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