What We Do

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The trip to the Camp allowed us the opportunity to keep abreast of ongoing issues.

Issue One: Mice!
After not catching any mice for many weeks, we arrived at the Camp to find the mouse trap had captured one mouse. Disappointing. This means there is still an undiscovered entry point, undiscovered by us, not by the mice. Back to the drawing board we go on keeping the little monsters out of Grace, where they don’t belong.

Issue Two: Army Worms
Spring at the Camp has, for three seasons now, included several visits dominated by killing army worms. They find the camp very enticing. So far this spring, we have destroyed four webbed nests in the Dogwoods and Sumacs, and only a few dozen masses of them on tree trunks, mostly on Maples this year. This diminished population may mean their numbers are waning, or it may mean that their season is late, and one of our future visits will reveal that a huge population remains.

That is it, all the issues so far this year.

The Bright Side:
At the Camp, the Black Flies were not too bad, and their season appears to be over. The Mosquitoes are around, but there don’t seem to be a lot of them, yet. The Dragonflies are numerous, very, very active, and beautiful to behold. The bird population is higher this spring than ever before, of course ever before, for us, is only three summers. Hardly definitive, but wonderful nonetheless.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

An exciting day here at Mist Cottage, visitors! My Mom, and sisters made the trip, we had a lunch date. We had a great time, and good long gab session. My Mom brought me a few jigsaw puzzles, my family enjoys having a good jigsaw puzzle on the go. Thanks Mom! Luckily the weather was on our side, although a little on the chilly side, at least is was sunny. We toured the garden, my raised beds and Attila’s traditional garden beds. We looked at the Heliopsis and Rose plants that I have from my Granny’s garden, the garden where my Mom grew up, they are both thriving here, thank goodness. For lunch we had Taco Soup (Instant Pot!), and homemade 100% whole wheat bread, made from the flour I milled myself. My sisters enjoyed the Dandelion Jelly, a sweet treat on a slice of homemade bread. Time flew and before we knew it they had to be on their way, it is quite a drive. They had a long day, and I sure enjoyed seeing them!

My sister brought her camera out just before they left, and Attila took a picture of Mom and her three daughters.
“Look”, I said, “My Mom is the best looking of all of us!”
Attila replied, “You are all pretty good looking to me.”
I pointed out, “Yes, of course, but when you consider Mom looks as good as we do, and she is 88, well, I think that supports my premise.”

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Another lovely day! It was so beautiful that we decided to take a run out to the Camp. There were lots of army worms, but only about a tenth of the numbers we saw last year at this time. The spray consisting of Dawn detergent, water, and wee bit of bleach killed them effectively. There were no mice in the tap, hurray!

We enjoyed our day there, and decided to stay overnight, so that we could stay up very late watching the camp fire. We retired happy after watching the stars come out, and the fireflies flickering in the forest all around us. In the morning, as I was standing at the kitchen counter making myself a cup of coffee, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a doe, she was standing behind the trailer watching me through the window. We made and held eye contact for the longest time, I did not move, not wanting to break the spell. She slowly grazed around the perimeter of the Camp area, occasionally stopping to gaze into my eyes again, and after a half an hour or so, wandered off into the forest.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Attila had the day off work today, and spent his time working happily in the garden. If only a small proportion of our garden yield fruit or vegetables, we will be well set up for the winter!

A small project that has been on my list for a very long time was tackled and completed today. We had new windows installed a year ago March. At that time Attila was working on replacing the garage roof, and had no spare time to consider other tasks, and all of the equipment for small jobs was buried in boxes, stacked and stored in the basement while the garage was under repairs. The kitchen window is above the sink, so I used painter’s tape to put up plastic wrap film over the trim, so that it would not be damaged by splatters and water. Today was the day that the plastic came down and Attila applied two coats of finish, over the course of the day. The smell is terrible, all the windows are open, and I am very, very glad that this project has at last been accomplished!

