Best Seat In The House

Listening to music is always a journey into the unknown paths within. There is joy there, there is pain, the road is not a golden path of euphoria. But it is my path, my journey, and I love it in there. Music holds my hand, in places no one else can go with me, where I am my only company.

Music plays all day long at the Rideau Camp. Wind, trees, birds, and insects share their experience of life. It is my favourite music, every varying, infinitely interesting. There is no ego, no pretension, no delusion, in nature’s music.

I love some of the music created by humans.

My favourite is the sound of a home, a home without electricity, where the wood creaks in the wind, the rain is heard as it falls on the roof, and the wind-up clock ticking in the living room is the only mechanical evidence of monotonous civilization. It was only a few short generations ago that this was the dominant experience of home.

I also love the sounds of our current home, the refrigerator cycling, the neighbours slamming their car doors, the lawn mower droning across someone’s lawn, an airplane passing overhead, the whine of traffic on the nearby highway, the rumble of a passing train, the battery operated wall clock ticking loudly as the arms reach endlessly to circle time. Oh yes, and the grackles tirelessly pecking at the wood on the facia that covers their former favourite nesting site. These are sounds of the small, familiar patterns of life, life in my home.

The crafted music of the musician can be beautiful, particularly when it opens wide the doors to experiencing my own humanity. To be honest, I seldom listen to lyrics unless they liken to poetry. The sounds of voice, inflection, range, repetition, formed into patterns with other sounds, usually instruments, are endlessly fascinating. The words to most songs are, for me, a veil, and I connect to what is behind the veil, what is not clearly seen but heard in the whispers of musical construction.

My days are filled with music, of different origins.

Attila and I decided we needed to make a weekday visit to the Rideau Camp. Our motivation is related to a “rain barrel”. We do not have a water supply at the camp, unless you consider taking a bucket down to the swamp, to fill with stagnant water, a water supply. We have a well, but it is a deep well and not in current operation, as that would require quite an investment. So I wanted a rain barrel to collect water from the roof of Winnie The Outhouse. We have an old plastic garbage can which we will use as a rain barrel, it is big and it is bulky, and needed to be taken to the camp in a separate trip. We had thought to go out on Tuesday evening, but it was raining, so we waited for good weather, which arrived Wednesday, yesterday, to make the trip.

The visit to the Rideau Camp was only a few hours long, but a lot was accomplished. Laundered tea towels and bed linens were returned to Grace The Trailer, fresh drinking water jugs were filled at home and transported to the Camp for future use, and a list of small needful items were brought to make camping even more comfortable… like a bar of soap. Attila spent some time clearing a thicket of what I am guessing are White Alders, many of them dead. His efforts have cleared a lot of the underbrush surrounding our cleared camping area, letting the air flow more freely, and eliminating hiding spots for the much hated mosquitoes.

We have a very small garden at the Rideau Camp, consisting of two short rows of garlic and one short row of onions. This garden is planted in the soil left in place, after the huge log pile was dismantled by Attila. So far it is seems to be doing quite well, surviving the tree felling, and log stacking, which went on all around it. I weed it from time to time. Last summer I sowed white clover seed all over the open areas of the camp, focusing on the area where hundreds of bramble plants had been pulled up by the roots. This summer the clover has come into its own, providing a lovely soft carpet of green. I am still finding brambles though, and pulled out quite a few when we were there last evening.

Today dawned cloudy and cool, time to get some baking done!

P station DSCF0782 A privilege of privacy, indiscretion. This is my outdoor p station, yep it has everything a girl could want except walls. Attila does not need this, he has the whole bush to water. All last summer I used the bush too, but every time I did I worried about ticks. Now that would be unpleasant, picking up a tick during a squat in the bush! So I bought myself a bright orange five gallon bucket from Home Depot and now I have a throne. The skid was left by the fellow who we bought the trailer from, when he dropped off the hitch last weekend. The boards that sit on the skid to form a rough, uneven floor are lumber scraps leftover from various projects. Above, the end of Grace The Trailer forms a roof, to protect me from the rain while I sit on my throne. The white bucket is for paper, used paper, and I dump those bits of dried paper into the campfire to dispose of them. The roll of fresh paper is conveniently held by the handle of the levelling jack. I have a panoramic view out at the Camp! Would tickety-boo be a little too corny here?

