An Open Window

An open window in the summer time is a wonderful thing. When the windows are open it means the day is kind, not too hot, not too humid, not too wet, not too windy. Today is just such a day. Looking at the weather forecast, there will be few such days in the weeks ahead.

I’ve been lazy so far today. With the windows open I find myself listening to the world on the outer side. Vehicles driving by, birds singing, and at this point in the evolution of our neighbourhood, the sound of hammers, and heavy equipment, and men shouting… I can tell you that Jason gets a lot of airtime, whoever he is.

Today the construction workers are working on the roof of the building that is visible from our living room windows. It is a one story rental unit. All of it’s openings face into the complex, except one sliding glass door, that faces our street, and therefore our house, to a certain degree. I feel sorry for the people with property at the end of the our street, the construction replaces a wetland that was right beside their house, and now they have blank wall, and the sliding glass door of a rental unit overlooking their property, up close and personal. I feel grateful that our immediate neighbours remain as they have been.

Yesterday Attila brought in another big bowl of harvested basil from our garden. More pesto! I made enough pesto for ten more tortellini and pesto meals. The pesto was spooned from the food processor, into a muffin tin, then placed in the freezer. This morning I took the frozen pesto out of the freezer, wrapped each Pesto “Muffin” separately, placed them all in a ziplock bag, and placed them back in the freezer.

Tortellini and Pesto is our second favourite “junk food” meal, with Homemade Pizza coming in first. It is far too hot right now to make a pizza, so it is great to be able to prepare the Tortellini and Pesto for a quick evening meal, when we feel like eating extravagantly. It is so simple to boil water for Tortellini on the hot plate on the back porch, so that no indoor cooking is needed. Our summer meals always include a green salad.

Last night, after I had finished making the Pesto, Attila took over the kitchen and prepared a large batch of Salsa, using commercially canned no-sodium tomatoes, garden garlic, garden jalapeno peppers, garden cilantro, and I don’t really know what else, I was shooed out of the kitchen while the magic took place. Right now the Salsa is in the refrigerator getting tastier by the minute; some of it will be consumed over the next few days, and some of it will end up in the freezer.

So over the last two days the garden has yielded:

2 English Cucumbers
4 Zucchini
1 dozen Strawberries
4 cups Basil Leaves
1 cup of Green String Beans
1 cup Spinach Greens
1/4 cup Chamomile Flowers (being dried for tea)
6 Nasturtium blooms for salad and stir fry
4 heads of garlic
1 cup Cilantro, chopped
5 Jalapeno Peppers

We don’t get all of our vegetables from our own garden, but from late June until into September, most of the vegetables we eat are grown right here at home. It is very satisfying. A huge advantage for us, is that the food we grow on our property is organic, and we only grow the things we like to eat. Well, that is not entirely true, we cultivate beautiful flowers too. Some are just for the eyes and the bees, the Columbine, Lungwort, Heliopsis, Dianthus, Echinacea, Wild Geranium, Daylilies, Iris, Borage, Cosmos, and Gladioli are all grown for their beauty and the pollinators. But the Nasturtiums and Scarlet Runner beans are not just beautiful, and loved by pollinators and humming birds, they are also a source of human food, as the Nasturtium blooms are very tasty in a salad, and the Scarlet Runner beans are delicious steamed.

Since I finished reading Kristin Lavransdatter, my little world has felt incomplete without a book by my chair. So off I went to a used book store and bought three volumes. Two will sit by my easy chair, The Sweetness of Tears by Nafisa Haji (A Trade Paperback Original, sounds ominous but we shall see), and Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje. The third book will reside in the bathroom, to be picked up during unhurried visits, it is The Isles: A History, by Norman Davies, light history reading, very easy to pick up and put down again.

Now that I am out and about more often, I continue to bump into people and situations I consider rather interesting, in their oddness. At the book store it was the strange woman who entered the store while I was browsing the shelves. She began speaking loudly to the proprietor, and into her cell phone simultaneously. She suddenly announced into her cell phone, mid-sentence, in her conversation with the bookseller, that “I have to go and pick up a little dog”. Then, without missing a breath, she finished the sentence she had started with the bookseller. I don’t think cell phones have improved the art of communication in general.



Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 25 July 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 24.4°C
Dew point: 18.8°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: S 29 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km


“… one can easily quake at the thought of all the historical giants who have traveled the same road [writing a history book]. They and their books fill the shelves at every turn – from Hume to Trevelyan.
Fortunately, I was never sufficiently aware of such considerations to be bothered by them.”

Norman Davies, Introduction to The Isles: A History, pg xxi

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We have the cootage windows open, right now. It’s 5 of 11 and the blue skies of morning are starting to be taken over by clouds. I was hoping to put our charcoal odor bags out in the sun for an hour but the clouds may roll in completely before a sunny spot shows up through the trees.

We have lots of construction noise around here, too. Somewhere near, someone is doing lots of sawing with a circular saw. Across the street, our neighbor that just finished a screened in porch is now apparently cutting boards to finish the interior walls. And there’s also periodic hammering.

DH will add to that, shortly. He’ll be closing up the bathroom window so we can put a shower kit in place. The old corner shower was 40 inches wide, the new will only be 30 inches wide but a full 5 feet long. That 10 inches saved on the width will give us enough room to put in a vanity cabinet, plus we’ll gain a seat in the shower stall.

I hear you about the fresh veggies and herbs. One of the nice things about the cottage is we have a farm stand just down the road that fresh picks their veggies and herbs every morning. So tasty!