This And That

What a beautiful day it is here today! A perfect day for this and that!

Attila has decided to replace the back wall of the garage, since it is no longer a load bearing wall, and it is heavily damaged by water, mildew and mould. Out it will come, and new fresh lumber will be framed to make a new, sweet smelling wall. It needs to be done. Projects can lead to other project, as this one is doing. I am enthusiastic about making the garage a pleasant place to spend time!

The garden needs some attention, and it is perfect day to do it! We will be spending the day out of doors, enjoying the warm sunny day, with reasonable temperatures and relatively low humidity.

The Hoya was growing some very, very long stems, four feet in length. Time to prune it, and put cuttings in water in the window to root. Also, additional soil needs to be added. The Hoya was gifted to me more than 15 years ago, when we lived in the city.

The Spicy Orange Chicken dish was a big hit again for dinner last night. The Instant Pot is my friend. It has made preparing a daily hot meal a simple, and interesting task. Now that I am solely responsible for cooking five days a week, this is a wonderful development.

Most of my Instant Pot cooking involves rice. We have been eating a lot of rice. I am noticing that my body is responding positively to this altered dietary regime. My body likes rice, and it isn’t just my tastebuds.

My next area of exploration with the Instant Pot will be fish. Both Attila and I really like fish, so I am inspired to learn how to cook one pot meals centred around fish. I don’t notice many Instant Pot recipes online that focus on fish, there are many focused on beef, pork, and chicken. I will enjoy ferreting out or creating great-to-us recipes to add fish to our Instant Pot dinner options.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

18°C
Date:8:00 AM EDT Saturday 7 July 2018
Condition:
Sunny
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 17.8°C
Dew point: 11.5°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: NW 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“There is an applause superior to that of the multitudes: one’s own.”
Elizabeth Elton Smith

Something that seems to be largely overlooked in the Age Of Selfie.

Dog Yellers

The heat broke sometime after midnight. Today is lovely and sunny and mild and breezy and perfect. So perfect that the windows are open, to let the breeze wander through. Even the dining windows are open, as very little heat is generated by the sun that shines brightly on the new metal roof. This is heavenly, lovely windows that open, lovely insulation that keeps the house temperature on an even keel, and a lovely light coloured metal roof just outside my dining window.

The breeze is not the only thing that wanders through. The neighbours across the street are having power struggles with their little dog. If they aren’t loudly reprimanding the dog, the dog is barking at them.

The thunderstorm in the forecast for last night did not materialize, no rain fell. Attila watered the garden well last night. There isn’t any significant rain in the forecast, so watering will be frequent. The new roof is not finished and the eves troughs are still dismantled, so our rain barrels are of little use. This is a downside of the garage roof project, which can be compensated for by paying for water through the utility company. There are many hidden advantages, and hidden costs, to any project.

There are a lot of earwigs in the house at the moment. I found one on my plate at lunch time! Now how did he get there? Most insects cause me little concern, except disease carrying types, like mosquitoes and black ticks. As far as I know earwigs are just ugly and annoying, but won’t make you sick.

Tonight’s Instant Pot dinner will be a repeat of yesterday’s dinner, the Spicy Orange Chicken. The orange juice needs to be used before it turns, simplifying the decision making process. I don’t mind a repeat though, the chicken dish was very tasty.

And now, it being so very lovely here on my easy chair, with the breeze gently breathing through the curtains, and sighing through the leaves on the trees outside the window, I think I’ll put up my feet and have myself a little nap!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 6 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.4°C
Dew point: 8.6°C
Humidity: 43%
Wind: NNW 31 gust 45 km/h
Humidex: 22
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
John Wayne
1907 – 1979

Tipping The Balance

The new garage roof is doing its job, keeping the garage dry! The project isn’t finished yet, but it is beginning to wind down. Last night Attila puttered instead of building. He spent his evening putting away tools, organizing materials, watering the garden, and just generally taking stock of what still needs to be done.

My attention is drifting away from the project. I am still cooking and making sure that everything on the domestic front runs smoothly enough, so that Attila is completely free of the day-to-day tasks that keep a home comfortable and functioning. But I am ceasing to watch, listen, keep a third eye focused on what he is doing. He is no longer working on ladders and on heights, which is a big relief to both of us. My mind is beginning to wander back into my own interests, welcome back me.

Yesterday the bills for the project arrived in the mailbox. Yikes! After careful navigation, I rearranged the financial structure to pay those bills. It will be close to Christmas before Peter is repaid by Paul, but it should all proceed smoothly provided belts are tightened, and discretionary spending avoided.

What a season, new windows, new attic insulation, and a new garage roof! These renovations were all expensive, by our standards, and vital to the integrity of Mist Cottage. Attila and I both agree, it is so much more like a home than a science project now, the balance has been tipped!

