Waves

The weather forecast looks like the temperature is going to take a bit of a dive after today. Every time I was out of bed last night, it was raining. It was raining when I got up this morning. It has been raining all day today.

We finally got the car in to the garage on Monday morning. The mechanic is short handed, and the car needs a new rear wheel bearing, which he says is a two man job… so he couldn’t do it. We took the car in to another local garage this afternoon, and hopefully we will have it back by tomorrow evening. I have been without transportation for the last few weeks, and the chores are piling up and squeezing me, so I will be very glad to get the car operating again. There is no public transport here, except taxis.

Finding counselling is proving to be extremely difficult. The people I’ve contacted so far are not seeing anyone new. Our options are extremely limited, and it has to be the person who is right for us, or it isn’t worth doing. I continue to make calls, fail, and try again. Some days I refuse to think about it though, just to give myself a break.

Yesterday was a busy day, I did a lot of work on a few projects, and even had the sewing machine out for most of the day. Here alone during the day, time flows slow and steady and sweet.

Music. It is keeping me real, real and balanced, for at least part of the day.

The me I know floats and slides along the sound waves, insisting, insisting… that the world is much more than the growing smallness. The swell throws open the windows, the doors; an unseeable force.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10°C
Date: 3:00 PM EST Tuesday 5 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 9.6°C
Dew point: 6.7°C
Humidity: 83%
Wind: S 32 gust 46 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“One should count each day a separate life.”
Seneca
5 BC – 65 AD

Day Four: High Winds

Wednesday, September 13, 207

Well! Another fine sunny day has dawned, if only we had chosen this week for our vacation! There is no cure for it though, vacation time must be booked well in advance, the weather cannot be predicted, so we take our chances.

Last night we cooked up a second batch of Tomato Pepper Sauce, and tonight we will do it all again. This batch yielded only 11 500 ml jars, with a little left over for dinner tonight. We will have almost three dozen jars of this sauce in our freezer. In an emergency, the sauce is in mason jars, can easily be fitted with proper lids, and could be canned to store dry on a shelf. It is unlikely this will be necessary, but nice to know it is an option. Canning can be done on a propane stove out of doors in a pinch.

All the scanning is done, so a new To Do list sits on the table with a pen, the paper is empty at the moment, but soon the scribbling will begin and I will be off and running.

A few years ago I was gifted some Genealogy reference books, which are not particularly useful to me, and take up a lot of room. Another family researcher would dearly love to have them, and for the last year we have tried to connect so that she can pick up the books. This weekend looks hopeful, she will be in the area for a family wedding, fingers crossed.

Purging here at Mist Cottage has slowed to almost a halt. The next renovation project is replacing the windows in the dining area, with smaller windows, higher in the wall, to facilitate raising the side of the garage roof. We hope that putting the new windows in this fall will mean we have a running start on the roof renovation next spring. Once the garage roof is replaced, Attila can organize his tools etc., and the basement where he now keeps it all be cleared out, and what remains can be organized. It is a real game of dominoes!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, Day Four

The weather has been less that ideal, during these first four days of our vacation. The first day, Saturday last, was beautiful, warm and sunny and breezy. The temperature plummeted Saturday night, and Sunday morning saw steel grey skies and a relentless, steady rain. Yesterday began with overcast skies, which cleared near noon, giving way to wispy clouds racing across the pale blue firmament. The winds yesterday were significant, increasing in strength as a day passed.

The winds were so strong last night that we were wrenched from reading our books at about 9 a.m. last night, by a sudden loud noise and a jarring lurch of Grace The Trailer. It was as if we had been hit from behind by a car, but there was no car, not out here in the rain soaked, silent but for the rain, pitch black forest.

Attila donned his rubber boots and rain jacket, and headed out the door to see what was going on. It was the awning. The wind had lifted the canopy so violently that it dismantled the support rods, making a loud noise, and shaking Grace The Trailer. Attila reassembled the supports rods, then I donned my rain gear an joined him in the dark of the night. Together we worked by the light of a small battery operated lantern, to take down the canopy, fold the whole mechanism, and fasten it tightly against Grace The Trailer. I wore my wide brimmed hat, which kept the pelting rain from streaming down my glasses, obscuring my sight.

The storm raged on after we retreated into Grace The Trailer, where we were resumed our comfortable chairs and picked up our books once more. The tempestuous weather continued as we retired to our bed, and although Grace The Trailer shuddered from time to time in the strong gusts of wind, there were no further emergencies to be dealt with. We fell asleep to the sound of driving rain on the roof.

This morning the skies are cloudy, a bright, luminescent cloud cover that hints at sunshine. The strong wind and the rain have passed.

