Projects

I finished the blanket last night! My very first blanket. I plan on making another one like it, using the same pattern, but the second one will look slightly different because the yarn colour gradation will follow a different order.

Attila has one small segment of floor tile still to lay. Then the project will be on hold until we can obtain the floor polish. The commercial floor polish we need is made specifically for this commercial flooring. The Home Depot was out of stock, and they ordered it at my request. Yesterday their web site said there were 12 containers of it in stock, so we drove to the city to pick it up. Unfortunately the floor polish could not be located, the staff could not find it anywhere in the warehouse or on the floor, so we left empty handed. Except for a small strip of floor trim for the door by the living room, which was $10, but the fellow gave it to us for $2 as an apology for the web site saying an item was in stock, and it being unavailable when we made the drive in to pick it up. Before we try again I will telephone and insist they go and locate it on the shelf.

DSCF1628a My first crocheted blanket/afghan. This small blanket was originally meant for Grace The Trailer, but Attila loves it and wants to use it a home, for keeping warm while watching TV. I will make a second one for myself. But in the meantime, I can use this blanket all day long when Attila isn’t at home, and in the evenings let him use it and take out one of the many other blankets we own.
Details:
Hook: 5.00 mm,
Yarn: 4 worsted, Bernat Pop, Foggy Notion, 100% acrylic (8 x 5 oz; 8 x 280 yards)
Foundation: 140 stitches ch 1 turn, repeat until desire length
Stitch: Suzette Stitch
Edging: Top End slip stitch, sides and bottom single crochet, single crochet across top.

DSCF1631 The last few fiddly bit of the flooring project. Circled are the three layers of flooring. A is the original tile flooring, glued on grey tiles, many broken. B is the roll vinyl flooring, probably installed in the early 70s, although functional it is torn and worn and ugly. C is the new commercial vinyl tile, plain, solid, functional, cold under foot, and easy to keep looking good. If we every replace the kitchen cupboards we will remove all of these floors and the underlay; then we will install new underlay, and new flooring. This may never get to the top of the project list, as I like the old cupboards, a so-ugly-they-are-cute sort of thing. The cupboards are homemade, out of plywood, and still function as they should.

DSCF1637 And the tiles are down! The baseboards still need to be installed, that is for another night. Then we need to find and purchase the floor polish so we can finish this project!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C
Date: 9:00 PM EST Tuesday 21 November 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 8.6°C
Dew point: 3.2°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: SW 24 gust 34 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”
Okakura Kakuzo

The Last Tomato, Marco Polo, and Chip n’ Dale

It turns out that my prediction that the kitchen floor would be finished this past weekend was a bit premature. Fitting trim on out of square, wonky old walls, repairing holes in floors, and cutting tiles to fit around floor registers and into closets needs to be carefully executed. Attila finished the dining area, and is working on the other end of the kitchen now, which is chock full of fiddly bits. When he is done, the commercial floor polish needs to be applied, three coats, and that will take a whole day, at least, probably two to make sure it is completely dry. What a process! I will be very glad when it is done. Our kitchen sees intense use, so kitchen renovations are particularly irksome.

Attila likes to take a project slowly, it is his preferred way of approaching projects. He whistles and sings while he works in this way. Since we will probably be renovating for the rest of our lives, here at Mist Cottage, it is best that he proceed with it as comfortably as possible. I find it difficult from my end though, to live in relative chaos for the duration of a project. So far I have found kitchen renovations to be the most draining of all the projects we have taken on. What I really need is a companion to spend time with while Attila works contentedly on his projects.

I have completed a round of single crochet edging on my blanket and am quite pleased with it, much more so than the first attempt, which I ripped out. I used a 5 mm hook for the Suzette stitch on the body of the blanket, and a 5.5 mm hook for the single crochet border. I may leave it just as it is, but now that I think about it, I will probably go around again with a slip stitch.

The last of our garden tomatoes were harvested a few weeks ago. Since then the they have been sitting on the kitchen counter in a clear plastic vegetable carton. I ate the last tomatoe for lunch today!

I enjoy looking at vintage illustrations. This morning there was one that triggered a physical reaction, which I was not expecting.

A vague sense of unease hits me occasionally.

