After enjoying some lovely mild weather, where temperatures actually rose as high as 10C, colder weather has returned. A little dip back towards winter. By the end of next week milder weather is expected.
Yesterday, the last day of winter, Attila cooked a turkey dinner; the last turkey dinner of the 2015/2016 winter season, our Farewell To Winter Feast and a week of leftovers.
So here we are, enjoying the first day of spring! It is sunny, the temperature is around 0C, and with the wind the air has a real nip to it. We stepped along lively when we went out for our walk.
Today I baked a batch of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and in so doing finally used the last of the Mist Cottage peanut butter. Now I move on to using the supply of peanut butter we brought with us on the move from the country house. Slowly but surely we are consuming the duplicate food stores! Not that it is a hardship to eat such wonderful food, it is just a relief not to have to store it.
Attila and I had an exciting week. We want to camp this summer, and after looking at the bookings in the parks I realized that we would find it stressful to book ahead for a camping spot because of Attila’s unpredictable overtime schedule. What to do? Well, our solution was to buy a plot of land to use as a private camp site, no booking necessary. It is an hour and fifteen minute drive from Mist Cottage, has no facilities at all, is completely off-grid, and is basically just a patch of bush. And we love it. Our camping dilemma is solved.
We have been thinking about having a camp near this area ever since we bought Mist Cottage and started to renovate. However, it just made no sense at all until we moved here last fall. We have been looking at property for camping in this area for the last five years, and found nothing we liked and could afford. Until last week. I found the piece of property by accident, and almost dismissed it as it looked dull and unappealing in the online pictures. It is near but not on the Rideau waterway system. It had come onto the market on March 14th, so on the 16th we drove out to have a look at it. We fell in love. We bought it. Low interest rates make many things possible.
We plan on spending our vacation at our first camp, the little piece of land we bought near our previous country house. It is just down the road from my Granny and Grandpa’s house, near my sister’s cottage, and has a view over the fields, a view I have been gazing at all of my life. When we have extended periods of time for recreation, we will head for the ancestral camp. When we have short periods of recreational time, we will head for the Rideau camp.
This is where Iris enters the picture. She is light and easy to tow anywhere. She has everything we will need to camp completely off-grid. With her we will carry in our cooking, eating, and sleeping gear, and our portable privy. Each time we leave one of our camps we will carry everything out with us again, to leave it exactly as we found it, a little piece of bush with a clearing in it.
Attila and I feel blessed.
I am waiting, not so patiently, to get back to giving Iris a thorough cleaning. I decided to put my cleaning on hold until the temperature stays above freezing.
I have however, managed to complete one task. The back of the refrigerator in Iris is accessed through an opening in the side of the trailer, covered by a vent cover. On removing the vent cover for inspection, moisture was found. Yesterday the vent cover was removed and brought indoors, where it warmed enough to remove the disintegrating, leaking flashing. It was thoroughly washed and dried, then received new flashing. A snippet of a flea collar was placed in the access cavity in Iris before screwing the vent cover back into place. The flea collar, some claim, and I have yet to verify, is supposed to prevent wasps from building nests. It would be very handy if it works, as placing a fresh snippet of flea collar each spring would take very little effort; certainly a lot less effort than trying to remove an active wasp’s nest.
Attila is keeping his eyes open for new tires for Iris, we have decided that they are necessary before we take her out for her maiden camping voyage.
Mom has been increasingly active, making trips to the bank, the library, and who knows where else! She looks great, Sister-the-middle-girl sent me a photo of Mom, who was up and about, taken on Thursday. Mom’s is on a steady course to recovery, she really knows how to pace herself!
And now to post this, and thereafter discover what ravages autocorrect has bestowed upon this missive.
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday 20 March 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 24 km
Wind: SE 19 km/h
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
1844 – 1924
I’m not a camper, but if I were, it seems to me that doing it on your own land is the way to go. Congratulations on finding your nearby lot.
What a difference a year makes! A year ago you were having trouble making ends meet and now you’ve bought both a small camper and a small property. What a difference, now that you no longer have to maintain two homes. Not to mention the massive changes in your and Attila’s lives in general. You now have time together and can even plan vacations and weekends away.
That’s the way life should be. Glad you guys have persevered and finally gotten to that point. You’ve earned it. Enjoy!
Thanks Wendy! We are really looking forward to spending time in the bush, recreational time. There are a lot of places to go for walks, and lots of local villages, parks, and historic sites to visit, picnics to go on… we hope to enjoy ourselves in a very modest way.
Camping isn’t for everyone, my first experiences were magical, and the magic continues.
Thanks Teri! March has been a transitional month for us, with Iris and the Rideau camp coming into our lives. The Rideau camp needs no maintenance, and when the snow flies, we will be safely tucked up at Mist Cottage with our thermostat, . When our camping season is over, Iris will be sitting safely in our driveway where we can keep an eye on her.
If we ever reach a point where we can’t manage camping, and that may never happen, then we can sell Iris and the Rideau camp and carry on wherever we need to be. We intend to keep the ancestral camp for the rest of our lives, regardless of circumstance.
We feel blessed!
Camping was how I spent all my vacations away from home as a child. Two weeks, normally. And always up in New Hampshire at White Lake State Park. It was my favorite 2-week period of the whole year. I haven’t been camping now since the late 1970’s when, just single again after 1st marriage ended, I went with a new beau up into Vermont and camped along some of the rivers… just love that way of vacationing. I love your little plot… what a good idea!
Bex your vacations in the New Hampshire park sounds wonderful! I hope we can camp at Provincial and National parks here in Canada, but it can’t happen this year, we don’t know when our time off will be, and most of the sites are reserved now, so it is a risky business to head out camping. It wasn’t like that in the past, but now it is, things change. There are quite a few parks we can visit during the day though, close to Mist Cottage and close to the Rideau camp, so that will be nice.
We have a tent from my camping days, but the thought of spending the night on the ground in a tent, with my arthritis, is rather intimidating. I suppose in desperate times I might manage it, but I want to camp for fun, and times are not desperate!
So I am hoping that our Iris will be comfortable for camping in my present state of non-youth. She is really just a glorified tent! No microwave or indoor plumbing.
I think people consider cottages, that is the dream here in Ontario, to own a cottage. I’ve done that, and I don’t want to do it again. As far as I am concerned, cottages are high maintenance homes in the country. The vacant property with Iris sitting on it is much more appealing to me!
You and Attila really know how to celebrate! Turkey dinner and peanut butter cookies—what could be better! Your purchase of the plot of land is an inspiration. No driving around looking for a spot, no fees, no bother. Good for you! We will look forward to more about this adventure this summer!
We love our food Diane! One of the divine things about a big turkey dinner is the week of leftovers, we love leftovers.
We are so excited about our plot of land, the Rideau Camp. Now we have two plots, one near my ancestral roots, and now this Camp near Mist Cottage. All in all, the annual expenses to maintain both of these properties is less than the cost of a season’s camping fees. We are well pleased with ourselves, and can hardly believe our good fortune.