Attila and I enjoyed sitting outside with our mugs of coffee early this morning, watching the sky, listening to the occasional light breeze whisper with the leaves, and to the loons calling on the lake.

After breakfast we put the trailer awning back up, it is a two person operation. The awning is lovely to have, it provides shade when the sun is hot, and shelter from the rain, so that we can sit outside to watch the weather.

With all the rain we are having on this vacation visit the crushed stone is wet, therefore easier to shovel, which makes the job of moving the stone easier. Attila is moving about ten wheelbarrows full of stone each day, he is out there now, as I write this entry. I can hear the shovel crunch into the stone, the thud as it is jettisoned into the wheelbarrow, the trudging crunch of Attila’s boots as he pushed the wheelbarrow into the position, and the slide of rock on metal as the stone in dumped into place. The area in the clearing covered with crushed stone is slowly expanding.

I need to mention here that on Sunday evening another milestone was reached at the Rideau Camp. We had spent the day at a small local museum, where there were records of my ancestors, and had returned to the Camp to find Grace The Trailer feeling rather chilly and damp. The cold and the rain had their way with her. So Attila setup the generator, and we turned on the central heating system in the trailer. Oh my! Within ten minutes we were warm and toasty, and the damp had been driven off.

When Attila first started up the furnace, it ran for a few minutes and then suddenly stopped. He opened up the panel on the outside of the trailer, tinkered and got it going again. Then he showed me how he got it going, so that I would know how to do it too.

We noticed that the exhaust from the propane furnace smelled of mouse! There is a nest in there somewhere! There is no smell in the trailer, so the nest is in the exhaust system, but not blocking it, as the exhaust exits with great force. The smell may not be a result of a current mouse nest, in fact that seems unlikely. Mouse nests reek forever. The exhaust pipe is round and open to the outside, where mice would enter. It is the time of year when mice are looking for places to shelter for the winter, this exhaust pipe would seem ideal. When we leave at the end of our vacation, we will stuff steel wool into the exhaust pipe. Because this would pose a danger if the furnace were operated, we will replace the steel wool with a steel screen, which will allow the free movement of exhaust, and prevent furry house hunters from taking up residence.

In some ways, having lived at the country house has prepared us for having a luxury trailer in the bush. We are very aware of how vibrant the life is around Grace The Trailer, and that she presents as an opportunity for many species. It is truly an us versus them relationship, Attila and I insisting that Grace The Trailer is ours to inhabit, and that we will not share with the local inhabitants. She doesn’t take much space, they have many other options, which we insist are their only options.

OK, now I think we are over the line, and entering into the glamping world. Today Attila read the manual for the central vacuum in Grace The Trailer. We have never had a central vacuum before, it seems unbelievably decadent in a trailer. Our portable generator will run the vacuum system. The only thing it cannot handle is the air conditioning system, and we can buy a companion portable generator at some future date, to boost the power, and run the air conditioning if we think we need it.

If we ever get water running in the trailer, and a grey water drainage system hooked up, then we are into serious glamping! BUT we are committed to our humanure composting toilet system, we will not be using a water based sewage system. We are discussing removing the flush toilet from Grace The Trailer, to replace it with a compost toilet, the 5 gallon bucket kind of compost toilet, our favourite!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Cloudy this morning, bright clouds, but clouds nonetheless. Warmish, yesterday morning it was 60F when we got out of bed in the morning, This morning it was 67F.

14°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 13.5°C
Dew point: 13.3°C
Humidity: 99%
Wind: N 5 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There was a stigma attached to being brought up different, laid on us by “the straights” – normal people. I had a choice: accept my status and brazen it out, or retreat from those that might hurt me.”
Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable Place, by Dan Boothby

Another Pizza Night!

Another cold, but not freezing, grey, and rainy day out there today. March was a cloudy wet month, and April has begun in the same way.

My pap smear yesterday was easier than the time I spent dreading it, thank goodness. It is behind me now.

Attila and I do not feel inspired to outdoor activity today, the weather just isn’t nice enough. Soon that will change, very soon, as April warms towards May’s blooms.

I am about to begin making a series of colour matched washcloths. I have completed three using the single crochet stitch, and now I will create one each with the half double crochet, the double crochet, and the triple crochet stitch. While I am doing this I am going to be learning to assess with more accuracy, the end of one row and the beginning of the next, and the front and back of a stitch so that I can insert the hood under the correct part of the stitch as I go along.

One of the things already learned concerns closing a crochet circle, and preventing the chain from twisting. I discovered that I cannot prevent twisting of the chain visually, the correct edge of the last stitch before moving to the next row is indiscernible. Inexpensive yarn markers, purchased for $1, bobby pins, were used to mark the bottom of the foundation chain, and in particular the last chain was carefully marked. This worked well, except that the bobby pins were long and cumbersome, making them difficult to work around. I am looking forward to using my new yarn markers!

