Roof Vent

We set the mouse traps with peanut butter last night, placing one of them in the kitchen sink. Sure enough, when we got up this morning there was a dead mouse in the trap. I think we may have more mice, so the traps are going out again and again until weeks go by without catching any mice.

It was like summer here at Mist Cottage today! Attila spent the day removing the old roof vent on Iris the trailer, and installing a new one. It was a long, painstaking procedure, as each step needed to be done very carefully to ensure a good seal. While Attila worked on Iris, I raked pine cones from the front yard. The pine tree in our front yard is shedding a lot of pine cones this year, so it was a big job.

It was nice to be out of doors for the day. One of the things I enjoy about our little neighbourhood here at Mist Cottage is chatting with the neighbours. I stopped my raking twice to chat with friendly neighbours, learning more about their lives and interests.

It was disappointing to hear our neighbour two doors down, a retired gentleman who is very fussy about his yard, dressing down the young father who lives next door to us. The young couple next door have their own way of looking at things, and they are often a bit messy about the yard. They do make some effort, the husband was out raking his back yard yesterday. But that was not good enough the young man’s other neighbour. We could hear the older man loudly criticizing the young man, who responded that he had done yard work yesterday. The fact that the young man offered a relatively polite response speaks well of his character; he owed the older man no response at all. It was sad to hear such silliness going on. Attila and I made a point of being friendly with the young couple a few hours later, when they were getting their sons into the car to go out somewhere.

We also managed to hang out a large load of laundry this morning, which dried completely by early evening. It makes for a lot less clutter in a small house when the drying lines are outside instead of inside.

And… we had the windows open for the first time this spring!

Attila’s project, removing the old roof vent. A big hole was left when the roof vent came out, and Attila took advantage of that. He stood on a stool and stood up through the hole in the roof to remove the old butyl tape and caulking, and clean the area.
Roof vent opening
The end result, a new roof vent for Iris. Now she can be left without the tarp draped over her to protect her from the rain. It will be much easier for me to get in and out of her now, to continue my cleaning project.
Roof vent installed
Our Hoya is in bloom. The Hoya does not bloom often. Although I find the flowers quite beautiful, I do not care for the strong scent.
Hoya bloom
The Lungwort is in bloom in the front garden at Mist Cottage. I stop to look at it frequently when I am outside, blooming flowers are such a welcome sight.
Lungwort
At the Rideau Camp on Saturday I found these blooms in the forest, Mayflowers. My Mom used to send us out into the bush in the spring, to search for the first Mayflowers. It was always a time of great excitement.
Mayflowers

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16°C (our thermometer read 22C)
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 17 April 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 16.4°C
Dewpoint: 2.5°C
Humidity: 39%
Wind: S 20 km/h

Quote

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
Lewis Carroll
1832 – 1898

Mosquitoes

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mosquitoes!

They came out of hiding yesterday evening at 6:00 p.m., and they loved me! We spent the day pulling brambles and draining wet areas at the Rideau Camp. At the end of a fruitful day of work, we were sitting around our campfire, when I noticed the first mosquito land on my hand. Then the rest of the gang followed, and I was surrounded. They paid no attention at all to Attila, just me. I was wearing dark clothing, a real no-no!

We pulled three wheelbarrow loads of brambles from the Rideau Camp yesterday. This is the time of year to do it, because the earth is soft enough to pull the roots out of the ground. The soil is heavy clay, and soon it will dry out enough that it will resemble rock.

We took a break mid afternoon to grill cheese sandwiches over the open campfire, then it was back to work. I remembered to bring the bread this time!

I tended the fire for much of the day, while pulling brambles, and Attila headed out into the bush to create a drainage system for some wet spots at the back of the property.

We have a lot of frogs in the wetland at the entrance to the property, and they were in fine voice all day. Occasionally they became quite loud and seemed excited. When Attila went out to the wetland to fetch a pail of water to put out the fire, he saw a muskrat in the wetland. How wonderful that we have a muskrat on our property!

So far we have seen a Blue Crane on the neighbouring property, a pair of Hawks soaring and hunting in the skies above us, and now a Muskrat hunting in our wetland.

