Just minutes ago I labeled two tubs of pureed pie pumpkin, and placed them in the freezer. Then the kitchen was handed over to Attila for his projects. He is cooking a variation on scalloped potatoes, and is including in his dish the last garden Zucchini, and some organic carrots purchased at the grocery store. When that project is safely in the oven, the very last tomatoes, that had been set to ripen in the basement more than a month ago, will be brought upstairs to be either cooked or composted. We had the last ripened beefsteak tomato in our green salad last night.
By this evening the very last of the garden harvest will have been either eaten or preserved or composted! Well not entirely, there are about 10 small beets still in the garden, and some carrots, which have been miniature this year. We will cook these vegetables immediately. The garden harvest preservation projects are over for this year.
As the garden and preservation projects have slowly wound down, other projects have been initiated.
Our basement is not insulated, and unheated. As a result, the floors are cold underfoot. We lose heat through the bare concrete blocks. This winter the most exposed expanses of blocks will have stud walls constructed, insulation installed, vapour barrier installed, finished with plywood, and finally painted. In order to do this, our belongings have to be moved out of the way. This is no small task! Attila has been organizing and rearranging things down there for two weeks now, and there is lots more to accomplish before the insulating project itself can begin.
One of the solutions we have had to implement, is to move all of the food preservation equipment into the living room. It is cluttered and crowded in here now, but I can still get around. At some point, if the insulating project slows down too much, which I hope it won’t, I will be applying significant pressure for completion! Hopefully it will all be done and dusted before Christmas, so we will have room for a Christmas Tree!
Small house living is cozy and comfortable most of the time. But I have to say that it is most uncomfortable during interior renovation projects!
I have been experimenting with my bread baking, as the food preservation season has slowed down. Today I have an Organic Whole Wheat Apple Raisin Bread on the go. I love my bread! The experimentation is in addition to the Organic Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread I always keep on hand for Attila’s lunches. I love Quick Breads as well, and baked Banana Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Muffins yesterday, so that we would have snacks for the weekend.
The blanket I have been crocheting was set aside for most of the warm season, it was just too uncomfortable to be working with a blanket on my lap, in the heat. But now that the cold winter weather is here, it is a perfect project. If I accomplish a row a day I am happy.
Now that I have learned how to get down to, and up from, the floor without pain, I’ve been taking on all kinds of projects that have been neglected until now. The bottom kitchen cupboards held many pleasant surprises, as I unearthed items that will be very handy. But most importantly I am finally reorganizing the whole kitchen to suit our cooking and preserving activities. We moved here four years ago now, and the dust is just starting to settle. It will take some time, and I need Attila to build some specific shelving, but the items that will be stored on those shelves can sit on the kitchen table until the basement insulation project is complete, and we will eat on trays.
Attila was just saying to me, that he didn’t realize when we bought Mist Cottage, just how much work was needed. I don’t think I did either. We have made a lot of improvements over the last ten years of ownership, but we are a long way from completing the basic structural improvements that were needed. After the basement is insulated, we will eventually need to gut the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, update the wiring, insulate, install vapour barrier and drywall, and then paint. And then there are the floors!
One thing Attila and I both agree on heartily, is that the new front door makes a world of difference! It is as attractive as it is functional.
I am as happy as a clam here. Attila says he is as happy as a clam here. That adds up to it being a pretty good situation.
Date: 3:00 PM EST Saturday 16 November 2019
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.6 kPa
Dew point: -16.4°C
Wind: NNE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km
“It’s funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn’t it?”
Eleanor H. Porter
1868 – 1920
Maggie, what a delightful entry as you and Attila settle down for the winter–well, you settle down and he goes to the basement! I do hope that project goes along without as many snags and challenges as some of those at Mist Cottage.
While I know there’s still much to be done, sometimes it’s good to think back on all you have accomplished in this little house. You’ve brought it back from the brink of destruction and made it into a real home.
Dearest Maggie: what a chore y’all have with those basement plans. It sounds like what we call a cellar. I have lived in a few houses that had one…dirt floor and usually brick walls. So I don’t think I had told you about Jason. He was 44, not married, 6’4”, very handsome. He was a journeyman carpenter, but his main construction love was his high aerial
Certification….he was the dude seen high in the sky…mostly on bridging.
