Sunday, July 26, 2015
Yesterday Attila had his weekly day off. The weather was perfect, almost, it was just a little too warm in the sun, just a little too humid in the shade. Still, it was summery, it was breezy, it was lovely.
We decided to get out of the house and wander. We packed a lunch, and loaded a few things into the car, and set out.
I had to overcome stasis to enjoy the outing, it is work. After having been at home, not leaving the property, for quite some time, I stick to it. I begin to feel distressed at the mere thought of leaving the property. This is the first stage of cabin fever, at least as I experience it. I worked hard at it, walked the high wire of anxiety, hopped into the car, and we drove away.
Our first destination was my Granny and Grandpa’s house.
Here we donned our sun hats, grabbed two plastic containers, and set out down the nearby trail to pick wild raspberries. I have been picking wild raspberries along that trail all of my life. I loved picking wild berries as a child. I suspect it was because I was usually the only child keen to accompany an adult on these afternoon ventures. To spend time with an adult, one on one, was a truly rare event in my childhood, so that any opportunity for that level of companionship was cherished.
Attila and I spent a few lovely hours sauntering down the trail, stopping each time we encountered lush berries hanging from the canes. Attila was more adept at wandering off the trail into the patches, in his high rubber boots. I kept more to the trail, now mindful of the arthritic knee. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, picked about a quart of wild raspberries, and had a nice long walk to boot.
Later, as we sat on the veranda at Granny and Grandpa’s house, enjoyed a well earned cold soda, a neighbour came to call. He keeps an eye on the place, and now recognizes us, we had a lovely chat. All was well with the house. My sister and her husband bring over their riding lawn mower and keep the grasses cut short, and recently repaired a snow-damaged beam on the veranda. My Mom, who owns the building, has been cleaning and tidying indoors.
We walked down to our camp, where we set up our chairs and enjoyed our picnic lunch. There was a divine breeze that flows through the camp, cool air being drawn up through the forest floor towards the high and bare rock outcrop at the back of the property. What bliss, just to sit there, take in the view, feel the breezes. I never tire of the view, looking out over the fields where my Great Grandfather farmed, and my Grandfather tended sheep.
Attila spent some time suckering the stumps left from clearing the lot last summer, and some time sleeping in his chair. I occasionally wandered down the road to check on Granny and Grandpa’s house, as twice strangers approached it. Two people on ATV’s were entering the driveway, and saw me watching them, so they took a few pictures and drove away. Another stranger was hiking the trail, a lone male, and decided to have a look. We reached the driveway at the same time, and we chatted briefly, he did not enter the property. He asked questions that indicated to me that his interest was not of an historical nature, I was not forthcoming, and he eventually carried on down the trail.
We headed home before the summer people began to head home, avoiding the bad traffic.
After picking wild berries with my Grandmother and Aunts, we would return to the house and bake with them. This was always such a treat. My grandmother almost always baked pies with the fruit. In my late teens, I began baking fresh fruit puddings, which are really just fruit bottom cakes. Although I loved pies, I found making a good crust just too challenging, so I settled for puddings. I have been using the same recipe, from my Granny’s Five Rose’s cookbook, for decades.
Once home, Attila set up the Nesco in the screened in porch, and I made myself busy cleaning the wild raspberries we had picked. Soon the pudding batter was ready, as was the Nesco, so into the oven the pudding went. Oh how I love these puddings! The lovely tartness of the berries and the sweet, moist cake! This is food that instantly transports me to happy times gone by.
After dinner Attila headed out to the woodshed. He is now working several hours a day splitting wood for the winter heating season. How lucky new owners would be, to buy a house, with the heating for the first winter ready and paid for!
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Well! I began a journal entry on Sunday, and here it is Wednesday and I am just getting back to it.