We were also buzzed by a small pontoon airplane, flying quite low over the property. Summer, and summer activities are beginning. The plane was probably headed for the lake.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This morning we found mouse droppings all around the kitchen sink. They had scoured the dirty dishes in the sink! We must remember to wash the dishes before we go to bed at night, even if there is only a plate and cup. The traps were set, but baited with seeds. We are switching to peanut butter in the traps.

Today the weather is warm enough to hang clothes outside to dry. What a welcome eventuality. Attila did a large load of his laundry early in the morning, and hung it out to dry for the day.

We were off bright and early this morning, headed for the Rideau Camp. I got the camp fire going, and Attila got right back to uprooting brambles. He removed three more wheelbarrow loads, which I burned slowly in campfire. We have a long way to go burning all the deadwood, piles up brush left by a bulldozer, and brambles. But since we are having fun, and there is no big rush to get it done, the job does not seem daunting.

While Attila was preparing our grilled cheese sandwiches for grilling, a new Cadillac SUV came driving up the driveway. The couple asked me if we were the people selling the property. They were quite disappointed that we were the people who just bought the property. It is kind of nice to know that someone else thinks that it is a nice property.

Just before we left for the day, Attila gathered another bag of garbage from along the creek. If we bring a bag of garbage home with us every time we are there, by the end of the summer we should have most of it cleared away.

The mosquitoes came out again this evening at the camp, but I was ready for them! I wore my permethrin coated shirt and pants and didn’t get one bite. Funny thing though, earlier in the day I felt something crawling on my neck and flicked it off, it was a moth. Later, as Attila and I were sitting at the campfire, he reached over and removed a small moth that was crawling on my neck. Apparently the moths love me.

We drove home into the sunset once more, arriving home hungry and tired… and very happy.

I had a note from my Mom this morning, she sounds fantastic! She is out and about a lot more now, gaining weight, and healing slowly. Now all we need is some nice hot summer weather to set her right!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

9°C (high of 16C predicted)
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 16 April 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 8.5°C
Dewpoint: -2.7°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: ENE 16 km/h

Quote

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
Jerry Chin

Mice!

The day began with sunshine, which has since departed. The temperature is well above freezing, making the grey skies a lot less threatening. I managed to get out for my walk before the sun disappeared behind the clouds, it was lovely and mild, even the stiff wind was pleasant. By noon there were snowflakes drifting out of the sky, which melted on contact.

On Monday morning Attila found mouse droppings on the kitchen counter. The theory is that since all available food sources in the basement have been sealed up, the mouse/mice have ventured to the main floor of the house in search of sustenance.

Attila was inspired, nothing like mice running around in your kitchen to get the wind-up. Yesterday afternoon Attila gathered together the step ladder, multiple packages of steel wool, caulking, a mask, and a hat, and climbed up into the attic. After checking all around the chimney opening, a large gap was discovered on the far side of the chimney. The theory is that the mice are coming down through that gap, through the wall and down into the basement. It certainly smelled “mousey” in the attic. Within an hour the entire perimeter of the chimney was closed off with steel wool. No mice will be entering there in future.

There might be mice caught inside, if the entry/exit point is now blocked. I visited the local Canadian Tire store to pick up additional mouse traps, the reusable kind. We had been using glue traps, but they are so expensive now that they are not longer practical.

Last night before I went to bed, I filled the traps with seeds, and set them out where we had found mouse droppings. This morning the traps were empty. This is a good sign, but it is not definitive. For the next few weeks the traps will be set nightly, and if no mice are caught during this time, and the droppings do not reappear, we will assume we have solved the issue, at least for the moment.

This morning I dragged out my sewing equipment to continue working on the new dining area curtains. It is very slow going, the window area is large and it will take yards and yards of fabric to adequately cover them. A few weeks ago I pressed the long side raw edges. Today I finished the long side raw edges by stitching down the folds that had been pressed. It is tedious work, but the only way to get the curtains that I want. I still need cut the fabric, finish the short side raw edges, hem, and hang the curtains; all of that is for another day.

