Tired

1:32 p.m.

Working late into last evening, Attila’s arms gave out before he could finish installing all of the sheathing on the installed roof rafters. It was after 9:30 p.m. when he threw in the towel.

Yesterday was his big push day, and his arms bore the brunt of the big push. In the wee hours I awoke to find him up and about, the pain in his arms was sufficient to prevent him from sleeping. After taking a few Ibuprofen, waiting for 30 minutes, he returned to bed, and slept soundly through the rest of the night.

I arose as usual 5:30 a.m., and planned on awakening Attila at 8:00 a.m. However, the telephone rang at 7:30 a.m., a call from the dumpster company wanting to come and pick it up today. Well NO! Since Attila is handling the dumpster situation, I roused him to speak with the person on the telephone. They are picking the dumpster up on Monday, which is what Attila arranged with them in the first place. The woman was fairly aggressive about picking it up today, Attila wasn’t having any of it.

This morning the rest of the sheathing was installed on the installed roof rafters. If it rains, the joints of the sheathing can be closed temporarily with duct tape, which was my bright idea, Attila liked it. The taped sheathing will be far more waterproof than the old roof.

After finishing the sheathing, it was time to begin removing the last quarter of the old roof. It is early afternoon as I write this, 1:32 p.m., and Attila is hard at it with the Sawzall. He is hoping to have the rest of the old roof off by 5:00 p.m.

I have been finding anything I can to keep busy, and to keep from thinking about the roofing project. This is difficult, not impossible, but difficult. There is the constant whine of the Sawzall, buzzing its way slowly through the thick tarry layer and wooden boards. I also keep an ear open for uncomfortable noises, or silences, knowing that Attila is working all out on a roof, and on a ladder. No uncomfortable noises so far, and I don’t anticipate there will be, but my being listens carefully just in case.

There was filing to be done this morning, dishes to be washed, dried and put away, plants to water. Dinner will be cooked in the Instant Pot again, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice and Vegetables; I am very fond of all-in-one dishes. I’ve already been to the building centre with a list from Attila.

8:32 p.m.

Attila’s dream today, to finish demolishing the old roof by 5:00 p.m., was just that. He just brought down the last section of the old roof, just minutes ago. It was a gruelling day for him, operating the Sawzall for hours and hours, and dealing with 100 lb. sections of the old roof, which had to be taken to the dumpster. The last section of roof refused to come down. In the end, a winch was used to pull it down.

A quarter of the garage is open to the sky.

I congratulated Attila, and headed to the grocery store to buy him ice cream. That last piece was a milestone worth celebrating, the last piece of truly disgusting infrastructure was finally disconnected from Mist Cottage, and from our lives.

10:00 p.m.

After a big bowl of ice cream, Attila decided to take a bath. He has plans to go back out to the garage to work into the night, moving the last large heavy sections of the old roof into the dumpster. When that is completed, he will move as many of the water sensitive items as possible to safety under the new roof rafters and sheathing. The items that cannot be moved to the dry area of the garage will be covered with tarps.

Tomorrow, Attila will be able to start installing the remaining roof rafters, and sheathing. He might even get as far as installing the underlay and strapping for the metal roof. There is a possibility that the metal roofing might be installed on Sunday. He will be working in the rain for the next two days, but the pressure will be off once all of the rafters and sheathing have been installed.

I have pictures on the camera, but at this late hour I am not up to getting them downloaded and inserted into the entry.

I am off to my bed, Attila is soaking in the tub, most of the old garage roof is in pieces in the dumpster, all is as it should be. It was a good day.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 10:00 PM EDT Friday 22 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 21.0°C
Dew point: 11.2°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: ENE 10 km/h
Humidex: 23
Visibility: 24 km

Tonight Increasing cloudiness early this evening. 30 percent chance of showers overnight. Low 15.

Sat, 23 Jun Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light in the afternoon. High 19. UV index 6 or high.
Night Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. Low 16.

Sun, 24 Jun Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 21.
Night Cloudy periods with 30 percent chance of showers. Low 13.

