Welcome Sunny and Sky

An eventful weekend around here. Friday Terra’s water broke, 7 weeks premature, so she drove herself into the hospital. We dropped in on her Friday night, she was in good spirits and feeling fine. The babies were under close surveillance, their heartbeats strong, and they were quite active. The idea was that the babies might wait to be born, so Terra would stay in hospital until they arrived, hopefully in at least three weeks time. Such was not to be. We got a call at 5:30 a.m. this morning from Lares to say that they were on their way, and three hours later Lares called back to say they had been born. He had no details on their health, they hadn’t been assessed yet, but he said they looked fine, their heart beats were strong, no obvious problems. They will be in NICU for some time. The boy I will nickname Sunny, and the girl Sky. Sunny was 3 pounds 3 ounces at birth, and Sky was 3 pounds 8 ounces at birth. It seems that all will be well, but a little complicated for a few months. Terra is doing well. And so their heart’s desire has been granted, and their adventure begins.

On Saturday Attila and I took a day trip to the Rideau Camp. Things were still very dry there, so the complete ban on any kind of burning was in effect. Attila prepared the path to the site for the humanure compost bin, and the area where it will be placed. I hand picked all new growth of brambles from the site. Early in the spring, after I had dug up and burned all the brambles on the site, quite a job, I sowed white clover seed over the entire area. It has taken off and flourished. The bees were really enjoying it. This year the bumble bees are huge, almost an inch long and very fat. They are a lot of fun to watch, as they bumble their way around the site.

We also found hundreds of army worms climbing the trees at the camp site. We spent a few hours killing them, but I am not sure that will deter the other flanks of the army as it descends on our forest.

We ate a lovely picnic lunch at the Rideau Camp, then packed our things and headed out to tour the local area. Attila picked a route that rambled through a half dozen small villages. It was a perfect day for roving, the sun shone brightly, and fluffy clouds lumbered across the sky. We located a hiking park, but did not stop to go for a hike. We also viewed an historic bridge, and found a canoe route rest stop along the Rideau system. We were hoping to find a source of potable water, just a tap with water where one could drink, and fill water jugs. We did not find any public source of drinking water, so we will have to keep looking. I had called the Township office and they knew of no public source of drinking water. It looks as if we may have to get our well working sooner rather than later.

I believe this is a Tiger Beetle, it was crawling on the ground near the camp fire pit, it caught my eye immediately.
Tiger beetle Rideau Camp

Yesterday we awoke to torrential rain and high winds. It was an exciting day. Lares called and asked us if we would drive out to their place and let the dogs out for a while, and feed them, which we did. We timed our visit to see our new Grandbabies so that it did not coincide with other visitors, except Luna who had decided to stay for a few days, which meant we could go into the NICU with Terra and Lares to visit the babies. They are very tiny. Sunny slept the whole time we were visiting, he is a little further behind than his sister, so he needed an oxygen tube in his lungs, and the “blue light” to make things easier on his liver (hyperbilirubinaemia). As Terra spoke to him gently he stirred and gave a little sigh, recognizing her voice. Sky was awake and very active during our visit. She opened her eyes, to have a look around, and when the light was shone on the incubator so that the nurse could perform a task, Sky placed her hands over her eyes. She too responded to Terra’s voice. They are off to a challenging start, but they are all in very good hands, and the prognosis is good.

Terra will be going home in a few days time, and then she will begin to develop the routine of daily visits to her babies in the NICU, a thirty minute drive from her home, for close to two months. Although it will be difficult, she will be totally prepared for their arrival home.

So there we are, Attila and I are the Grandparents of seven Grandchildren. It seems incredible, and yet by the standards of our family history, the number is small indeed.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Friday 3 June 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 15.8°C
Dewpoint: 11.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: W 5 km/h
Today
Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 26 except 22 near Lake Ontario. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 14.

17C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Sunday 5 June 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: 16.7°C
Dewpoint:
13.4°C Humidity: 81%
Wind: ENE 8 km/h
Today Showers with risk of a thunderstorm. Amount 15 to 25 mm. Wind becoming south 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this morning. High 20. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind south 20 km/h. Low 14.

