Then on Wednesday, when Attila arrived home from work, we repeated the exercise, then we had two thirds of the job done. Last night Attila loaded the last of the combustibles into Tank and off we went once again, and I burned all of that to ash. The entire garden shed has been reduced to a pile of ashes.

Garden Shed before. Actually, what you see in the picture is mostly the siding and the plastic roof, which we didn’t burn but will be taking to the landfill site. It was the wood holding all this together that we carted out to the Camp to burn.
Shed June Reno 1
Garden Shed after.
Garden shed in ashes

My Mom is doing very well. Mom likes hot weather, so the now that the summer has arrived she is in her element! I am missing her!

Sunny and Sky, the preemie Grandbabies, are doing well. Terra is looking very happy.

This weekend we will be focused on moving the shed project along. This morning, after I hung a load of laundry on the clothes line in the back porch, I took a tote and filled it with wood chips that were left after Attila hauled away all the combustible wood from the former garden shed. It was quite a mess, which took about an hour of bending down to the grass to pick out the bits and pieces. My back told me in no uncertain terms that that was enough of that for the day, so I will postpone hoeing the garden until early tomorrow morning. When it is hot, I try to go for my daily walk and do any outdoor tasks before 9 a.m. when the temperature begins to ascend.

Tonight, well tonight our big excitement is making croutons. We can turn on the oven and the air conditioning at the same time, when the hydro is half price after 7 p.m.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 24 June 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dewpoint: 13.2°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Humidex: 24
Sunny. High 27 except 21 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 30. UV index 8 or very high.
Clear. Low 12.
Sat, 25 Jun Mainly sunny. High 28 except 22 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 31.
Night Clear. Low 14.


“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling

First Day of Summer

It has been an intense week!

The shed project continues, slowly. Attila estimated it would take him two weekends and the week in between to complete it; not even close! The roof is on, which is an essential part of the project because it keeps things dry. But the issues with water are not all addressed. The shed sits at the back of the garage, where the water from the garage roof drains. Attila has a plan as to how to prevent that water from pouring into the shed, but I don’t know any details. Best not to get involved at this point, and I will feel relieved when that final phase of protection from the elements is completed. Then on to the walls, the door, and the window.

And then there is the old shed, which sits in bits in a heap on the back lawn. Last night we packed about a third of it into Tank and headed to the Rideau Camp. There we sectioned the wood and burned it as a campfire. Two or three more trips and campfires should have the wood debris burned. The remaining materials, insulation, etc. will be bagged and taken to the construction waste site for disposal, which we will have to pay for.

For the last ten days Attila worked every minute of time off work on the shed, grabbing a bite to eat after dark when he came in from the yard. It wore us both out. We are going to slow the project down, and at least eat dinner together this week. Hopefully he will have the job done by the end of the month, but even that might be optimistic. Attila works slowly, learning as he goes. He is not a seasoned builder, although he does have some experience. Experience is what really counts in the building trade though, and going slowly allows him to self-correct as he moves forward. The shed is built to local and provincial building codes, but there is a lot more to it than simply meeting code.

The shingles are on! It took all day Saturday, into the night, but Attila got the shingles on, with only the roof cap and the trimming left to do on Sunday morning. Water is still an issue, because the garage roof, seen through the shed, drains in the direction of the shed, so it if rains the water from the roof will pour into the shed, might pour into the back of the garage. We are supposed to get thunder storms this afternoon, I have my fingers crossed Attila can get the drainage issue sorted before it rains, otherwise we might have a huge mess to clean up! Life can be very exciting.
Shed shingles

On Saturday morning early our neighbour’s yard sale began. He had advertised the event, and then put flyers in the mailboxes of all the neighbours to invite them to join in on the event. Four other households put items out for sale, which included us. I put out four items, two of which sold, the portable air conditioner, and an iron. The air conditioner was a good deal for the fellow who bought it, as it was still on warranty. We just don’t have enough room here at Mist Cottage to store things we do not use, and our heat pump provides excellent air conditioning so the unit was not going to be used again. The iron was one of the two we had, one for each of our two houses; it is lovely to have just one house!

Also on Saturday there was a Baby Shower for Terra, which I attended. It was tricky getting the vehicle out of the driveway, as the yard sales had generated quite a bit of interest, and the street was lined on both sides with cars, but I managed. It was a 45 minute drive from home, and held in the afternoon at the home of Lares first cousin. Luna drove to stay with Terra for the weekend, and she and Imp and Tink (girls) were at the shower, while Elf (boy) was on a rough camping trip with his Dad and another Dad and son, for a boys weekend Father’s Day extravaganza. There were oodles of people at the shower, many of whom I had met once before, and lots and lots of children and babies. Of course Sunny and Sky were not there, they remained safely under the watch of the professionals at NICU. It was wonderful to see Imp and Tink, I almost didn’t recognize them they had changed so much since the last time I saw them at Christmas. Attila stayed home and worked on the shed, he isn’t fond of “get togethers”, and wanted to keep working on the shed.

Yesterday morning, Sunday, Terra, Luna, Imp, and Tink arrived bearing cards and gifts for Attila for Father’s Day. Terra soon departed, heading for the hospital to feed Sunny and Sky. After Imp and Tink had finished their lunch of cheese, crackers, raw carrots and peppers, and cranberry juice with ginger ale, a beverage Grandpa made for them, Grandma slipped in a bowl of ice cream for each of them. Soon they were off to visit friends on their way home, a four to five hour drive away.

The afternoon found us welcoming Sister-The-Middle-Girl and her Beau Bob for a visit. They had been camping at a nearby Provincial Park, and made a detour on their way home to stop by at our house. The weekend was perfect weather for it, they had their bicycles with them, and it sounded like a lot of fun. It was their first visit to Mist Cottage, so we showed them around, then sat on the back porch talking. The back porch is scorchingly hot in the afternoon sun, so I hung blankets across the porch clothes line to shade the sitting area, it worked well to keep the area relatively cool.

During their visit, I found myself gabbing away about my book, which has been occupying almost all of my time over the last ten days, while Attila has been working non-stop on the shed. Sometimes, when I have spent a lot of time in solitary work, I am like a little kid at show and tell, when I find a willing ear, even a not so willing ear, I share and share and share. I wonder if this output only mode is a partial consequence of having spent so much time at a keyboard which requires constant output, and offers interactive feedback only when I am in touch with my Mom and sisters. I have become unused to interacting with people face t face, other than very superficial pleasantries, with the exception of Attila.

After my sister and Beau Bob headed out on the next leg of their journey, Attila decided he wanted to go to the Rideau Camp. Within an hour he had loaded up a third of the wood debris from the old garden shed and whipper snipper, I had filled 7 water jugs, snacks and beverages, and loaded them into Tank, and we set off for the Rideau Camp.

We were relieved that the army worms had not stripped the leaves from the trees at the camp! Everything was lush and green and a sight for sore eyes. Attila cut the grass and weeds in the camp area and on either side of our long driveway. I burned the wood debris we had brought with us, as luckily there was no fire ban in the Township, we checked online before we left. I watch the watch for fire bans carefully and always obey them; I would hate to loose our beautiful trees! By the the time we had burned the fire down to grey ash, it was dark. After taking our time putting out the fire using the water we brought from home, we headed out towards Mist Cottage under moonlight. It was a perfect ending to the day.

The moon is full tonight, today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. With a humidex of 38C, Mother Nature is emphasizing the event.

Worldly Distractions


18°C °C °F
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Monday 20 June 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: 17.8°C
Dewpoint: 14.9°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: S 12 km/h

Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 this morning. High 30 except 25 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 38. UV index 8 or very high.
Partly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms this evening. Clearing overnight. Wind southwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this evening then light after midnight. Low 15.


“A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.”
Thomas Szasz

Shed Widow

Yesterday I had Attila fish the hoe out of the chaos of the garage, and early in the morning I was out in the fresh air attacking the weeds that threaten our beans, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, borage, and another unknown plant that Attila says he didn’t plant, but I know is’t a weed. It took several hours, and the results were very satisfying. It gave the green beans in particular a boost, as they are suddenly sending out new growth.

We are heading into a moderate heat wave with high humidity, and blessedly cool nights. It isn’t my favourite kind of weather, but I am grateful for the cool nights. I have been taking my walks before 8 a.m. to catch the cooler morning temperature; yesterday I wore a sweater and regretted it. My discomfort was twofold. I was too warm in the sweater, even at 15C, and my back was bothering me. Each step I took was mildly painful, which meant I could carry on. However as the little ouches tallied up, my body began to protest, breaking into a cold sweat. I managed the entire circuit and arrived home dampish. Luckily when I stopped moving the pain stopped too. After taking an Ibuprofen, and resting for a bit, I was fine. It may have been the hoeing that set off my back pain, yes I think that must have been it.

Attila is completely focused on the shed project. He changes into his construction clothes when he gets home from work, and doesn’t stop until it gets too dark to work, after 9 p.m., when we eat our dinner then go to bed. This routine, of waking hours at home devoted solely to shed construction, has been going on since last Friday evening. Suddenly yesterday I was tired of it, and feeling Attila’s absence. There is no help for it now though, the shed must be completed and the construction debris taken to the waste facility. I doubt I will be willing to agree to another big renovation project this summer! In for a penny, in for a pound, I am going to be a shed widow for another week or so!

I wonder if anyone else is experiencing this annoyance with the horrid autocorrect spelling feature. The feature will not turn off on my system, no matter what I do, no advice from anywhere has made the least bit of difference. Now, when I am typing and the bloody dictionary doesn’t recognize the word, it replaces it with an incorrect substitute while I am typing the next word. This means that I face an incorrect word, with the next word embedded in the middle of it. This autocorrect feature is a menace to literacy! It might be a conspiracy to restrict written expression, because autocorrect does nothing but harm the genre. It is as if computer barons are attempting to control language, and thereby communication. Lets face it, in a world where Donald Dump Duck is popular, a thoughtful population is undesirable. That’s my conspiracy theory anyway.

Last Friday Sunny the little boy twin preemie Grandbaby, developed an infection. He was tested for meningitis, a standard procedure, and we didn’t get wind of the results, but probably would have if he had tested positive. However, the latest short text message told us that he is out of isolation and back with his sister in NICU, eating, crying, flailing about, which is all good news. I have read that it is a roller coaster ride, having a premature baby in NICU, and they have double the experience. I don’t really want to visit Sunny and Sky again while they are so very vulnerable to infections and other hazards from the outside world, adding additional risk is not something I am comfortable doing. Maybe when they are a few weeks older it won’t seem to so risky to me, but for now, I think their parents are the only ones who need to be with them. The rest of us can wait.

The Garden Shed is beginning to take shape! Attila finished the roof sheeting last night, just as it was getting dark. It looked as if it might rain last night, but it didn’t so the sheeting is dry this morning. Attila says next come the end facia boards, then the tar paper on the roof, then the shingles. The plywood that he is using for sheeting on the exterior walls is small bits and pieces he salvaged and saved from other projects over the years, so not appropriate for use on the roof where strength is an issue. Plywood is better by far than particle board, not nearly so vulnerable to water damage and warping.

The shed will have a window above a steel door, and wood siding. I don’t really want wood siding, you have to paint it. I wanted aluminum siding. However, Attila wants the wood because he has enough to do the job, and it will cost us nothing, except for the paint. We decided that when we put new metal siding on the house, we will put the same siding on the shed. A project for another year.

Shed roof

Worldly Distractions

Date: 6:00 AM EDT Thursday 16 June 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 17.2°C
Dewpoint: 10.9°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: NE 13 km/h
Mainly cloudy. Clearing late this morning. Wind becoming east 20 km/h near noon. High 27. Humidex 30. UV index 8 or very high.
A few clouds. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 12.


“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”
E. B. White
1899 – 1985