Still Coughing

I don’t remember feeling this raunchy for this long! Here it is Monday, a week and a day since the first symptoms appeared, and I am still hacking away, with a runny nose, with reduced energy levels. I am feeling better, no doubt about it, the sore throat is just a little bit sore from the hacking cough, and the headache has all but disappeared, just short flashes of it now. My shortness of breath has improved.

The cough is intrusive, so much so that when it woke me up at midnight, I could not go back to sleep, having to sit up and cough so often allowed for no rest. I was finally so exhausted I fell asleep shortly after Attila awoke to begin his day, shortly after 5:00 a.m. and slept for a few hours.

I feel better, and I keep expecting to be back to normal now!

Saturday was a busy day at Mist Cottage. Attila loves to BBQ with charcoal. Many moons ago I bought him a Weber portable charcoal BBQ for his birthday. This is the second weekend he fired it up and cooked chicken and beef. The coals last a long time, so three to four meals worth of meat is cooked while the coals are hot, one meal to be shared with me on the day of the BBQ, and the rest to be refrigerated, for quick mid-week microwave meals.

While BBQing, Attila worked on his garden. He decided against growing green beans, because the rabbits will not leave them alone. No need to fence in part of the garden then, so that project was abandoned. Instead, potatoes were planted in the last section of the garden. Also planted were marigolds, cosmos, and zucchini. Attila is really enjoying his garden, it is something that brings him peace of mind, and a great deal of satisfaction.

My activities involved more sedentary projects. I paid bills, updated web sites, hung laundry out to dry, and baked a rhubarb crisp with fresh rhubarb from the garden. I followed a new recipe, calling for 4 cups of rhubarb and 1 1/2 cups of sugar… wayyyy too sweet! It weighed in at about 8 teaspoons of sugar per serving, over the daily limit of 6 teaspoons, and the taste was sweeter than my palate is currently used to, making it less appealing. The recipe will be adjusted for the next batch, reducing the total sugar added to 1 cup only. Attila will take it in his lunches this week.

Sunday arrived cloudy, and cool but not chilly. What to do with Sunday. We dropped off some birthday cards and presents for Sunny and Sky, but did not go in. Whatever I have is awful, not something I want to share with a pregnant Terra, or two bouncy two year olds. Then it was off to the Rideau Camp, which had two weeks to revert to long weeds and dozens and dozens of darks masses of Army Worms in the forest around the perimeter.

Attila cut weeds. I killed Army Worms. I mixed a quarter cup of Dawn Detergent, four cups of bleach, and six litres of water in a pump sprayer and went to it. Wow, that worked so well that I managed to kill off every mass of worms up to the height of 10 feet, higher than that was beyond reach of the sprayer. There were three or four masses above the level I could reach, there was nothing to be done about them. We worked from around noon until 5 p.m., when it started to sprinkle. By the time we packed up to leave it was raining. On the trip home the rain turned into a downpour, which continued all the way home, and then on into the night.

The last two times we arrived at the Camp, we noticed someone had tried to the door to Grace the trailer. Someone has been trespassing. So far there has been no damage, and nothing has been tampered with. Since there are no trespassing signs on the property, this seems inconsiderate at best, aggressive at worst, and illegal however you look at it. We have a few ideas on how to proceed in dealing with this, but are still deciding how to move forward.

The garlic planted at the Camp is thriving! Two weeks ago Attila planted four Blue Hubbard Squash plants; they are up and also thriving. If our Blue Hubbard Squash plants at the Camp, and here at Mist Cottage, bear fruit as well as last year, we will have a surplus of Blue Hubbard Squash. As for garlic, we can never have too much garlic.

Being on my feet and spraying into the trees for five hours on Sunday may have set me back a little, recovering from whatever is ailing me. It may be why my cough worsened to the point where I could not sleep. But perhaps not. My energy levels are rising, and I was truly enjoying myself while at the Camp, being out in the bush, in the fresh air, so busy that time passed unnoticed.

Well, here it is noon, and all I’ve managed is to drink my morning cup of coffee. Eating isn’t appealing at this point, but it is time to spend time in the kitchen, and attend to my breakfast, which it turns out is also my midday meal.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Monday 4 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.6°C
Dew point: 15.4°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: SW 21 gust 36 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.”
J. K. Rowling

The majority of the population on planet earth have very limited opportunity to climb out of poverty, regardless of their efforts. I think only those who have opportunities could ever romanticize poverty.

Carrot Muffins

The sun was shining again this morning. The light breeze tickled the leaves, they laughed gently and cast frivolity across the living room floor. It was cool, which was refreshing after the recent spell of heat and humidity. Clouds appeared on the blue canvas above, they slowly coloured the sky grey as the day wore on.

A quiet day is developing.