Worldly

Weather

12°C
Date: 1:12 PM EDT Thursday 13 June 2019
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 12.3°C
Dew point: 12.3°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: S 17 km/h
Visibility: 4 km

20°C
Date: 8:00 PM EDT Tuesday 18 June 2019
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 20.1°C
Dew point: 12.7°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SW 8 km/h
Humidex: 23
Visibility: 24 km.

Quote

Quote for Thursday, June 13, 2019

“Our great weariness comes from work not done.”
Eric Hoffer
1902 – 1983

Quote for Tuesday, June 18, 2019

“If it weren’t for history everything would happen at once. If it weren’t for geography, everything would happen to me.”
Anonymous
1990
Toilet stall, cafe basement, Bloor and Brunswick, Toronto, Ontario
I read this sitting down, and as a Geographer, I loved it. After almost 30 years, it still tickles my imagination.


Preservation and Preparation

Fresh Organic Dandelion Blooms, just the thing for jelly! Their season is short, but I managed to capture them at their peak!

Wow, it has been a while since I last wrote an entry!

I’ve been busy, playing in the kitchen, or is it a lab, not much difference when you come right down to it.

New technology is always fun. Over the last year or so I’ve added a steam canner, a steam juicer, and Tattler reusable canning lids to my kitchen equipment.

I love the Victorio steam canner. Purchased last year, it is a game changer, no mistake about it. I gave my water bath canning equipment to my sister! The steam canner is lightweight aluminum, so I can easily grab it out of storage in the basement, and get it up and down the stairs without straining myself. It requires comparatively little water to operate, so I can easily carry it to the sink, add the water and carry it back to the stove. It is easy to lift the jars in and out of the canner, making it a breeze to use. And after making my usual first attempt boo boos, it works perfectly every time.

The newly acquired Victorio steam juicer has added a whole new dimension to my home food preservation activities. I have only tried Rhubarb Juice, as it is the only ripened produce coming out of our garden so far this spring, and it is a big hit here. The fruit pulp that remains in the juicer makes a lovely fruit leather, so nothing goes to waste. And of course, there are my learning curve bloopers, I always make them. I was using the oven to dry my fruit leather. I share the kitchen with Attila, I should have thought it through. I left the fruit leather in the oven after I turned off the oven early in the day when the price of hydro doubled, meaning to turn it on again when the hydro price dropped again, later in the day. Attila decided to roast potatoes, and I forgot to warn him about the fruit leather. It didn’t go well, the fruit leather is toasted rather than dried. I will be doing the fruit leather in the dehydrator from now on.

The Salton dehydrator was purchased at a discounted price, an entry level unit. Since we had not tried using such an appliance before, it didn’t make sense to purchase top of the line equipment. If we decide it is going to be a technique of food preservation that we come to rely on, a high quality unit will be purchased. So far the little unit we have, a birthday present for Attila years ago, is meeting our needs.

The Tattler lids are exciting, they are reusable. All of my canning career, which spans around five decades, I’ve used metal lids and rings. I’ve never had a seal fail on me, not even once. I was surprised to learn it could even happen. But throwing out all those lids just seemed so wasteful and expensive. So when I came across reusable Tattler lids I decided to buy a few and see how they work. Well, it seems my blooperness has gone into overdrive with these lids.

I am teaching myself to use the Tattler lids by canning water. The first time I tried them in the steam canner I had 50% failure to seal. The second time I had 100% success. But the story doesn’t end there. I then used them to preserve food. Two jars of Dandelion Jelly, to start with. They sealed, and after 24 hours I took them down to store in the basement. I checked on things yesterday, and the lids came right off! Oh dear, false seals! I reprocessed the jelly with metal lids, they sealed and are now stored away.

Tattler lids were also used for another seven jars of steam canned jelly, and juice, and three pressure canned jars of Taco Soup. I am watching these jars very carefully, checking the seals several times a day for failures. The sealed soup jars are in the refrigerator, so if the seals fail, the soup will be preserved and can be frozen instead. One of the jars of soup did not seal, I think I know what I did wrong with it, it is in the freezer.

