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 Two: All Day Rain

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Autumn is harvest season in Ontario. Yesterday we shopped for Kamut flour, and found Bob’s Mill Kamut flour at the grocery store, very, very, very expensive. But I want to try it to make sure I like bread made with it, before we buy any in bulk. While wandering the store, Attila spied bushels of sweet red peppers from Ontario, for $9.99 each. We had to have one of course. Then we had to preserve the peppers, of course, a bushel of peppers won’t keep fresh long enough for us to eat them all. What to do?

Last night Attila chopped onions, fresh garlic, celery, and red peppers. In a big heavy bottomed stock pot I set to work making Tomato Red Pepper Sauce, it took until bed time to get it boiled down to the correct consistency, so I left it overnight on the range and returned to the project this morning. A dozen 500 ml mason jars and lids were sterilized in boiling water, then filled with the sauce which had been boiled again this morning. We will freeze this dozen jars of Tomato Pepper Sauce, for use on homemade pizza and spaghetti dinners. We have enough peppers to make two more batches of sauce, which will yield three dozen jars of frozen Tomato Pepper Sauce. We will enjoy some lovely quick meals this winter!

When I purchased the new MacBook Air, there was an offer with the purchase for an HP printer for $19.99. I could not resist and bought the printer. I haven’t been all that happy with the Epson printer I bought a few years ago, it was difficult to configure and some of the features just will not work, like scanning via WiFi. I gave up fiddling with it, and when I need to scan I attach a small zip drive into the printer and scan files onto that, then move them from the zip drive onto my computer. This is painful at times. The new HP printer is being setup this morning and the setup is extremely easy. Time will tell if the printer works as well and the setup was simple. I have a lot of scanning to do over the next few days, so I hope it works well!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Knowing that today would be an all-day-rain kind of day, we enjoyed a camp fire last night, the sky slowly clouding over as the stars began to wink from the heavens. With the bulk of the dead wood burned, our camp fires have become small affairs, burning gathered twigs and split cedar logs. The cedar, which last summer would not burn as each log was pulled from the pile of logs, dead trees and earth, has now dried sufficiently, in its neatly stacked rows, to burn well and relatively quickly.

We retired to Grace The Trailer early, to watch a youtube video on the computer, which was charging with electricity provided by the generator. The computer is new, a bottom of the line MacBook Air that was on sale, saving about $500 on the purchase. The purchase was reserved online, and the trip to the city was made Friday evening to pick it up, so that it could be used during our vacation. The only problem with my 2012 MacBook Air was that the battery had died completely, necessitating that the power cord be continuously connected. If the power cord became disconnected, the computer instantly died, which caused all sorts of issues that had to be addressed to get it up and going again. The cost quoted for a battery replacement was $350, with no guarantee that something else might go wrong with the aging technology. Upgrading to a 2017 model was an extra $649, clearly a better investment, which will take us through another four to six years of reliable service. It is now possible to write journal entries on the laptop while we are staying at the Rideau Camp, because it will run on the battery, which can be recharged with the new portable generator. We are getting dangerously close to glamping here, dangerously close.

Friday night was very cold, with a possibility that the temperature would dip down close to 0C. We slept at Mist Cottage on Friday night. But Saturday night was much warmer, and although we do not have a thermometer, we think it might only have dipped to 12-15C, which is lovely for sleeping.

The weather report last week warned that today would be cold and rainy. In accordance, plans have been made to visit the Middleville Museum. The museum is in a little village close to where my GGGG Grandparents took a land grant when they came here from Scotland in 1820. It will be interesting to see if there is any archival material that will help me in my research. My Grandpa told me he visited the area at the beginning of World War One, and was given a very cold reception by the family, his mother’s cousins, and possibly his father’s as well. I have wondered if this had to do with property rights and inheritance, or if it had to do with the possibility that GGG Grandpa might have been a bigamist, with a wife and family of twelve children in Parry Sound, and a wife, affluence, and property in Lanark County, it had to do with both. The bigamist theory is very unpopular with my male relatives, the females have very little trouble considering it as a possibility. There is insufficient data to either prove or disprove the theory. I am quite fond of my ancestors, regardless of their possible failings and troubles, they were brave, the line from Middleville were hard working people who hacked a living out of inhospitable bush, no small task, particularly since they were born and bred in the city of Glasgow, with no rural skills at all when they arrived on their land grants in Upper Canada.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

It is 9 a.m. and raining hard. The sky is a solid sheet of grey cloud, the forest is dripping continuously. We expect this to continue until tomorrow morning.

Quote

“The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.”
Joan Baez
1941 –

Sort of explains why people seem to prefer their cell phones and social media to actually talking to one another face-to-face.

Adventures

Attila had a vacation day, so we enjoyed a three day weekend, this past weekend.

