On Hold

July is less frantic than June, but still very busy.

The garage roof project was put on hold for a few days.

Last weekend we spent our first night at the Rideau Camp in 2018. The mice had been in again, but none were trapped. The cleanup of their droppings took about four hours. I hate mice, no matter how cute they might be, I despise them. Steel wool was stuffed into additional openings, and Attila is researching removing the undercarriage and sealing it with insulation and hardware cloth.

The army worms are no longer on the trunks of trees. The ones we did not manage to destroy have eaten a lot of leaves, but they have not stripped the trees, so there is still a beautiful canopy. Two elm trees died since our last visit, which is sad, but we knew that our elm trees would not live long lives. I have been carefully protecting the maples, birch, oak, and pine trees surrounding the camp, knowing that eventually they would be all that was left as the elms and ashes were destroyed by insects and disease.

The visit to the Camp was a fun one once the unwanted tasks were completed, blue skies, trees, quiet, bird song, and a starry heaven at the end of the day. It was lovely.

Everything was so very dry! Our little swamp was completely dry, giving Attila the opportunity to pull out dead branches and a stump. It was so dry that we decided not to have a camp fire, there was a bit of wind, and it didn’t seem worth the risk. Because it is dry we had only a half a barrel of water in our rain barrel, which we use to douse our camp fire. It was enough to douse a camp fire, but it would not have been enough to deal with a spark catching a dry patch of dead grass, or something similar. We enjoyed sitting under the stars instead, so bright, so reliable, so unconcerned with us, and yet part of us, as we are part of the universe.

Monday was a very exciting day. An early morning call from Lares, they were on their way to the hospital. That evening little Willow was born, 9 pounds, 12 hours of labour. Tuesday evening Terra arrived home with Willow. We visited, and once Willow was in my arms I could not give her up until she demanded to be fed, so back to Mama. I experience falling in love in an instant, I am aware of it happening, such a wonderful, wonderful feeling. Those roving newborn eyes, suddenly fixing on my face, gazing at me with such curiosity, concentration, acceptance, love at first sight. This happened with my children when they were put in my arms after their births, and with every single one of my Grandbabies.

Today is sunny and mild and just about perfect. Early this morning the Installer arrived to replace the broken window pane on our new living room window. The window pane arrived cracked, when it was installed in March, and it has taken this long for the window manufacturer to supply the company, that did the window installation, with the replacement. It took only 30 minutes for the fellow to replace the pane, and he parged one of the basement windows, where I didn’t know it needed it! He will come back to caulk the window when the parge has cured.

I was just watching a video made by a family who rely exclusively on a solar system for their electricity. She said that when they had hydro service, they used 60 kWh per day. I looked up our peak usage, 36.5 kWh per day, used during a month when the temperature was on average -1C, and the ground source heat pump would have provided most of our heat.

The video creator also mentioned that relying on a solar system for their electricity, they use between 4 and 10 kWh per day, running only a refrigerator 24 hours a day. Our lowest usage was 22.3 kWh per day, during a month that required some use of the heat pump for heat, and a few days where only the very basic electrical appliances were operated.

We are in between the two extremes she describes, 4 kWh and 60 kWh. Our usage varies between the monthly average of 22.3 kWh per day and 36.5 kWh per day, which includes our heat source in the winter. I think that here at Mist Cottage the strategies to curtail the use of electricity have been relatively successful.

We could lower our usage by insulating the basement, upgrading the scanty insulation in the walls of the house, replacing the drafty entrance doors, and upgrading to energy efficient appliances. The chest freezer comes to mind. I purchased it from a family moving to another area, for $100. It was very beat up, the lid caved in a bit, and it is far from being energy efficient. But I could afford it at the time, and it works well, although expensively. The energy efficient freezer that I had at the Country House, was much larger, but it stayed with the Country House, a condition of sale. I miss that freezer!

Since I have applied for a grant program that might help us make some of the upgrades to reduce electricity consumption, I am afraid that the measures already taken here are so successful that that it might be deemed that we don’t need the available upgrades. I certainly hope that is not the case… We do need the upgrades, because at some point in the nearing future Attila will retire without a pension, and survival is going to get a lot more challenging than it is now. Also, I would dearly love to use a little more electricity to cook dinner at dinner time, instead of trying to plan meals around hydro prices, and laundry, and vacuuming, and… well the list goes on of what I cannot do at certain times of day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 11 July 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.3°C
Dew point: 9.8°C
Humidity: 44%
Wind: ENE 14 km/h
Humidex: 23
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“It’s like your batteries get low, and you need to charge them on someone else’s story.”
Margaret Cho

I’m feeling this one right now!

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9 Responses to On Hold

  1. Congratulations on that new baby to love! -Kate

  2. Why thanks Kate! Babies are great, and being a grandparent is great, all the fun, none of the repsonsibility!

  3. WendyNC says:

    All best wishes to Willow, Tara, Lares, Sunny & Sky. Such happy news!

    It seems that, apart from the mice, things in your world are on the up-swing. After all the challenges of the last however many months, it’s nice to read that things are smoothing out for you.

  4. Thanks Wendy, Terra and Lares are over the moon, they feel their lives are now complete. Sunny and Sky are a little bit interested, but at the age of 2, they are busy running around most of the time, so cute.

    Wendy, things do seem to be smoothing out. Things have been slowly evolving into a comfortable routine, in spite of the renovation, which is winding down a bit, and still progressing at the same time.

  5. Teri says:

    How wonderful! Congratulations on your new bundle of love!

    We have a lot of trees around the cottage. Most are maple, a few pine and birch, and unfortunately some poplar. The past weeks everything has been absolutely covered with inches of ash fluff. Ugh!

    Our electricity usages averages about 55 kwh per day. Like you, we have a very old chest freezer. It works great but must use a ton of energy. We’ll want to replace that with something more efficient before we move to the cottage.

  6. Thanks Teri, babies are such a treasure!

    The ash fluff sounds uncomfortable, hope the season is short. It is lovely to have trees, shade, symphony, so many great things about them.

    I would love to run our house on alternative energy, and I look at it from time to time. The investment is considerable, and we would not recoup the investment in my lifetime, so there is no real savings in it from our personal financial perspective. I’ve been looking at Sundanzer freezers, very energy efficient and they can be run off grid, but they are priced out of our reach so I’m only looking. Eventually I hope to buy a new, Energy Star chest freezer, it might happen. 🙂

  7. Congratulations on Willow! I’m happy for you and Tara and Lares!
    I hope you have no more mice trouble!

  8. Congratulations on Willow! I’m happy for you and Tara and Lares!
    I hope you have no more mice trouble!

  9. Thanks Joan! She is a little sweetie. Terra and Lares are over the moon.

    Thanks re the mice, we will find out how the traps and warfarin worked the next time we are out there… I am bringing my cleaning mask, gloves, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach just in case. The steel wool might have worked, fingers crossed!