Quote

“Little by little, one travels far.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
1892 – 1973

Another Demolition Day

Last night I could not sleep. At 4:30 a.m. I finally drifted off, only to awaken at 7:30 a.m., not because I had to, only because my being decided not to sleep. I am feeling overwhelmed by this renovation. I arose, opened most of the windows, then hopped in the shower. After puttering around until 9:45, it was past time to awaken Attila so that the day’s work could begin; he worked until 11:00 p.m. last night. Rain is forecast for Friday night, and Saturday, which adds some pressure to the enterprise.

His day began with a cigarette and a coffee on the back porch, then a change into street clothes and a trip to the building centre to buy more Sawzall blades. I was sent yesterday to buy them, but the type he requested were not in stock, and I dared not choose a substitute.

He is doing a terrific job on the garage roof. The project possesses him, he lives and breathes it right now, as I knew he would. There is no room here for relaxed conversation, and even finding time for a shared meal some days. The project will not be completed by the end of Attila’s vacation, although I fervently hope that by Sunday night he has the metal roofing in place on the roof, to keep things dry.

Once the roof is secure, then all the items in the garage need to be sorted through, and what needs to be discarded can go into the dumpster before it is picked up. A lot of items that were once viable are now completely destroyed by water and mould and mildew. I will be involved with this aspect of the project, because some of the articles in the garage are/were mine.

There is much to do after the roof is secure from the weather. New sections of wall near the peak of the roof must be constructed, siding installed. New wiring needs to be installed to supply the garage with electrical power. A window needs to be installed. I am sure there is more I am not aware of yet.

And then there will be animal eviction. Already chipmunks are in the garage, coming in through the open roof. I will have to use a live trap once the dumpster goes, and I have purchased more mouse traps. There is an opening from the garage into the new shed, so the animals will have infiltrated it as well, more time using the live trap and the mouse traps. It might even be necessary to remove all the items from the shed to make sure we get all of the animals out, a big job. None of this is avoidable under the circumstances.

I have always found renovations challenging. Attila prefers to work alone, team work isn’t his thing, and communication over what needs to be done can get sticky at times. The renovations also seem to take much longer than anticipated, Attila felt only a week was needed for this new garage roof, but I know that it will be the focus of life here until the snow flies. The expense is challenging as well, I do the juggling, the borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and any worrying that comes into the administrative side of things. This is not something I enjoy, but it is necessary to move forward towards a home that is warm, dry, and free of animals, mould, and mildew. When this project is complete the house will be almost there!

The wildlife are finding the project interesting. Chipmunks have invaded the garage, and probably mice too, although I haven’t seen them. Birds land on the newly installed rafters. This morning, as I opened the window closest to the dumpster, I watched a little rabbit peeking through the crack at the door, probably wondering if there was any food in there!

Just to note, the funding program, through which we received assistance in paying for the desperately needed new windows, and attic insulation, has been discontinued, as anticipated; due to the new right wing government in Ontario. All environmental programs are now cancelled. For our own good, we are told. Thank goodness I found the program when I did last winter, and that I pursued it to completion. Otherwise, the windows and attic insulation would be huge jobs that Attila would have taken on by himself, over the coming years. The other program I was applying for is a non-starter, the call for the energy audit did not come as promised, nor any explanation. Of course, I know what happened, another cancelled energy program courtesy of right wing politicians.

As I write the whine of the Sawzall fills the air, the smell of hot tar reaches my nostrils through the open windows. Attila is hard at work demolishing the second half of the garage roof. Go Attila go!

Oh, adding a few images of the day’s work, forgot them when I first posted!

Garage roof front sawzall The old roof that Attila is cutting up and removing with the Sawzall. Very heavy going!

Garage roof rear rafters The back section of the garage, with the repaired wall on the right, and the first rafters installed, but many more to go!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18 C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 20 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.9C
Dew point: 14.9 C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: S 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832

I’d like to try it for myself to find out!

A Couple of Days

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Well, here it is, the garage roof replacement project has begun. I’ve waited for this one, to be over of course, it has been a long, long time coming. The garage roof leaked when we bought Mist Cottage in 2010, and the situation has worsened year by year, the smell of the mildew, the wet, the mice… well, all that is about to change at last.

