black monday

Here it is, Monday morning, and the internet is still not connecting, since early yesterday evening. The computers, all of our devices, indicate that the wifi is working, but software soon tells us that there is no internet connection. I hesitate to call technical support for two reasons. The first is that the wind storm yesterday is the most likely culprit for this interruption in service, so that the fix is probably under way and will eventually be completed in its own time. The second is that our telephone service is VOIP, so that when there is no internet connection, there is no telephone service. Which means that a telephone call to technical support would have to be made on one of our old flip cell phones at fifty cents a minute. I do not look forward to sitting on hold for twenty minutes, spending $10 for the call, to be told to be patient, they are working on the problem. Another option is to drive to the local McDonalds restaurant, buy a coffee, sit down with my laptop, and use Skype to call our internet service provider. This becomes problematic when tech support insists on me unplugging the modem, then plugging it back in, and other tasks that require that I am sitting at home where there is no reasonable telephone service.

The down side of VOIP telephone service is significant. I suppose it is hardly noticeable to those who have smart phones, those little devices before which so many bow. We are not tempted though, as the cost would cut deeply into our standard of living, affecting the quality of the food we could afford to eat, or other necessities like heat in the winter. So we carry on with our cheap flip phones and make do. One thing about not having a smart phone is that we are completely out of everyone else’s “loop”. Since we do not text, we do not exist in the day-to-day worlds our families.

So what to do on a day when I cannot work on my genealogy book, because I need to confirm information on ancestry to move forward? What to do on a day when I cannot research how to fix the malfunctioning window crank in Grace The Trailer? What to do!

First, make a cup of coffee. Second, sit quietly looking out at the tree tops, sipping coffee, contemplating life. Third, read a bit of my book Kristen Lavransdatter. Fourth, pick up my crochet hook and work on my afghan/blanket. Third, begin making a list of tasks to be completed before Attila begins his next project, which is to replace the window in the back bedroom, where we sleep. This should occupy the rest of the day!

After I wrote the above paragraph, I was inspired to make the call to the internet service provider, it only took five minutes to get through, to find that service was down in our area, and that there was no timeline for the repairs. After hanging up the phone, the internet suddenly started to work. Sheesh!!!

Attila is going to work on two renovation projects here at Mist Cottage this autumn. The priority is the bedroom window replacement, before the temperatures drops too drastically. It will be a weekend job, and will also be quite intrusive, as the bedroom is the one we sleep in. Furniture will have to be moved, objects like beds well covered against the dust, and the room sealed off from the heating system for the duration of the project. After that project is secured against the weather, I will work on the insulation, vapour barrier and drywall, and he will begin planning the installation of the new tiles for the kitchen floor. My involvement in flooring project is to empty the freestanding kitchen cabinet, which will need to be moved out of the kitchen.

It is much cooler today, more like autumn. The sky is still overcast, but there are lighter patches of gray that float by. The heating system has suddenly sprung into action. Most of the leaves were blown from the trees yesterday, in the high winds. The garden looks bedraggled, with a few tomatoes still ripening on the vines, and squash, both Hubbard and Butternut, still lying on the ground, and hanging on the fence, using the last of the good weather to mature. I think autumn has arrived.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 9:00 AM EDT Monday 16 October 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.7°C
Dew point: 1.4°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: N 21 gust 35 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


Apparently there are severe threats to wifi connections, going down for the night, waiting for updates, then I’ll be up and running again. Good luck to everyone, update and prosper.

A Trip in the Dark

This weekend thing is a great invention!

Friday night Attila and I made a pizza and watched Star Trek. It doesn’t sound very exciting I know, but it really does it for us.

Saturday morning we packed up Tank and headed out to the Rideau Camp. It was a cloudy day, and warm, around 20C. We had our list of things we wanted to accomplish. Attila wanted to cut the grass, which is really using the weed eater to keep the weeds low. He then used a leaf blower and cleared the area of crushed stone, and the driveway. Then he headed down to our swamp at the entrance to the property.

The swamp was formed when the cottagers association built the private road. At that time the natural drainage was blocked by the new road, and a swamp was created. The trees that had grown there died, and fell into the swamp. Other trees were bulldozed into the swamp when the driveway was created. It is quite a mess, which is lucky for us, because it made the property look undesirable at the entrance, very little curb appeal.

Attila has been slowly clearing dead wood from either side of the driveway, where it was bulldozed into piles. Having reached the edge of the swamp this weekend, he found that the water level had gone down sufficiently to allow him to begin removing waterlogged trees. He spent the rest of the day Saturday pulling dead trees out of the swamp, and piling them at the side of the driveway, where they will slowly dry.

