Busy us!

Busy us!

Last week my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom arrived for a visit. It was very exciting to have them here, Sister-The-Youngest-Girl had been here once before for a short visit with Beau Bob, and this was Mom’s first visit.

We managed to provide Mom with her a bed of her own, in a room of her own, and my sister slept on the pull out couch in the living room. Our house is small, and my sister was worried that she would be in the way when Attila had to get up early to go to work. The flow of Mist Cottage worked very well for all of us! Attila does not enter the living room in the mornings before work, and the living room is well out of the way of our bedroom, the washroom, and the kitchen, the rooms where all of Attila’s pre-work preparations take place.

They arrived on a Wednesday evening, having stayed the night before in a KOA cabin, and spending a good part of the day driving. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl is a very organized woman, and she arranged for we three gals (Attila had to work) to take a boat cruise of the Thousand Islands on Wednesday afternoon, Mom’s treat. And it was a treat! I hadn’t been out on the St. Lawrence River before, so it was a new experience. The highlight of the Cruise for me was getting to see the Just Room Enough Island. The water level is currently very high, so that the landing, and the stair to the door were under water, so that exiting via the door would be stepping right into the river.

On Thursday, after Attila left for work, and the rest of us had our breakfast, we left for a visit to the Rideau Camp. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl was on her way to Ottawa, to spend the day at a spa with our cousin, they have been close friends since infancy. The Camp is on the long route to Ottawa, so she decided to have a quick stop to see our special getaway in the bush. Mom and I stayed at the Camp for quite a while after she left, looking around, relaxing and chatting. I took the our usual long route home, the back roads, which is definitely not the way my Mom travels, preferring the major highways to get from point a to point b. Attila, Mom and I also drove out to visit with Lares, Sunny, and Sky. Terra had to work, she is back to work now, so Lares played host, and the Grandbabies got to meet their Great Grandma. They were delighted with my Mom, and she with them, the time flew by!

On Friday Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and Mom headed home again. Attila and I loved having them here!

On Friday Sister-The-Middle-Girl sent me some pictures of my Granny and Grandpa’s house, near our Traditional Camp. She and her hubby had spent the last week at their cottage, and with the help of our cousin and her hubby, they cleared away much of what was left in the house, as things were in a state of chaos with so many trespassers and vandals going through the place. Now it is virtually empty, with most of what was left there having been taken to the dump. It looked so wonderful, that Attila and I decided to take some of his vacation time and make a visit to our Traditional Camp, a four day weekend.

We packed up Iris, booked a site at a local campground, and headed out early Saturday morning. We take back roads when we travel with Iris. She is very light, fibreglass, and at high speeds she blows around like a peanut shell on the highway. The lower speed roads are much more relaxing, probably a lot safer, and much prettier. But, they also extend the time it takes to get where we are going. It took us 7 hours to drive to the camp site, we were very tired when we got there!

Attila spent his time at the Traditional Camp removing stumps, they were left when he cleared the trees on the lot. He worked at this diligently on Sunday and Monday. I spent my time visiting the dump, where I found a great plastic patio table, dirty, beat up, and perfectly functional. I also found a few pieces of stainless steel cutlery, a stainless steel saucepan, some pillow cases, freshly washed and pressed, a stainless steel cookie sheet, nine Corelle luncheon plates, and four Corelle mugs. All of these items will be used in Grace The Trailer. The local dump believes in recycling, and it works! I also found time to sit for hours on Granny and Grandpa’s porch. There is not place else on planet earth that I would rather be, than sitting on that porch, watching the dragonflies flit, the flies buzz, the bees hum, the birds call, the Day Lilies and Heliopsis sway; even the occasional passing high-speed motorist adds to the charm.

Our rented camp site provided an electric hookup, and a water hookup. It was our first experience camping in Iris with electricity. Wow! What a difference it makes. For one thing, our refrigerator works well on electricity, no coolers, no ice, luxury! And the interior lights allowed us to retire to the trailer well after dark, to read until we were tired, when we turned them out and snuggled into our beds. Having running water next to the trailer was also a treat. We decided not to hook up the water, as we don’t eat or prepare food in Iris, we do all of that on the picnic table under our kitchen tent.