So Tattler lids are putting me through my paces, for sure. Are they worth the trouble? Well, I haven’t decided on that yet, it is early days. Usually, after working with things, I get a feel for them, and get better and better at doing them successfully. I am hoping that will be the case with the Tattler lids. So far I haven’t lost any food items, so I am not discouraged.

On the homemade bread front progress has been made.

I am now milling all of our flour. We buy the wheat berries, which are extremely difficult to source at a reasonable price, to mill the flour. The grain mill, a Wondermill, is easy to use. Of course I have my bloopers with it too. I discovered that if you add too many wheat berries at once to the feeder, the flour container will clog, and it makes quite a mess, and requires quite a clean up. Whoops. I’ll only make that mistake once. It didn’t damage the machine because I always hit the off switch or pull the plug at the first sign that anything is amiss with an appliance.

I have a Black & Decker bread machine, purchased at a considerable markdown. I don’t like it, but so long as it does the job it won’t be replaced. I have made enough so-so bread in it, trying new things, until now the bread I make in it is lovely. But, that is one loaf at a time, not enough, with Attila taking lunches to work. He is using a lot more bread than he otherwise would, because it is homemade and delicious. I need four or five small loaves a week.

So I decided to try making five loaves at once. This is where the Bosch Universal Mixer comes into play. Again, this has not been an instant success. My first attempts yielded acceptable but not lovely results. I continued to research and read what other people were doing, and tweaked and tweaked my technique. The last batch was lovely, and thankfully I took the time to write down the process I used, and the ingredients.

Just a note about the links to amazon that I have included for the equipment I use. I didn’t buy any of it at those prices. I didn’t buy all of it at once, or even recently. I have purchased my equipment over a period of many years, and expect it to last a lifetime. I often buy equipment directly from the manufacturer (e.g. Tattler), or when I find it on sale for an excellent price, sometimes watching prices for years.

My policy on spending money has changed little over the years. For instance, I have a Cuisinart food processor that I purchased for myself in the 70s, when I was a Home Economics teacher, and it has been in constant use since then, and I expect it to be in constant use until Attila and I no longer have the need or wherewithal to use it.

I am the same with clothes, my parka was purchased in the early 90s and is the only coat I’ve worn since, and it is still going strong. I have a pair of pants that I am considering throwing out, purchased about 30 years ago, they are badly worn now. Items that wear out after only a few years are regrettable failures .

Another example is my sewing machine. When I was studying Couturier clothing design and construction I purchased an inexpensive Singer sewing machine. It was a disaster, and was negatively impacting my studies. So I returned it, went into debt, and purchased an Elna sewing machine. I have used my little Elna since 1969, and it is still humming along the same as it always has. I think that was my first experience with the difference quality can make, it was a lesson well learned.

I guess all of this illustrates why the Tattler lids hold such appeal for me!

Worldly

Weather

15°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 6 June 2019
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.8°C
Dew point: 13.2°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: N 11 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.””
Italian Proverb

Stifling

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hot!

This morning I slept in. It was just after 6:00 a.m. when I opened my eyes. Morning routines, rise, dress, make the bed, put the kettle on, make coffee, then sit and gaze out the window at the trees. While sipping coffee, the thought that a trip to the Rideau Camp was needed, and could be accomplished, there and back, in the early morning, before the heat of the day turned the world into an oven.

Attila was fast asleep at 7:40 a.m., but I decided to rouse him earlier than his usual 8:00 a.m., to ask him if he wanted to go to the Camp this morning. He did!

We left Mist Cottage just after 8:30 a.m., and arrived at the Camp an hour or so later. The journey was lovely, green fields, blue skies, light traffic.

We were there until noon, when it was beginning to get really hot.

The last time we visited the Rideau Camp, four mouse traps were set in the trailer, and two dishes of warfarin as well. Today there three of the mouse traps held dead mice, and one of the dishes of warfarin was empty, the others were untouched. Attila brought the mouse traps with the mice out to the camp fire pit, placing them on a rock, so that I could deal with them.