Attila also removed quite a few wild grape plants that had grown into the dead trees that were still standing at the water’s edge. I dragged these up the driveway to the fire pit. I spent my day burning the last of the dry dead wood from earlier driveway clearances, and burning the wild grapes. The fire burned from around eight in the morning until it started to rain around six in the evening. There was also quite a bit of fallen deadwood in the forest around the perimeter of the camp site, so I collected that and burned it as well.

One thing about tending a fire all day long, you end up smelling like smoke, and any exposed skin gets gritty and salty. There are no bathing facilities at the Rideau Camp, so a basin wash is as good as it gets. The grunge factor is bearable on an overnight visit, but it can feel disgusting pretty fast on longer visits.

It is a beautiful time of year to spend time out of doors. At times leaves are gently released, floating to the ground. When the wind blows, and it did blow in great gusts all weekend, the leaves are ripped from the trees with great force, driven down, up, across, in whatever direction the wind takes them. When we took our breaks, we sat at the edge of the bush and soaked in the aroma of autumn, the fallen leaves, the damp earth.

With the coming of the rain we retreated into Grace The Trailer, to prepare a simple dinner, instant Chinese egg noodles with green beans. Then by the light of our small battery operated lanterns, we played cards. We spent the rest of our evening playing cribbage, Attila won the first game, I won the second game. We laugh a lot when we play cards together, although I can’t really say what we find funny.

It is an unusually mild mid-October. We stayed the night in Grace The Trailer quite comfortably. The clouds held the dark close, so that as we lay in our bed we could hold our hands in front of our faces, and see nothing.

I awoke at 5 a.m. and was awake for the day. It was still pitch black at that time in the morning. The night had been mild, warm enough so that I could turn on the lantern and comfortably dress, before taking myself to the living area to let Attila sleep for several more hours.

At 6 a.m. it was still very dark, and as luck would have it, I needed to visit Winnie (the outhouse). I took my little lantern, closed the door to the trailer behind me and headed towards Winnie. The morning was mild, and windy. The lantern lit the path so that my footing was sure. When I reached Winnie I hung the lantern on the nail Attila had hammered into the roof raft. The compost toilets are not left out, so each time we use them we need to set the system up. It is a simple process. The toilet paper is kept in an empty plastic coffee can with a lid, it sits at the top of the pyramid of joy. Under the toilet paper is a covered five gallon pail that contains peat moss and a scoop. Under the peat moss bucket is a very large plastic tote with a lid. Inside are the two compost toilet buckets, his n’ hers. There are no bad smells. It was quite magical really, sitting there looking out into the forest, the wind blowing in my hair, autumn leaves lying on the ground, lit and glistening with rain by the light of the lantern. A rather surprising memorable moment.

Attila arose after a few hours. It was quite a windy day, so we decided to return to Mist Cottage for lunch. Attila wanted to pull more trees out of the swamp, so he tackled that project.

I wanted to gather together the fabrics and extra beverages and food we have in Grace The Trailer, to bring home for the winter. Mice will chew away at fabrics over the course of a winter. We found evidence on a small mouse under the kitchen cupboard, two tiny turds, and the roll of toilet paper by the door had been chewed. I have a glue trap setup under the sink, but it was empty. We wondered how the mouse gained entry, as we had diligently plugged all of the trailer’s orifices with steel wool. I discovered later in the day, that the steel wool under the slideout had been disturbed, pulled out. We surmise it was probably the red squirrel, a very aggressive little fellow, who pulled it out, although it was of no use to him. The little mouse took the opportunity to pay us a visit. Hopefully the steel wool will stay in place now, and the mice will have no entry point. We will be taking mouse traps out with us on our next visit.

I left a few cans of food there, a few cans of beverages, and the bedding for our bed. We hope to spend another weekend there before the snow flies.

This evening we had a very intense wind storm, with lots of rain. We heard a very strange sound, a bit like an airplane. It was the wind howling through the awning outside the dining area windows. We had not heard anything like it before.

The power flickered, went out, then came back, several times. Our internet service is down, but we still have power. I am writing this on a Sunday, but I won’t be able to post it until the internet service is restored, who knows when.

Worldly Distractions


No access to weather reports, internet down.


“So I weave back and
forth, forth and back,
a rug patterned of warmth
and light, and when I find
a new scarlet thread shining
to add to the design,
I smile.”
Marge Piercy, The Twelve-Spoked Wheel Flasing: How I weave trouble.