Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Well, here it is, the garage roof replacement project has begun. I’ve waited for this one, to be over of course, it has been a long, long time coming. The garage roof leaked when we bought Mist Cottage in 2010, and the situation has worsened year by year, the smell of the mildew, the wet, the mice… well, all that is about to change at last.
And am I happy? Yes and no. I am so very glad the project is underway. At the same time I am feeling sad at the interruption in the flow of my daily life. That is probably because it is not my project, it is Attila’s. My role is administrative, making sure all the bills are paid so that the materials show up when needed, making sure that lots of good food waits in the ready, making a concerted effort to become invisible, to try not to get drawn into the project, just to listen when Attila goes through the frustrating bits, which I always hear about. It will eventually be behind us, and life will once again settle into some kind of rhythm. It isn’t going to be fun, I know that much.
My projects were finding the funds for grants, applying for and fulfilling all the administrative obligations for grants, orchestrating the hiring of contractors for the insulation for the attic, and the new windows, making payments, and watching the budget while waiting for the grant portions to arrive. These were big projects, which were very intrusive to daily life. The difference though is that none of the physical work was undertaken by Attila or myself. The projects went more quickly and efficiently because experienced people performed the installations. The insulation project has been completed, which includes receiving the grant funding. The new window project is incomplete, it is still pending the receipt of the grant, which is substantial, so that the worry over what would happen if the cheque never arrived is always lurking at the back of my consciousness. Also, one of the panes of glass was broken when they installed the living room windows, and the replacement glass has been on backorder for what seems like forever. I keep calling them, getting a date when the windows will come in, and then not hearing from them at all. Then I call again and we go through the whole rigamarole again, three times so far. I anticipate that it will turn out well, in time.
I am undertaking a new project, there is funding available for low income people (us!) to assist with making our home more energy efficient. I am expecting a call from an energy auditor, who will visit and assess the house, and draw up a plan if there is any funding available for what this particular house needs. I don’t really expect much with this, it is a lot of time and effort to make all these arrangements, but even if Mist Cottage benefits a wee bit from it, it will have been worthwhile. Actually, since we have a new right wing government in Ontario, I anticipate that the program will get the axe before we see any benefit from it, helping low income people won’t be high on the list of priorities, not unless it provides big PR opportunities, which this program will not. I hope I am wrong, but I am not optimistic.
Meanwhile, Attila has ordered, and received, the dumpster. The metal roofing has been ordered and he awaits delivery soon. The lumber has been ordered and will be delivered soon. The dumpster is huge, much bigger than I anticipated, and it takes up half the driveway. Where all the building materials will go when they are delivered is up in the air, I haven’t asked about it, better not to! Attila better be here when they are delivered! Iris and Tank are happily ensconced on the front lawn, where they can stay indefinitely. It is game on around here.
Another little bit of misery came home with Attila yesterday. The company he works for has decided they need him to work two Saturdays a month, overtime, from now on. I hate six day work weeks, and Attila will too. I am feeling a bit cranky about it right now, but not as cranky as Attila will feel after a few months of it.
Oh well, onward into the day!
The Instantpot beckons. I’d like to try a recipe using rice and vegetables, consisting of mostly vegetables. I am looking at the recipe for Rice Pudding and thinking, why not a savoury rice pudding.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
My experiment with savoury rice pudding in the Instantpot was not a total success. Rice pudding is meant to be creamier than rice in savoury dishes, so the texture was too mushy. The taste was fine, but it needs work. It is hard work trying to season a dish with no salt, or salty condiments. I tried using a garlic seasoning, called Garlic Plus, some dehydrated onion, and garlic granules. I made the dish using water. Things I am going to try in future are using saved water from boiled vegetables, caramelizing chopped onion at the beginning of the process, and researching how to cook savoury rice in the Instantpot. In the meantime, I will be eating my mistakes for days to come.
After some thought, I decided that a weeknight trip to the Rideau Camp was in order. So, when Attila arrived home from work yesterday, off we went. This trip was to set mousetraps in Grace the Trailer, and to put down some mouse poison in the trailer. Putting mouse poison underneath and around the trailer was considered, but I decided I wanted to try using it exclusively inside the trailer for now. Chances are the poisoned mice won’t make it out of the trailer alive, and will not be consumed by other animals. Also, other animals might get into the poison if it was outside, which is undesirable. There is a fox that hunts the Camp area, there is usually fresh scat somewhere on the crushed stone when we arrive for a visit. The fox could do a better job eating all those mice, but I shudder to think how many there would be if the fox were to hunt elsewhere.
This visit also included killing army worms, there were still thousands of them there. Attila sprayed, while I used a long stick to kill the outliers and escapees. I also destroyed the beginnings of another mouse nest in the ceiling of Winnie the outhouse. This one was a lot less substantial than the last, so hopefully the critter will find somewhere else to build a house.
The garlic planted at the Camp is doing very well, thriving. The Blue Hubbard Squash that was planted there is up, but it isn’t growing very fast. Perhaps it needs to be watered regularly, which won’t happen this season, too much going on at Mist Cottage with the new garage roof project.