It comes when I see things I was exposed to in the 50s and early 60s, when they pop up on the computer. Sometimes the connection escapes me. For instance, this morning someone posted an image of GOLDEN STAMP BOOK OF MARCO POLO, from 1954/55. I remember those stamp books. What this Marco Polo item triggered for me was a feeling, which I have been exploring all morning, trying to find the connection between Marco Polo, stamp books, and churches.

As a kid churches were always stalking the countryside for souls, and they loved us. They would drive into the country to our farm, pick us up, and transport us to their edifices of education. There we would learn that the word kindness had more than one meaning, and most of it wasn’t what the dictionary said it was.

We were taught songs, coloured biblical scenes, and listened to a steady stream of indoctrinating stories, more fantastic than the fairy tales my Granny told us. Questions were not tolerated. Observations were quashed.

I think that they gave us each a stamp book during our time in one of those cheerless basements.

When I see certain children’s books, the ones they used at the various churches, who failed their God by not convincing us of anything other than their essential wrongness, that old feeling of being pressed face first into the earth, and held there, wells up from the depths of the past. It is vague only because it comes from a time and place that I don’t visit unless I have to. Sometimes though, the environment conspires to defeat my defences.

I tried to watch Cable Girls on Netflix and could not tolerate it. All of the female voices sound like the chipmunks Chip n’ Dale, or teenage valley girls, both unbearable coming out of female mouths. There was disco music playing at a party that supposedly took place in 1920, other music was out of period as well. What a misery to watch. It isn’t much of a period piece in my view. I didn’t manage to get to the end of the first episode.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 20 November 2017
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: N 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 10 km

Quote

“Concern for someone else was a good remedy for taking the mind off one’s own troubles.”
Elizabeth Aston

I like “concern for others”, a valid alternative to humour or denial as a coping mechanisms.

Every Day Is A Good Day When You Aren’t Going Bald

Renovating is a bit like holding your breath. Life as we know it is suspended during a renovation project. The flow of the house is altered, temporary compensations must be made, and when the project is done, a new normal has to be established. There is a state of flux until the last lick of paint is brushed, the last nail is hammered, the last tile is laid. Attila started the the new kitchen floor project a week ago Friday, and is still hard at it. He is slowed down by moving furniture, appliances, fitting baseboard and trim, repairing holes in the floor before tiling, and keeping the kitchen functional to a degree for the duration of the job. After the floor is laid I will need to clean it and apply three coats of commercial floor finish, and that will take an entire day of moving appliances, and waiting for each application to dry before the next is applied. We have one more weekend of disruption to navigate.

The floor finish was not in stock within a hundred miles of our house. I requested that the Home Depot near here order it, and they did. It is supposed to arrive at the store this week, which means a trip to the city will be in order. We keep a “to do” list for our visits to the city, and try to accomplish a lot when we are there. The list is a little longer right now because Tank has been out of commission until we can get it in to the garage to address some issues, hopefully minor issues.

I finished the edging on my crocheted blanket. When I held it up though, it did not drape nicely, but curled. I will be looking at this blanket for perhaps the rest of my life, and that curl would be something to annoy me every time I used the blanket, or even looked at it. So, I ripped out the entire border and will start again. I am using one hook size larger this time, and will monitor the drape as I go along. I am sure I can create a nice drape for this blanket, and I will rework it until I do.

I don’t get out of the house much these days. My only forays, in the last month or so, have been to buy food, and another trip to buy more yarn for a second blanket, as the yarn was on sale at Walmart. This is the time of year, when the season for visiting the Rideau Camp is over, that being housebound becomes an issue to be dealt with. I really have nowhere to go, and no people to see, and to compound the issue, I like spending my time in my own space, doing whatever I like. But really, if I ignore the issue it will bloom into cabin fever, which I would like to avoid.

I look for events of interest online, in our local area, but find very little to participate in that doesn’t involve shopping (bazaars, concerts etc.), or spending more money than we have for entertainment, or spending time in the midst of cliques that make us both feel like the-morning-after-a-one-night-stand. We keep trying though, you never know when you will find a pocket of people you can connect with. It happened online, so in theory it could happen in face-to-face.

Our local community, although quite superficially friendly and pleasant, making it a truly nice place to live, offers little opportunity to connect with others at a meaningful-to-us level. Attila and I are like icebergs in this social milieu, what people see is only a small bit at the lightest tip. We always receive friendly, positive feedback about our nice white little tip. Like icebergs, what lies beneath is not seen, and if suspected is considered unknown, and therefore frightening.