And am I happy? Yes and no. I am so very glad the project is underway. At the same time I am feeling sad at the interruption in the flow of my daily life. That is probably because it is not my project, it is Attila’s. My role is administrative, making sure all the bills are paid so that the materials show up when needed, making sure that lots of good food waits in the ready, making a concerted effort to become invisible, to try not to get drawn into the project, just to listen when Attila goes through the frustrating bits, which I always hear about. It will eventually be behind us, and life will once again settle into some kind of rhythm. It isn’t going to be fun, I know that much.

My projects were finding the funds for grants, applying for and fulfilling all the administrative obligations for grants, orchestrating the hiring of contractors for the insulation for the attic, and the new windows, making payments, and watching the budget while waiting for the grant portions to arrive. These were big projects, which were very intrusive to daily life. The difference though is that none of the physical work was undertaken by Attila or myself. The projects went more quickly and efficiently because experienced people performed the installations. The insulation project has been completed, which includes receiving the grant funding. The new window project is incomplete, it is still pending the receipt of the grant, which is substantial, so that the worry over what would happen if the cheque never arrived is always lurking at the back of my consciousness. Also, one of the panes of glass was broken when they installed the living room windows, and the replacement glass has been on backorder for what seems like forever. I keep calling them, getting a date when the windows will come in, and then not hearing from them at all. Then I call again and we go through the whole rigamarole again, three times so far. I anticipate that it will turn out well, in time.

I am undertaking a new project, there is funding available for low income people (us!) to assist with making our home more energy efficient. I am expecting a call from an energy auditor, who will visit and assess the house, and draw up a plan if there is any funding available for what this particular house needs. I don’t really expect much with this, it is a lot of time and effort to make all these arrangements, but even if Mist Cottage benefits a wee bit from it, it will have been worthwhile. Actually, since we have a new right wing government in Ontario, I anticipate that the program will get the axe before we see any benefit from it, helping low income people won’t be high on the list of priorities, not unless it provides big PR opportunities, which this program will not. I hope I am wrong, but I am not optimistic.

Meanwhile, Attila has ordered, and received, the dumpster. The metal roofing has been ordered and he awaits delivery soon. The lumber has been ordered and will be delivered soon. The dumpster is huge, much bigger than I anticipated, and it takes up half the driveway. Where all the building materials will go when they are delivered is up in the air, I haven’t asked about it, better not to! Attila better be here when they are delivered! Iris and Tank are happily ensconced on the front lawn, where they can stay indefinitely. It is game on around here.

Another little bit of misery came home with Attila yesterday. The company he works for has decided they need him to work two Saturdays a month, overtime, from now on. I hate six day work weeks, and Attila will too. I am feeling a bit cranky about it right now, but not as cranky as Attila will feel after a few months of it.

Oh well, onward into the day!

The Instantpot beckons. I’d like to try a recipe using rice and vegetables, consisting of mostly vegetables. I am looking at the recipe for Rice Pudding and thinking, why not a savoury rice pudding.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

My experiment with savoury rice pudding in the Instantpot was not a total success. Rice pudding is meant to be creamier than rice in savoury dishes, so the texture was too mushy. The taste was fine, but it needs work. It is hard work trying to season a dish with no salt, or salty condiments. I tried using a garlic seasoning, called Garlic Plus, some dehydrated onion, and garlic granules. I made the dish using water. Things I am going to try in future are using saved water from boiled vegetables, caramelizing chopped onion at the beginning of the process, and researching how to cook savoury rice in the Instantpot. In the meantime, I will be eating my mistakes for days to come.

After some thought, I decided that a weeknight trip to the Rideau Camp was in order. So, when Attila arrived home from work yesterday, off we went. This trip was to set mousetraps in Grace the Trailer, and to put down some mouse poison in the trailer. Putting mouse poison underneath and around the trailer was considered, but I decided I wanted to try using it exclusively inside the trailer for now. Chances are the poisoned mice won’t make it out of the trailer alive, and will not be consumed by other animals. Also, other animals might get into the poison if it was outside, which is undesirable. There is a fox that hunts the Camp area, there is usually fresh scat somewhere on the crushed stone when we arrive for a visit. The fox could do a better job eating all those mice, but I shudder to think how many there would be if the fox were to hunt elsewhere.

This visit also included killing army worms, there were still thousands of them there. Attila sprayed, while I used a long stick to kill the outliers and escapees. I also destroyed the beginnings of another mouse nest in the ceiling of Winnie the outhouse. This one was a lot less substantial than the last, so hopefully the critter will find somewhere else to build a house.