DSCF0511 The bobby pins are the markers that show me the side of the foundation chain NOT to crochet into. A little awkward but it worked. However I am not convinced I am joining the final chain stitch to the correct loop in the first stitch. My foundation chains do not look nearly as clear cut as the one’s in the video’s that I watch, mine are much more ambiguous. The learning will sort itself out in the long term, slow but sure.

We decided that now that is April, and it is cold and raining out here, that we would celebrate our Saturday off with another great homemade pizza with a movie. I found some pizza sauce with half the amount of sodium found in the regular sauce at the store, which means twice as much for me! Flavour, that is what one craves a low sodium, low sugar, low cholesterol diet.

Last night we watched a most depressing film, Tom and Viv. Not knowing anything about the film, we were a good way into it before it was revealed that Tom was T. S. Eliot the poet. Quite frankly I could not get a feel for him, or his wife Viv from the film, the characters, as written in script, were flat. The acting was good, the writing left a lot to be desired. Regardless of that, Viv Eliot’s story is disturbing, and not a happy one. I entertain doubts about the integrity and human decency of T. S. Eliot.

“When Vivienne’s brother Maurice Haigh-Wood, who had colluded in her committal, visited her, he burst into tears. “It was only when I saw Vivie in the asylum for the last time I realised I had done something very wrong,” he told Michael Hastings, author of Tom and Viv, in 1980. “She was as sane as I was. What Tom and I did was wrong. I did everything Tom told me to.”
Source: Not crazy after all these years
October 26, 2001

This was a film we will not watch again. Someday I will read Painted Shadow.
“Carole Seymour-Jones was awarded the Paul Mellon visiting fellowship by the University of Texas at Austin in 1999-2000 to research Vivienne Eliot’s life at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. She is author of Painted Shadow, published this week [October 16, 2001] by Constable & Robinson, £20.00.”

It strikes me, in watching films meant to depict the lives of people who are no longer alive to provide input, that the best that can be hoped for is a skeleton of factual information, dressed in grand style for the theatre, and not necessarily representing the reality lived.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Saturday 1 April 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 0.8°C
Dew point: 0.1°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: N 16 km/h
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.”
Cher
1946-

Scarlet Runner Beans

I’ve been keeping busy, very, very busy, keeping my speed up to that I can leap over chasms. My days are mostly pleasant.

We have had rain! It rained yesterday morning, which prevented me from taking my walk as early as I had planned. By the time the rain stopped and I stepped outside, it was like entering a sauna. I decided to take my walk anyway, but to avoid issues I walked very slowly, not pushing myself. I was soaked with sweat by the time I arrived home, safe and sound.

Last Saturday we had a lovely surprise. Luna and the Grandbabies arrived for a visit, staying for lunch and dinner. Imp and Elf and Tink are growing so fast now! Imp has grown quite tall. She and I had a great time going through some of the books on my bookshelf, trying to find the oldest book. I taught her where to look for the publication date at the front of the book. The oldest one we found was a leather bound copy of The Select Poetical Works of Lord Byron, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Company, 119 Washington Street, 1853. Elf had fun building a wooden chair, footstool and table from wood scraps leftover from the garden shed project. Attila spent some time teaching him to use the electric screw driver. Tink enjoyed playing with the dolls in the toy box. She read the first half of the book Go Dogs Go to me, and then I read the second half of the book to her. All three of the Grandbabies stopped to sit with me as I read, it was charming.

Terra and Lares stopped by for about ten minutes with the Sunny and Sky. The babies were all dressed up for a family occasion of some kind, on Lares side of the family. They weren’t here long enough to take pictures. The twins are now both over 7 pounds and are rosy and healthy. They sleep a lot, oh how quickly I forget. Attila and I got to hold them, briefly.

We had a few cool days, when the high temperature only reached 24C, and then the heat returned. It has been a summer of blistering heat. The drought ended last week with an all day rain, and we had had rain again yesterday.

My toe nail is turning colour and separating from the nail bed. It isn’t a big deal, but when it became very painful I decided to get it looked at to make sure that it hadn’t become something serious. My only option for a medical opinion, the emergency department at the hospital. I arrived there and joined the queue at 7:30 p.m. last night and arrived home at 2:15 a.m., the drive to and from is under five minutes. Most of that time I waited in an almost full to capacity waiting room, sitting across from a couple who were very obviously high on something, who were themselves waiting for a morning after pill, which they were discussing loudly, with the television in the room loudly describing gruesome murders and showing graphic reenactments. It was a long night, and the doctor visually diagnosed fungal infection and poor circulation, injected freezing, suggested salt water soaking and tylenol, 20 minutes tops, and sent me on my way.