Quote

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.”
Franklin P. Jones

This n’ That

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The skies are blue again today, and the gardens need rain! Attila and I are saving household grey water, which I carry outside and use to water the garden. The only water we are letting go down the drains is when we flush the toilet.

Today was my annual mammogram, which is mildly unpleasant, but doesn’t last long. So far I’ve been lucky, the results have come back clear. It might be my imagination, but sometimes I feel they are disappointed that my results are always good.; nah, couldn’t be.

Today I prepared more clothing for outdoor use, spraying it with permethrin. I sprayed Attila’s running shoes, my sandals, and a third pair of socks for myself.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

This morning I sprayed with permethrin again, two t-shirts and one pair of socks for Attila. Even though it was raining, I managed to apply the spray on the back porch, well out of the rain, allowing the newly inundated fabric to dry on the line.

I am aware of two mosquito bites that drew blood thus far this summer season. The first was through the stretchy pants I wore at the Rideau Camp. The second was this morning in the front yard at Mist Cottage, and I didn’t feel it, but visually caught the nasty little bugger first hand. With any luck, neither of these two enterprising mosquitoes carried West Nile Virus. Frankly, one can take precautions, but it is impossible to completely avoid mosquito bites if they live where you live.

It sure would be handy to have a couple of vaccines, one for West Nile Virus and the other for Lyme Disease; they might drastically reduce the number of people requiring health care services for these chronic illnesses. Since the drug companies won’t find this profitable, perhaps our government could enter the fray and get these things developed for the tax paying population in the country. And then there is the Zika virus, which as far as I know hasn’t been contracted in Canada, but like the others, it may only be a matter of time. Who needs vanity drugs, or GMO foods, neither of which enhance human life here on earth. Humans need to use their intelligence to prevent needless suffering and improve the standard of living for every single member on the planet, which also includes respecting the environment. Did I go off on a tangent here… yep, I guess I did.

Also on my to do list today is hanging out a load of laundry, which now has to wait until the permethrin sprayed clothes have dried on the line.

I worked all day yesterday on my book, it was exhausting. A cousin and her husband have been helping and encouraging me with the book, they have provided a wealth of information on their family, her Grandfather was a brother to my Great Grandfather and they all lived in the same area. My cousin sent me a list of people to contact for more details, and pictures, and stories. Yesterday I called the first person on my list. I wasn’t sure if it was him, the number was for a person with the same first initial, so I took a chance and called anyway. He answered the phone, and we hit is off right away. He is 80 years old and gave me a lot of great information, and says he is going to look up some details and phone me back, and also send some pictures for the book in the mail. I entered data for several hours after chatting with him.

I think the book might take forever if I keep up this sort of research, but really, it is so interesting and the people are so wonderful, that I can’t help but follow every lead.

This morning while researching online, I bumped into the death notice for a woman from my ancestral community. Because I keep records, and reference each record, I knew that Attila and I had met this woman while grocery shopping in the town near my Granny and Grandpa’s house. She was over 90 when we met her, and she asked us to help her with her groceries. We unloaded her cart at the check out, packed the bags, loaded them back into her cart, took the cart out to her car, and loaded the groceries into her car. We chatted the whole time, it was an privilege to assist her, and to have the chance to talk with her. She passed away this spring at the age of 100. I was drawn to her kind face in the death notice picture and read the whole notice, and when I entered the information into my database I saw the reference to our chat in the grocery store, and remembered the pleasant experience.

Attila is allotted a one week holiday this first year on the job. We don’t know when that week will be, since the whole system of allocation changed when he got the new position. Yesterday he applied for a specific week, and we don’t know how long it will take for the application to be either accepted or rejected. It would be nice to know, but we remain flexible about it, because we have our camp sites booked for the whole summer… we own them. If we had to reserve a campsite at a Provincial or Private Park we would be very upset by now, as we would have missed any opportunity to book a site, the campgrounds are booked solid during the summer months. Things have worked out well for us.

Local Natural Hazards of My Youth:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Granny and Grandpa’s house)

Local Natural Hazards Today:

poison ivy
poison oak
rattle snakes (Ancestral Camp)
mosquitoes (West Nile)
ticks (Lyme Disease)
Giant Hogweed (phototoxic)
Wild Parsnip (phototoxic)

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 1 June 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dewpoint: 8.0°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: NNE 13 km/h
Today
Mainly sunny. High 23. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low 16.