Our fourth day out was spent driving home. We left the camp ground at 8 am and arrived home at 2:30 pm. It was a lovely drive, stress free. The rest of the day was spent unpacking Iris.

So here we are home again, after having an exciting two weeks, attending a music festival, enjoying a visit from Sister-The-Youngest-Girl and my Mom, going on a Boat Cruise, and visiting our Traditional Camp, Granny and Grandpa’s house, and camping in Iris at a camp ground.

Time for a little down time I think!

I am writing this in a state of fatigue, all this activity!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 8:39 PM EDT Thursday 17 August 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 20.9°C
Dew point: 15.1°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: ENE 12 km/h
Humidex: 25
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.”
Shimon Peres
1923 –

Traditional Camp

The sun comes out and the sun goes in behind the clouds this morning. It is the beginning of what both Attila and I hope will be a quiet and uneventful week.

We made a brief visit to our Traditional Camp in Parry Sound on the weekend, where everything is looking as we left it, thank goodness. The last time we were there was last summer, when we were on our first one week vacation in over 20 years, and it was a disaster. That was the week my brother had a sudden heart attack and passed away. This year, around the same time of year we were in the area to attend a reunion of cousins at my sister’s cottage. Thoughts of my brother and how much my Granny and Grandpa’s house meant to him were at the back of my mind all weekend.

The reunion was organized by my Sister-The-Middle-Girl, and my cousin who is renting a cottage on the same beach as my sister’s cottage. Together with my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl they organized and hosted a get together of all of my Grandpa and Granny’s living Granddaughters, seven of us, except for one Granddaughter who did not attend. We all drove over from the cottages to my Granny and Grandpa’s house and multiple photos were taken of the group. I hadn’t seen one of my cousins for over 30 years, it was wonderful to catch up. My newlywed niece and her husband were there; they treated us to a slide show of their beautiful wedding. My Mom was there, and I got to spend a lovely evening chatting with her. Mom and her daughters, and our spouses but one, all stayed Saturday night at Sister-The-Middle-Girl’s cottage, it was comfortable, and the cottage and beach are beautiful. My Sister-The-Middle-Girl has a beautiful cottage facing west on the lake, the sunsets are stunning.

It is now a 5 ½ to 6 hour drive, one way, to reach our Traditional Camp. We decided to take a scenic journey, heading straight north for quite a distance before turning west to travel through hills and forests. The drive was a treat, the scenery was so beautiful. We took the same route home, but there was quite a bit more traffic, many slower moving RVs on the road, that crawled up the many hills. We were very tired when we arrived home.

I have been growing my hair out for what seems like forever. The idea was to have long hair with no bangs. It is driving me to distraction at times, and at its present length it looks awful all of the time. Usually I do not care, as no one sees me here in the house, or at the camp, save for Attila. It was too bad though that it was looking the way it did for those once in a lifetime pictures at the reunion. I will be very glad indeed when the bangs grow long enough to at least stay tucked neatly behind my ears.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Monday 10 July 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.9°C
Dew point: 17.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: SSW 19 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.”
P. J. Plauger

Floods!

There is flooding all around us! It began to rain on Thursday night, then we had heavy rainfall all day Friday, and it has rained all day today. Luckily we had installed a sump pump when the water main was broken in front of our house, which is carrying away the water accumulating below the floor of our basement. So far we are unscathed.

Many roads are closed, basements flooded, and the creeks and streams are running deep and fast and dangerous.

DSCF0579

A typical breakfast. The muffin is chock full of goodness, oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, an egg, crushed pineapple, desiccated coconut; it does also include a few tablespoons of chocolate chips, and I add two tablespoons of brown sugar to the recipe, so it is just a wee bit sinful. I measure the water I drink at breakfast, to make sure I get the correct amount recommended for taking the medication which must be taken with food and water.

