Here and There

We now reside in two places.  Our wild country home, which is a cottage, is our place of residence.  Our little house, which is an urban bungalow, is our get-away spot, what most people would refer to functionally as a “cottage”.  Backwards, somehow we got it backwards!

Drapes ca 1977

Drapes ca 1977

We spent two days last weekend at our little house, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning… still!  For instance, Attila replaced the torn and tattered screen in the screen door at the back of the house.  The screen door is the original, over forty years old, and but for the tattered screen is in good condition.  With a new screen it is functional and a real “period” piece, what some people might call a “feature”, while others would not.  We like the screen door so we think it is a feature.

While Attila was replacing the screen in the door, I tackled the kitchen broom closet.  It had been used for garbage, some of which remained in liquid form, hardened over time into greasy black slime.  I wore gloves for this job, and used disposable paper towels.  After cleaning the cupboard thoroughly, I let it air out.  Now it is a great broom closet, that will store cleaning supplies at head height, so that those grand-babies of mine won’t get anywhere near the chemicals.

Terra and Lares were there to help last weekend.  They helped us apply the primer to the master bedroom, the living room and the interior doors.  Many hands do make light work.

From the depths of the cupboards I unearthed an old set of drapes made in 1977, loved them at the time and I still like them.  They are up in the living room at the little house.  Terra didn’t think much of these drapes, too “70s” she said.  Lares just laughed when he saw them.  I still like them.  They will be replaced at some future date when we can afford to renovate the little house.  For now these drapes are perfect!

Attila has just received a promotion (permanent) where he works, and I am suddenly being offered a few more hours (which may be temporary).  Life is changing, and we are watching the flow and seeing what can and cannot be done.

We are becoming accustomed to the length of the drive to the little house, and back again.  It is long, but we are developing coping mechanisms to get us through.

There is still a bit of painting to be done at our wild country house, and Attila will tackle that this week.  Then of course, there is wood to chop, split and stack in the woodshed.  At least the little house has a furnace and a thermostat!

At the little house we are soon going to be putting on a new roof.  I say we, but it is the royal we, because I won’t be up there this time round.  When I was younger I did roofing, on a previous cottage I owned during my first marriage.  I know what the job entails and I know that I’m no longer up to the task.  Luckily Attila and Lares are up to the task, so by winter there will be a new roof on the little house.

All Ours Now

We took possession of the little house this past weekend.

My thoughts on it: love it; disgustingly dirty; hate the colours; smelly; tiny; quiet; lovely neighbourhood; perfect (or will be).

The place needs a LOT of work. It took hours and hours of my time just getting the water turned on and the lavatory facility working and clean enough to be used; any detail here would be way to much. The house had been vacant for over a year. Everything is in poor repair and very, very dirty.

Terra and Lares were the kind of children every parent dreams of having near on moving day. They helped us tirelessly from the time I arrived, until Attila and I were ready to head home to our wild country house. We all worked non-stop for two days. Terra and Lares tackled every job that came up, balking at nothing, no matter how disgusting. Terra worked a night shift while we were there, and still she kept on going, helping us get established.

Terra on moving day.

Terra moving fast on moving day.

Lares on moving day.

Lares unloading on moving day.

I drove to the new little house by myself on Friday, a long trip. Not having driven such a long trip, in such a long time, I was nervous of the challenge. However, it was a long but easy drive. Attila followed the next day with a rented truck full of our belongings, but not all of our belongings. We stayed our first night in the little house on Saturday night, and can say the new neighbourhood is quiet and peaceful.

When we arrived home to our wild country house late last night, Mist met us at the door. She was all loud complaint for the first hour or so, but soon settled when she realized we were really home and would be staying the night. Mist does not like change. She will, I think, become accustomed to our comings and goings and that will be the new normal.

Last Minute

Lots going on over the last few days, all of it still up in the air! A few glitches with the little house, all resolved in a frenzy of telephone calls and persistent pressure on the people who needed to fulfill their obligations by predetermined deadlines. All sorted, at least as far as I know; by this evening I’ll know if I managed to cover all the bases.

The Tower

The Tower

A few nibbles on the job front, but they all seem to have led nowhere. Still, applications are sent out daily.

