Wednesday, September 13, 207
Well! Another fine sunny day has dawned, if only we had chosen this week for our vacation! There is no cure for it though, vacation time must be booked well in advance, the weather cannot be predicted, so we take our chances.
Last night we cooked up a second batch of Tomato Pepper Sauce, and tonight we will do it all again. This batch yielded only 11 500 ml jars, with a little left over for dinner tonight. We will have almost three dozen jars of this sauce in our freezer. In an emergency, the sauce is in mason jars, can easily be fitted with proper lids, and could be canned to store dry on a shelf. It is unlikely this will be necessary, but nice to know it is an option. Canning can be done on a propane stove out of doors in a pinch.
All the scanning is done, so a new To Do list sits on the table with a pen, the paper is empty at the moment, but soon the scribbling will begin and I will be off and running.
A few years ago I was gifted some Genealogy reference books, which are not particularly useful to me, and take up a lot of room. Another family researcher would dearly love to have them, and for the last year we have tried to connect so that she can pick up the books. This weekend looks hopeful, she will be in the area for a family wedding, fingers crossed.
Purging here at Mist Cottage has slowed to almost a halt. The next renovation project is replacing the windows in the dining area, with smaller windows, higher in the wall, to facilitate raising the side of the garage roof. We hope that putting the new windows in this fall will mean we have a running start on the roof renovation next spring. Once the garage roof is replaced, Attila can organize his tools etc., and the basement where he now keeps it all be cleared out, and what remains can be organized. It is a real game of dominoes!
Tuesday, September 5, 2017, Day Four
The weather has been less that ideal, during these first four days of our vacation. The first day, Saturday last, was beautiful, warm and sunny and breezy. The temperature plummeted Saturday night, and Sunday morning saw steel grey skies and a relentless, steady rain. Yesterday began with overcast skies, which cleared near noon, giving way to wispy clouds racing across the pale blue firmament. The winds yesterday were significant, increasing in strength as a day passed.
The winds were so strong last night that we were wrenched from reading our books at about 9 a.m. last night, by a sudden loud noise and a jarring lurch of Grace The Trailer. It was as if we had been hit from behind by a car, but there was no car, not out here in the rain soaked, silent but for the rain, pitch black forest.
Attila donned his rubber boots and rain jacket, and headed out the door to see what was going on. It was the awning. The wind had lifted the canopy so violently that it dismantled the support rods, making a loud noise, and shaking Grace The Trailer. Attila reassembled the supports rods, then I donned my rain gear an joined him in the dark of the night. Together we worked by the light of a small battery operated lantern, to take down the canopy, fold the whole mechanism, and fasten it tightly against Grace The Trailer. I wore my wide brimmed hat, which kept the pelting rain from streaming down my glasses, obscuring my sight.
The storm raged on after we retreated into Grace The Trailer, where we were resumed our comfortable chairs and picked up our books once more. The tempestuous weather continued as we retired to our bed, and although Grace The Trailer shuddered from time to time in the strong gusts of wind, there were no further emergencies to be dealt with. We fell asleep to the sound of driving rain on the roof.
This morning the skies are cloudy, a bright, luminescent cloud cover that hints at sunshine. The strong wind and the rain have passed.
Attila and I enjoyed sitting outside with our mugs of coffee early this morning, watching the sky, listening to the occasional light breeze whisper with the leaves, and to the loons calling on the lake.
After breakfast we put the trailer awning back up, it is a two person operation. The awning is lovely to have, it provides shade when the sun is hot, and shelter from the rain, so that we can sit outside to watch the weather.
With all the rain we are having on this vacation visit the crushed stone is wet, therefore easier to shovel, which makes the job of moving the stone easier. Attila is moving about ten wheelbarrows full of stone each day, he is out there now, as I write this entry. I can hear the shovel crunch into the stone, the thud as it is jettisoned into the wheelbarrow, the trudging crunch of Attila’s boots as he pushed the wheelbarrow into the position, and the slide of rock on metal as the stone in dumped into place. The area in the clearing covered with crushed stone is slowly expanding.
I need to mention here that on Sunday evening another milestone was reached at the Rideau Camp. We had spent the day at a small local museum, where there were records of my ancestors, and had returned to the Camp to find Grace The Trailer feeling rather chilly and damp. The cold and the rain had their way with her. So Attila setup the generator, and we turned on the central heating system in the trailer. Oh my! Within ten minutes we were warm and toasty, and the damp had been driven off.
When Attila first started up the furnace, it ran for a few minutes and then suddenly stopped. He opened up the panel on the outside of the trailer, tinkered and got it going again. Then he showed me how he got it going, so that I would know how to do it too.
We noticed that the exhaust from the propane furnace smelled of mouse! There is a nest in there somewhere! There is no smell in the trailer, so the nest is in the exhaust system, but not blocking it, as the exhaust exits with great force. The smell may not be a result of a current mouse nest, in fact that seems unlikely. Mouse nests reek forever. The exhaust pipe is round and open to the outside, where mice would enter. It is the time of year when mice are looking for places to shelter for the winter, this exhaust pipe would seem ideal. When we leave at the end of our vacation, we will stuff steel wool into the exhaust pipe. Because this would pose a danger if the furnace were operated, we will replace the steel wool with a steel screen, which will allow the free movement of exhaust, and prevent furry house hunters from taking up residence.
