Working, working, working…

Attila and I decided to stay in our country home this weekend.  We both worked a six day week and although Attila does this week after week, I am not accustomed to so much consecutive work.  I am surprised that I am not worn down, not at all.  I feel quite energetic and a little restless; I’m looking forward to our next visit to the little house!

After preparing bread dough a few weeks ago, a portion of it went into the freezer to be used as pizza dough.  This morning that dough was removed from the freezer and placed in the refrigerator and tonight it was topped with all our favorite pizza toppings.  We haven’t made pizza since last June, so this is a rare treat. However, my timing was off, the dough was frozen after the second rise and didn’t rise at all when baked. The meal was flavourful, but the texture of the dough was disappointing.

Cherry Tomato Ripening

My deck garden is an interesting project.  The tomatoes are coming along moderately, with a few cherry tomatoes already ripened.  The swiss chard is a complete failure, about three inches high and going nowhere.  The basil is limping along, there will be some to harvest but not enough to satisfy our needs for pesto.  My red geranium is preparing to bloom again, after a two week hiatus.  We have two small zucchinis that look like they will mature, and one butternut squash the size of a large marble.

Attila continues to move firewood into the wood shed, in preparation for the winter.  Today was wet and chilly and the idea of a roaring fire seems quite inviting.  We won’t begin to charge the masonry heater until after Thanksgiving.

The people who viewed our home have made no further enquiries.  We are not surprised, as we don’t expect any activity on the house sale until next spring.  Still, we are prepared with plan A, B, C and D, just in case the house does sell, before we remove it from the market for the winter.

We have no plans for tomorrow, our big day off.  Perhaps fate will intervene with a pleasant surprise; then again, perhaps it will be a relaxing day of puttering for both of us.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.0°C
Dewpoint: 17.4°C
Humidity: 85 %
Wind: SE 13 km/h

Quote

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.”
E. B. White
(1899 – 1985)

Now the hard work begins…

Attila and I are working hard. Attila enjoys the responsibility of his new position, it is a breath of fresh air for him. I have been offered more hours of work in the last month than I had the entire span of last winter. We are working hard to support our two homes. It is a lot of responsibility, and yet we seem to be enjoying ourselves and have begun a new chapter in our lives.

When we are not working at our jobs, we are planning our renovation projects for the little house. The roofing project is looming large, and thankfully Lares is planning on helping Attila install the new roof. I still need to choose the colour, so that Attila can order the materials. This will entail a trip to the building center, with both of us in attendance, so that I can choose the colour while Attila chooses the type of product he wants to work with.

After the new roof goes on, we have a list of issues that just keeps getting longer. This poor little house has not been treated with respect for a very long time. We have water issues, with the basement and with the plumbing. I think we will need to deal with the plumbing first, due to some very beautiful blue mold sprouting on the basement ceiling just below the bathroom.

Bathtub at the Little House July 2010

I do wonder how anyone lived in this house in the condition it is in. It couldn’t have been healthy and it certainly wouldn’t have been comfortable. It will be though, both healthy and comfortable, when Attila and I have worked with it for a few years.

Our country home has not sold, although potential buyers visited yesterday. I have mixed feelings about parting with this home, as Attila has worked so hard to make it comfortable and cozy, and we have so many good memories here. In a way I am feeling quite relieved that the housing market has slowed down to a crawl, so that it is unlikely that our country house will sell at this time.

Terra is doing well at her new job. She and Lares are working hard to adjust to one partner working shift work. It is quite a challenge and much harder than it sounds.

We seem to have passed through the heat wave. The humidity has gone down and the temperatures fall into the teens during the night, which makes for comfortable sleeping. The days are mostly sunny and the bugs are almost gone, beautiful!

I am becoming accustomed to keeping the house in “show” condition, which has been quite a challenge. Before leaving for work in the morning I must do the dishes, make the bed, de-clutter and straighten up all the little objects that were used the night before. It doesn’t really take very long to do all this, it is just that I haven’t bothered with the little stuff for years, many years. Still, I find I like spending time in an environment without chaos; so there is a bright side.

I find that initiating change is fun and exhilarating. The hard work is persevering with the project after the “honeymoon stage” is over.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 17.0°C
Dewpoint: 16.7°C
Humidity: 98 %
Wind: SSE 8 km/h

Quotes

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
John Quincy Adams
(1767 – 1848)

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.”
Samuel Johnson
(1709 – 1784)

“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.”
Joseph Addison
(1672 – 1719)

The good news is…

The good news is that Attila got a promotion at work, that I worked five half days in a row and we might just squeak by with expenses of owning two properties.  Our wild country house has not yet sold.

There is no bad news.

Attila installing locks on the kitchen window at the little house, August 1, 2010.

Attila installing locks on the kitchen window at the little house, August 1, 2010.

Attila took on his new position last week, worked long hours and almost wore himself out getting things organized the way he wants them.  It is going very well.  I worked five half days in a row last week, all but one of them with wonderful people, and only one morning with a person who hates everyone, including me.  Attila and I were very, very tired on Saturday afternoon when we were finished our week’s work.

This morning we felt much better and ventured forth for a short visit to Harriet and Hogan at their cottage.  They bought a neglected cottage on a wonderful site, and have been improving it for the last few summers.  They have worked wonders, but still have a bit of work to do to make it as comfortable as an urban home.

Our drive home from their cottage was interesting; the rain came down in torrents, one couldn’t see the road and many people had pulled off onto the shoulder to wait out the storm.  Harriet and Hogan were driving through that stormy weather, I hope they arrived home safe and sound.

We are going to visit the little house next Saturday.  Terra and Lares have been keeping an eye on it for us, and yesterday Lares arranged with his Dad, to have the second hand refrigerator we purchased delivered to the garage.  Our list of things we want to do on our Sunday visit to the little house keeps getting longer.  We want to put a coat of paint on the bedroom walls and the living room walls, and I plan on scrubbing down the wallboard in the dining room, with a scrub brush and a lot of elbow grease.  Attila will make his first foray into the attic, to see what is going on up there; could be gruesome!  And of course we want to get the refrigerator setup, so that we can start using it and put our cooler back into storage.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20 °C
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.0°C
Dewpoint: 18.8°C
Humidity: 93 %
Wind: W 5 km/h
Humidex: 27

Quote

“Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”
Iris Murdoch
(1919 – 1999)

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.