On Thursday Terra called me and asked me if I wanted to take a trip to IKEA with her and Sunny and Sky. Who could say no, not me! Off we went and had a lovely time walking for hours and hours to see all the sights. Sunny is crawling now, and can pull herself up into a standing position. Somehow she discovered how to pull on her harness in the stroller, hard enough so that the back of the seat rose with her so that she could stand holding onto the back of the seat in front of her, Sky’s seat in the stroller. She stood, hands gripped tightly on the back of the front seat, little eyes and a nose just peeking above it, watching everything around her. So tiny and determined! Sky was content to sit in his seat, charming passers by with his big blue eyes and captivating smile. It is so much fun to walk around with these little characters. Sunny wasn’t feeling well on the drive back, I think she overdid it standing the whole time we were strolling through the store. Terra said she recovered quickly once she got her home, changed her diaper and clothes and cuddled for a while.

Friday I had my doctor’s appointment to discuss my bone density test and ultrasound. My bone density is normal, that is a blessing. The ultrasound showed cysts in one kidney, and some very large gallstones. Neither issue is serious, but he will keep an eye on the kidney cysts, so I have another ultrasound in six months time. More new tests though, to explore those chest pains. Looking at my back and stomach next to see if all is well there. I am glad of the opportunity for such a thorough investigation into these chest pains, but I will be glad when we establish that they signify nothing!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

RAINFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
Lightning Light Rain
8°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Saturday 6 May 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 8.2°C
Dew point: 7.9°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: W 5 km/h
Visibility: 2 km

Quote

“I am glad your test results are good, they can always find little things that are not like when you were twenty.”

My Mom, what she wrote to me in response to my medical news of the day.

Green Grass

It has been raining since early this morning. The temperature is hovering around 5C, and has been all day. A glance out the kitchen window provides a welcome sight, the grass is turning green!

It has been a very dreary day out there; a good day to stay cozy and warm inside Mist Cottage. Warmer weather will arrived next week, and that is when the outdoors will begin to hold real appeal.

The genealogy book is slowly taking shape. Creating the layout for the tables and images is extremely time consuming. There are twelve children for whom there are documents and family photos, and at present the work is slowly slogging through the second child; ten more to go when this segment is done.

Mom called this morning on FaceTime, it was delightful to hear from her. We chatted for quite a while, about this and that. It turned out that she did not mean to place the call, it happened by mistake when the wrong button was clicked. She was as surprised to see me as I was to see her! 🙂

Terra and Lares had a miserable common cold when they visited on Sunday, and now I have a miserable common cold. They may have left it here, but then again, the frequent visits to doctor’s offices over the last few weeks might have been the culprit, it is a place where sick people hang out. It began with a headache and moved right into the sinuses. Hopefully it will be short lived.

Funny, although there is no snow, early spring seems to be dragging on. It rained and/or snowed most of March and April has been very dreary so far. A little sunshine wouldn’t go amiss!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

RAINFALL WARNING IN EFFECT
Lightning
Light Rain
Date: 3:45 PM EDT Thursday 6 April 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 4.9°C
Dew point: 4.0°C
Humidity: 94% Wind:
NE 27 gust 40 km/h
Visibility: 6 km

Quote

“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

They aren’t faults, they are features!

Silence By Degrees

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Today is cold and sunny. There is a snow storm on the way, lots of snow the weather people say. Winter isn’t done with us yet.

It is a quiet weekend here at Mist Cottage. A little bit of baking going on, a little bit of food preparation for next week, using the off-peak hydro prices by cooking ingredients. Our wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and we are celebrating with a homemade pizza, and a movie. I have my menu carefully planned for that day, so that I can afford to eat the sodium in the bacon bits we Attila cooked today. Eating out is out of the question.

I chatted with my Mom and Sister-The-Middle-Girl this afternoon, on FaceTime. My Mom looks so beautiful these days! She is bright eyed and rosy cheeked, her hair framing her face perfectly. Her recovery from her health issue is amazing. My Sister-The-Middle-Girl is looking quite beautiful these days too. Life must be agreeing with them!

