It has been a very busy summer. At the beginning of July I had surgery, and that same week the fellows came to install the wood stove in the basement. The following week the new heat pump and electric furnace were installed, and the electrician did some temporary work to hold us over until the hydro inspectors can get to us, which could take months as cutbacks by the Ontario government have reduced the number of inspectors. This is made more serious because the Ontario government is encouraging electric vehicles, that require upgrades to residential services to support the load. And so we are on hold now and hoping to have heat before the weather reminds us we need it. The day after the install of the heat pump was finished, the canning season began in earnest. And that has been keeping me very busy.

The heat pump works quietly and wonderfully. We have an air cleaner installed with this system, and it requires the fan to run constantly, so it is using slightly more electricity than the old heat pump system. But it is worth every penny, as we are no longer stuffed up spending time indoors. We both have moderate issues with our lungs, so this is quite a relief.

The garden is doing well, thanks to Attila’s green thumb and hard work.

I’ve been busy canning, and dehydrating. We are trying not to freeze very much. One thing we are freezing is our homemade pesto, using our own basil, which is doing very well this year. I would love to get another freezer, but that is definitely not in the budget right now.

Canning started early with Dandelion Jelly, then Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, and also Coleslaw with our Golden Acre cabbages.

I’ve since been canning Zucchini Pineapple, and a variety of dill pickles, using cucumbers and beans. Attila is growing four kinds of cucumbers this year, and they are all doing well. For eating and some pickle canning we have English cucumbers. For canning we have Paris, Chicago, and Boston cucumbers, they are specific pickling cucumbers. We grow our own dill and garlic for the pickles.

Last week Attila harvested our first large kohlrabi, which we cooked like a potato in the instant pot and mashed with potatoes.

Attila is now bringing in a lot more kohlrabi. We will freeze some, but yesterday I thought I’d try to dill pickle it. After peeling a large kohlrabi, it was cut into short sticks and pickled with my dill pickle recipe, 3 jars. We tasted it this morning, not waiting long enough to give the flavours a chance to develop, but it would still give us an idea of how we would like it. The Dilly Kohlrabi is a big hit with us. It is the second food I’ve ever ingested that made me feel fantastic, physically and emotionally. So this is the method to be used to preserve our kohlrabi harvest. Attila harvested six more kohlrabi this morning, so it will be more pickling today, after the day’s Zucchini Pineapple is canned. The leaves will be blanched and dehydrated powder, for our winter greens.

Six Kohlrabi, transformed into 12 jars of Dilly Kohlrabi

When the new wood stove was installed in the basement, Attila had to remove the drywall, insulation and studs behind where it was to go. This weekend he is installing new studs, insulation, vapour barrier, and drywall. The wood stove project will be complete!


Since we lost Mist the Kitty in 2015, I have been thinking about having another feline companion. For years and years I’ve kept an eye on rescue sites, and decided about two weeks ago to have a look at Kijiji. And there he was, Ginger, looking for a quiet home. Quiet, yes, we do quiet. His owner of 9 years adopted him as a kitten from the Humane Society. Due to her health issues she needed to find him a loving home. His first week here was spent behind the bookcase, watching us closely, wary. By the end of his second week he was sleeping either on my lap soaking up affection, sleeping on my chair when I was not in it, or sleeping in this empty drawer beside my chair. It is taking him a little longer to gain acquaintance with Attila, who is away all day at work, and usually quite active and busy when he is at home. They are becoming good friends.

Attila is sick at the moment, we suspect it is Covid, as masks are not being worn where he works, and there are frequently new cases there. So far he is experiencing lung congestion and fatigue, and has been napping frequently all weekend. Ginger and I are feeling well, so hopefully we will not catch what he has.



Updated on Mon, Aug 1, 3:45 PM
Partly cloudy
Wind 21 SW km/h
Humidity 42%
Visibility 37 km
Sunrise 5:54 AM
Wind gust 32 km/h
Pressure 100.9 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:32 PM



As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish he’d stay away.
As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.

Hughes Mearns
1875 – 1965

When my dear friend Derek Currie recited this to me, one lovely sunny summer day, walking along the boardwalk on the Toronto’s Centre Island, it was the first time I’d heard it. Derek was such good company!!

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Joan Marie Brennan

Feel better Attila! Glad that Ginger feels at home. Love to you both.


Ginger is a beautiful kitty, I pray you’ll have many years with her. Also that Attila soon feels better and you stay well.

Eileen Barton

Oh, I am so glad you got another kitty! I remember your dear Mist. Best of luck with Ginger. Hope Attila recovers quickly and that you don’t catch Covid!


I hope Attila feels better and that it’s not Covid.
I love Ginger! He is beautiful and it sounds like he is settling in nicely. He looks very “floofy” 🙂 Congratulations on the new member of the family!


Hi, Maggie! We also have some kind of air purifier in our place – but it doesn’t work in the summer. It shuts down when the temp is above 15 for more than 24 hours, so we just shut it completely off once temps warmed up. I guess they figure you’ll have the windows open in the summer?

Oh, and our driveway was finally laid last week. We actually get to drive on it on Thursday. It’ll be cured by then. Oh, and they’re promising they’ll start building our deck on Thursday, too.

What a lovely cat! I’m also learning what a joy it can be to have a cuddler. Our 1 year old pup, Loki, has recently taken to begging to be on my lap. Thank goodness he’s small enough!

Sorry to hear Attila isn’t feeling well. I’ve heard of a lot of people testing negative when it looks like they have covid. They just don’t give off enough virus. If Attila has breathing problems around Day 5, definitely take him to Emerge.

*hugs to you both*