June 1, 2007

Heat of Summer



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

It has been hot here the last few days. This concept is relative to my own experience of course. The heat in Ontario is usually accompanied by high humidity, which makes it a miserable experience.

So here we are, trying to get the last small bit of Attila-cut firewood into the woodshed for next winter’s heating, while the temperature hovers around thirty degrees centigrade. It seems an odd juxtaposition of experiences.

I have begun my summer comfort strategies. Blinds are drawn to prevent any sunlight from striking a surface within the house. The house is closed up, windows and doors closed tight, in the morning as soon as the temperature outside equals the temperature inside. No cooking appliances are used during the day or early evening. When night falls, as soon as the temperature outside is below that indoors, windows and doors are opened wide and the ceiling fan is turned on for the night. In this way I usually manage to maintain a reasonably comfortable temperature in the house, even on the hottest days. However, this whole system is dependent on several factors. In particular, having a detached house, my being home during the day to perform all these tasks and relatively cool nights at the end of these long hot days.

When all this fails, as it does from time to time, we will resort to cooling only the bedroom with a window-unit air conditioner.

When it is hot it is difficult to come up with acceptable meals, since we have decided not to cook in the house. Other summers have seen us surviving on barbequed hamburgers and salad. Although this makes a very nice meal, it gets monotonous.

This summer, now that we have the screened in porch, I am assembling a pseudo-summer-kitchen. The idea is that small electrical appliances will be stored indoors and brought out to the table in the porch only when needed. It is very important that nothing food related be left in the porch, as our friends the bears, and other enterprising creatures, would be paying us a call.

Already I have an electric kettle, a crock-pot and a hotplate. The kettle is over thirty years old, a GE that works well to this day. I have been using the crock-pot for over decade. The hot plate we picked up for $10, brand new, at Home Depot on clearance. But none of these appliances will bake my bread. I do not bake in the bread machine for a variety of reasons, otherwise it would be perfect for the porch.

Store bought bread is not a good option for us. With my allergy I can eat only the most expensive breads, the only ones that do not contain the dangerous chemical. It gets very costly, and the bread is not as good as my home baked. After thinking the situation through, I began researching portable convection ovens, a search that led me to roaster ovens. After due deliberation, and a phone call to American Harvest to explore the feasibility of baking bread in the unit, I ordered a NESCO Roaster Oven from the Sears catalogue. It will be ready for pickup next week, no extra shipping charges. The bonus with this item is that Attila can do up a roast of beef or a turkey, even in the heat of summer. Attila is a meat eater, and loves his roast for Sunday dinner. This will be his birthday present.

Good progress is being made on the new window. The sill is installed and is wonderful. Standing at the window, one can lean one’s elbows on the sill, lean forward and comfortably watch the forest community. The project still needs a bit of filler and plugs over the screws and a baseboard installed. These are evening jobs that Attila plans on tackling over the next week or so. He also plans on purchasing the siding, and has given me a shopping list that includes paint to finish it off properly.

The firewood I ordered is due to arrive next week, and then we will begin the process of stacking it in the woodshed. This is a task that can be taken up or abandoned at a moment’s notice, making it a nice filler of time for the easily bored. HA… Attila and I may be easily bored, but we will never know for sure, because it seems unlikely that there will be enough free time to test it.

The summer looks to be a very special one for our family, with Terra’s wedding, and the new grand-babies healthy and coming into their own.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

the new  window
Attila's handywork.

By the Easy Chair
by Jane Urquhart

(30°C on my thermometer!)
A few clouds
Feels Like 33
Wind S 11km/h
Humidity 40%
Pressure101.47 kPa
Visibility14.0 km
Ceiling unlimited

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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