After a cool night, Mist Cottage did not cool down even 1C. She is holding on to that heat.

17°C
Date: 9:07 AM EDT Thursday 2 June 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 16.9°C
Dewpoint: 14.4°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSE 15 km/h
Today
Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this afternoon. High 25 except 21 near Lake Ontario. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Low 15.

Quote

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott
1832 – 1888

Ticks

Thinking About Ticks and Lyme Disease

You can treat your clothes to repel, and even kill, ticks. I knew this treated clothing would repel ticks, mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies, and just about all biting insects, but I did not know it would kill the ticks. That is good news in my book. What it means is that Attila and I were walking tick killers all weekend up at the Rideau Camp. Bravo!

I found this web site tickencounter.org that seems to offer good advice and sound information about ticks, Lyme Disease, and treating clothing with permethrin. Research the method I use before you use it, my method is to make a mixture using 10% permethrin, 1 teaspoon to 4 cups of water in a spray bottle. Caution is advised, research the safe way to do this before giving it a try. I spray clothing hung up on the outdoor clothes line on a calm day, I wear long sleeved clothing, latex gloves, safety glasses, and a breathing mask when I am treating the clothing. This site is interesting, the first I’ve encountered with details on how to treat your own clothing, but even more important to me is all the information on ticks, what they look like, and tips on keeping them under control.

Over the weekend when I was wearing the stretchy pants that did not protect me very well, I did receive “bites” of some kind, although I did not find any ticks, nor did I have any ticks attached to me when we did our nightly tick check, nor have I any of the telltale rings of rash that are common, and have no other symptoms. I did have one small bug biting my finger, and it was very small, so small I could not see it well enough to identify it. At the time I thought it was a no-see-um and killed it; I had no idea ticks could be that small. There is no rash around that bite. Attila and I perform tick checks every night when we prepare for bed, which will be effective for larger ticks, but the teeny tiny ones will be impossible to detect on our freckled skin. We hope for the best, and continue to wear our protective clothing.

I am thinking of creating a bunch of tick tubes to place around Mist Cottage, and around the perimeter of our Rideau Camp, to help keep the tick population under control. It will make the lives of the mice a lot more comfortable, but really, I wouldn’t do it just for the mice, I hate them.

My conclusion, after spending a few hours reading on this topic of ticks and Lyme Disease, is that you can reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease, but in the end it can be contracted by anyone, anywhere in the outdoors, and if you have pets that spend time outside, anywhere in the indoors as well. It isn’t entirely preventable, you are merely able to reduce the odds that you will become infected. I feel the same way about West Nile Virus. It is worth educating oneself, and taking the appropriate precautions, but beyond that it is an act of God as to whether you contract these diseases or not. I’d like to make preventative measures routine, and then just carry on living without thinking much about the threat aspect of the issue.

Luna’s dog Benny was bitten by a black tick, probably near Turkey Point in southern Ontario, contracted Lyme Disease, and died as a result of it. That was very bad luck, particularly since there is a vaccine for dogs to prevent this infection.

It is another hot and sunny day. Yesterday and last night there was a possibility of thunder storms, but they did not materialize. No rain came for the gardens. Attila was up early this morning watering the vegetable and perennial gardens so that they can make it through another day. By the time I had enjoyed my morning cup of coffee, hung out a load of laundry, stewed the rhubarb from the garden, and eaten my breakfast, it was 9:30 a.m. and already 24C and very humid. I scurried out to take my walk before the heat of the day set in, wearing long pants, a long sleeved cotton shirt, sun glasses, and a sun hat to protect me from the intense rays of the sun. I find the sunglasses and the hat necessary, as I am more light sensitive now than I was in my youth… or maybe the quality of the sunlight has changed that much.

Our plans for the humanure system continue. Next Attila will build a composting bin, we have a spot chosen for it that exceeds the cautionary rules in the codes and online suggestions. Hopefully Attila will have it built next weekend, long before we actually need it. Right now we are considering what to use as bottom and top dressing material. Our choices are more restricted because we are do not live at the property, and will probably need to bring in materials, rather than cut them from a lawn, or field.

The two toilet system we have come up with continues to meet our expectations.