And here is a little day-in-the-life detail. I parted my hair on the other side this morning, while brushing it out after I got out of the shower. When I looked in the mirror I saw a bald patch in the part! Oh no! Having always been someone who loses a lot of hair on a daily basis, I thought it had finally caught up with me, and that now my hair is thinning in my old age. But wait! Further inspection, with my glasses on, revealed a brand new streak of white hair, which, when viewed from a distance, and without one’s much needed spectacles, looks like a bald spot. Well, I guess that is better than an actual bald spot. And besides, maybe in a few years the rest of the hair will be white and the illusion of balding will be mediated. I guess every day is a good day when you aren’t going bald.

I can always manufacture something to be grateful for. I am a very self-sufficient woman.

Oh yes, and when I got up this morning there was snow all over the place, and more coming down. It has almost all melted away now. Another thing to be grateful for!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 12:00 PM EST Sunday 19 November 2017
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 0.3°C
Dew point: -3.5°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: W 20 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.”
Italian Proverb

Sandwiches

When we purchased Mist Cottage in 2010 it was in a sorry state. We have been working on structural improvements ever since. There were many very ugly and non-functional areas of the house, so we had to prioritize. Visual appeal has not been a primary consideration. Our kitchen floor was not only old fashioned, it was badly damaged, but still functional where it was intact. A great section of it by the door to the living room had been pulled up, leaving the backing still glued to the previous tiles.

A few weeks ago we purchased the cheapest high quality flooring going: Armstrong Vinyl Composition Tile, Standard Excelon, Cool White. Nothing fancy about this tile. It is low VOC. The downside is that it is installed with an adhesive, more complicated than the click and go types of tiles.

This past week I have been moving items out of the wall unit in the kitchen, and moved the last items out of it last night, Friday night. This morning Attila moved the wall unit out of the kitchen and into the front bedroom, where it almost completely blocks the window. It also sits atop the heating grate, so that Attila has placed it on large pieces of wood to raise the bottom off the floor, allowing the heat to escape out the bottom back and front of the unit.

After washing and drying the dining area of the existing floor, Attila applied the adhesive. He has to install the flooring in sections, because the range and the refrigerator must remain in the kitchen, and must be moved onto the finished sections of flooring, so that Attila can gain access to the floor beneath them. This is a more time consuming and complicated way of installing a floor, but the house is so small that there is no other choice. Houses are much easier to renovate when you are not living in them!

We decided to install the floor over the existing rolled vinyl flooring, to save time. It isn’t the ideal way to put in new flooring, as there are two layers of flooring already installed. The original vinyl tiles, in sorry shape, are under the rolled vinyl flooring, which is in an even sorrier state. If we ever decide to replace the old kitchen cupboards, we will tear the flooring down to the floorboards and begin again with new sub-flooring and flooring. But for now, and the foreseeable future, we will be very happy with this new flooring, which will cost us less than $200 to install.

When the adhesive had set according to the instructions, Attila laid the first tiles, covering the floor in the dining area of the kitchen.

We have a long way to go on this project. After all the tiles are installed, the door and ceiling trim, and the baseboard trim, must be painted and installed. I have decided that I do not need curtains on the high windows, and that I do not want them, as I love to stand looking out the window into the treetops.

Kitchen new window old floor This is kitchen dining area with the new windows Attila installed this autumn. The old flooring is rolled vinyl, which consists of a wafer thin layer of coloured vinyl over a cushion layer. The top layer is full of gashes, and ripped up by the door to the living room, which is visible on the left of the floor.

DSCF1548 This is the kitchen dining area with the new windows and the new flooring installed. This flooring will be much easier to keep clean, and will not be vulnerable to gourging, as it is a solid tile. And I think it looks a whole lot nicer than the old flooring.

So why is the title of this entry about flooring, Sandwiches? The kitchen is complete upheaval, there will be no cooking going on until the floors is complete and the appliances have been returned to their proper place. As a result, all of our meals this weekend will be… sandwiches.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-3°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Saturday 11 November 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -2.6°C
Dew point: -8.8°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SSW 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -5
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.”
Andrew S. Tanenbaum