The Rideau Camp: An Issue When a previous owner put a driveway into the property, they cut off the natural drainage on either side of the driveway. This manmade wetland was the result. It has its own beauty, and the chirping frogs were wonderful to hear when we were there last weekend. But it is also a mecca for breeding mosquitoes! Attila worked on restoring the drainage system, but I doubt we will be able to completely drain this wet area. To control mosquitoes in this wetland we are considering the use of Mosquito Dunks, a Larvicide that will not affect other life forms, plant or animal. The expense may deter us though. We shall see.
RideauSwamp

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 April 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.5°C
Dewpoint: -1.5°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 23 km/h

Quote
“Genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.”
Charles Spencer

I learned that this can be true, the hard way. I worked for a well known and respected individual, who during a performance review sited my greatest fault. She said, “You always do the right thing.”
To her this was a treacherous fault, which I found totally shocking, since we were working with a very vulnerable population. No matter how she appeared to the “public”, she had a very acute sense of presentation, I was exposed to the underbelly of the beast, and it wasn’t pretty. It reminded me once again, that it is what people do when they think no one will find out, that defines good character and true greatness.

The Rideau Camp

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday morning, after Attila had slept for a few hours, we packed the car to the ceiling with needful things, and headed out the Rideau Camp for our first visit as owners.

The day was chilly, well below freezing, and we drove through periods of driving snow to get there. Snow! Wouldn’t you know it! We would not be deterred.

To cope with the cold weather we both wore many layers of clothing, with hats, and scarves, and long johns, and gloves. The wind was brisk, there was quite a wind chill factor. The temperature never did rise above freezing, although the snow stopped shortly after we arrived at the Rideau Camp.

Attila went right to work digging the new fire pit. I went right to work with the garden fork to remove brambles from the perimeter of the area around the fire pit. After a few minutes of this vigorous work neither of us felt in the least bit cold. We worked diligently for around six hours, and accomplished much. There was one long break mid day when we stopped to eat our peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The sun eventually came out from behind the clouds, and we drove home into a glorious sunset.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday first thing we were out there again. The day was sunny, and chilly, well below zero as it had been on Friday.

Attila spent the day working on the drainage system, as we are hoping to drain the swampy areas on the property to reduce the mosquito population. The small creeks on the property had been badly used. The main creek was full of garbage, there were many torn bags of garbage, that had been there for a very long time. There was even an old umbrella in there. Attila used the shovel to lift the garbage out of the creek and onto the bank, it was an all day job. My task for the day was to mind the camp fire, which I really enjoy. We are burning the dead wood closest to the fire pit first, and working our way out from there. There are a lot of dead fallen branches, which I broke into small pieces and burned in the fire pit.

This is the creek that runs through our property. This picture is taken from the driveway, showing the culvert that runs under the driveway, and the garbage that we found in the creek. What you see here is an old paint can, and above that a broken laundry basket containing a green garbage bag full of garbage. This was the tip of the iceberg when it came to garbage in the creek! Attila dug out bags of it. What possesses people to mar a beautiful landscape with garbage?
RideauGarbage

Saturday we stopped for a lovely lunch cooked over the embers in the fire pit. Attila found two large rocks to place on either side of the fire in the pit, and these rocks held the grate. Using a sandwich cooker, Attila slowly grilled cheese sandwiches. So wonderful! There is nothing like the taste of grilled cheese sandwiches cooked over an open fire.

When it was time to leave I fetched two large buckets of water from the swampy area near the entrance to the camp, and with this water I put out the fire completely, drowning the embers.

And again we drove home into a glorious sunset. I felt very tired after my second day working in the bush!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

That brings me to today. Again, bright and early, we were off to the Rideau Camp. I had second thoughts about the way we constructed the fire pit, I felt there wasn’t enough sand lining the pit. I discussed my concerns with Attila, and requested that he dig up some of the gravel pile that he found overgrown on our property, and transport it to the fire pit. So that is what he did. Attila removed the rock lining we had put into the pit on Friday, and shovelled in the gravel, it was about two inched deep. Then Attila lined the pit with rocks from the property. Finally, I added a bag of sand and worked it into all the spaces between the rocks, to give us a thick, non-combustable base for our fire pit.