The garlic planted at the Camp is doing very well, thriving. The Blue Hubbard Squash that was planted there is up, but it isn’t growing very fast. Perhaps it needs to be watered regularly, which won’t happen this season, too much going on at Mist Cottage with the new garage roof project.

We worked steadily until 9:30 p.m., at which time I could barely stand. I was exhausted. My energy levels are still being drained by this cold, which is hanging on. We arrived home before 11:00 p.m., I went straight to bed, and slept soundly until 5:30 a.m. I feel fine this morning, except for the cold, which is not lodged in my throat and tickles my chest into a cough when I breath.

I am taking it easy today. A load of laundry is hanging on the line, underneath the porch roof. Having a dry outdoor space to hang laundry to dry is a really nice feature of a roofed porch. It rained last night, and it looks like it will rain again today, perhaps even produce a severe thunder storm. My laundry will continue to dry on the line, regardless of the rain. The floors needed to be vacuumed, which was easily accomplished. Unless bills arrive in the mail today, or the much anticipated cheque for the windows, I will be taking it easy, working on my crocheted blanket, reading, watching a few youtube videos. The time flies, I am having fun.

The Peonies are in full bloom. What a beautiful scent they have! My Granny grew Peonies in her flower garden, they are harbingers of memory. Yesterday three vases were made ready, and graced with cut Peonies. One vase sits near my easy chair in the living room, beautiful to see and sniff. Another vase sits on my desk, in my room. The third vase is on the kitchen table.

Tonight’s dinner will be leftovers. Attila will eat Nachos with homemade Guacamole, and I will have the last bowl of baked beans, with a slice of homemade bread. For dessert there will be grapes. The refrigerator will be almost empty of leftovers by tonight, so tomorrow will be a cooking day, on the back porch of course.

Well, it is almost noon, and I have bee…

Thanks Kate. I got up to investigate a noise, forgot I was still writing and posted the entry. I hope it is the cold making me so absent minded!

It is past noon now, and I have been finishing up on what I’ve walked away from and left unfinished!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 June 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.3°C
Dew point: 12.7°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: S 21 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
18°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.9°C
Dew point: 15.5°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: S 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832

And So It Begins

And so it begins. Attila ordered the new roofing material. It will be delivered. Two more large scale orders to go, the lumber for the project, and the large dumpster. Fiddly bits will be needed as well, but they are an in situ decision. We will be leaking $$$$ for a while. Attila’s attention is shifting from the garden to the garage, spending time now moving things out and sorting for throwing things out. From now on, he will be busy with this project every single moment he isn’t at work, eating, bathing, attending to hygiene, or sleeping.

I am girding my loins, preparing for the wave of renovation that will soon hit the house. At least this isn’t taking place inside the house!

It was cold today. Sitting on the back porch became uncomfortably chilly after a short time, even with a jacket on. Yesterday’s rain seems to have pleased the garden. The new Cosmos are already blooming, and in the yard the Hawkweed and the White Clover look beautiful. The Wild Geranium, Columbine, and Irises continue to bloom beautifully and profusely.

The rabbits have not found a way into the fenced in portion of the yard. That inner sanctum was made even more impenetrable with large granite rocks that Attila brought home from the Rideau Camp on Sunday. Birds still wander there at will, and squirrels scale the fence without effort. Next year I am voting that he plant strawberries, protected by chicken wire, or those birds and squirrels will eat the lot on me!

It looks like most of the climbing beans and peas have survived inside the fence, as the squirrels have taken no interest in them. I’ve realized why the bunnies like our yard. The diversity of the plants in our “lawn” is extensive, and the plants are native and wild. This is fast becoming the only natural field of plants in the area, where rabbits can find suitable food, and eat in peace. It is difficult to tell what they are currently eating out there in the yard, it isn’t the white clover, could it be dandelion greens. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

14°C
Date: 7:00 PM EDT Tuesday 5 June 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.4°C
Dew point: 10.5°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: SW 11 km/h

Quote

“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.”
Maurice Maeterlinck
1862 – 1949

I will say though, we are tolerated by cats, as long as we keep our service standards up to scratch.