Joseph Jenkins, who wrote the book on Humanure, writes that he approached Bill Gates with his system and the ideas were rejected.
“It [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation] had an endowment of US$44.3 billion as of 31 December 2014. The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to giving makes it one of the leaders in venture philanthropy, though the foundation itself notes that the philanthropic role has limitations. In 2007, its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America, and Warren Buffett the first. As of May 16, 2013, Bill Gates had donated US$28 billion to the foundation.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation

I don’t have any details about why the Humanure system was rejected by Gates, but it seems a shame to me, since the Humanure system can be used in urban settings, public institutions like schools, and in most land based residential situations, with excellent results. The Humanure system does not offer a large corporate profit opportunity, it is not useful to the corporation for venture philanthropy, regardless of how effective and useful it might be, so it continues to be a grass roots approach to dealing with human body waste. I feel Mr. Gates is wrong not to endorse and fund the humanure system of dealing with human waste. I will say that Mr. Jenkins has a very political outlook on the Humanure system, assigning it great moral virtue, and some have written that it will save the world. Personally I find the official Humanure promotional approach off putting, but that doesn’t prevent me from recognizing how practical, inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and easily implemented it is. I am a girl who has used outhouses off and on all of my life, and I like the humanure system a LOT better! There may be a few minutes of bad smells while dumping the buckets, but that is small price to pay for not having to sit in a horrid smelling building each and every time you need to do your business.

I’ve been trying to assess the results from my lab tests in relation to Chronic Kidney Disease, as I haven’t heard from the country GP who requisitioned the tests. One of the indicators is consistent with mildly decreased kidney function, and when considered with the other indicators, it looks like I don’t have much of a problem, particularly considering my age. Of course that is my uninformed conclusion, based on what I’ve read, rather than on experience, and it could be wishful thinking, so I am waiting for feedback from the country GP. It doesn’t seem that I am in any immediate danger, as far as I can tell. I will continue to make my own condiments, to limit the amount of potassium phosphate in my diet, and to eat lots of vegetables, particularly the ones on the kidney friendly list, green beans, corn niblets, peas, and carrots. It won’t hurt me to eat more vegetables! And soon there will be fresh berries!

The heat of the day has not yet dissipated, so I am staying indoors. Atilla is out in the yard “relaxing”, planting additional Scarlet Runner Beans along the fence. They should make for wonderful eye candy while I stand at the sink doing dishes through the rest of the summer.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

28°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Monday 30 May 2016
Condition:
Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.2°C
Dewpoint: 14.6°C
Humidity: 58%
Wind: WSW 16 gust 29 km/h
Humidex: 32

Quote

“There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000

The last time I was on Facebook, quite a while ago now, most of what was shared was the equivalent of bumper stickers, with pictures added. I like personal notes a lot better, but then I don’t approve of giving the corporation of Facebook exact records of ones personal relationships. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Heat Wave

We headed to the Rideau Camp with Iris in tow after Attila arrived home from work on Friday night.

There is a complete fire ban in force at the moment, so there was no campfire. That worked out perfectly, because it was far to hot to even think about being near the heat of a camp fire. Things are dry in Eastern Ontario, very, very, very dry. It would not surprise me that if we do not get rain soon, it will be called a drought. As we drove home from the Rideau Camp we passed large lawns that were brown and dead.

The temperature was too hot for me by 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, and the same thing happened again this morning. The humidity was high, always a potent combination with hot temperatures. Attila is not bothered by the heat, he just kept on working around the camp, happy as a clam. I sat in the shade, closed my eyes, and waited for the day to be over.

While we sat at the picnic table at the Camp on Friday night, eating our dinner, we heard something travelling through the bush behind the table. We looked into the bush and not twenty feet away stood a deer, staring right back at us. It stood for about a minute watching us, then continued on its way.

The projects I tackled at the camp were to cut branches from the trees from the bottom up, so that the lowest branches were well over my head, and I could walk through the forest without ducking. I did this to about a depth of 20 feet into the bush around the perimeter of the camping area. Attila took over after 11 a.m., to remove the smaller trees that formed the underbrush in the same area around the camp. This serves several purposes. It provides us with more “living space”. There is no place for the mosquitoes to lurk, so that they must venture into the open to attack us, which makes them vulnerable to dragonflies. I love dragonflies, and we have plenty of them at the Rideau Camp. Another advantage of keeping the underbrush under control, is that there isn’t as much danger of coming into contact with the wood ticks, and apparently they are very bad in the area this year. The removal of the underbrush also allows for easier air flow, so the breezes flow through the area more freely.