We worked steadily until 9:30 p.m., at which time I could barely stand. I was exhausted. My energy levels are still being drained by this cold, which is hanging on. We arrived home before 11:00 p.m., I went straight to bed, and slept soundly until 5:30 a.m. I feel fine this morning, except for the cold, which is not lodged in my throat and tickles my chest into a cough when I breath.
I am taking it easy today. A load of laundry is hanging on the line, underneath the porch roof. Having a dry outdoor space to hang laundry to dry is a really nice feature of a roofed porch. It rained last night, and it looks like it will rain again today, perhaps even produce a severe thunder storm. My laundry will continue to dry on the line, regardless of the rain. The floors needed to be vacuumed, which was easily accomplished. Unless bills arrive in the mail today, or the much anticipated cheque for the windows, I will be taking it easy, working on my crocheted blanket, reading, watching a few youtube videos. The time flies, I am having fun.
The Peonies are in full bloom. What a beautiful scent they have! My Granny grew Peonies in her flower garden, they are harbingers of memory. Yesterday three vases were made ready, and graced with cut Peonies. One vase sits near my easy chair in the living room, beautiful to see and sniff. Another vase sits on my desk, in my room. The third vase is on the kitchen table.
Tonight’s dinner will be leftovers. Attila will eat Nachos with homemade Guacamole, and I will have the last bowl of baked beans, with a slice of homemade bread. For dessert there will be grapes. The refrigerator will be almost empty of leftovers by tonight, so tomorrow will be a cooking day, on the back porch of course.
Well, it is almost noon, and I have bee…
Thanks Kate. I got up to investigate a noise, forgot I was still writing and posted the entry. I hope it is the cold making me so absent minded!
It is past noon now, and I have been finishing up on what I’ve walked away from and left unfinished!
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 June 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Dew point: 12.7°C
Wind: S 21 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Dew point: 15.5°C
Wind: S 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1749 – 1832
You have bee?
Hm. Is it my computer, or yours?
Lightning took out our cordless phone and our internet router while I was away, so maybe there are other casualties. Some things happening around here since I returned last night definitely don’t seem quite right!
Maggie, have you seen these “Better than Bouillon” products? They come in many flavors and also “reduced sodium” – maybe halving the dose for you would be better than nothing… but I love them, I bought chicken, beef, vegetable, and chili. The man who does a lot of the Instant Pot videos on YouTube swears by them. I’ve used it once and wow, my pot roast was great. Anyway, they are here: https://www.amazon.com/Superior-Better-Than-Bouillon-vegetable/dp/B006MUHQWW/ref=pd_sbs_325_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B006MUHQWW&pd_rd_r=d5cf3cde-6f2d-11e8-a261-c365c7a3dfaf&pd_rd_w=k7pNp&pd_rd_wg=xDEXT&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=5825442648805390339&pf_rd_r=EH723BZPPTXTKRYWPSNJ&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&refRID=EH723BZPPTXTKRYWPSNJ&th=1
Kate! LOL My absent mindedness is spreading, first it was forgetting my morning coffee, and now forgetting to finish a sentence. I am so very easily distracted right now, it is surprising! Lightning took out our cordless phone during a telephone conversation between Attila and myself, while I was gutting the bathroom here at Mist Cottage, and he was working and living at the Country House… thank goodness for pay as you go cell phones!
Bex, thanks, those look very interesting! At 500 mg of sodium per teaspoon, I wonder how much would be needed in a recipe! Will have to peek at the recipes and see how much is called for!
Another project! It’s great to get started, and wonderful to be finished! I’ve had my fill of renovation projects in my life, and am very, very reluctant to do the things (like putting wood flooring down in our condo) that need to be done. Good luck with this, and I hope it all goes smoothly!
Diane, when I look at properties that need renovation, I think, wow, this could be done, that could be done… but not my me, not by Attila! The “sweat equity” put into Mist Cottage is significant, but at our income level, owning a home is not something to be taken for granted. This project is huge, financially, and time wise for Attila. He is using his vacation time to do it.
This is the last project that involves rotten wood, mildew, and the eviction of critters… mice. There are more projects that might be taken on in the future, but the this is the last of disgusting projects.
My goodness you’re like the energiser bunny who keeps on going
Just be careful, meanibg watch your step or rather watch where you put your feet. I know you write that you are feeling much better but being ‘unwell’ often means being low where concentration involved. Don’t want you with a sprained ankle or such.
I do hope you qualify for some sort of relief – either monetry or in kind – for making the house more energy…whatever..can’t think of the word lol
Cathy, watching where I am going is very good advice indeed! Injuries would be most unwelcome, and as you point out, when feeling unwell concentration is at a low ebb. Thanks re the energy relief, fingers crossed, hoping for basement insulation, and maybe even some insulation on the main floor of the house. I haven’t heard from them yet, so I wonder if the program has been put on hold, ready to be axed later, with the new far right provincial government we now have.