To Camp or Not To Camp

Last night I dreamt of my brother Carl. We were young again, he was the happy little boy I remember and love. We were at my Granny’s house, a place where we were loved unconditionally, a place we felt safe, a place we thought was heaven. The summer’s day was warm, the breeze tousled our fine blond hair, we swept it back from our eyes as played by the back door. My Granny was in the kitchen, we could hear her through the screen door. Place. Some places are imbued with the spirits of those who loved and were loved in them. I look forward to sitting on my Granny’s porch again this summer, feeling that energy that seeped into the place over time, knowing.

Yesterday’s fine weather is still with us today. The neighbourhood is noisy though. The Hydro people are chopping down trees all up and down the street. Down came the front half of the beautiful white birch tree across the street from us. Down came the beautiful red maple two doors down and across the street from us. I cannot see further down the street from my windows, but I know the massacre continues because of the constant drone of the chain saw, and the roar of the chipper as the live branches are fed into its yawning maw. This spring is a season of destruction on our street. Earlier the immediate neighbours to one side of us chopped down a beautiful flowering crabapple tree. They explained it by saying that the bees were coming into their house, the children didn’t like the bees. But we live beside this tree too, and we know there was no issue with bees. They stated their intention to remove all the trees on their property within weeks of moving in, I remember. The real irony is that the family has moved to a trailer park near the husband’s employment for the summer, and rented out their house to a single woman. They aren’t even there during the blossom season! Luckily the trees on our property are not near the hydro lines, so we will keep them!

The new colour coordinated curtains for the trailer (tea towels bought on sale last year) have been ironed and will replace the mismatched tea towels that are currently covering the windows. Measurements have been taken to create a mattress cover for Attila’s bunk, which will be sewn from a queen size flat sheet. When these tasks are complete the rest of the gear for the trailer that was stored in the basement for the winter will be packed into Iris and we will be ready for summer camping.

We are toying with the idea of camping in Iris this weekend, but the nights are predicted to be a chilly 10C, certainly not comfortable. We have heavier eiderdowns that could be put to use, but the lure of our own warm comfy beds at home, and the handy bathroom, will probably win out until the temperature at night rises to at least 15C.

DSCF0641 market bag one The Market Bag, finished at last. The light coloured yarn was a virtual nightmare to work with, it frayed and split into fine hairlike strands constantly. The yarn for the band was lovely, it held its shape, looked very nice contrasted with the light coloured yarn. The handle is made from two different yarns, both bulkier than the bottom of the bag, both more difficult to work with, and I am not fond of the colours which are a darker brown. But, this bag represents yarn that has moved around with me over the last 45 years, and now all that is left are a few feet of of each type. I would make this market bag again, using yarn that I like, texture, weight, and colour. This pattern was made and displayed first by Bex, who made a lovely market bag, which inspired me to try it.

I am looking forward to using up all the spare yarn I have, so that I can justify choosing a project and buying yarn that I like specifically for that pattern.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 18 May 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Dew point: 10.8°C
Humidity: 73%
Wind: S 15 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.”
Katharine Whitehorn

My children should be well versed!

Summery Days

Yesterday the weather was wonderful, sunny, warm, a light breeze, couldn’t ask for better.

Attila finished the transplanting, it makes the front of the house look more finished, prettier.

I spent my day trying to get the smell of mildew out of the backing on the naugahyde cushion bottoms. These are the original 1977 cushions, foam and fabric. On the inside of the naugahyde there is a date stamp, March 16 1977. These cushions have seen a lot of wear, and spent a lot of time in a damp environment. I tried various things, including bleach, to remove the smell, but it was persistent, it wouldn’t budge. The cushions were left with the backing opened to the air and sunshine, all that can be done has been done to them. The mildew itself is dead, and the spores are gone, so it is safe enough. The cushions have just a whiff of mildew about them, we will live with that until we can afford new cushions, which won’t be any time soon, if ever.

We made a shopping foray to the building centre yesterday and bought three 2″ vents with bug screens. These will be installed on the vertical fronts of the three benches in the trailer, to provide ventilation, which will theoretically prevent moisture from building up inside the benches, and deter any future development of mould or mildew. I measured and marked where I wanted the vents, and Attila installed them today.

In theory, we have the dampness problems in Iris resolved, with the new roof vent, the cleaning, and the bench vents.

The walls need one more good scrubbing, then it is time to load our gear into Iris. My day was spent with a brush, a bucket of soapy water, and a cloth. I scrubbed the walls and ceiling, and got most of it done and rinsed. Scrubbing a ceiling is pretty hard work for me, as I have degenerating disks in my neck and accommodating that triples the amount of time it takes to do the scrubbing. There is a patch of ceiling by the door that still needs scrubbing, but that is for another day.

When the walls were dry, I moved on to curtains. Iris was built in 1977, she is 39 years old, and all her parts are original, down to the cushions and the curtains. I washed the curtains because they smelled musty. When the washing cycle was done, they still smelled musty, so I washed them again. Upon hanging them on the line to dry I discovered that two panels had disintegrated, and the rest were shedding fibres at an alarming rate. These curtains have seen better days.

The upshot was that I sorted through all the fabrics in the linen closet and found nine passably similar tea towels that would have to fill in as curtains until we have new cushions made for the trailer (which may be never). I ran to Walmart and picked up some cafe curtain clips, came home and ironed the tea towels, then equipped the towels with curtain clips. The new “curtains” are light, bright, and cheerful, if a bit mismatched and haphazard. As soon as the walls dried I installed the new curtains. Now Iris is ready for the cushions to be brought in from the back porch.

Fortunately we have everything we need to outfit Iris, as we had two homes, and saved what could be used in a trailer when we downsized to Mist Cottage. The value of the contents will be close to nothing, as most of our gear could be picked up at the dump, we require clean and functional only. In fact, a lot of what we have was garnered from various dumps where they display usable discarded items free for pickup. Lets face it, in Muskoka what seasonal people throw out is up market from anything we could afford to buy new. Rich people throw away nice things.

The weather is supposed to turn cooler tonight, and we are to get much needed rain. I am relieved to have completed the projects in Iris so that her cushions can go back in and won’t be sitting on the porch when the rain arrives. I was finished just in time, as I placed the last cushion in place, the clouds were rolling in.

These are the original 1977 curtains that came with Iris. They smelled musty, so I washed them, twice.
Iris old curtains
This is one of the two curtains that disintegrated in the wash, the other was much worse. I guess 39 years of keeping the sun out has taken its toll.
Iris disintegrated curtain
Since the curtains needed to be replaced, I decided to use clip on cafe rings instead of a rod pocket gather to hang them. The rings slide a lot easier than the gathered fabric. These are two of the 9 tea towels that I dug out of the linen closet. The other 7 are not a match, but they are all acceptable.
Iris tea towel curtain

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 AM EDT Thursday 12 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.8°C
Dewpoint: 3.6°C
Humidity: 50%
Wind: SE 5 km/h

Date: 7:00 PM EDT Thursday 12 May 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.5°C
Dewpoint: 7.4°C
Humidity: 35%
Wind: NE 3 km/h


“As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life – so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.”
M. Cartmill