When Attila removed the smaller trees, I requested that he save the trunks for me, as I wanted to try using them. He did so. I chose three trees that formed a line, then began to weave the fresh small diameter trunks around the three trees to create a crude wattle wall. It will provide limited visual protection for our compost bucket toilet.

Thankfully, after the blistering hot days, the nights cooled to about 17C. We slept in t-shirts, with light sheets and were quite comfortable. Because I was so overheated from the heat of the day, the battery operated fan was a huge help in cooling my core body temperature so that I could sleep. My new air mattress was a big success. I had 30 year old closed cell foam pads from my tent camping days with the kids, so I took two of them and put one on both Attila’s and my trailer cushion. Attila’s said it was noticeably more comfortable for him. On my cushion I placed the foam pad, with the new air mattress on top of it. It was very comfortable, more comfortable than the 4 inches of memory foam I had tried previously. I can tell you that in the heat wave I was more than a little thankful that I had removed the memory foam and used the air mattress!

My new sandals worked well, and this weekend was a real test. I wore them to work in the bush in the mornings, and my feet were comfortable, my footing sound, and there were no issues with toes stubbing, or sticks injuring my feet. I wore socks sprayed with permethrin, which kept insects from bothering my feet through the openings in the sandals. The sandals were warm to wear in the heat, but any footwear would have been. They were definitely bearable in the heat, which is a vast improvement on rubber boots.

I discovered an interesting thing about clothing sprayed with permethrin. We have had 100% success keeping insects from biting us through clothing sprayed with permethrin. But that is because we have only sprayed clothing made of plain woven cotton cloth. On Friday I sprayed a pair of stretch pants, thinking they would be more comfortable in the heat. It was a big mistake. Once the fabric was stretched while wearing it, the mosquitoes had no trouble at all finding my delicate flesh. It only took a few mosquito bites to send me into Iris to change into my woven cotton pants, which worked to keep the bites at bay.

There were lots of tent caterpillars, and Attila destroyed every nest of them that he found on our property. As well there were swarms of army worms on some of our trees, and again Attila destroyed every swarm that we found.

Another discovery made on this trip to the Rideau Camp, is that crows are one of the most annoying birds I have ever come across. At 5:05 a.m., on Saturday morning and this morning, hundreds of crows gathered in the treetops not far from our camp area. Then they began to caw, together, in unison, at each other… it was a cacophony no human could sleep through. Their concert lasted for about 45 minutes. The only time they were silent during the concert was when an owl hooted; there was a sudden hush, a long pause, and the crows started up again. And then suddenly they dispersed, flying off in all directions.

We checked on our composting toilet this weekend, and it is working as it should, no odour, no interference from animals. The next step is to build the composting bins. We have chosen our location carefully, far from the well and the camp fire area, and in an area with deep soil suitable for a base. We have decided that our compost will sit for four years after the bin is full, rather than the recommended two, because it will be frozen for six months of the year. We plan on using the compost to enrich the soil for ornamentals.

On Saturday night we were surrounded by fireflies, what fun! They danced around Iris, and provided great entertainment, which was welcome as we could not have a camp fire.

We enjoyed our weekend, but I did not enjoy the heat of the day during the heat wave on Saturday and Sunday. It will be easier to tolerate the heat in July and August, when the mosquitoes have died down and protective clothing no longer has to be worn.