Last week I chatted with Sister-The-Youngest-Girl over FaceTime, which was lovely. She is renovating her kitchen, a very big job. She and Beau Bob have gutted the kitchen, the electricians are still finishing up their part of the renovation, and the drywalling has been started this weekend. By the time we get there for a visit again, it will be finished. I am looking forward to seeing it!

Attila and I are not planning projects this summer. He will be touching up the paint on the house siding, putting in a larger garden, installing the cap on the basement waterproofing membrane, and finishing off the bathroom drywall. I am thinking about staining the exterior concrete walls of our basement, which would take me all summer. In a few weeks we will be venturing out into the yard with an eye to spring cleanup, but we have to wait out this coming snow storm first.

My crochet hooks should arrive in the next two weeks, I will be starting to watch for them next week. Yesterday morning’s second attempt at the single crochet stitch was more successful and I can see that I am going to have fun with it, once I get used to it. Now my thoughts are wandering to a suitable first project, and I have decided on a washcloth, a very simple washcloth. I like like the idea of functional creations, and eventually I would like to make soft fluffy washcloths. My first one will be made with this $1.00 ball of yarn, and my $1.00 crochet hook. Soon enough though, my new crochet hooks will arrive, and I will begin to cast my eye towards other balls of wool.

I have not been going out for walks, it is just too cold for my arthritic knee. I am loath to do any further damage to the knee, as each time it goes on me, it will not regain the functionality I have. I will lose mobility by increments, so I am being very careful not experience any incremental episodes. I have my fingers crossed that by next week the big snowfall we are expecting will have melted, and the temperature will rise above freezing during the day, so that I can begin to venture forth.

We are enjoying the coziness of Mist Cottage during this cold snap, the thermostat continues to charm us!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Another cold morning, with a major snow storm on the way tonight. Again I am staying indoors, not risking injury to my knee. The inactivity of winter has resulted in a moderate rise in my blood pressure levels, or so I surmise the cause. I am anxious now for the milder weather and the disappearance of snow and ice. It is a time for patience! Next month I am to go in for further testing for my high blood pressure, and afterwards I have an appointment with a cardiologist. At this point I am wondering if another type of medication might help, but that is something to discuss with the cardiologist. With my anaphylaxis, my options are limited as to safe medications.

This morning I have taken an internal walk down memory lane. Joan Lansberry posted a link to a BBC video of desert sounds. I closed my eyes and listened, the sounds, and the vibrations of the sounds from the computer provided me with a pleasant physical experience. I could not find the actual video to share here, but I did find a series of BBC video soundscapes, mostly of human activity, but some of nature’s activity.

We lived deep in a the Ontario bush for about a decade, we had only two neighbours within sight, who as “snowbirds” were often south during the winter. The noise was constant, snowmobiles, ATVs, private planes, speeding sports cars, huge motor boats, and transport trucks on the highways miles and miles away. These sounds became the white noise in our lives, we were rarely conscious of it. We could hear nature, but not without the steady hum, and sometimes din, of modern human activity. However, I considered it a paradise of silence compared to living in a small urban area.

Then I spent a week 60 miles north of Longlac. It was an education. There were no human sounds, not a plane, not a hint of a motor of any kind in the distance, the only tones and notes were created by non-human activity. The “silence” was striking, deeply unnerving. After 24 hours it caught me, and the inner calm that descended is like no other I have ever experienced. This was a rare and precious experience, which resulted from a one of a kind circumstance, and it is unlikely I will ever have the experience again. It would not be achievable for most people on planet earth. I am grateful to have encountered it.

P.S. I found downtown Toronto a close second to this experience. Noise there was constant, and like the wind, it blew a melody of activity that transcended individual sounds. Downtown Toronto was, for me, akin to visiting humans in the wild.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 9:00 PM EDT Sunday 12 March 2017
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -9.7°C
Dew point: -20.4°C
Humidity: 42%
Wind: WNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -15
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931