The weeds had grown high since the last visit, so Attila spent his time at the camp cutting weeds with the weed whacker.

I was busy also, I watered the garlic and the four Blue Hubbard Squash plants, and picked the garlic scapes.

Then I brought kindling, a sheet of newspaper, a lighter, and some firewood to the fire pit, to build a camp fire. It was really too hot for a camp fire, but it was a necessity. The mice had consumed some warfarin, so I wanted to ensure that they did not become food for another animal. The dead mice were cremated in the camp fire. The mouse traps were doused in water, then cleaned by brushing them with weeds, that had been plucked out of the crushed stone. The traps were baited once more with peanut butter and placed back into Grace the Trailer.

There were some gruesome bits to be cleaned after the traps were taken out. After spraying the areas in question with hydrogen peroxide, and pulling on some latex gloves, I set to work cleaning, using paper towels which I could then burn in the camp fire.

Grace smelled bad. Dead and decomposing mice do not smell pleasant. Windows were opened, roof vents opened as well, to give Grace a good airing out. If more mice are caught, the next visit will involve more cremations, cleaning, and airing out of the trailer.

I really hope that we discover where the mice are coming into the trailer!!

I enjoyed watering the garlic and the four Blue Hubbard Squash plants, there is something very satisfying about watering plants. The garlic scapes were ready for harvesting, they are such a wonderful ingredient in the Instant Pot meals I’ve been making recently.

By noon we were both soaking wet, from working in the heat and humidity, so we packed everything up and retreated to the car, to make the trip home in a much appreciated air conditioned vehicle.

After unpacking the car, Attila was back on the job. The new wall studs on the front wall were constructed, and siding installed. He even managed to paint the the new siding. It looks as if it has always been as it is now.

It is so hot outside that when Attila came in at one point, his clothes were completely, down to the last fibre, soaked in sweat. After changing, back out he went. His plan to finish the wall above the garage doors today was accomplished.

Iris has been sitting on the front lawn since June 15, 2018. Now that the front of the garage roof project is completed, she will be moved back into her rightful place in the driveway.

Attila has now reached the stage in the project, where he feels peace of mind, confident that the remaining touches will proceed smoothly. There will still be much to do, but the big push is over.

While removing the old roof the week before last, carpenter ant nests were found in the wet rotted wood. They were destroyed. When the rotting sill plate above the front garage doors was removed this afternoon, another nest of carpenter ants was found. They were destroyed. The theory is, and I like this theory, that now that the wood will remain dry and sound, there will be no more carpenter ants.

My eyes are bothering me tonight. It started when we were at the camp, I think perhaps the UV index has something to do with my discomfort. My eyes are teary, and my vision is blurry. There are no other symptoms. I will be sure to wear sunglasses out of doors from now on.

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. I heard fireworks in the distance last night, but could see no signs of them through any of the windows. The celebration here at Mist Cottage consisted of Nachos with salsa and sour cream, perfect for us after a hot day in the bush, and Attila working on the roofing project.

Sunday, July 2, 2018

Yesterday Attila finished installing the siding on the front of the garage, and painted it too. Just the trim to be added, and the presentation is complete. Although the front is not really complete, it does look as if it is from the outside, which is what the neighbours care about, so Attila is feeling a lot more relaxed about the project now. Having it look finished from the outside was his turning point. Having the metal on the roof so that it would shed water was my turning point. Both have been accomplished.

I was going to vacuum in the garage early this morning, but I got sidetracked. Last evening Attila picked an armful of rhubarb from the garden, which I covered and put into the refrigerator for the night. This morning, when I opened the refrigerator door to get the milk for my coffee, there it was, waiting for me. I began the process of baking a rhubarb crisp, and preparing the left over rhubarb for the freezer. The rhubarb crisp was baked in the Nesco on the back porch. There was enough cubed rhubarb left over for two more rhubarb crisps, so I bagged, labelled, and stowed it in the freezer.

While I was busy with the rhubarb, I noticed that there was only one baked potato left in the refrigerator. Attila snacks on baked potatoes, if they are there, so it was time to bake more, in the Instant Pot of course!