A few days ago I made chili, for dinner that night, and some to freeze in mason jars, two servings in each jar, to enjoy as quick suppers at the Rideau Camp. Dishes like chili lend themselves to the adventurous use of food odds and ends, things found in the refrigerator that will go bad soon, if they are not used up. The recent chili included onions from an older bag of onions that had been sitting far too long waiting for inclusion in a recipe, and part of an older bag of carrots. The bag of onions was emptied into a large metal bowl, all of the soft onions were separated into another metal bowl for the compost, and the remaining sound onions were either used for the chili, or stored in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. The entire bag of carrots was trimmed, peeled, and reduced to small granules in the food processor. Two cups of carrot bits were added to the chili, and two cups were placed in a container in the refrigerator. This morning the carrots in the refrigerator were added to a muffin recipe, and the resulting muffins were very pleasant.

When it is cool I can bake in the morning, my favoured time of day for projects. I am a morning person. The summer time-of-use hydro billing allow me to bake at mid-peak prices for electricity, so I take advantage of this to do my baking at a time of day when I will enjoy it, rather than it feeling like a chore. When it is hot outside in the summer, I tend not to bake at all, since the heat from the oven would necessitate hard work from the air conditioning. It seems pointless, and expensive, to heat the air with the oven, while cooling it with the air conditioner. If I need to bake on a hot day, I will resort to using the Nesco on the back porch, and the air it heats will not need to be cooled.

The crocheted “water balloon” project continues. I have been following the pattern using my laptop, which is not really convenient. The laptop is five years old now and not so portable as it was, the battery does not hold a charge for very long, so that the unit needs to be tethered to an electrical cord and outlet. I like to carry my project bag with me to the back porch in the morning, so a printed copy of the pattern seemed just the thing.

My printer has been misbehaving. I haven’t taken the time to figure out why the new black ink cartridge would not print properly, a few feeble attempts were made to remedy the problem, but it persisted. A few hours of fiddling around with it, and having a google around the internet to see what other’s were saying about this particular printer, and the problem was solved. Apparently ALL FOUR ink cartridges have to have adequate ink in them, to print black and white. Two of the three colour cartridges were spent, making it impossible to print in black and white. I had been using the cartridges that came with the printer, but they were small volume sample cartridges and were spent easily. Luckily I had ordered full sized cartridges from 123 Ink Cartridges when the printer was purchased, so I was able to replace the spent cartridges, and print my one page of black and white text. It will be interesting to see how much Costco will charge to refill the full size colour cartridges, when the time comes.

Attila and I have been talking about getting a water gun. It is a child’s toy that will shoot a stream of water quite a distance. Last summer a red fox circled us for an entire afternoon, boldly coming towards us as we ate our lunch, and our then our dinner. Attila would scare him off, but he would sit in the shadow of the trees watching us, and return again. The neighbours told us about the nearby cottager on the lake who feeds the wild foxes, teaching them to approach humans for food. I regard this as highly disrespectful of wild animals. We eventually had to throw rocks at the poor thing, to get it to retreat into its own world of the forest. At the time I researched possible solutions, and many people experiencing similar issues recommended a water gun.

Canadian Tire have water guns on sale at the moment, so off we went after work last night to buy one. It shoots a stream of water 38 feet, which should give the fox lots of warning that his/her company is not wanted.

The last time we stayed at the Rideau Camp we could hear coyotes, more than one, yipping and howling nearby. It did not seem that they were actually on our property, but we knew they were close. I had been reading about various problems with coyotes in southern Ontario, e.g. Oakville and Mississauga, and feel that we had best be prepared for the worst case scenario, no matter how unlikely it seems. We surmise that the local coyotes are hunting rodents, and young farm animals from the surrounding farms. Last summer we passed a dead lamb, partially eaten, at the side of the highway near the camp. Our guess was that it was coyotes, who were scared away from their kill by traffic. The water gun will be a part of our strategy if coyotes come too close. We will also be purchasing bear spray, which will probably never be used, but will be available in the unlikely event that a coyote or bear becomes aggressive when we are in the bush. We already own a bear horn, but luckily did not have to use it when we lived at the country house.

I actually posted a query on Facebook about water guns, and was mildly mocked by a few of my urban friends; not all, Teri responded with thoughtful and useful information. This type of mild mockery of cautionary measures has happened to me many times in my life, because I do take the unlikely seriously, which many people would rather not do, rather not think about. I can think of many, many instances where those who mocked ran into the very situation they assumed was unlikely, and were unprepared to deal with it effectively. I have never offered them my sympathy. I don’t say “I told you so”, I just quietly give myself a little hug of appreciation that had it happened to me, the outcome would have been more positive.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 22 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 18.5°C
Dew point: 12.3°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: WSW 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin