April Snow Showers

Friday, April 1, 2016

At last, here we are in April. This year April is feeling a little shy, arriving with warm breezes and showers, only to take a brief retreat into sub-zero temperatures and snow for her first week debut.

This week has been the week of legal and financial arrangements in regards to the Rideau Camp, and tidying up the loose ends around the trailer purchase. Next week we take possession of the camp, it is very exciting.

Attila leaves almost all the administrative aspects of life to me, except for tax returns, a task I was responsible for my whole adult life until Attila took it over, to my great relief.

Wednesday was a cleaning day. The weather was mild and sunny, perfect for opening up Iris and getting started on a thorough wash down.

Below the front bunk there is storage, and in that storage area was a tarp, I believe it is the original tarp for the trailer, which would make it almost 40 years old. It was only when it was picked up to be carried outside that the overwhelming odour of mildew filled the trailer and our nostrils. The tarp was dry, but there were areas that were black with mildew, particularly around the grommets for the poles. Out it came and over the back clothes line it went. It received a heavy spraying of hydrogen peroxide to kill the mildew and spores. It will be left on the line for a week or so, to be rinsed by rain and snow, then bleached by the sun.

The awning for Iris. After several days in the rain, snow, and sunshine, it still smells like mildew. We will have to use bleach, I hate to, but I think we have to.
Awning

Because significant reaching and stretching were involved to reach the mildew under the front bunk, Attila did the grunt work with brush and cloth. When it was finished the hatches were left open to allow the area to dry, it looks great. After I mark where I want the to drill ventilation holes in the side of the bunk, Attila will drill them out, which should alleviate any further mildew issues in that area of the trailer.

I tackled the mildew on the ceiling around the vent opening. Weeks ago I had dismantled the interior section of the roof vent, exposing the wet and mildewed areas. The area had dried thoroughly, thanks to the tarp over the trailer which prevents further leaks. The inside area around the roof vent opening is now ready for the new roof vent to be installed.

The windows in the trailer were left open for the rest of the day, and by the time I went out after dark to close Iris up for the night, she there was only a hint of mildew odour. That should be taken care of during our next cleaning session, as there is one more area of mildew at the back of the trailer, where we had discovered the leak.

Another small “stitch in time” step taken. Electrical tape was used to cover a small opening in the fibreglass near the wheel well of the trailer. The little round hole was the size of a dime, which is supposedly big enough for a mouse to pass through. Wasps also might come in that way to make a nest. The way in is now blocked.

The new roof vent will be installed when there is a week of sunny warm weather. Then the tarp can be safely removed and a hole in the roof temporarily opened to the sky.

On Wednesday night we caught a second mouse in the basement. The second mouse is what I call a field mouse, while the first mouse we caught is what I call a house mouse. They are very different breeds. This says to me that we have an entry point in the house that really needs to be plugged up. But where! Attila’s theory is that they are coming through the attic and down the chimney frame, so that is where the first measures will be taken.

As I write there is a Grackle pecking away at the wood on the roof facia. I rise from my chair, unlock the front door and step out onto the landing. The Grackle flies off and out of site. As I watch her, I wonder how many generations of Grackles it will take before they forget about our roof as a nesting ground. Do Grackles have endless social memory? Will I be chasing Grackles away from my roof for the duration? I return to my chair and begin to type. The Grackle returns and up I get.

Earlier in the spring we killed quite a few wasps near that corner of the house. There are a lot of wasps here. We remove nests around the roof constantly. There are fewer now though, than when we first bought the place, so perhaps our efforts are diminishing the population. I surely hope so.