This is the Rideau Camp early in May. There is a lot of undergrowth and walking through the woods involves contact with leaves, lots of leaves.
May 3 Rideau camp
This is the same area of the camp as shown in the last photo. The branches have been trimmed from the bottom up, so that one can walk underneath the lowest branches left on the trees. The beauty of this approach to opening up an area for human use, is that it does not affect the tree canopy, although it does affect the forest floor. We notice that the dragonflies like it a lot, and that the birds don’t seem to notice any difference at all.
DSCF8682
This is my crude wattle wall, built from the culled small tree trunks we took from the same area. It is of limited use, but I had fun building it. I did not use stakes, but the trunks of three live trees as the warp for my weaving.
DSCF8657
These might be the tallest dandelion flower heads I have ever seen, they were just over two feet high. Not exactly the bumper crop of my dreams, but interesting.
DSCF8654

Worldly Distractions

Weather

32°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday 29 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 19 km
Temperature: 22.2°C
Dewpoint: 18.3°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: S 16 km/h
Humidex: 41

Today
Increasing cloudiness near noon. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 29 except 22 near Lake Ontario. UV index 8 or very high.

Tonight
Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers this evening and after midnight with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light before morning. Low 16.

Quote

“Children should feel loved because they exist, not because they’ve behaved in a certain way.”
Julie A., M.A. Ross and Judy Corcoran

I think this is a statement that must work two ways, to say also that parents should feel loved because they exist, not because they’ve behaved in a certain way.

How many diatribes by the young have I read and heard, in newspaper articles and blogs, criticizing their parents for not being what they “should” be or should have been, for not living up to the adult child’s expectations; these are children that grew up in loving homes, who did not experience real want or need. Elder abuse is a social problem, too often committed by the elderly person’s children.

I Love The Month of May

There are a lot of reasons I love the month of May.

One is that my Mom’s birthday falls in the the month of May, and I love my Mom. Another is that Mother’s Day falls in the month of May, and I love my Mom.

Spring weather is another reason I love the month of May. The nights are cool, so even if it gets stinking hot during the day, the temperature at night is pleasant for sleeping.

The month of May looks and smells wonderful. There are flowers in bloom; Wild Violets, Lungwort, Dandelions, Trout Lilies, Lilacs, Trilliums, Blood Root, and my absolute favourite, tree blossoms, apple and cherry and peach.

Having the windows open for the first time since the previous fall is another thing I love about the month of May.

I love asparagus and rhubarb, both ready for harvest in the month of May.

I love camping, an activity that can begin during the month of May.

Yesterday I spent the day trying to organize Iris for the next camping excursion. I purchased cheap plastic containers to contain our belongings when Iris is in motion. On our first trip there was a lot of shifting going on, nothing damaged, but not desirable just the same. To further the organizing project, Attila and I visited Canadian tire where we found two smallish totes to use for setting up our kitchen on weekends; one will contain food and the other dishes and pots and pans. Iris sits quite a distance from the fire pit and the picnic table, so that transporting needed objects one by one is not practical. I also purchased a D size battery to operate a Caframo portable fan. I suffer in the heat, really suffer, and a fan makes a big difference to my comfort during a hot night.

This morning I rushed first thing to Canadian Tire, yet again. The sale that starts today featured a decent quality air mattress. I decided that because campers complain about air mattresses being cold to sleep on, they might be great for sleeping on hot nights. Holy cow, if this works while sleeping in Iris, it might work at home in my very own bed too, wouldn’t that be cool. The memory foam is hot to sleep on, it can be used in late September and October when the nights are cold, but not during the summer. I couldn’t resist picking up a pie iron, since all of our camping meals are cooked over the open fire, this should add some variety to our diet, now to find healthy recipes that include vegetables! I managed to pay for most of the cost of the air mattress and the pie iron with my credit card points, which was very satisfying.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

13°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.4°C
Dewpoint: 9.9°C
Humidity: 79%
Wind: S 21 km/hr
Today
Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon with 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this morning. High 26 except 21 near Lake Ontario. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight
Partly cloudy. Low 14.

21°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Thursday 26 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 20.6°C
Dewpoint: 13.2°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SE 18 km/h
Humidex: 24
Today
A mix of sun and cloud. 60 percent chance of showers late this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 24 except 19 near Lake Ontario. UV index 8 or very high.
Tonight
Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm. Low 16.

Quote

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.”
H. L. Mencken
1880 – 1956

I’d like to believe that this is not true of many people, but I fear that it is. However, I don’t agree that this definition is universal. I feel that a conscience is that inner voice that represents our capacity for compassion, tolerance, and kindness… and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the concept that somebody may be looking. I also feel that my definition of a conscience is active and admirable in the people I respect and love. Mr. Mencken does not speak for me.