The hydro is roughly half price today, because it is a statutory holiday. It is the perfect time to bake a loaf of bread. I baked the the loaf in the kitchen, even though the heat from the bread machine would mean that the air conditioning would have to work harder. Attila needed the electrical outlet on the back porch, for his equipment to work on the garage roof project, and bread takes about three hours, much too long for him to lose access to electricity for his tools.

It is another stinker of a day out there today. The second day in a row that the government is posting very inaccurate information about the temperature. The government weather web site says it is 26C with a humidex of 36C. That is false. Our thermometer, in the shade, reads 31C, who knows what the humidex is; it is high. Attila knows, he is out there working in this heat, and he says today is hotter and more humid than yesterday.

The rabbits are breaking my heart! There are only four pea plants left, of more than a dozen. Now they are killing the Scarlet Runner beans too. They reach through the fence and pull the stems over, near ground level, and bite through the stems to kill the plants. They don’t eat the plants, they just kill them and leave them. There are three of these rabbits, and they are bold as brass. My water canon ultimately has little effect. They run when the realize I am around, but they come back and decimate our food crop when I am busy elsewhere.

After reading a lot of different suggestions on how to control them, I decided that a chicken wire fence, attached at the top to our yard fence, and held down with garden stakes, would be the best option. I even sourced the materials, and drove to Canadian Tire to purchase what was needed, but everything is closed today. Tomorrow I plan on finding the chicken wire and garden stakes, and installing them! I sure hope there are a few plants left to save by then.

Wildlife is cute, but losing our high quality food is not cute. We need a fence around the garden area of our yard, which would protect the climbing food plants on the existing fence, because it would enclose that stretch of fence.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Sunday, July 1, 2018
The weather people say it is 26C at 3:40 p.m., with a humidex of 34C. Where are they taking these measurements!!!
WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!
It is 34 in the shade here at Mist Cottage, our thermometer has been accurate for years, I trust it, and the humidex must be very much higher than that, 40C at least. I wonder why the temperature posted by Environment Canada is so very different than the temperature on local thermometers! Is their reading under estimated, read on the lakeshore, under reported… it isn’t accurate whatever their problem is.

Quote

“Spare no expense to save money on this one.”
Samuel Goldwyn
1882 – 1974

Yay!

The garage roof is on! All the metal sheets are installed, Attila did it all last night.

When Attila came home from work yesterday we had a little chat. I relayed to him how important it was to me to get the last metal panels on the roof, for my peace of mind. I’ve made only comments of encouragement up until this point, but I realized that if installing those last panels was not made a priority, I would not be a happy camper. Better to say something, I reckoned.

As a result of our not altogether relaxed conversation, Attila tackled the last panels last night, after he ate his dinner. He feels a lot of pressure when I insist on something being done the way I think it should be done, when he is doing the labour, in this case I was insisting that, before anything else, the last metal panels had to go onto the roof. He enjoys a project less when he has to accommodate another viewpoint, but he did agree with the logic of it, and proceeded accordingly.

Attila finished installing the last panels before darkness fell last night. There are still tasks involved to finish the metal panel installation, but the panels are where they need to be, ready to do the job they need to do.

This morning I arose at 5:00 a.m. I could hear distant thunder. Sitting with my morning coffee, I watched the lightning and marvelled at the rain. For half an hour you could find me stationed at the dining room window, gazing out at the metal roof, watching the rain run down and away in little rivers. Later you could find me standing dry and comfortable, in the garage itself, listening to rain pounding on the metal roof. I felt vindicated in pushing for finishing off the metal roof panel installation last night!

It had been my plan to work on cleaning the garage in the early morning, before the heat of the day set in. The humidity was so high, that I decided that bending down to the floor to vacuum, while reaching over to the shop vac to hold fast the hose where it attaches, was overly ambitious. A new shop vac hose was in order, I decided. By the time the store opened, Canadian Tire, and the new shop vac hose was home and tested, the heat in the garage was stifling. I missed my window of opportunity for cleaning today, but early tomorrow morning I’ll be ready to get back to it for a few hours!

