My Body Remembers

The Obus seat cover is complete! It is made with a simple stitch, and of a simple design. A single crochet stitch was used to create a “cylinder” to slip over the seat cushion, using worsted cotton yarn and a 5 mm crochet hook. The seat cover “cylinder” is open at both ends, designed to stretch slightly across the width of the cushion. It will not shift or bunch, and can be removed and thrown in the washing machine for cleaning. It has taken a very long time to complete this project. I may forget how to do a single crochet in future, but relearning it will be like riding a bycycle, my body will remember how as soon as I get going.

Last month I purchased an Artbin Yarn Drum from amazon dot ca. The only issue with it has been that the soft fabric sides collapse, so that the yarn does not rotate well when used from the outside of the skein. An 8 ½ by 11 sheet of cardboard worked until the drum was moved, then it shifted and failed to hold the walls of the drum rigid. A visit to the Dollar Store solved the problem for $1.25, the cost of a round plastic basket that now acts as a liner for the drum.

There are four devices that will record images in this household. One is an iPad, the sole domain of Attila. Two are computers with built in cameras. One is a digital camera, which must be connected by a cable to the usb port of one of the computers to download images. The iPad and computers are seldom used to record images. The camera requires connecting cables, and exporting images from proprietary Apple software, before they can be worked with. More and more these multiple steps act to impede the inclusion of images on the pages of this journal. The completion of the seat cushion has inspired an effort to take photographs and export them so that they can be shared.

DSCF0585 seat cushionThis is the newly crocheted cushion cover on the Obus seat. Since my skin reacts to synthetic fibres, and the original covering on the seat is made of synthetic fibres, the 100% cotton cover means there will be no worries about bare skin coming into contact with synthetics. Now, to consider how to crochet a cover for the Obus back support. It need not be so sturdy and close stitched as the seat, as it will receive less wear. It will not be made with single crochet stitch, that is for certain!

DSCF0592 artbin plastic linerThe yarn drum, sporting a lovely lime green plastic liner.

The temperature remains below average, but the clouds and the rain have finally moved on, and the sun is shining this morning. Yesterday morning it was snowing, with no accumulation, but snowing. The rain was intense this past week, and there was flooding in our area, but nothing so drastic as that experienced in Quebec and Ottawa. We had installed a sump pump some years ago, when water was coming into the basement due to a broken water main, in our front yard. It hadn’t run again until this past week, and it has had a good workout. The ground water level beneath the house rose to the level of the basement floor, at which point the sump pump worked for hours to lower the level of water. Now the water level is down a few feet below the level of the floor, our battle with groundwater was won, this time. The basement is dry, for now.

Outfitting Iris the trailer for the camping season had begun before the cold and rain arrived last week. Since there was no evidence of rodents having entered the trailer over the winter, it was safe to bring in the foam twin mattress, purchased from IKEA last year. After the mattress roll was uncoiled from its packaging, and had a few days to fully expand, it was covered with a full mattress cover, meant to prevent bed bugs from getting in, but intended in this case to prevent insects of any kind getting near the mattress itself. That is as far as the camping preparations went before the weather turned very nasty.

My thoughts are roving towards Iris once again. There are new curtains to press and hang. Attila’s front bunk needs a lot of attention. The seat cushions that I slept on last summer were moved to the front bunk, which is now three cushions deep, and hopefully will be more comfortable for Attila. But the catch is that the added cushions are not full length, so that supports must be found and installed under them so that Attila will sleep on a level surface. To that end, a very nifty wood box was snatched up out of the box bin at the local grocery store, the corner posts sawed off, to be used as a support under the bottom layer of cushions.

DSCF0594 iris trailer front bunkThis is the front bunk with all three seat cushions piled up high. The shortest one is on the bottom, with the wooden box beside it. The middle one is longer, but not full length, and it is propped up with a plastic tray, a discard from a produce department. The top cushion is slightly raised at the foot. It remains to be seen if this arrangement will be comfortable for Attila. We are looking forward to our first night out to find out.

DSCF0599 lungwort in bloom

The Lungwort in front of the house, blooming. The dandelions are a riot of yellow in our yard. I like it, but the neighbours use some chemical to prevent them from growing in their yards. The birds and the bees like to be around us, that counts for a lot in our universe.

Weather

5°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 10 May 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.2°C
Dew point: 0.4°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: N 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

This is one of those statements that is only true under certain circumstances. Attila and I felt the country house to be an unwieldy property, because it was so much work and held us so close. Mist Cottage is almost the opposite, a haven and sn anchor point to return to after a wander.
I think of all those people in their huge houses, all over Canada, and how much care and expense those houses exact, and I think that Mr. Thoreau’s point very apt in such instances.