What is the big delay? Two house showings, they eat time. I spend the time before the showings tidying and tweaking, then leave while the realtor and their people go through, then come back and have a look at what they looked at. They always leave clues as to what they find important, a window opened and left open, a blind pulled up, magazines rearranged (that one is creepy, the magazines are no longer kept where they can be viewed), a closet door left open, that sort of thing. The whole process is extremely intrusive and most unpleasant to us. But it is the only way that the people who will love this house are going to find it. The house is much more patient in waiting for them than I am.
We are experiencing a heat wave, it has been very hot during the day since Sunday. I am a person who suffers in the heat. I do not like heat waves. With people coming through the house, it is opened up during the heat of the day, which does not happen otherwise. My system of closed blinds and closing windows has failed during this heat wave due to the house showings. It is well past 10 p.m. before the temperature in the house finally begins to cool off enough to sleep. It could be worse, at least it is cooling down at night.
I received a rare and brief email message from Luna, they are having a great time in Ireland, which is wonderful for them. I don’t have their address there, or a telephone number, just the email address, so it was good to hear they are all fine.
Terra is working full time for the summer months, so we haven’t heard from her at all. They are busy with their friends, and seemed happy the last time she sent a text message, which was Canada Day.
My health continues to improve. The hematoma is still large and lumpy, but it only hurts if I put significant pressure on it, which means that at last I can sit without pain. The tailbone is not improving so far, but that is a pain I have been living with for decades, so I don’t really notice it all that much. My knee is troubling me a bit more, as I have been unable to do my knee exercises due to the injured tailbone and the hematoma. It will be good to get back into doing those exercises, and going for daily walks again. The walks will have to wait until I am back at the little house in the city.
Both Attila and I have spent July accompanied by summer colds. Attila’s seems to have cleared this week, but mine is lingering on.
None of these things are slowing us down too much, we are keeping up with the house, and even managing some unplanned recreational time. The opportunity to share a picnic lunch with Attila came on Monday, when the house was to be shown during his lunch break. I packed a picnic, met him with cold sodas, and lots of food, at a park near his workplace. Even though it was hot, we enjoyed ourselves, sitting in the shade, just relaxing. Attila in particular found it relaxing because there were no “jobs” cluttering up his line of vision, as they do at home.
One of the “jobs” Attila has been working on almost every day, is the firewood, for heating the house this winter. He is now very close to having the woodshed filled, and it is a comfort to know that we will be able to heat the house through the winter if it’s new owner’s fail to find it this year.
I will say that I am very happy to be able to see Attila each and every day, it is a real treat.
21°C (High predicted to be 30C)
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Monday 27 July 2015
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: W 5 km/h
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Wednesday 29 July 2015
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SSE 4 km/h
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.”
Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662)
I am making an observation here. It’s hot there. It’s hot here, too, and I have my ACs going every day. It doesn’t sound like you have AC’s, either window-type or central AC, there at the country house. So if the house is shown on a very hot day, and there is no indication of any AC in the house, this would mean to me, as a viewer, that I’d have to spend $$ to get the place cool for me and I might not want to keep the house on my list. Also, the fact that you heat with wood might make the heat feel even more front-and-center… all that work cutting the wood, etc. I’m just looking at these things as an outsider and thinking that maybe a couple of window AC units running and cooling off the house, at least while there are viewings, might be a good investment. ((hugs))
Bex, good suggestions! The AC thing might come into play, who knows. Since only two properties have sold in the area since the winter, and neither of them had AC, I am not sure it is an issue in this rural recreational setting. AC isn’t in the cards this year for us, no $$ left. Something to consider for next summer’s search for the the new owners.
The thing about wood. The locals would think it was great, most of them heat with wood. The seasonals would think it was cozy, the feedback from them is that they love the fireplace, are very impressed with it. The seasonals still have a very romantic view of fireplaces, which they will be able to maintain because they will only visit occasionally in the winter, if at all.
We have not lost out on any sales, as the two properties that did sell were different types of properties. One was a home in town, the people wanted a village setting. The other was a three-season cottage, the people bought a building off the water for a much cheaper price than we are asking, it cannot be used as a home.