On the CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) front, I continue to watch my protein, potassium, and phosphorus consumption. The biggest intrusion in my diet so far is avoiding beans, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains, and spinach. I am amazed at the number of condiments that contain phosphorus (phosphate). The salad dressing I have been enjoying on my salads uses it as a preservative, to my disappointment. I have several bottles of the salad dressing, bought on sale, which I will consume slowly, with small daily servings. Attila doesn’t like it, or he would eat it. Then I will move on to homemade salad dressing, which will contain none of the minerals I am trying to cut down on. Commercial products like salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and the list goes on, use phosphates in their recipes. We don’t eat a lot of processed foods, but we do enjoy our condiments. I will be looking for kidney friendly recipes for all of these things. Even if I eventually find that my condition is not serious enough to necessitate big changes in diet, I think I will continue to avoid phosphates in food, knowing how much stress they put on the kidneys.

I find it interesting that at this point I feel no symptoms related to Chronic Kidney Disease, which from what I have been reading, is perfectly normal. I have my fingers crossed that it never develops to the point where I do feel symptoms.

When I went for my walk this morning I realized that it isn’t just Grackles who are enjoying the spring weather. There were lots of Chickadees, Robins, and Blue Jays flying from tree to tree, calling out to each other. The buds are just beginning to quicken on the maple trees. It was a beautiful mild morning out there, and sunny.

A Robin enjoying the sunshine and balmy weather in the back yard.
Robin

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Today Attila and I took a drive out to see the Rideau Camp. It was sunny off and on, after having snowed during the morning before we left. It was cold, with the wind it was very cold.

The trip was interesting as an alternate route was chosen. There was property for sale along the alternate route, near the Rideau Camp, and Attila wanted to have a look at it. The road in to the available property was pretty bad, the potholes were very large, but it wasn’t too far in. The land itself was half the price we paid for our camp, but 1/3 the size. It was wet, with standing pools of water along the road, and there was a ditch in front of the property that would necessitate putting in a culvert and a driveway. We had to put in a driveway like that at our Ancestral Camp, and it is a pricey project, increasing the actual price of the property by quite a bit. Attila was satisfied that we chose the right property when we bought our Rideau Camp!

We proceeded towards the Rideau Camp, parked, and took a stroll down to the water. The water level was quite high, and the wind felt bitter as it blew in across the lapping waves. After walking back to the car, we walked around checking out the drainage patterns on the property, which is easy to do at this time of year because there is a lot of runoff, and there are no leaves on the trees.

After eating our lunch in the car, where we were warm and cozy, we headed home so that Attila could sleep before he heads off to work tonight.

Sunday seems to be the day we venture out in the car to explore.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Friday 1 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 10.2°C
Dewpoint: 8.2°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: iWSW 15 km/h

-2°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 3 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -2.3°C
Dewpoint: -18.5°C
Humidity: 28%
Wind: W 20 gust 37 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

This is why the mass media is of no practical positive use to the human species.

4 Comments

  1. You paint a charming picture of the life you and Attila have—always sharing everything, and working on so many interesting projects! I think Iris will be the cleanest trailer in the country once you are through with her! Sounds like you are all in for some great adventures when the weather warms up.

  2. I read somewhere once that a mouse can squeeze thru an opening of 1/2 inch and bigger. That’s tiny. They are Houdini’s! Good luck finding the opening. I also read somewhere how to keep wasps out but I cannot remember it, I’ll go see if I can find it.

  3. Dianne, we are really looking forward to getting out with Iris the trailer. It looks like there is a warm night coming up in a few weeks time, so we are considering staying out at the Rideau Camp that night to see how things work out. There will be bugs to work out I am sure, but that is to be expected from a 40 year old trailer!

  4. Bex, mice are horrible little beasts, they destroy a lot of property. Some people think of them as cute, but I have to wonder if they have ever lived with mice. Mice lose their cuteness quickly when the pee in your cornflakes, chew through your electrical wiring, make smelly nests in you linens.

    There will be a lot of holes in this house where the mice can come in. We will track them down, one by one, until we have them all blocked. It will take years, but we are determined to evict them all.

    I am using snippets of a flea collar to try and deter wasps. I hope it works, we have a lot of them around the house.

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