Beanie Number One

DSCF0499 Well, here it is, my first ever crocheted beanie. It looks a lot like a bathing cap, and I hope it isn’t mistaken for a chemo hat! I love it of course, because I like the colours, and it is going to do what I need it to do, keep my hair out of my eyes on windy summer days. The original video was good, as far as instruction was concerned, but oh my what a ride as to sizing. The first beanie fit my hand. For the second beanie, this one, I decided to wing it with sizing advice, measuring my head, then dividing by pi, and and increasing until the circle I was crocheting was the size calculated. But that was a bust, as I continued I realized the beanie would fit a basketball, or a giant, but not me. So I started using a smaller hook, better. The next size smaller, better still. I ended up going four hook sizes down to get the beanie to fit me! I graduated down from a 6 mm to a 3.5 mm hook. The last rows were teeny tiny and hard to do, but I managed.

I am going to take my new beanie out for a walk in the sunshine! My Mom says the clouds are coming, so I am getting out there while the sun shines!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 23 March 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 0.8°C
Dew point: -9.3°C
Humidity: 47%
Wind: SW 17 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
Ray Bradbury
1920 – 2012

They teach these lessons early in life around here.

Sunbeams

Tuesday a.m.

This morning I am sitting in sunbeams. I can close my eyes and feel the light; how glorious it is. Having the blinds open comes with a price this morning though, as it is -25C on the other side of the glass and the room is noticeably and quickly cooling. It is worth bundling up for though, to have sunbeams playing on my face. Sunshine is rare this winter, and it comes at a high price, cold snaps.

Attila heard the trees snapping in the deep freeze last night. I had already turned in for the night, and he stayed up to wait for, then dampen, the spent fire.

This winter is either colder than last, or my aging body has reached some sort of threshold. At night my shoulders can get uncomfortably cold, this is new. Also, the back of my head can get cold, again something new. I think I will consider a night cap, and fold down the comforter to double thickness, before I tuck it in around my shoulders at night. It is quite cold in the bedroom, and I sleep near the north wall, so during the coldest of nights, -30C and below, that area gets cold, but is still above freezing. We are experiencing our second, or is it our third, serious cold snap.

Eventually I may consider abandoning the bedrooms in the winter, and setup a sleeping arrangement near the masonry heater; I am not there yet though.

There are electric heaters in the house, but they are extremely expensive to use, and beyond our financial means as a source of heat, except for special occasions, like a few days at Christmas. The cost of hydro has doubled since we moved here, our income is lower.

Were I to design a house for this climate, it would have a central core of plumbing and heating, well away from exterior walls. The exterior doors would not open under the drip line of the roof. “Summer rooms” would surround the periphery of the floor plan, rooms to close down during the winter heating months. There are no houses designed in this way, although there may be a few architect designed seasonal homes that come close, built for the elite who really do not need to concern themselves with the cost of heating. Conventional floor plans, the ones used by builders for almost all of the housing in Canada, fail to adapt to local conditions in significant ways.

I would love to design a home adapted to the climate here!

Attila’s Mom just arrived home from a trip to the Southern USA. What a shock the weather had in store for her, back at home in Northern Michigan. She had a lovely trip by all accounts, visiting with her older sister, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. She and her sister both celebrate birthdays in the early part of January, so they were able to celebrate together this year. Terra shares the same birthday as Attila’s Mom, and Terra turned 30! Lares treated her to a weekend away at the same place they spent their honeymoon. Luna and Janus went along to share in the fun. They had a great time, by all accounts.

My winter trips to warmer climes involve moving my chair closer to the masonry heater, LOL!

Terra’s new puppy is called Maci. I can hear her yipping and jumping and playing in the background when we talk on the phone. I even got to see her when Terra and I spoke on Facetime.

Tuesday p.m.

Since the sun was shining and the roads were good today, Attila took three hours off work, left early, picked me up, and drove to the lab for his blood test. We hit the high spots, the grocery store and Home Depot, buying a few supplies and an extension cord. Things are tight right now, because all the Christmas bills are paid, including the extra heating bills, and that has emptied the coffers. We can’t complain about that, but we can’t spend much money either.

Our coffee machine, ordered from Sears using points, finally arrived at the Sears outlet. We picked it up during our excursion to the lab, which saved us an extra trip. Tomorrow morning it will be put the test!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT
-28°C: Low -32C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Tuesday 21 January 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -28.4°C
Dewpoint: -31.2°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: NW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -33 rising to Wind chill -40C

Quote

“It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree.”
Charles Baudelaire
1821 – 1867