Worldly Distractions

Weather

17°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Thursday 29 June 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 16.5°C
Dew point: 15.3°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: NE 6 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
Georgia O’Keeffe
1887 – 1986

9 Comments

  1. And I thought I was the only one who tends not to hear the words of songs for more than the first 15 seconds!

    Like you, when outdoors I prefer the natural sounds to anything recorded. Scott likes to turn on a radio or some other device, and for me that ruins the beauty of being out there.

    I also love the peace of a home without electricity. It’s such a treat when the power goes out! That’s when I’m reminded just how much noise there is, usually and constantly.

    Lovely entry, and your toilet — cute.
    Even your outhouse has a name! Thanks for the chuckle.

    -Kate

  2. Kate, I feel the same way about device sounds when I am outdoors, they definitely detract from the experience!

    Yes, a home without elecricity is very peaceful isn’t it. It is one of the things I love most when I visit a pioneer village, and step into a building without any modern services, it sounds different, it even feels different, better different as far as I am concerned.

    I set the toilet facility up for myself last Saturday afternoon, and loving it! I am thinking of making a name plate for Winnie The Outhouse, should be fun.

  3. Bex, it certainly is an outdoor loo, single purpose though, it is the p station, where Winnie The Outhouse is the other stuff station… separate functions. And you are right, Grace The Trailer does have a full washroom, fully functional… BUT what goes in must come out, and we will not taking on emptying the blackwater holding tank on our property, and we aren’t considering taking Grace The Trailer to a dumping station either, so we have our Winnie The Outhouse, where we keep our humanure compost bucket for solid waste, and my new p station for liquid waste, which is used as fertilizer for our favourite trees. I have another five gallon bucket in the washroom inside Grace The Trailer as night time chamber pot, which if used must be emptied appropriately in the morning… that bucket sports an actual toilet seat, what luxury!

    Luckily I haven’t run into any trouble with ticks so far, but I have worried about them every time I used the great outdoor facility! Checking for them afterward wasn’t much fun either.

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    You’re much braver than me! I could never bring myself to do something so personal in such an open area. I’d need to havecat least some fabric walls.

    You said you have a deep well, but didn’t you also say you were near a lake? Any chance you could do a more shallow well closer to the lake?

    Our new cottage also operates on well water. We have a sand point well. They’re shallow, can be done with just pounding a pipe into the sand. It needs to be tested to see if the water is drinkable. Don’t know if DH would ever be comfortable drinking the water, though, even if the well passed the test.

    One of my most joyous memories is when I was a teen, lying on my bed and listening to the sounds of summer coming in through my opem window. Birds singing, a light plane winging across the sky, someone mowing their lawn, the wind through the trees. It was a golden moment.

  5. Teri, I guess I don’t think about dropping my drawers to relieve myself in the bush, have done it since I was a wee girl, I love the freedom of it. Our open area isn’t open to the public, if there were someone within eyeshot they would be trespassing, and we would hear them in the bush, lots of dead wood around to prevent silent walking. We hear all the animals around us, and they are pretty good at moving quietly through the bush.

    Our Rideau Camp is on the Canadian Shield, solid granite cliffs between us and the lake. It is a short walk, but to get water from the lake we would have to drive there and fill up water jugs and then come back. It is doable, but I prefer an onsite source, rain water, if we can get it setup to work.

    Our drinking water is tap water at home, which I filter with a Berkey. I love the Berkey, a lot of homesteaders who use pond water for drinking water use a Berkey unit to filter the water for drinking. Your well water should be good for flushing and washing without worry, that is a bonus.

    What a lovely memory!

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Thanks for the Berkey suggestion, Maggie. I showed it to DH. He was wondering how you tell if the filter is full of bacteria. I’m not so sure it would fill with bacteria, but you never know.

  7. Teri, I think if I were worried about bacteria I would boil the water for ten minutes, cool it, then filter it for drinking. We have been using our Berkey with tap water for over a year and the filters look the way they did when we bought the thing. If the filter were full of bacteria it wouldn’t filter the water, it would be clogged. You can buy replacement filters, and you can clean the filters to continue using them if they aren’t too badly clogged. The bacteria, as far as I can determine, will not go through the filters, although the filters might eventually slow and stop filtering water through them if there is an accumulation of any sort.

    Have a look at this homesteader’s setup:

    http://homestead-honey.com/2014/01/06/winter-water-part-two/

    And there is a discussion here:

    https://permies.com/t/2375/water-filter

    This technology is also used in products such as the LifeStraw:

    http://lifestraw.com

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