There has to be a better way to deliver basic health care.

I slept until 7:20 am this morning, a very short night, and I feel horrid from a bad night’s sleep.

Things are looking green, and at last the Scarlet Runner Beans along the fence are filling in and blooming profusely. Yesterday morning I stood at the kitchen window for ten minutes or so, to watch a Humming Bird visit each bloom on the Scarlet Runners. Plants are on sale at the moment, particularly potted plants that suffered during the hot drought. We picked up a large pot of Echinacea, which Attila planted by the compost bin, where we think it will do very well. I am attempting to plant Monarch Butterfly friendly plants in the yard. I was most interested in a site devoted to creating Monarch friendly gardens. I haven’t seen any Monarch Butterflies this summer!

A bloom on the Scarlet Runner Beans. I will be watching these blooms again this morning, in hopes of seeing the Humming Bird feeding.
DSCF9434
The new Echinacea plant, already thriving beside the compost bin.
DSCF9424
The herbs and spices for a Lentil Salad. I made a Lentil Salad yesterday, assembling three batches of the herbs and spices needed. One I used to make the salad, and the other two I stored in small jars for future salads. There are so many herbs and spices that finding them all in the kitchen cupboard takes a bit of time, so doling out three measures into three containers saves me a lot of time.
DSCF9415

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Thursday 25 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 23.6°C
Dewpoint: 21.7°C
Humidity: 89%
Wind: SSW 23 km/h
Humidex: 33

Quote

Why is it we feel
So little for each other, but for this,
That we with nature have no sympathy,
Or with such things as have no power to hold
Articulate language?
And never for each other shall we feel
As we may feel, till we have sympathy
With nature in her forms inanimate,
With objects such as have no power to hold
Articulate language. In all forms of things
There is a mind.

William Wordsworth, fragment from the Alfoxden Notebook, in Ernest de Selincourt and Helen Darbishire (editors), The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume 5 (Oxford University Press 1949), page 340.

Poem for Carl Robert

I name you the bloom
on the scarlet runner beans
growing wildly up my fence
and the bristly heads
crowned with purple
of the Echinacea.

I name you the leaves
that loosely follow and
beckon and caress empty air
and the long grasses
undulating
pointing the way.

You who filled
certain crucial holes
in my universe
so that I could have walked
blindly through life.

How beautiful you were.
How beautiful you are.

Maggie Turner

Rain!

When I arose this morning I had every intention of heading out for my walk before 6:30 a.m., having learned my lesson yesterday when out walking yesterday morning after 8 a.m. in the heat. Then I looked out the window. It was raining! When it ended there were still patches of dry pavement under the vehicles, so we did not receive a lot of rain, but some is better than none at this point. I would have gone walking in the rain, but when I looked at the thermometer it was already 25C, and the Humidex was over 30C. There would be no walk today, not in the outdoors at least.

As it turned out today, I didn’t stick my nose out the door at all. Instead I worked on my book.

The other activity that occupied my time today was cooking. Attila and I decided to give cooking a try during the mid priced hydro window, which is in the morning. I made a large batch of croutons in the oven, and cooked lentils with which I made a Lentil Salad. One thing always leads to another. My Lentil Salad called for raisins. The raisins we buy are bulk organic unsulphered raisins. It is a big, big box of raisins. To get just one cup I had to open up the entire big, big box. Once opened it needed to be repackaged. I filled four 1.5 litre mason jars, which made a small dent in the raisin supply. Not having any more large mason jars, I opted to seal the raisins in their plastic bag, seal that in a cardboard box, then store the box in a suitably sized tote which would keep out the mice, if we get any this fall. The Lentil Salad was so good that I felt it was worth all the kerfuffle to store the bulk raisins properly.

Lentil Salad

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
– 1 medium red onion, diced
– 1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
– 1/3 cup capers
– Vinaigrette:
– 1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp. strong mustard
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 2 teaspoons pepper
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– Optional add-ins:
– Arugula
– Walnuts
– Goat cheese
– Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
– Sprouts
– Crispy seasonal veggies

METHOD:

1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful! 2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine. 3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large. 4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.
SERVINGS: 4
SOURCE: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/06/the-best-lentil-salad-ever-2/

===============

A telephone call was received to schedule the delivery of the dishwasher tomorrow. Another project! At least this project can be worked on inside the air conditioned house, which Attila will appreciate a lot. I dare not expect this job to be done any time soon, but I can dream!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 6:03 AM EDT Wednesday 10 August 2016
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.8°C
Dewpoint: 21.2°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: SSW 21 gust 36 km/h
Humidex: 32 (This rose to 39 by mid afternoon.)

Quote

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.”
Eric Hoffer
1902 – 1983

[This is true of most people, but not all enemies.]