We are slipping towards what life will be like, Attila to his garden and studio, me to my research, web, and domestic projects.

Today seems much worse, weather wise, than yesterday. It was already 22C when I looked at the thermometer outside the kitchen window early this morning. I am very fortunate that I can stay comfortably busy inside Mist Cottage, at a temperature of 23C, with relatively low humidity. I will be glad when this heat wave subsides, but it won’t be today.

We picked up the car at the garage yesterday, but were unable to pay the bill because the owner was just locking everything up when we arrived, he had an appointment to get to. Today I paid a visit to the garage to pay the bill. Afterwards I went to the dollar store to look for materials to deter the rabbits from eating the beans and peas. I bought some bamboo trellises, and laid them along the outside of the fence, maybe that will discourage the furry fellas.

The air quality is very low today, breathing the cloying air is unpleasant. It was quite a relief to arrive home and walk into a lovely 23C environment, where the air is relatively fresh and easier to breath.

Attila was just too tired, and too hot, to work on the garage tonight. Best to rest, I say. With a humidex of 43C or 109F, it is best not to push, working all day in a hot factory was pushing pretty hard already. Heaven only knows how hot it was in there!

Time for another experiment in the Instant Pot. A recipe found on the internet, for Spicy Orange Chicken baked in the oven, sounded very appealing. Could it be adapted to the Instant Pot? There was only one way to find out, try it! And so a new recipe was born, Spicy Orange Chicken With Rice & Vegetables. It was a big hit with Attila, and I loved it too! Of course, writing it all down for oneself sometimes means ingredients are forgotten, or instructions seem vague to others, so feedback on the new recipe is welcome.

Well, I hope everyone who lives in heat wave affected areas is staying cool and healthy! And that everyone is comfortable in their circumstances!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Another stinker of a day!!!

HEAT WARNING

23°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Thursday 5 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 23.2°C
Dew point: 22.3°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: S 11 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 24 km
dateDetailed Forecast
Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 34 except 28 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 43 (109.4F). UV index 10 or very high.

Quote

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.”
Henry Miller
1891 – 1980

Laugh

Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.

Tank, the big vehicle, sits in the driveway, unused unless I take a notion to go somewhere. Sometimes I do go somewhere, but mostly, I don’t. Why? It isn’t my lifestyle.

My ideal is to live where I can walk to shopping, to entertainment, to work (retired now, no longer relevant). That is not possible, the cost of living in a vibrant urban centre is beyond my means. Well, it is beyond the means of most Canadians, so that makes me a part of the majority on that issue. My ideal is not attainable.

What to do when your dream can’t come true, and you know it, and you decide to not beat your head against multiple brick walls to try and attain the unattainable… got lemons, making lemonade.

What has been attainable is this very small house, that was in disgusting condition, that I bought with Attila. Since 2010, when it was purchased, every spare minute and penny has gone into making it a viable home. It was not livable when we purchased it, which is why it sat empty for years until we came along. It isn’t in my ideal neighbourhood. The urban area here is anything but vibrant and varied, but it is in a quiet, respectful, and pretty neighbourhood. It isn’t walking distance to anyplace I would like to go, a walk will always consist of parading myself up and down fussy, stuffy, uninteresting residential streets, leaving the house to circle around, and come back to the the very same place.

So, why do I like it here? The appeal, the desirable that has been attained, is Mist Cottage itself. It is a space where Attila and I spend most of our time, money, and expend most of our energy. It is the place where I experience my joys and sorrows, it is a familiar friend. I think Mist Cottage likes me, and I think it likes Attila too. I like Mist Cottage, and I think Attila likes it too.

Oh yes, back to Tank, I was talking about Tank. Although it is vital that Tank sits in the driveway so that I have the choice to go somewhere, I seldom find myself wanting to go somewhere.

Tank is not in the driveway today. The car went into the garage yesterday, for regular maintenance. Tank transported Attila to work this morning, gone for the day.

What day did I decide to go to the store? What day did I get dressed to go out, gather my things together for an outing? Today of course!! So I laughed at myself, of all the days to decide on an outing, I chose the day that there is no vehicle in the driveway. No vehicle, no outing.

Laughing the whole time, I took off the clothes I had chosen for the outing, hung them up, and donned my usual working garb. Today was a day to spend at Mist Cottage. There was no disappointment, tomorrow is another day, my destination was not time dependent, the planned outing could be made any day… if I feel like it.

I have begun checking out the camping gear. The lanterns and battery operated fan were dragged out of storage. Batteries were checked, some replaced and tested, and all stored in the bin that goes back and forth to the camp. Extra rechargeable batteries were charged and placed in the travel bin. Trailer bedding spent the winter at Mist Cottage, it was brought out, aired, and then packed.