I did though, manage to wash a load of laundry, and hang it out to dry under the back porch. In this humidity, it didn’t dry very fast, but eventually it did dry.

Today Attila was working on the area of the roof that abuts the garden shed. This small section is complicated, as he must custom fit the roofing materials for this small area. After completing the lower section there, he moved to the front of the garage, where the wall above the doors needs to be rebuilt. Attila’s peace of mind will begin when this has been completed, since it is visible to the street. When the wall has been rebuilt and painted, then, Attila says, he will take a morning off, and we will go for a walk.

The Instant Pot is going to cook dinner on the back porch this evening, Sweet & Sour Meatballs With Rice and Mixed Vegetables. The Instant Pot won’t have to work very hard to be hot enough to cook dinner, on the porch in the heat of the early evening.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Heat Warning
29°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Saturday 30 June 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 29.0°C
Dew point: 23.2°C
Humidity: 71%
Wind: WSW 18 km/h
Humidex: 39
Visibility: 19 km

Quote

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
Albert Einstein
1879 – 1955

Cleanup Begins

The new metal roof, at least the part that has been installed!

I like to create my own recipes. Usually, almost always, the results are pleasing. But, when I try a new technique, or appliance, there is a learning curve.

It took a six week course, and six weeks of reading, and making notes, before I was ready to try the Pressure Canner. The first time I used it, it was nerve wracking, but I soon became comfortable with it. This was one appliance that I did not experiment with, food preservation is very different than food preparation, the food safety rules are completely different, and food preservation demands respect. I stuck with the tried-and-true tested recipes; no YouTube learning on this one, I stuck to the university extension services for advice.

Food preparation is a lot more forgiving than food preservation. Experimentation is rarely dangerous, if basic safety precautions are practised, and you don’t use poisonous ingredients, but it is sometimes distasteful, even inedible.

I have been having fun experimenting with the Instant Pot. I mainly rely on the basics outlined in the cookbook that came with the appliance. However, the cookbook does not go into much detail, just lists ingredients, and time needed to cook them. I’ve been enjoying looking at recipes and information on social media. Social media though, is “street learning”, it isn’t comprehensive, nor is it accountable for the accuracy or thoroughness of the information it provides. Social media is the playground of the self-defined expert, where presentation is more important than content. Most of what we see on social media is aimed at some kind of profit seeking, branding, or attention seeking. Always interesting, sometimes reliable, viewer/reader beware. I love perusing social media for recipes, but I have to remember where I am!

Yesterday evening, while trying to pressure cook the second batch of Beef Stew, I ran into trouble, the pressure valve did not pop up. The Instant Pot counted down on the timer as expected, but there was no pressure. The potatoes did not cook as expected. Something new to learn! Attila says the stew is fine as it is. I am tempted though, to put it into bowls, place a cup of water in the Instant Pot pot, then the trivet, then the bowl of stew, and pressure cook it again for ten minutes.

Winging it requires a thorough understanding of how the Instant Pot works, my understanding is increasing through trial and error. I believe the issue is that the stew was too thick, so that when it began to cook some of it stuck to the bottom of the pan, and this prevented steam from developing to allow for pressure cooking. The pressure valve did not pop up, pressure cooking did not take place. The stew was thick due to the flour that the meat had been dredged in before browning it with the sauté function, and the addition of Blue Hubbard Squash puree. I won’t dredge the stewing beef next time, and will ensure that there is enough “free” liquid to create the steam needed for pressure cooking.

My other discovery, through reading, is that milk products, when heated, will form a film over the bottom of the pot, preventing adequate steam from forming. I knew about the film, but had not known about how it would affect steam in the Instant pot. This is not desirable, no steam, no pressure cooking, and burnt food on the bottom of the pot. This is why the Rice Pudding recipes call for stirring in the milk and egg after pressure cooking; and why Bread Pudding, containing milk and eggs, is steamed in a bowl in the Instant Pot, which is placed on a trivet above water in the bottom of the pot.