The drive out to the Rideau Camp on Friday night was uneventful, quite pleasant actually. It began to rain just as we carried the last of our luggage into Grace The Trailer. We enjoyed a quick supper, and as darkness fell we lit our LED lanterns to wash up and finish unpacking. I had stocked Grace The Trailer with a deck of cards, so a card game seemed like a good idea. The only game we could remember was Go Fish, it has been that long since we have played cards! The card deck turned out to be two Euchre decks. What ensued was a hilariously silly game of Go Fish, with one of us winning in either one or two hands. We were constantly laughing at ourselves.

Saturday dawned with sunny blue skies. An outing had been planned. We were set to attend a day at the Stewart Park Festival in Perth. A lunch was packed, and we set out for Perth. About a mile from the chosen parking area in Perth, all of Tanks warning lights suddenly lit up, and the engine sounded awful. Attila managed to get Tank into the Salvation Army parking lot, where he popped the hood, and tried to trouble shoot the problem, with no success. CAA was called, and we waited for about an hour and a half for a tow truck, which was worth the wait because the cab was big enough to tranport both of us back to the garage near home with Tank. We found a pleasant shady spot in the parking lot, and ate our packed lunch. The woman in the Salvation Army store was lovely, letting us use the washroom, we were very grateful.

It was a long drive back to the garage. We thoroughly enjoyed it! The driver was a young man, a millennial, who was also a farmer. He was interesting to talk with, and I mean talk with, he talked, we listened, he responded, we listened, we talked, he listened, he talked… and on it went. Conversations with people other than Attila are so rare in my life, exchanges where people listen, as well as talk. Before we knew it an hour and a half had flown by, and we were happily dropped off at the garage with Tank. One of the owners of the garage was there, but it was closed. He took the keys to Grace The Trailer, and allowed Attila to use the telephone to call a taxi to transport us the rest of the way home.

The taxi driver, a boomer, picked us up at the garage, and we had a very pleasant chat with him as he navigated the streets to our house.

What I enjoyed about both the tow truck driver, and the taxi driver, was that both were inclusive, interacting with Attila and with me. I have become very accustomed to spending time in situations where men speak only to Attila, rendering me an invisible mute beside him, where anything I say is ignored (not by Attila), usually not even acknowledged.

Our planned outing was a complete failure. Our discovered outing was a great deal of fun, full of pleasant interesting people.

After arriving at home, we showered, and returned to the Rideau Camp in our car.

Although I had already decided that I would not burn brush on the weekend, that is what I did on Saturday. There were more live branches to burn, lower branches on trees removed to open up the area, allow air to flow freely into the out of the camp area. There were whole dead trees to burn, and some small live trees that had to be removed because they would not grow properly, having lost their crowns. As darkness fell the fire still burned in the camp fire pit, and we sat up very late to watch the flames, then the embers, and finally the stars. We witnessed a magic show of fireflies as darkness fell. They flickered deep into the forest, high and low, all around us.

Sunday dawned hot, humid, and cloudy. Again a camp fire was lit and brush was collected and burned. While I tended the fire, Attila worked on removing a large stump from the area where Grace The Trailer will be parked. Stump removal by hand is a lot of work, he made a good start. As darkness fell, our plan to sit around the camp fire into the night was extinguished early by a heavy rain, with thunder and lightening. It stormed through the night, and one lightning strike was near enough to us that we could feel the earth shake under us.

Monday was a very hot, humid, cloudy day. Attila worked on his stump removal project, and I relaxed with a book for a while before going outside to putter around doing little jobs. It was a bad idea, my tackling any project on such a day! I became overheated, soaked two changes of clothing, and ended up moving all the items from the refrigerator to the cooler, turning the refrigerator off, stripping down to my underwear, and using a battery operated fan by the open door to cool myself. It worked. I also ate some salty peanuts, and drank about a litre of water. We decided to head home to Mist Cottage, where there is air conditioning.

We dropped in at the garage to see if Tank had been assessed, and were shocked to find that Tank was ready to go, and that there was no charge. Apparently a bit if grit had lodged in some kind of chain, requiring only a few seconds to dislodge. The fellow who owns this garage is amazing, truly amazing. We have taken our vehicles there ever since I discovered the business when the battery in Tank died, when I was spending the winter alone at Mist Cottage. We take either vehicle there for work, and return to pay whatever the charge is, we don’t even need to discuss what work will be done, we trust this fellow to only do what is necessary, and at a reasonable cost.

All weekend long we came into contact with interesting forthright people, all decent working people.

This short week is a week of appointments for me. I need new eyeglasses, my present pair fell apart twice over the weekend. Thankfully Attila was able to put them together for me in a rudimentary fashion, so I could still function. After looking at various options, Costco was chosen, I am giving them a try. A dental appointment is scheduled for today. As my Mom says, it takes up a lot of our time getting our parts fixed. Love my Mom!

