Last Gasp of the Renovation Budget

When we bought this broken down, abandoned, very small house 10 years ago, it was a “tear down”. We have been renovating for this whole time, mostly addressing structural issues. Covid-19 means our income, which was just a few dollars above the poverty line, has dropped way below the poverty line. We are managing to buy our food, and garden supplies, keep up with the mortgage and monthly bills. But long-term, I think our remaining, larger renovation plans are cancelled, probably forever. One of my long-term wishes was to update the original kitchen cabinets. They were hand built, and sturdy, but the cupboard doors don’t close and the drawers drop down when you open them, and they don’t provide a lot of storage. We make them work. Accepting that we are probably never going to get around to updating the kitchen cabinetry, and knowing that we need more storage and counter space, I decided to put function over form, budget over aesthetics, and ordered two new cabinets that were on sale, to complete the kitchen. These babies make a HUGE difference for day-to-day food preparation and preservation!! They look beautiful to me, as I see them through the lens of … Continue reading

Warmer Weather At Last

The weather was lovely today, perfect for sitting out on the back porch and enjoying the sunshine. Perfect for gardening (Attila), and perfect for watching gardening (me)… my kind of watching sports! The long weekend is over, it was a busy one. We stayed very close to home, as we figured others would not, and we intend on keeping safe. We did, however, venture out once in the car. A month or so ago I had ordered a red currant, a high bush cranberry plant, two strawberry plants, and a horseradish plant. They were finally ready for pickup. The company had advertised delivery to vehicle, so we thought we would take a chance. We brought all of our protective gear, just in case we needed it. It went smoothly enough, I called the nursery and prepaid. Then I called from the parking lot, and the fellow left the cart with our order by the back of the car. We discovered he had forgotten the horseradish plant I had paid for, so I phoned him from the car and he brought it over and left it at the back of the car. Attila loaded everything and no one came near us. … Continue reading

Herd Immunity and Me

I have decided to record here some of my experiences and thoughts on the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Grandbabies will remember this time from the perspective of childhood, isolated from their elders. We won’t see them during this time, and it will be along time before we see them again. I hope this will allow them a perspective from a senior family member. The media has lots of stories for posterity, and as interesting as those are, they are chosen for drama value, and highly geared to a profit structure. What is written here has no agenda other than sharing one old woman’s perspective, mine. As Ontario moves into the first stage of lifting restrictions during this pandemic, I am mindful of my age and Attila’s health. The experts tell us that the the virus will continue to circulate and affect people until the species reaches “herd immunity”, either by reaching approximately a 70% – 90% infection rate, or by developing a vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus. IF I were in my thirties or forties, or even younger, with no significant health issues, I might welcome the easing of social restrictions. After all I would not be likely … Continue reading


In the late 70s, I was in hospital for surgery and recovery. My hospital stay was in city hospital. In that city there was a large residential institution for people with severe, very severe, mental deficiencies. I was one of the lucky few to have a semi-private room during my recovery, and to share it with a very nice woman. Next door to our room was a ward room, with I think, four patients, all women. One patient from the large residential institution was in the ward room, recovering from a sterilization procedure. The other women were local residents in the city. My roommate and I could hear all that transpired in the ward room. The woman from the residential institution was the object of much attention, none of it kind. The other women discovered that her stitches were itchy, and goaded her to scratch them, laughing uproariously when she scratched at the healing wound. She laughed too, thinking she was “one of the girls”, and was pleasing people. By the end of the day she had opened the surgical wound. The wound was stitched back up and redressed. Thankfully the hospital staff moved to her a private room. I … Continue reading

Keeping Busy

The weather seldom gets me down, here at Mist Cottage, but Saturday morning’s snow surprise unexpectedly affected my mood. After our Friday night walk in a blizzard, which I enjoyed, the two inches of snow on the ground on Saturday morning had the opposite effect. And the continuing cold and cloudy weather is making the uphill climb a bit more difficult. I am getting there though. And warmer weather is on the way by the end of the week, albeit cloudy and raining, but warmer. The garden is bursting into many shades of green, which is beautiful, and adds cheer to the dreary light of day. Nothing for it though, but to keep busy! Years ago Attila gave me a dehydrator, for Christmas I think, or was it my birthday, oh well, it was a welcome gift. A project that has long been under consideration is to dehydrate carrots. So yesterday our 3 pound bag of carrots was peeled, then sliced into 1/4 inch thick medallions by the food processor. The medallions were blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes, removed from the heat, drained, then plunged into cold water, ice water is best but we don’t have ice, so … Continue reading