When I was trouble shooting the Stew, I discovered how to remove the Anti Lock Shield, and the Float Valve, to clean them. They will be checked before each use.

The humidity arrived yesterday. The heat will arrive today. In honour of the current conditions, my curtains remain drawn against the heat of the sun. Early in the afternoon, the Cabana Curtains will be drawn across the back porch. And the air source heat pump will keep the house at a steady temperature of 22.5C, with reasonable humidity.

My hope, that Attila would complete the metal roofing last night, was overly optimistic. He installed two panels, one of which had to be cut lengthwise, which turned out to be a bit time consuming. There are five more panels to go, and I am optimistic that these will be installed before the end of the weekend.

The panels that were installed are underneath the dining area windows. The light reflects off the metal roof, onto the underside of the awning outside the window, also light in colour, and brings a lovely diffused light into the windows. The kitchen is very much brighter thanks to this new metal roof!

Since rain is not in the forecast, and the installation of the remaining metal roof panels is imminent, today the garage cleanup will begin. First, all the tarps were dragged out to the driveway and sun dried, both sides, to kill off any mould/mildew spores. Then they were all carefully folded for storage, hopefully never to be needed again in the interior of the garage, or any other building I ever have to go into! By the time this task was complete, I was overheating, so I took a long break indoors, in the air conditioning. I stripped to my underwear at the door, not wanting to bring the filthy clothes into the house, and was so refreshed that I decided not to bother getting dressed until I was ready to put the filthy work clothes on and head back out to the garage.

Returning to the garage, this time with a breathing mask, I soon discovered that my glasses almost instantly fogged up so that I could not see. Off came the glasses. When I started vacuuming the floor in the garage, the shop vac was easy to move around. By the time I decided to stop, having covered about 1/10th of the floor area, the shop vac was very heavy to lift. It will need to be dumped before continuing.

The shop vac is very old, about 20 years old if I remember correctly. The hose does not seat into the unit properly, so that the hose is always falling off the shop vac, unless I stand close to it and hold the end of the hose in with my hand. The other end is also broken, but not repaired, so it no longer accepts attachments. Using the shop vac involves bending down to direct the wobbly end of the hose where it needs to go. Other than the hose situation, the old shop vac works well. Too bad it is such a misery to work with. It was a model sold by Sears, it lasted longer than they did.

I worked in the garage until I was so dripping with sweat that I could no longer see, and my clothes were sticking to me. Enough! I came indoors, took off the filthy clothes by the door, and headed for the shower. Ahhhh! That’s better.

At least the clean up has started, that is something. The garage looks a lot roomier with all those tarps folded and sitting in one big pile, and it looks a wee bit cleaner.

Aarrg! The pepper mill just bit the dust, right in the middle of making a sandwich. It was a very inexpensive pepper mill, $5.00, very cheaply made, had it for years. Efforts to repair it were a waste of time.

I ordered a new one from Amazon, highly rated, Peugeot U Select from France, it has a lifetime warranty. At my age the company may just last as long as I do, making the warranty a relevant offer, from my point of view. I would peruse charity shops for a pepper mill, but the fuel to get there and back is $20, there is no economy in the exercise. I checked Kijiji, and the same pepper mill I just purchased was $40 used, plus shipping. I paid $38 for it, new (on sale), with free delivery courtesy of Amazon Plus.

I did find Canadian made pepper mills, loved them, but at $190 +- they are beautiful, and clearly beyond our means. Buying local is a lovely concept, but often local items are artisanal, and priced accordingly.

The old one won’t end up in a landfill, the wood will be burned in the camp fire at the Rideau Camp, and the metal parts will go into recycling.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Friday 29 June 2018
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dew point: 16.9°C
Humidity: 80%
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Humidex: 26
Visibility: 24 km
Mainly sunny. High 29 except 25 near Lake Ontario. Humidex 35. UV index 8 or very high.

Quote

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862