The people who are looking at our place are not serious buyers, not yet anyway. They aren’t seriously putting anything on their lists, they are kicking tires. It is a very slow year for the realtors here, except for multi million dollar properties, which will hopefully keep them solvent until next summer comes along.
The realtor has given us as much feedback as he can, and we have followed up on all that we could, but the reality is that people are not buying right now.
Your insights are most welcome Bex, thanks for taking the time to share them with us. ((hugs))
Hi, Maggie! I felt a connection when you talked about feeling distressed about leaving the house and that being your first sign of cabin fever. There are times I get feelings like that, either anxiety over leaving or that it’s just too much trouble to leave. I know when we went to Niagara that when I first got into the car I was hit with this fear that something wojld go wrong on the trip, but after being on the road for half an hour the fear had melted. I’ll have to remind myself of your cabin fever theory the next time that happens.
Sorry that house-viewers are interfering in your search for cooler air in this stifling heat. Even though we have ac we still keep the curtains on our big bay window closed until the sun moves away, around noon.
Any chance of getting your fruit pudding recipe? That sounds delicious!
So glad you’re enjoying the occasional al fresco lunch with Attila during the week while he’s working. That might be a really good choice for the two of you, so you can spend a little more relaxed time together.
I was a little confused by your comment about Attila working on firewood. I thought I remembered that a few weeks ago you said you’d purchased enough firewood for the year and it’d been delivered. Maybe Attila is resizing it?
Hope you and Attila continue to find enjoyable summer days. *hugs*
Here you are Teri, we make it with any fruit we can get our hands on, berries, peaches, apples…
Fresh Fruit Cake Pudding
Recipe By: Five Roses Flour, 1956 Revised Version, page 42
3 cups fruit cocktail fresh
cup sugar 1/2 to 1 cup
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
Combine fruit and sugar, place in the bottom of a greased pan. Stir flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs one a time. add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Pour over fruit. Bake at 350 F for 40 to 60 minutes.
Teri, the firewood, you are correct, I did say we had all the firewood for the winter once we had purchased the extra wood. The rest of the wood for the winter however, was, and some still is, sitting in the form of felled logs in our bush. Attila is sectioning them, splitting them, and stacking them still, and will be for while longer. It is just too hot to be splitting firewood just now, 🙂
Thanks much for the recipe! I’m thinking I need some blueberries for that! 😀
I too, feel the,”I don’t want to leave” syndrome nowadays. I wonder if part of it is age as well as not being as mobile as we were when we were younger. I don’t remember feeling this way when I was in my 20s thru 40s. In fact it really didn’t hit till I got sick and had to stay home.
Oh, yeah, I am glad you published the recipe. I was going to ask for it. It sounds great!
Lee Ann, your point about the “I don’t want to leave” syndrome being related to age is very interesting. Life certainly changes as we age, and particularly when we retire.
In my particular case, I experienced isolation as a child, and remember the feeling from that phase in my life. It didn’t pop up again in any significant way until we had lived here at the country house for several years, and I reached what was, for me, a threshold level of isolation, resulting from having no significant connections outside the home. For me it is related to the connectedness with the world at large. I do not experience these feelings when I am staying at the little house in the city.
I feel isolated here in the big city. But then again, the only time I force myself to get out is for doctor appointment. Health has been stopping me. At the same time ,I am connected to the outside world ny this handy dandy phone device. So, why force myself?
Whatever works for each of us Lee Ann, is the best way to go. Unless there is some compelling reason to force yourself, and you are comfortable with staying connected via telephone, then indeed, why force yourself! We usually know ourselves best.
Your comment about being isolated in the big city got me to thinking. I loved the big city [Toronto, Ontario, Canada in my case], loved it. But I wasn’t isolated, I had, and still have, great friends in that city, and wish I could get there more often. It is a totally different kind of connection than the one I experience at the little house in the city [a different city], where an occasional greeting or pleasant superficial chat with a neighbour keeps me connected to the world. I think we all need to live in circumstances that are a good fit for us personally, there is no ideal situation that would work for all of us.