In some ways, having lived at the country house has prepared us for having a luxury trailer in the bush. We are very aware of how vibrant the life is around Grace The Trailer, and that she presents as an opportunity for many species. It is truly an us versus them relationship, Attila and I insisting that Grace The Trailer is ours to inhabit, and that we will not share with the local inhabitants. She doesn’t take much space, they have many other options, which we insist are their only options.
OK, now I think we are over the line, and entering into the glamping world. Today Attila read the manual for the central vacuum in Grace The Trailer. We have never had a central vacuum before, it seems unbelievably decadent in a trailer. Our portable generator will run the vacuum system. The only thing it cannot handle is the air conditioning system, and we can buy a companion portable generator at some future date, to boost the power, and run the air conditioning if we think we need it.
If we ever get water running in the trailer, and a grey water drainage system hooked up, then we are into serious glamping! BUT we are committed to our humanure composting toilet system, we will not be using a water based sewage system. We are discussing removing the flush toilet from Grace The Trailer, to replace it with a compost toilet, the 5 gallon bucket kind of compost toilet, our favourite!
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Cloudy this morning, bright clouds, but clouds nonetheless. Warmish, yesterday morning it was 60F when we got out of bed in the morning, This morning it was 67F.
Date: 8:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 September 2017
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Dew point: 13.3°C
Wind: N 5 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“There was a stigma attached to being brought up different, laid on us by “the straights” – normal people. I had a choice: accept my status and brazen it out, or retreat from those that might hurt me.”
Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable Place, by Dan Boothby
I immediately thought of a tiny screen over the exhaust pipe to keep the mice out, but you beat me to it. Life in the wood always has its challenges as well as its benefits!
I heard on tv that some of hurricane Irma reached up as far as Canada (winds) so you may have experienced that little gem!
Bex, great minds think alike! Temporarily we have steel wool plugging the vent when we are away from the Camp, but screening is the safe option, much better than trying to remember to remove steel wool every time we visit.
The winds were last week, might have been a prequel to Irma. Today there is no wind, but we wonder if there is some coming!
The central vacuum in the trailer made me smile. So good to pick up the detritus that comes in from the forest floor!
At the cottage, we have been working on painting and sealing doors. Painting is personal as neither of us was comfortable with the pumpkin orange living room, dining and kitchen. So at this point almost half the house has been converted to a soft gray and our bedroom is a soft blue instead of chocolate brown with black trim.
The outer doors had some gaps of almost half an inch, great for letting in small creatures from the wild. DH rehung them and then put in seals to tighten them even further. We then replaced the sagging, weak storm door with a new strong one.
Sadly, we can’t return to the cottage this weekend, even though the weather is lovely. But DH is working on Sunday and we’ve found the hotspot coverage is too chancy for him to do it from the cottage. Next year we will invest in internet for the cottage, so we can be there and he can still work “from home”.
Teri, we haven’t tried the central vac yet, but it is on the list of things to test before the snow flies, lol!
Oh those gaps around the doors, best to get them closed up before the mice and insects start looking for someplace to winter. Interior colours make a huge difference in the feel of a place. Years ago a friend of mine moved almost every year, her hubby was a banker and was constantly being reassigned. The first thing she did in every single house they moved into, was to paint! A lot of work, but it made her feel more at home to have her preferred colours surrounding her, even if the houses were constantly different.
Being able to work from your cottage will be wonderful! The internet is a worthwhile investment, extending your cottaging season.
We were getting concerned about mice and other critters getting in the cottage. We were already starting to see an increase in big wolf spiders, which seemed to stop once the doors were sealed. I was glad to see them disappear!
We still have lots of painting to do, another coat on the livingroom combo plus the other bedrooms. One bedroom is pumpkin spice with a brighter orange ceiling. The other bedroom is also pumpkin spice , with a brown ceiling. Not looking forward to painting those (lightly) textured ceilings.
Yes, the colors are important. It’s much easier for us to relax amid the grays and blues.
Spiders are not my favourite roommates, the smaller they are the easier they are to live with. Luckily we are only seeing the very small spiders in our house, in Grace The Trailer and in Iris the Trailer.
Our exterior siding was painted bright orange at one point, it was one of the layers we removed. Greys and blues sound peaceful!
Your tomato pepper sauce sounds wonderful! Years ago, I made red pepper sauce, which added so much interest to our meals! Your use of the word ‘glamping’ intrigues me. Please elaborate!
Diane, the sauce is surprisingly good, even though it is low sodium. We have some older cans of tomatoes that have sodium in them, so half of the tomatoes used contained sodium, that will change when the supply runs out, which will be very soon. You can now purchase salt-free canned tomtoes here, at reasonable prices, so we are switching. The flavour comes from first caramalizing the onions with a handful of chopped peppers, and this seems to take forever, but is worth the wait and the effort of standing there watching it so it doesn’t burn, for what seems like hours.
I think glamping is a term for “glamorous camping”, with all the facilities and luxuries of urban domesticity. If we had running water and water and sewer drainage, we would reach the level of glamping… almost there! But we love our composting toilet, so no water based sewage system for us!