The weather is hot and humid again today, and it looks as if this will continue for the next week or so. It is not my favourite weather, but summer does usually bring at least some of this to us. I stay in the air conditioned house, or vehicle, so that spending a few hours in the heat isn’t too taxing. I thought that losing a bit of weight, and getting my blood pressure under control would help me tolerate the humid heat more easily. Such is not the case, this summer I become quite fatigued and disoriented, if I spend too many hours in the hot humid outdoors.

My MacBook Air is getting long in the tooth, as technology does very quickly. It is a 2012 machine, and it still does everything I need it to do, but it is slowing down. I assume that is because increasingly complex web sites demands more and more memory, and increased demand on the CPU. The battery in the laptop is completely dead, if unplugged it instantly dies. This isn’t a problem at home, but it does mean the computer is no longer viable for travel, so I miss that. The cost to replace the battery is $329.00, and they “promised” to look for other problems… my guess is that they would find them. An low end Mac laptop replacement is looking like the most viable option, so I am beginning to think about it now. While I am thinking and waiting, I have backed up the MacBook Air, and will continue to do do frequently.

Of course for a little less money, I could own a new iPhone… not for me, very little that is interesting to me to do on an iPhone.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 19 July 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 20.9°C
Dew point: 19.1°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SW 13 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“True love brings up everything – you’re allowing a mirror to be held up to you daily.”
Jennifer Aniston

Repairs

Repairs seem to be the theme this week!

Yesterday, 0n the advice of the CAA fellow, I gave the local automotive shop a call in the morning. The price was high, I thought, but I wanted the work done, and I wanted to explore for a reliable garage in the area. Doing business with the local automotive shop would give me an opportunity to do both.

Tank started without issue, so I took myself off to the grocery store to pick up milk. While parked at the grocery store, I walked across a two parking lots to reach the Canadian Tire store. I inquired about a battery for Tank. They didn’t have one. Their initial price was very inexpensive, $60 less than the auto shop. But here is the thing, they added a core charge of $20, and an installation charge of $24.99, and would probably insist on a test charge as well, probably for under $20.00. So although the price seemed less expensive at first glance, once the extras were factored in, the price was basically the same as the auto shop. Tank went to the local auto shop for its new battery.

I was immediately pleased with the auto shop. He said he would install the battery in the afternoon, they were too busy in the morning, so I drove over just after lunch time, parked in the lot, and headed into the shop. No expensive decor, bells, whistles, or other things I don’t want to pay for. Happy employees, obviously enjoying their day… that is crucial in my opinion, and something I don’t mind paying for. The owner greeted me pleasantly, chatted with another customer, took my keys, brought Tank into the garage bay, and ten minutes later the job was done. There is a great six year warranty on the battery. This is “our garage” now, I wouldn’t take my vehicles anywhere else!

Then Tank and I tooted around town for a little while, before heading home.

Tank is not the only thing around here that is aging and needs repairs.

My knee has been getting progressively worse. Last night I hardly slept, I was in so much pain. Enough is enough! I hate taking medication, particularly when I don’t know what the problem is. After my morning coffee, breakfast, and chat with Attila, I put on my parka and boots, locked the door behind me, and started up Tank. Tank roared into action at the first turn of the key! Off we went to the nearby hospital emergency.

It wasn’t very busy in the emergency department, thank goodness, I was back home in just under an hour. The upshot is that my meniscus is torn. I have been referred to an Orthopaedic Clinic, and physiotherapy. No more walks for now! Although disappointed about not being able to go for walks, I am relieved to know what the problem is. The emergency Doctor felt I would need minor surgery to repair the damage, but I guess I will know more once I go into the Orthopaedic Clinic. The Doctor also recommended wearing the knee brace when I needed to be active, and to keep walking around the house if I could manage it, which I am hoping I can. He also told me to take painkillers, and this I will do at night so that I can sleep.

I think I will still be able to shovel snow though, not much walking involved there! We shall see what they advise at the clinic, I will be listening to them closely.

So here is me today, taking it easy, and doing paperwork as I sit at the kitchen table. Not so bad, but I’d rather be out in that sunshine going for a walk!

P.S. My YakTrax arrived yesterday, just in time to not be able to use them! Funny old world. They will keep until I can use them.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C
Date: 6:00 PM EST Thursday 15 January 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -4.1°C
Dewpoint: -9.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SW 27 gust 41 km/h
Wind Chill: -11

-8°C
Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 16 January 2015
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -7.8°C
Dewpoint: -12.4°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: NW 28 gust 46 km/h
Wind Chill: -16

Quote

“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning… a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.”
Joseph Campbell
1904 – 1987