I plan on bringing a spray bottle of permethrin solution to the Rideau Camp. I am going to try spraying it around areas where the ants come in, to see if it will deter them. In my dreams it would also deter the mice, but that isn’t very likely.

Looking at the weather forecast for today, 33C with high humidity expected, perhaps it is just as well that I stay happily and comfortably here at Mist Cottage. Better weather is on the way (my definition of better of course) for the end of the week, much cooler.

I have made a discovery! When a very aggressive person invited himself to my home recently, I turned the table and invited myself to his, suggesting materials he could prepare for my visit. I haven’t heard from him since. I will probably not hear from him again. The lesson for me here is that when someone is exhibiting merely annoying aggressive and/or intrusive behaviour, it might work to turn the table on them. As with anything, my mileage may vary.

This evening I tried a new dinner recipe in the Instant Pot, One Pot Spaghetti. The taste was lovely, I made up the ingredient list myself, for the sauce. The sauce, although it tasted great, was very watery, and I do not like watery foods, so I was disappointed. Attila loved it! I will experiment with this one until we both love it.

What an entry! Could it be more scattered! Well, that is what I am like most of the time, a little of this, a little of that, and at the end of the day it all adds up to whole lot of pleasantness.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

HEAT WARNING
25°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 4 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 25.3°C
Dew point: 19.3°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SSE 9 km/h
Humidex: 32
Visibility: 24 km
Sunny. High 33 except 28 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 39. UV index 9 or very high.

Quote

“The idea of perfect closes your mind to new standards. When you drive hard toward one ideal, you miss opportunities and paths, not to mention hurting your confidence. Believe in your potential and then go out and explore it; don’t limit it.”
John Eliot, Ph.D.

Hot Today, Even Hotter Tomorrow

We are experiencing a heat wave. The garden loves it. Rain came last night after darkness fell, a short but torrential rain. Attila and I stood in the garage, with a single light bulb shining, checking for leaks, for water, for drip, drip, drip. Nothing. Just the sound of thundering rain on a metal roof. Beautiful.

There is still much to be done, Attila is determined to keep focused until the project is complete. I am determined to continue the support system so that he can maintain that very singular focus.

If we had hired someone to do this job, it would not have taken so long. There would have been a crew. They would have had the proper equipment to do the job. They would have had the experience to be efficient in their process of tackling the job. And it would have taken them a week or more to do it. And it wouldn’t have been done to our satisfaction to the degree that is being done. And it would have cost so much that we would be in debt to pay for it for years and years to come.

Attila is doing a great job, over the last 16 days of this garage roof replacement! Sweat equity is very apt in this instance.

Today an attempt will be made to research and think through the rabbit situation. I wish them no harm, but they are harming our food supply, in going about their natural affairs. The goal is to block their access to our beans and peas, what is left of them. Attila is far too busy at the moment to take on fencing the part of the yard where the garden is planted. I am not willing to take on a fencing project myself, while busy taking care of things while Attila is totally focused elsewhere. For now, additional fencing is not the solution. Chicken wire and garden stakes might work. I am wondering if a series of trellises on the inside of the fence, a foot or more from the fence, that the peas and beans can climb, would work. I’ll be visiting the dollar store to see what I can find in the way of trellises, and/or netting, and/or chicken wire… it can’t hurt to try things that might not work, but seem that they might, as long as they are not costly experiments.

After having spent the day yesterday in the kitchen, cooking, baking, and cleaning, there is sufficient food to take us through the next few days, perhaps even to the end of the heat wave. I find that during the extreme heat I am better served by light meals, avoiding sugar and salt and cholesterol as usual. Attila needs sugar and salt, because he exerts himself and sweats, so his diet needs sweets (Rhubarb Crisp), and salty foods (Nachos With Salsa and Sour Cream). Attila has been well fed through this renovation project, and he is very appreciative.

I have always enjoyed food preparation, and food preservation. I have a wonderful cook book collection, from the pre-digital age, and quite a digital collection of recipes and information as well. For most people the home is the most important space in their lives, and find homes, how people make them, and maintain them, fascinating. Home is a basic human need, and a wonderful human concept.

I received my first bill from the domain host, and it is very confusing. I need to clarify things with them, I might have misunderstood their charges when I made the decision to switch hosts. If I have misunderstood, it will have a profound effect on how my online existence is structured, major changes will be in order. This is a call that I am internally resistant to making, but needs must, the call will have to be made. If I did not misunderstand, and things are as I understood them to be, then it will come as a huge relief.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Tuesday 3 July 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.8°C
Dew point: 17.6°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: NNW 7 km/h
Humidex: 29
Visibility: 24 km
dateDetailed Forecast
Today Sunny. High 31 except 28 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 38. UV index 9 or very high.

Quote

“Unless I accept my faults, I will most certainly doubt my virtues.”
Hugh Prather