The young people in our family are doing well finding work. Terra is enjoying her new job and has been offered a decent number of hours. My nieces are working at part-time and summer jobs and are offered a lot of hours (compared to the hours I have been offered), sometimes too many as far as they are concerned.

The freshly painted living space in the house is wonderful. It is so much brighter, more cheerful. The days have been sunny and mild for the last little while, so that the open windows admit fragrant breezes and bird song during the quiet morning hours.

The neighbourhood is busy these days. The seasonal residents are in residence. Teenagers wander down the road, boisterous and laughing. The sound of motor boats drifts up to the house at intervals. Cars cruise down the street, sightseeing. The roads in the towns and villages are swelled with cars, the sidewalks crowded with people on holiday. Celebrities make unannounced appearances, shopping at quaint local establishments. It is summertime in cottage country.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18 °C
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:101.2 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:18.0°C
Dewpoint:17.7°C
Humidity:98 %
Wind:5 km/h

Quote

“I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.”
E. V. Lucas

Contact

This morning I found myself distressed by a lack of response from persons whom I’ve recently asked for assistance.  It is not the possibility of being let down that distresses me, not in the least.  I have a lot of respect for the word no; with the word no you know where you stand.  What I find difficult to bear is the silence, the looming reality that the relevance of one’s being will be eschewed, the real possibility that the request will not be acknowledged at all.

Garden Path in July

Garden Path in July

After cycling through a lot of old negative feelings, I finally emerged on the other side, worn and weary but ready to proceed with my day.  And a beautiful day it is.

Attila has removed all the window treatments in order to paint the frames.  The view is panoramic and beautiful, constantly moving in the breeze.

The room is now painted and now that the new colour covers all the walls I can see that it was an excellent choice.  As soon as Attila re-installs the window treatments, I will move our belongings around until they are arranged to our liking.

We are now preparing to focus on the little house, the new house, the urban cottage.  This week I must finalize the financing and deal with lawyers and banks and institutions of all kinds.  The following week we will assess the little house to make a list of musts.  Our first project is to remove the shingles on the roof, replace any sheeting if needs be, and re-shingle the roof.  We have deadline on the roofing project, imposed by our insurance company.  That makes it easy to know which project goes on the top of our renovation list.

Our little house is in such a sorry state that almost anything we do will be an improvement.  When all is said and done, it will come to reflect our values and tastes.

We still haven’t found any work near the little house, and we are working on that.  Hopefully luck will be with us, and I do feel that it will all work out well in the end.  We’ve got to watch the in-between though, keep our eyes on the ball so to speak.

This will be a very busy week for us.  Our energy levels seem to be expanding in step with the expanding universe that we call our life.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24 °C
Condition:Sunny
Pressure:101.0 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:24.0°C
Dewpoint:17.1°C
Humidity:65 %
Wind:WNW 17 km/h

Quote

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929 – 1968)

Blowin in the Wind

Change, once initiated, has a way of taking on its own momentum. There is still too much “waiting” and “patience” involved for my liking, in this process of change we have embarked upon. Still, each and every day some new twist of circumstance flies across our horizon. This is not a dull phase of our lives.

Is it a kitchen cart or is it a computer desk?

Attila is tackling the last wall of the paint job. This last wall has lots of challenges, heavy furniture to be moved, my desk and work area to be dismantled and moved, drapery tracks to remove, peeling paint to scrape and lots and lots of windows to tape in preparation for painting. I am not very useful with any of this activity. My small contribution is moving small items to safety, dismantling my work area and moving my computer equipment; which is now setup temporarily on a kitchen cart.  In the photo you can see the two paint colours on the wall in the background, the dark green on the left and the cream on the right.

The weather is mercifully cooler and a lot less humid. This is a real bonus, as we can keep the house wide open to ventilate as Attila paints. Chaos surrounds us during the painting project. We are changing a dark green to a cream colour, the difference is striking. I’ll have to rethink the placement of furniture and art in the room when the project is complete.

I’m off to bake bread and prepare a meal for next weekend, when we will be way too busy to cook.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23 °C
Condition:Mainly Sunny
Pressure:101.2 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:23.0°C
Dewpoint:15.4°C
Humidity:62 %
Wind:WNW 15 km/h
Humidex:27

Quote

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney (1901 – 1966)