He was on his way to work on January 23,1917…drove his truck to the shoulder of the road, got out, and immediately hit the ground and died. I have never experienced pain like this. I was thankful that he didn’t die while driving and did not have an accident. Jason was my child that just didn’t dance to a different drummer, but danced to an entire orchestra. The only solace that I have….I think God knew that he needed Jason sitting at his knee…and that Jason was never going to be totally happy on earth. He had deeply loved many women…but never found the right person. He completely rebuilt and doubled the size of my deck; however, I find it painful to be outside on the deck now…too many memories. Which also means that I no longer get in my hot tub/spa every day. He built all of my flower beds…3 large surrounding my back yard. He built my fireplace mantel. He tiled one of my bathrooms. Of my 3 children, he and I could sit and talk for hours. I miss him. This January will mark 2 years. I have learned that many of my friends….even those that worked 10 years with me in hospice…they find it difficult to talk with me. Unless one has lost a child…there is little understanding. But I do have 3 friends that I can turn to…day or night…they are HERE for me. Thank you for listening.
TEN YEARS!! WHAT???
Wendy, how right you are! It is important to think about all we have done here. When we bought the place it was what they call a “tear down”, but we didn’t see it that way, we were wearing our rose coloured glasses as they say.
But really, it has been worth all the work, and it is ours. I remember thinking the renovations would move along more quickly after we moved in, lol, in my dreams.
Putting in stud walls and insulating isn’t as big a job as many of the other projects that we have tackled, And Attila now has a dry garage to cut wood and work in, so no sawdust in the house. I can even do some of it while Attila is at work, the insulating and installing the vapour barrier. I did all of that after I spent weeks gutting the bathroom down to the studs and subfloor, so it is familar work for me.
We are at the stage now that we could live here relatively comfortably and only take on maintenance type projects. We will keep on doing renovations, but the desperately needed projects are all done now, yay!
Margarett, thank you for sharing your story, Jason’s story. I cannot even imagine the pain of your loss. He sounds like an amazing person. It is difficult to know what to say, I have no words. But I do hear your words, and my heart is heavy for you.
Kate, yes, ten years! 🙂
It was June of 2010 when we took possession of Mist Cottage, so it will be 10 years when June roles around again. That sure went fast. And we have lived here full time for four years.
I wonder if we will be bored when the renovations are done… nope.
Kate: not sure if you were talking about Maggie’s 10 years or my mention of 10 years in hospice. I am an RN and was the General Manager for 10 years….not a patient! Lol
Margaret, I hadn’t yet seen your comment when I replied to Maggie’s post. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I hope one day you’ll be able to sit in your hot tub again and feel the love and care with which that deck was built. I bet it would make Jason happy. -Kate
Always another project, we live our lives like that, eh, Maggie?
I really need to get past my disinclination to renovate the bathroom. We need to find someone to take out the iron tub and replace it but the idea of the only upstairs bathroom being out of order really holds me back. Still, it is one of the projects we really need to get working on, though there are numerous ones we could choose from.
Teri, it is one project after another! 🙂 And now you have two properties to work on, twice the fun!
I know what you mean about being without a bathroom, not fun! I think renovating a bathroom is right up there near renovating a kitchen, for intrusiveness. I am grateful our bathroom was done before we lived here. There is a saying that you don’t own a home, it owns you, and I can see where that saying came from.
Hi Kate: I hope you understand why I was slightly confused. Maggie and I both mentioned 10 years. Thank you for your kind response. I am headed on Thursday for my second rhizotomy on the left side of my back.. getting to know Maggie and her friends is special. After having no health issues whatsoever until 2 1/2 years ago….even though I am a RN, I am a terrible patient. So I just took my afternoon pain cocktail, I am listening to the hearings about impeachment, I hope to sleep most of the afternoon. It is in the 70’s here today. I wish I could be outside taking care of my flower gardens. Take. Care and thank you for your kindness…….Margarett