The rest of the day I tended the fire, burning dead wood from the property, and Attila did various odd jobs. He brought several loads of gravel to fill in low areas around the picnic table; collected and bagged the garbage that he had thrown up on the bank to dry yesterday; cut wild grapes around the property, that were growing up into the trees, dragged brush from down the driveway to the fire pit area so that I could burn it, and did more work on the drainage system.

There were no grilled cheese sandwiches for us today though. I had carefully packed everything we needed, except the bread!

We left the Camp mid-afternoon, so that Attila could come home and get some sleep before he heads off to work tonight.

We have left our mark on the Rideau Camp. The garbage cleanup, the removal of dead wood and brambles, the lovely fire pit, the grilled cheese sandwich feast, it was a good inauguration.

We are thrilled that it is an easy day trip to visit the Rideau Camp. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes from driveway to driveway, and the scenery along the way is very pleasant.

One of the interesting things about an open campfire is how you smell after spending time around one. People don’t smell very nice when they have been spending a lot of time around a campfire. We showered each day when we arrived home, but since our clothing reeked, we wore the same layers all weekend, and when we got home today we began to do loads of laundry. This includes washing my parka, which I had to wear all weekend because it was so darned cold out there! Hopefully next weekend will be milder, so that I can wear a lighter jacket while tending the fire, which will be easier to launder than a parka.

We are totally in love with the Rideau Camp!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Cloudy. Periods of snow mixed with ice pellets beginning early this evening then changing to rain overnight. Risk of freezing rain after midnight. Snow and ice pellet amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this evening. Temperature rising to plus 4 by morning.

0°C
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 10 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -8.1°C
Humidity: 55%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -5

Quote

“By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with… the earth and the wonders thereof – the sea – the sun.”
Katherine Mansfield
1888 – 1923

The sea has not been a part of my life, but the sun, inland lakes, precambrian rocks, pine trees, maples trees, oak trees…

And The Good News Is…

What a day!

First, near our former residence, the country house, where our Ancestral Camp is located, they are expecting 31 cm of snow today. And the good news is, I am not there!!!!!! It is snowing here at Mist Cottage, and the predicted accumulation is between 2 and 4 cm, tropical!

Next on my good news list is that a visit to the lawyers office, the signing of a stack of papers, and the handing over of funds, means that the Rideau Camp is ours as of the end of this week.

And last, but definitely not least, I received a call back from the nurse at my country GP’s office. My GP went over the hospital reports from my last visit, reviewed all of my records, and has categorically stated that I DO NOT have Chronic Kidney Disease. How cool is that!!!!!!

I intend to follow up the happy diagnosis with some tests and checks when we get a family doctor here at Mist Cottage, but for now I am content with the diagnosis, and very grateful that I have such a thorough and conscientious GP to rely on for information. I think the doctor in the emergency department was just a little too enthusiastic with her diagnosis, she is young, and due to her age must be inexperienced. No harm done. Actually, it was a a wake up call, I have improved my diet as a result of the inaccurate diagnosis, and will continue with some of the moderate dietary changes I have made over the last few weeks, as they are good for general health.

In future I will be insisting on seeing details of test results. It is best to monitor what the health care practitioners are doing, they make mistakes sometimes, they are only human.

So that is me, happy as a clam, celebrating my good fortune with a glass of cranberry juice! Cheers!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT
A band of snow is moving through the regions north of Lake Ontario early this afternoon.
The snow will be briefly heavy at times, with a quick 2 to 4 centimetres possible in some areas.
Motorists should be prepared for winter driving conditions with low visibility in bursts of heavy snow. Untreated roads may briefly become covered in snow or slush.
The snow is expected to end or change over to some rain later today as milder air arrives from the southwest.

-1°C
Date: 1:05 PM EDT Wednesday 6 April 2016
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -0.7°C
Dewpoint: -4.8°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: S 37 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.”
Unknown